Production

Forage oats planting window opens

Beef Central, 28/02/2012

A new guide developed with funding support from Meat Livestock Australia has been released to give producers updated information on forage oats just in  time for the 2012 planting season.

Forage oats is an ideal winter forage crop in Queensland and also northern NSW, producing good quality feed when most pastures are dormant.

The 2012 Forage oat variety guide was released last week just in time for autumn, the optimum time to plant forage oats.

The guide was developed by Queensland’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation with funding support from MLA.

The guide discusses the recommended management practices for growing oats for forage, and strategies to minimise leaf rust infection which significantly affected forage oat crops again in 2011.

It also lists the current varieties of forage oats available for commercial sale in Queensland.

Key factors to increasing the level of productivity of oat crops include the use of improved varieties and better management practices.

In addition to identifying and managing leaf and stem rust, the guide outlines how to identify other diseases of oats such as bacterial blight, septoria blotch, barley yellow dwarf virus and red tipping.

Tips on growing oats for forage include:

  • Intermediate and late maturing varieties remain vegetative until late in the season and provide a longer duration of grazing for livestock
  • Mid-March to June is considered the optimum planting time for forage oats in southern Queensland and early April to June in Central Queensland. Planting too early or too late can reduce forge yield
  • The recommended planting rates are 40-60kg/ha in southern Queensland and 25-40kg/ha in Central and western Queensland. Planting rates should be adjusted for germination, seed size and percentage establishment in the field. There are approximately 50,000 seeds per kilogram, but always check the seed container for the correct size and germination rate.

To download the report click here

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