With that said, even if the deer kept the plots mowed like a golf course, wouldn’t they also eat the weeds down? Fortunately, numerous herbicide options exist for controlling cool-season broadleaf weeds – like chickweed, wild mustard, henbit and purple deadnettle – as long as oats are planted alone. 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. If grass weeds are a problem, such as annual ryegrass in the South, your options will be more limited. Deer do not consume the seed heads, so there’s no benefit to allowing rye to mature. That is, you will not notice more or fewer deer using a plot of rye than you would a food plot planted in wheat … With regard to deer preference, oats consistently rank higher than the other cereal grains and most other forages for that matter. Your oats may make it through the winter depending on severity of winter. The Rye Advantage Cereal rye, not to be confused with ryegrass, is a worthy choice for this year’s fall food plots. Rye will grow anywhere. Triticale has some regrowth, but becomes very hard and unpalatible fast, makes decent baleage, but overall I wasn't impressed enough to plant it again. Herbicides such as 2,4-D, Harmony Extra, Banvel, or Clarity are very effective for controlling broadleaf weeds. 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. For a nurse crop to establish a clover plot, use wheat or oats, as they tend to stay shorter than rye. Forage production ranges up to 7,000 pounds per acre. Oats, wheat and grain rye are planted during the fall months. Mow it down when deer stop feeding on it and incorporate it into the soil as organic material. When using herbicides, it is critical to always read and follow the herbicide label for specific rates and safety information pertaining to proper handling and application. Here in Oklahoma they can live all the way through. 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. Do not confuse cereal rye (rye grain) with annual or perennial ryegrass, they are totally different plants! With the oats dead at frost, you are providing no nutrition in the winter. Deer eat the tender nutritious (12-25% protein) foliage in fall, winter and early spring. Another appealing quality of oats is they germinate and grow very quickly, making it ideal as a nurse crop for slower growing perennial clovers and chicory, as well as providing early season hunting opportunities. For feeding deer in multiple ways you may try this also: Make a proper mixture. 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. 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. Oats are an excellent choice for perennial clover/chicory plots as well. Oats definitely perform best and are most attractive to deer when the soil pH is 6.0 or greater and nutrient levels are maintained in the high range. Oats will not establish well if they are not incorporated into the soil with good seed-to-soil contact. However, some of the forage legumes, such as soybeans and cowpeas, would be better suited if increased forage production is your goal during summer. They are high in carbohydrates and draw deer when other plants won’t. Planting a mixture will also help buffer against winter kill if a cold-hardy variety of oats is not used. There is a limited variety of winter oats out there on the market. If you have a high population of deer I'd skip the oats. 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. One problem with oats is cold tolerance. Buck forage oats is Bob oats but with a fancy name and deer on the bag. Rye is effective at suppressing weeds. 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. The more deer eat cereal grains down, the more they … Winter … WW draws deer and I have fall, winter, and spring usage. What variety of oats are you looking to plant? 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. ). It has been a popular choice by deer hunters for a long time. Oats are also highly digestible. Also, the height of oats, which is about 2 feet at maturity, is more accommodating than taller cereal grains like cereal rye and will not smother the lower-growing clover and chicory that need adequate space and sunlight for strong production during the summer. Plus, oats have 15 to 18% protein, depending on the variety. Total: 92 (members: 11, guests: 70, robots: 11), (You must log in or sign up to reply here. Wheat is good too but I've always heard it's tough on the soil so choose oats instead. Brassica goes in about now and rye/ oats/ wheat and clover go in sept.01. Oats are highly nutritious as well. Deer where you are will eat oats, wheat or rye. Compared to other cereal grains, rye grows faster, requires little or even no fertilizer, produces more tons per acre of dry matter, and is the most winter hardy of all cereal grains allowing it to green up much faster the following spring when fall planted. How to Choose Wisely, Recover From Food Plot Failure by Planting a Salvage Plot. 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. Alternatively, oats can be planted or frost-seeded in April if desired as a spring/summer forage. In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid detergent fiber value registering below 20%. Oats should drilled at 70 to 80 lbs./acre PLS at 1- to 2-inches deep if planting alone. Some are higher than others. Bob is bob, just like ogle is ogle and rockford is rockford. The rye and wheat will take over at that time and feed as well as attract deer throughout the winter. ... but rye works well that way, soI think a general broadcast will work. 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. It works on the poorest of soils and lowest of pH's. Forage oats will yield between 1.5 and 2.0 tons of forage dry matter per acre when planted between august 1 and august 15. I am currently doing another brassica trial and fall grains trial with 5 different oats, wheat, fall rye … I like rye to draw deer. 