Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nice Day to Harvest Oats

Today was a nice day to get the oats harvested before the heavy rains that are predicted by the national weather service. I hired a neighbor to combine my oats since I don't have the equipment needed for the harvest. The 18 acres of oats that we harvested today will be fed to our outdoor raised pigs. Now that the oats have been harvested the next step is to bale up the straw that is in windrows. The straw bales will be stored in our barn lofts and sheds and sold to customers needing winter bedding. Underneath the oat aftermath is a bed of various grasses and legumes that will become pasture for the cattle to be rotationally grazed. The sooner we can get the straw off the field the less smothering of the new seeding will take place. This year I had 3 varieties of oats which were all planted early to mid April; 19.5 acres of colt variety, 12 acres of Spurs variety, and 6 acres of Jim variety oats. The Jim oats yielded 85 bushels to the acre and was planted into disked stalks. The colt oats yielded 83 bu.acre. This field would have yielded better if we hadn't received hail on that field. Golf ball size hail damaged the field a few weeks ago. Rats! The worst yielding field was the 12 acres of Spurs oats which ran 77 bu.acre. The yield of the Spurs field actually surprised me since it got off to such a slow start in the heavily covered soil of cornstalks. Overall it was fun to have a few test plots of oats and compare information.

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