Late Season Forage Production with Oats

Those who ant quick fall production from an annual forage may want to try oats planted in mid-August.  Planted at 3 bu/acre and given 50-60 lb N/acre, you can typically harvest 1.5 to 2.5 tons of dry matter in mid-October. As planting is delayed, yields fall dramatically. The normally cool night temperatures of late September conserves the sugars and produces high quality forage. With sufficient nitrogen or manure, oat forage will easily reach 18% crude protein. Or for even more production, mix oats with cereal rye to have lush regrowth early spring next year. Note: if spring oats are planted they die overwinter and winter oats often don’t survive KY winters.