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. Buck forage oats is a variety called BOB. 2. 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. Buck Forage oats are worth the extra cost in my trials, but they will feed on any of them. Wheat has better nutrition than rye, but not by much. Then a couple weeks after this planting, broadcast some WR. Seeding rates and planting times vary according to the location and application of planting. Oats are highly nutritious as well. ... On the other hand, Antler King's Fall/Winter/Spring mix consists of winter peas and winter rye. As rye residue decomposes, it releases allelopathic compounds that are harmful to the growth of weeds. Most varieties of oats that are planted north of the Mason-Dixon line will die off after the first decent frost. Oats are also highly digestible. 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. In the northern half of the U.S., oats will be killed when cold weather sets in unless a cold-hardy variety is used. Thus, you will need to adjust your planting strategy and only use forages that will allow you to manage the weeds in your plots most effectively. Both types of plants (cereals and brassicas) provide strong nutritional value and a taste that deer relish. Winter rye is the hardiest of all the cereal grains that will readily thrive in a wide range of soil types where other popular deer food plot blends wouldn't even think of growing. As a grain rye, it is the most cold tolerant of all the cereal grains, thus providing more forage for deer during the coldest periods of the winter season. These herbicides will kill ryegrass but will not harm wheat or other broadleaf forages included in the mixture. Most grains are early-growth hotspots because of that. 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. If no-till drilling, be sure to kill the existing vegetation with glyphosate a few weeks prior to planting to eliminate weed competition and expose the soil prior to planting. AddThis. Rye can grow to five feet tall, though it’s most useful for attracting deer when it’s in the 2-6 inch range. As oats begin to mature and produce seed, palatability and digestibility are significantly reduced. I am not sure on what variety to plant. The thing about the rye grain is its green when everything else is gone and then its attacked. 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. But last fall, I planted Wrens Abruzzi Rye to try something different and I will be planting it again this fall. However, weed control measures will be needed in some cases. As natural wild foods decline with cold weather, deer feed more and more heavily on cereal grain crops such as oats, rye and wheat. Triticale is a way better choice than rye, oats or wheat unless you have really low pH. If ryegrass is a problem and you want to plant a cereal grain, you will need to substitute wheat for oats. Though oats might die off in bitter cold conditions, the other two typically produce forage right into spring, when perennials such as clover and more natural forage become available. The results might surprise people but the worst product in the trials was everyone's favorite forage oats. 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. Wintergrazer 70 is well suited in mixtures with legumes, brassica andor other small grains such as wheat and oats for wildlife food plots. Oats have no purpose as a deer feed in my opinion, unless you use it as a nurse crop for fall seeded clovers. At maturity, oats typically reach about 2- to 3-feet tall if soil fertility is good. Rye will grow in poorer soils, so if its sandy, I would lean that way. In forage trials I helped conduct across Tennessee, rye consistently ranked second to oats when comparing deer selectivity of the different cereal grains. I have planted winter wheat and different kind of oats, including Buck Forage Oats over the last few years. Rye can recycle potassium from deeper in the soil profile for future crop use. Also, when oats mature and produce a seed head, it is very easy to differentiate them from the others because its seed head is considered a panicle while the others have a spike. Do a layered food plot of sorts. Acid detergent fiber is a measurement of the indigestible portion of the plant, so the lower the better. Now, know about the limitations. At the very least, then, the weeds would be prevented from forming seed heads and spreading through seed. While to most hunters rye is the least attractive cereal grain for deer, its other benefits outweigh this one issue. Oats. Rye falls into the same family as winter wheat and oats, two other popular deer food plot species. Oats typically grow faster than rye does so they provide a quicker food source than rye will however in the end winter rye always comes out the winner due to it's extreme hardiness. However, be sure to reduce the planting rate of oats to approximately 40 to 50 lbs./acre PLS with this strategy to avoid choking out the clover and chicory. Oats, Wheat and Rye Grain are used in agricultural seed production, livestock forage and wildlife food plot applications around the world. Grains get tough as they get bigger. As previously mentioned, oats are highly favored by deer and they consistently rank among the top species consumed by deer in forage preference trials. Oats are high in carbohydrates, which help deer generate energy to stay warm during cold snaps. Similar to other cereal grains, oats are very easy to establish and can either be broadcast or drilled into a prepared seed bed. Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Satguy, Jul 18, 2017. 