The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Oat Heads Forming

20130915 053Three months after germination, most of the oats have “headed” and will probably flower in the next couple of days.  Typically harvest for hay is best about 5 weeks after this, so we are on target for harvest around 20th October.  Last year we cut on the 10th and baled on the 18th which was a bit early in the season, but the oats were ready, and we had to work round the rain.  This year by sowing a late maturing variety (Winjardie) and pushing out sowing by a month, we are hoping we can cut, rake and bale  around 10 days later and over fewer days to maintain good colour in the hay.  Oat maturation is generally triggered by the lengthening days, so there is only so much you can do to manipulate its development.
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