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      Friday, November 27, 2015

What variety of oats should I seed?

Select a certified seed variety that meets the market requirements.  Consider plumpness, hull percentage and test weight.  These factors are most important for milling oats and it is important to consult your potential customers for their specific preferences.  Refer to the Saskatchewan Agriculture fact sheet Varieties of Grain Crops for current oat varieties and their characteristics.  

What kinds of field should I avoid?

Avoid fields with a large population of weeds, especially wild oats and Canada thistle.  To reduce disease pressure, stay away from fields with cereal stubble such as barley or oats.  Avoid fields with residual herbicides that kill oats or wild oats (e.g. trifluralin). Try to pick a field that will mature evenly (i.e. one that is level and has uniform fertility).

What is the current situation with Crown Rust in oat production?

Researchers are warning oat producers to watch for Crown Rust.  The level of Crown Rust has been increasing in recent years in Manitoba and south-eastern Saskatchewan.  The Crown Rust outbreak in 2005 was one of the most severe in many years.  Late-season seeding, combined with humid and warm weather, favours Crown Rust infection.  There are only a limited number of varieties that offer resistance to the new Crown Rust races.  Growers need to incorporate other management practices to reduce disease risk.   More information on practices to combat Crown Rust can be found in the SA fact sheet FAQ - Watch for Crown Rust on Oat in Southwest Saskatchewan This Season.

When is the best time to plant oats?

Early planting has consistently produced oat crops with high yield and quality by avoiding dry and hot conditions at heading time. Oats should be planted when the soil temperature is at least 5°C.

At what rate should I seed my oats?

Optimum plant populations range from 18 to 23 plants per square foot.  Use 1,000 kernel weight of the seed and the following formula to determine seeding rate:

Seeding rate = desired plants/sq. ft. x TKW (g) x 10
                                % expected seed survival

For more information, contact:
Saskatchewan Agriculture
Agriculture Knowledge Centre
Toll free:  1-866-457-2377

Bill May, Oat Agronomy: Optimizing Economic Returns to Oats Producers
Grant McLean, Cropping Management Specialist, Saskatchewan Agriculture


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