Seeding rates and planting times vary according to the location and application of planting. So many people buy a bag of oats that have a deer on the bag and think they really got something, as it grows fast and the deer eat it. At maturity, oats typically reach about 2- to 3-feet tall if soil fertility is good. Forage production ranges up to 7,000 pounds per acre. These herbicides will kill ryegrass but will not harm wheat or other broadleaf forages included in the mixture. Ryan also has conducted extensive food plot research where he compared production, nutrition, preference, and availability of various forages planted for deer. A lot of us that would be me included thought the deer just would not eat wheat in my area and all along I wasn't giving them the right kind and some years they wouldn't eat the oats all because of the seed variety. However, some of the forage legumes, such as soybeans and cowpeas, would be better suited if increased forage production is your goal during summer. Wheat has better nutrition than rye, but not by much. This is why oats are typically planted in the spring in northern regions except when trying to provide a quick source of attraction in fall hunting plots. With regard to deer preference, oats consistently rank higher than the other cereal grains and most other forages for that matter. Rye can recycle potassium from deeper in the soil profile for future crop use. Most varieties of oats that are planted north of the Mason-Dixon line will die off after the first decent frost. Your reason #2 is a big plus. Prior to planting oats or other forages, it is important to collect soil samples to determine the soil pH and fertility of your plots. Ryan Basinger of Alabama is a certified wildlife biologist and the Wildlife Consulting Manager for Westervelt Wildlife Services. Do not confuse cereal rye (rye grain) with annual or perennial ryegrass, they are totally different plants! If grass weeds are a problem, such as annual ryegrass in the South, your options will be more limited. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any herbicides that kill ryegrass without killing oats. AddThis. Here in Oklahoma they can live all the way through. At the very least, then, the weeds would be prevented from forming seed heads and spreading through seed. But last fall, I planted Wrens Abruzzi Rye to try something different and I will be planting it again this fall. ... On the other hand, Antler King's Fall/Winter/Spring mix consists of winter peas and winter rye. Overall forage production during the fall/winter is very respectable at 3,000 to 4,000 lbs./acre (dry weight), and oats have excellent resistance to heavy grazing pressure. 2. That is, you will not notice more or fewer deer using a plot of rye than you would a food plot planted in wheat … Of the three major small grains, however, most deer managers would rank rye as third in preference or palatability to oats … In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid detergent fiber value registering below 20%. The rye and wheat will take over at that time and feed as well as attract deer throughout the winter. In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid … In the northern half of the U.S., oats will be killed when cold weather sets in unless a cold-hardy variety is used. Oats are highly nutritious as well. One typically pays $30-40 per 50 lbs of these oats and the result is 1-2 ton of forage per acre. However, experienced food plotters may notice that oats are a deeper green compared to the other grains. Now, know about the limitations. I am not sure on what variety to plant. Grains get tough as they get bigger. Oats have no purpose as a deer feed in my opinion, unless you use it as a nurse crop for fall seeded clovers. The Rye Advantage Cereal rye, not to be confused with ryegrass, is a worthy choice for this year’s fall food plots. Since deer has a sensitive digestive system, a proper ratio is essential from this point of the view. In well-managed food plots with a neutral soil pH and good fertility, oats can contain more than 25% crude protein. Because I found that the value of offering green and foragable rye, all the way through to the point of spring green-up, was critical to the local deer herd. There is a limited variety of winter oats out there on the market. WW draws deer and I have fall, winter, and spring usage. If planting alone in a pure stand, broadcast seed at 120 to 150 lbs./acre PLS (pure live seed) and lightly disk into the soil 1- to 2-inches deep. They are high in carbohydrates and draw deer when other plants won’t. Winter … They can both be eaten down relentlessly and still come back strong, and both can survive deep snow and brutal cold, providing forage right through winter into early spring. How to Choose Wisely, Recover From Food Plot Failure by Planting a Salvage Plot. I am going to do a WR/Oats/AWP/clover/radish mix. Oats perform very well in mixtures with other annual forages, such as crimson, arrowleaf, balansa and frosty berseem clovers, as well as winter peas and brassicas. With that said, even if the deer kept the plots mowed like a golf course, wouldn’t they also eat the weeds