Oats: seeding and establishment

Page last updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2018 - 1:41pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Cultural practices from paddock preparation to seeding rate and sowing date help promote plant establishment and survival. In Western Australia, with our unpredictable and erratic rainfall combined with poor soils, this start is essential to help maximise oat production.

Keys to good establishment

  • Use plump good quality seed from paddocks with a good fertiliser history, uniform in size, not cracked or broken, stored in dark cool dry conditions (not more than one year old) and free from pests and disease.
  • Seed should have a high percentage germination, free from weed seeds and inert rubbish.
  • Good soil-seed contact and 'sufficient' soil moisture for quick germination.
  • No weeds should be present at sowing.

Paddock preparation

Legume based pasture and crops provide more nitrogen, which increases grain yield and protein. Lower levels of applied nitrogen are needed following a good legume rotation.

Control grasses prior to the oat crop through pasture manipulation or spraytopping in the previous pasture. Control in the preceding grain legume is essential to reduce root disease and allow early sowing.

There is a requirement by customers of the export hay market that hay be free of any contamination. Paddock preparation is a major part of management for export hay and requires:

  • removal of old crop residues (burning)
  • removal of sticks, tree branches, stones , carcasses, wire etcetera
  • in some cases, rolling of paddocks

For no-till systems before seeding, follow standard paddock preparation protocols such as knocking down the weeds. See Oats: weeds and integrated weed management for more information.


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