Oats…a wonderful and versatile cover crop

Oats and Radishes

Oats and Oilseed Radishes with hog manure. Planted after wheat. This makes for a great combination.

Oats and Oilseed Radish Mar 16 2010 - 4566 (4)

The Oats and Oilseed Radishes in the spring of the year. These photos are from the same field.

Oats are one of the more versatile cover crops as they can be planted various times of the season and used as an excellent cover and an excellent forage crop.  Oats work well alone, but especially well in mixes with oilseed radishes, turnips, Berseem and Crimson Clovers, and Austrian Winter Peas, etc…  Oats work well for erosion control and are very good nutrient scavengers.  Oats (and mixes with radishes or turnips) work very well for manure nutrient management.

Advantages of Oats

  • Scavenges N
  • Deep and fibrous root mass
  • Works well with aerial application
  • Excellent for forage
  • Winterkills
  • Oats work very well with other cover crops in mixes

Disadvantages of Oats

  • Bin run oats will have weed seed in them
  • Winterkills

Plant Oats at 1 ½- 2 bushels/acre for cover/grain; 3 bushels/acre for cover/baleage

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  1. bokashicomposting.com - Short Cover Crops Put Down Deep Roots - January 26, 2012

    […] of my goals in the field is to measure roots on species like annual ryegrass, cover crop radishes, oats, cereal rye, Austrian winter peas, rape, kale, cowpwea, Hairy Vetch, Phacelia, turnips, and crimson […]