down? Herbicides such as 2,4-D, Harmony Extra, Banvel, or Clarity are very effective for controlling broadleaf weeds. Also, oats do not perform well in wet, poorly-drained soils, so be sure to plant them on sites that are well drained. The oats will be a deer favorite from the time they sprout right up until the first hard frost. Wheat is good too but I've always heard it's tough on the soil so choose oats instead. In the North, a cold hardy variety of oats should be planted in August in conjunction with other cool-season forages that will be available in case oats are winter killed. Deer eat the tender nutritious (12-25% protein) foliage in fall, winter and early spring. I did a trial last year with Buck forage oats, bob oats, everleaf oats, forage plus oats, falcon oats and triticale in 2 test plot locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota. For regrowth nothing beats oats, wheat is more drought tolerant, but has very little regrowth and doesn't stool as well as wheat. Brassica goes in about now and rye/ oats/ wheat and clover go in sept.01. Oats, wheat and grain rye are planted during the fall months. With the oats dead at frost, you are providing no nutrition in the winter. This rivals any other cool-season forage and is well above the levels required by deer for optimum growth and production. I am planting oats for first time this fall because I have done WR for 3 years mainly as soil builder over rock and I have had some amazing stands of WR but see little use by deer in them. FWIW, we planted BFO in 1/2 of a field and regular co-op oats in the other 1/2 and set a camera on the dividing line - did not notice a difference in the deer's preference. Oats beats rye for fall attraction here but the two planted together are equally eaten and rye helps our deer in the early spring with the first green food of the year, hiding cover for June fawns, and weed prevention for clover. However, don’t be overly concerned with how rye ranks among the other popular cereal grains, because deer prefer wheat, oats and rye. In forage trials I helped conduct across Tennessee, rye consistently ranked second to oats when comparing deer selectivity of the different cereal grains. 2 acre wheat field had as many as 28 deer in it last spring. Oats are also highly digestible. Total: 92 (members: 11, guests: 70, robots: 11), (You must log in or sign up to reply here. As previously mentioned, oats are highly favored by deer and they consistently rank among the top species consumed by deer in forage preference trials. The results might surprise people but the worst product in the trials was everyone's favorite forage oats. Oats are highly nutritious as well. Oats are also highly digestible. Regardless, it is important to select a variety of oats that is cold hardy, which can be determined by contacting your local Extension agent or seed dealer. Wintergrazer 70 is well suited in mixtures with legumes, brassica andor other small grains such as wheat and oats for wildlife food plots. I still plant oats today, and I appreciate the "other cereal grain" for it's value as a quick start light forage for my Food Plot Layering Method, or as a small portion of a 1-time planting teamed with brassicas, peas and other forages. The rye will also be one of the first plants to green up in the spring. Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Satguy, Jul 18, 2017. Oats are an excellent choice for deer hunters who like to plant cereal grains. He earned his bachelor's degree in wildlife science from Mississippi State University and his master's in wildlife management from the University of Tennessee. Deer seem to prefer oats over wheat, the downside is that the frost kills the oats, if you plant wheat you'll still have something for the deer in spring when the snow comes off and they are half starved. If ryegrass is a problem and you want to plant a cereal grain, you will need to substitute wheat for oats. Bob is bob, just like ogle is ogle and rockford is rockford. Here is why I want people to consider other options. Buck forage oats is Bob oats but with a fancy name and deer on the bag. Buck forage oats is a variety called BOB. Otherwise you only get about 7 months of quality forage when planting oats alone. He has a broad range of professional experience managing wildlife populations and their habitats on public and private lands throughout the Southeast. Here in zone 4/5 two separate plantings are best because the optimum planting dates varies. If your goal is to extend the life of food plots into the following summer, it will be important to include other forages that will be available when the oats seed out and die in late spring. Rye is effective at suppressing weeds. The oats die with the first decent frost and stop providing forage where as the wheat and rye will continue to grow and provide nutrition. Oats beats rye for fall attraction here but the two planted together are equally eaten and rye helps our deer in the early spring with the first green food of the year, hiding cover for June fawns, and weed prevention for clover. One problem with oats is cold tolerance. 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