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!! Low tech oats results?

 
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i was thinking of dedicating half an acre to an acre for oats. i have an electric mower and can get a grass seed spreader etc but i dont have a tractor or anything high tech.

i was wondering if anyone has done smaller scale low tech oats and what their experience was.

how long to process? yields? problems? was it worth it? any input welcome.
 
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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What is your purpose for growing them? Fodder or human food?

A good friend of mine here in Ladakh got some oat seed and grew it, but he decided it was too hard to thresh, and the local systems for wheat and barley didn't work. But he continued growing it for fodder every year anyway.
 
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Location: Eastern Washington
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I grow oats with large scale equipment, but I tried a experimental patch detailed here: https://permies.com/t/119195/Bad-farming-experiment-oat-mat#1017620

Oats, with their hull really like seed-soil contact. You can germinate them broadcast on the surface if you have ideal wet spring weather, or do some irrigation.

If you are going for animal feed or a cover crop you are good to go. Give it a try and if you need better yield the next time, they need fertilizer.
If you are after grain, oat dust is very itchy and there isn't any efficient way to do small scale grain harvest yet.

I'll dig up an oat fertilizer chart tomorrow.
 
C. West
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Rebecca Norman wrote:What is your purpose for growing them? Fodder or human food?



both, food for pigs, food for ducks, food for chickens

i planned to make oat milk/yogurt and use it for cooking then feed the resulting mash to the animals
 
C. West
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thanks for the input grady, i havent given up yet on the idea. a perennial seed crop might be more what im looking for if just for animals, but if im eating it its oats all the way for many reasons
 
steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I grow oats. They are one of my least favored small grains, because yield seems much lower, and harvest more difficult than wheat, barley, or rye. Nevertheless, oats are a crop that I could aspire to grow well using only hand tools.

I grow hull-less oats, therefore, they don't have to be dehulled before being used as human food. But the variety that I grow is not reliably hull-less, therefore it's too much work to clean, and I rarely eat it. Maybe one of these days, I'll select for a strain that is consistently hull-less. Oats are not reliably winter hardy for me, therefore they don't get established as weeds in my garden.

Amber-s-hull-less-oats.jpg
Amber's hull-less oats
Amber's hull-less oats
 
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I have grown oats small scale (10 acres) using pretty primitive equipment with good success.

Grady...please do not laugh, I used what I had okay! (LOL)

I plowed with a single bottom plow.
Then I graded the field using a long log pulled sideways through the soil to compact and level the soil
Picked rocks as needed
Then sowed the oat seed using a trailer, homemade spreader, drill and generator
Then pulled the log sideways over the scattered seed to put dirt over the seed and compact it

The results were surprisingly amazing.

In fact the results were so good that I have designed a low cost thresher for my 25 hp Kubota Tractor, and am in hopes to be starting its build soon. I was actually working on the design all morning, and opted to take a break and come on here.

Homemade-Spreader.jpg
Homemade Spreader
Homemade Spreader
Trailer-Set-Up.jpg
Trailer Set Up
Trailer Set Up
Final-Result-of-Oat-Field.jpg
Final Result of Oat Field
Final Result of Oat Field
Grading-Soil.jpg
Grading Soil
Grading Soil
 
C. West
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Travis Johnson wrote:I have grown oats small scale (10 acres) using pretty primitive equipment with good success.

The results were surprisingly amazing.

In fact the results were so good that I have designed a low cost thresher for my 25 hp Kubota Tractor, and am in hopes to be starting its build soon. I was actually working on the design all morning, and opted to take a break and come on here.



what kind of yield per acre did you get?
 
Travis Johnson
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C. West wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:I have grown oats small scale (10 acres) using pretty primitive equipment with good success.

The results were surprisingly amazing.

In fact the results were so good that I have designed a low cost thresher for my 25 hp Kubota Tractor, and am in hopes to be starting its build soon. I was actually working on the design all morning, and opted to take a break and come on here.



what kind of yield per acre did you get?



I have no idea! (LOL)

I was really using the oats as a way to stop weeds from growing in my new hay field, so I only sowed at 50 pounds to the acre (it had 15 pounds to the acre of Timothy and Clover). But it came up in Oats really well, and quite thick, but I did not have a thresher at the time, so I could not do anything with the oats. I needed to get them knocked down to allow the clover and timothy to come up through, so I just bushogged the crop. Kind of a waste, but I had no way to harvest them.

That was when I decided I had better figure out a way to harvest small grains on a small scale.
 
Grady Houger
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It worked, so I'd say that's a good method Travis.

The world sure does need a better selection of mini threshing equipment.

Hulless oats sound like the way to go for anyone not scaling up to industrial equipment.

For fertilizer and yield goals, these documents have good guidelines if you are going to get a soil test and put the work into evaluating how much nitrogen is available in your organic matter. But oats don't need a lot, so you could just go for it and see what happens. If your soil is seriously deficient it will show already in whats growing there.
One of the tips is that oats will germinate in cold soil, so they can be planted early enough to get a headstart and crowd out the weeds if everything goes well.

https://www.extension.uidaho.edu/publishing/pdf/CIS/CIS1135.pdf
http://allamakeeswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Oat-Production-Guide.pdf

 
Travis Johnson
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Grady Houger wrote:It worked, so I'd say that's a good method Travis.

The world sure does need a better selection of mini threshing equipment.

Hulless oats sound like the way to go for anyone not scaling up to industrial equipment.

For fertilizer and yield goals, these documents have good guidelines if you are going to get a soil test and put the work into evaluating how much nitrogen is available in your organic matter. But oats don't need a lot, so you could just go for it and see what happens. If your soil is seriously deficient it will show already in whats growing there.
One of the tips is that oats will germinate in cold soil, so they can be planted early enough to get a headstart and crowd out the weeds if everything goes well.

https://www.extension.uidaho.edu/publishing/pdf/CIS/CIS1135.pdf
http://allamakeeswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Oat-Production-Guide.pdf



It really was an eye opening experience. My goal was to keep down weeds as my new field grew up, and it worked well for that, but it was such a waste to have a really nice crop of oats, and no way to harvest it.

Now that I can no longer farm sheep, I have been thinking of ways to keep my farm farming, but in ways I can do. Small grains does not escape me because we have the markets here, they grow well, and it is less physical than sheep...I just no way to harvest them. I build a lot of my own equipment, so I started to think about new ways to accomplish that on a small scale. My new thresher design, if it works as well as I think it will, might enable a cheap thresher to be made for small farmers.
 
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