Also Called: Spring Oats
Type: cool season annual cereal
Roles: suppress weeds, prevent erosion, scavange exess nutrients, add biomass, nurse crop
Mix With: clover, pea, vetch, other legumes or other small grains
If you need a low-cost, reliable fall cover that winterkills, look no further. Oats provide quick, weed-suppressing biomass, take up excess soil nutrients, & can improve the productivity of legumes when planted in mixtures. The cover’s fibrous root system also holds soil during cool-weather gaps in rotations, & the ground cover provides a mellos mulch before low-till or no-till crops.
Affordable Biomass: With good growing conditions & sound management (including timely planting), expect 2,000 to 4,000 lbs of dry matter per acre from late summer/early fall-seeded oats & up to 8,000 lbs per acre from spring stands.
Nutrient Catch Crop: Oats take up excess N & small amounts of P & K when planted early enough. Late summer plantings can absorb as much as 77lbs N/A in an 8-10 week period, studies in the Northeast & Midwest have shown.