Spring grains such as oats, while not a major crop, still provide a valuable alternative on some farms.
In addition to the grain produced, oats provide valuable straw. Maximum yields are usually obtained in moderate, well drained soils, with a pH of at least 5.8.
Early planting is a key in achieving maximum yields. Cornell reports that yield decreases average 1 bushel per day for each day that planting occurs after April 15th.
Oats grown for grain should be seeded at 3 bushel (96 lbs.) per acre. If oats are being used as a "nurse" crop in seeding establishment, the rate should be reduced to 1 1/2 to 2 bushel per acre.
Varieties available are Rodeo and Robust. Rodeo is an excellent yielder, also producing a lot of straw and generally excels in all areas. Robust is a white oat that is noted for its excellent yield, test weight, and standability.
ABS also offers a true forage oat, Forage Maker 50, that is very tall with wide leaves that is used exclusively for forage.