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. He has a broad range of professional experience managing wildlife populations and their habitats on public and private lands throughout the Southeast. What do you guys think is the earliest I could plant oats some oats? It has a lot to do with one crop leaving and another crop coming in. Still, oats, rye, wheat, the deer love it all. Oats are heavily targeted by deer, but fail to stand up to the winter like wheat and rye, and while rye is the least attractive of the three it pull’s its weight with establishment and plot soil health benefits. Ryan Basinger of Alabama is a certified wildlife biologist and the Wildlife Consulting Manager for Westervelt Wildlife Services. It’s no secret that cereal grains – wheat, oats, cereal rye, triticale – are popular choices for planting in food plots managed for whitetails. Of the three major small grains, however, most deer managers would rank rye as third in preference or palatability to oats … A great example of this is Buck Forage Oats. You can mix oats, soybeans, alfalfa, molasses, vitamins, and minerals in a proper ratio. Here in zone 4/5 two separate plantings are best because the optimum planting dates varies. Cereal grains are highly attractive to deer, and they perform well under a wide range of conditions. However, experienced food plotters may notice that oats are a deeper green compared to the other grains. Break Down the Brassicas to Choose the Best for Your Food Plots, Annuals, Perennials or Both for Food Plots? Doing so will allow you to add the recommended amount of lime (if needed) and fertilizer to maximize forage production, attraction, and nutritional quality. The oats will be a deer favorite from the time they sprout right up until the first hard frost. It's at this point that these plant's starches become sugars. If broadcasting seed, be sure to create a smooth, firm seedbed by disking/tilling to ensure optimal germination and seedling establishment. Winter wheat and rye can be a go to panicked and rushed food plot strategy. Oats are an excellent choice for deer hunters who like to plant cereal grains. Planting wheat will allow you to spray the plot with the either Axial XL or Achieve. This strategy will provide a quick source of attraction for hunting plots in northern regions. Oats (Avena sativa) are a cool-season annual cereal grain and look very similar to the other cereal grains during the early stages prior to flowering. It competes with winter annuals and inhibits growth of spring weeds. Since oats establish very quickly, the rapid growth rate will help suppress weed pressure naturally. 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. Seed rate should be between 150 - 200#'s per acre if broadcasting it. Often, until deer become familiar with most brassica varieties, they don’t consume them until after the first hard frost. 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. Long after oats have expired from the cold weather, winter rye will still be green and growing feeding whitetails all winter long. However, don’t be overly concerned with how rye ranks among the other popular cereal grains, because deer prefer wheat, oats and rye. I'm in south central Wisconsin. One typically pays $30-40 per 50 lbs of these oats and the result is 1-2 ton of forage per acre. But as i've stated before on here. I prefer including annual clovers because they can extend the life of the plot after oats mature, as well as produce nitrogen that benefits the oats. Ryan also has conducted extensive food plot research where he compared production, nutrition, preference, and availability of various forages planted for deer. Welters has Buck forage oats $34.50 for a 50# bag. Cereal grains for the deer manager mean wheat, oats, rye and triticale. For regrowth nothing beats oats, wheat is more drought tolerant, but has very little regrowth and doesn't stool as well as wheat. Oats are a great choice for cereal grain lovers. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any herbicides that kill ryegrass without killing oats. I had more pictures of deer and turkeys eating the Abruzzi Rye than I … They’re easy to grow, and a good buffer for young clover seedlings. In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid … Here is why I want people to consider other options. 2 acre wheat field had as many as 28 deer in it last spring. In well-managed food plots with a neutral soil pH and good fertility, oats can contain more than 25% crude protein. In the South, oats should be planted in September or October when there is adequate soil moisture or rain in the forecast. From a deer hunter’s perspective, however, the preferred food-plot brassicas are lumped into the category of forage brassicas. In well-managed food plots with a neutral soil pH and good fertility, oats can contain more than 25% crude protein. Ryan has conducted research on a variety of species and habitats where he examined the effects of various forest management techniques on browse production, availability, preference, and nutrition for white-tailed deer. The rye will also be one of the first plants to green up in the spring. This rivals any other cool-season forage and is well above the levels required by deer for optimum growth and production. Probably their favorite among cereal grains, with wheat and rye right behind. 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. Your reason #2 is a big plus. Since deer has a sensitive digestive system, a proper ratio is essential from this point of the view. Prior to planting oats or other forages, it is important to collect soil samples to determine the soil pH and fertility of your plots. Share to More. This rivals any other cool-season forage and is well above the levels required by deer for optimum growth and production.