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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF 
AGRICULTURE 

FARMERS' BULLETIN No.1583 



SPRING SOWN 
RED OATS 




SPRING-SOWN RED OATS primarily are grown 
in the area comprising the southern parts of 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, southeastern Nebraska, 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, 
Oklahoma, and northern Texas. 

There are three rather definite groups of red-oat 
varieties, namely, Red Rustproof and its related 
strains, such as Ferguson No. 71 and Texas Red; 
Fulghum and related strains, such as Kanota and 
Frazier; and Rurt. The Fulghum now occupies 
almost as much acreage as the Red Rustproof and 
Burt combined. It was originated about 25 years 
ago in Georgia as a plant selection from a field of 
Red Rustproof. The development and distribution 
of the Fulghum oat for spring seeding is largely 
responsible for the steady increase of the acreage of 
spring-sown red oats in the United States since 1919, 
especially in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Red oats being descendants of the wild red oat 
originating in the region of the Mediterranean Sea, 
the cultivated red-oat varieties naturally are well 
adapted to the southern half of the United States. 
The extreme earliness of some of the red-oat varie- 
ties often enables them to escape, to some extent, 
injury by hot weather and drought. 

The essentials for success in the production of 
red oats are — 

Well-prepared land that is retentive of moisture and 
fairly fertile. 

Good seed thoroughly cleaned and graded and treated 
for smut. 

Early seeding with a grain drill. 
Harvesting at the proper time. 

Careful shocking and stacking to prevent injury by 
weathering. 

Threshing when grain is thoroughly dry. 

Directions for making the growing of oats more 
generally profitable are given in the following pages. 

This bulletin supersedes in part Farmers' Bulletin 
892. 



r 

Washington, D. C . 



Imved June, 192fr 



SPRING-SOWN RED OATS 



By T. R. Stanton, Senior Agronomist in Charge, and F. A. Coffman, Associate 
Agronomist, Oat Investigations, Office of Cereal Crops and Diseases, Bureau of 
Plant Industry 



CONTENTS 



Page 

The area 1 

Importance and distribution 1 

Climatic adaptation 2 

Soils 8 

Fertilizers 3 

Rotations 4 

Preparing the seed bed 5 

Seed preparation 6 

Screening and fanning 6 

Treating for smut 6 

Sowing the seed 8 

Seeding methods 8 

Dates of seeding 8 



Page 

Sowing the seed — Continued. 

Rates of seeding 9 

Cultivation 9 

Harvesting the crop 9 

Cutting 9 

Shocking 10 

Stacking 11 

Threshing 13 

Red-oat varieties 14 

Red Rustproof 14 

Fulghum 17 

Burt 19 



THE AREA 

THE CENTRAL spring-sown red-oat area comprises the southern 
parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, southeastern Nebraska, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and northern 
Texas. The southern border of this area, extending as far west as 
central Texas, is transitional between the winter-oat belt of the South 
and the great spring-oat section of the North. The designation 
" red-oat section " has resulted from the fact that in the western por- 
tion of this area, particularly in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, red- 
oat varieties predominate to the extent that white (common) oat 
varieties are of only minor importance. For spring seeding, red-oat 
varieties also are grown almost exclusively in the winter-oat belt 
proper. The locations of the central spring-sown red-oat area and 
other more or less definite oat areas in the United States are shown 
in Figure 1. 

IMPORTANCE AND DISTRIBUTION 

The acreage devoted to spring-sown red oats in the United States 
has increased rather steadily. According to the census o£ 1919, about 
8,000,000 acres of oats were grown in the principal red-oat producing 
States. This figure, of course, includes both the fall and spring sown 
acreages. Of this acreage it is estimated that at least 5,000,000 acres 
probably were devoted to spring-sown red oats. Since 1919 the acre- 
age of spring-sown red oats has increased considerably, especially in 
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. On the basis of the rate of increase 
current during the last few years, it is estimated that about 7,000,000 
acres were sown to spring-sown red oats in 1927. 



1 



2 



FARMERS' BULLETIN 1583 



This decided increase in acreage in the States named can be attrib- 
uted largely to the development and distribution of the Fulghum oat 
for spring seeding. 'The development and distribution of Fulghum 
during the last 10 years has had a most marked effect on the culture 
and production of oats in the United States. Fulghum and its va- 
rious strains at present constitute one of the important varietal 
groups in this country. 

As shown in Figure 1, the region in which spring-sown red oats 
have made the greatest advance is in the territory contiguous to the 
Ohio River and in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

CLIMATIC ADAPTATION 



Eed or Red Rustproof oats are considered to be derivatives or de- 
scendants of the wild red oat (Avena steriUs L.) and to have origi- 
nated in southern Europe in the region of the Mediterranean Sea. 




Figure 1. — Outline map of the United States, showing the general oat areas. In 
the southern and Pacific areas the crop is grown from both fall and spring seed- 
ing. In all other areas the crop is grown from spring seeding only. The south- 
ern area is known also as the winter-sown or fall-sown area. Likewise the cen- 
tral area is often designated as the spring-sown red-oat area 



Red oats still may be found growing wild in that portion of Europe 
and in northern Africa. It is not surprising, therefore, that the culti- 
vated red-oai varieties have proved to be so well adapted to the 
southern half of the United States. 

Red oats are often referred to as "warm-climate oats." Their 
ability to withstand hot, dry weather, especially at heading and fill- 
ing time, is widely recognized. Because of this ability to withstand 
heat during critical stages of development better than northern varie- 
ties, red oats long have been preferred for spring sowing in the South- 
eastern States. The ability to withstand heat also is responsible for 
increased use of Fulghum and its strains for spring sowing in the 
Southwestern States and in the southern part of the Corn Belt. In 
these sections hot weather often causes even the earliest of the north- 



SPRING-SOWN BED OATS 



3 



ern varieties to ripen prematurely, and the result is shriveled, poorly 
filled grain of light bushel weight. The extreme earliness of some 
of the red-oat varieties often enables them to escape, to some extent, 
injury by hot weather and drought. 

SOILS 

Oats will produce a satisfactory crop on almost any soil, provided 
it is well drained and contains sufficient available plant food. Oats 
do better on sandy soils than any of the small grains with the excep- 
tion of rye. As a group, however, the loam soils are best for oats, 
owing to their ability to hold and furnish to the crop a greater quan- 
tity of water. This is desirable, as the water requirement of oats is 
higher than that of any other cereal crop. 

Heavy, poorly drained clays or extremely rich soils subject to 
overflow are not well suited to oats. On soils too well supplied with 
plant nutrients, especially with nitrogen, serious losses may occur 
from lodging and plant diseases. In general, the soils in the spring- 
sown red-oat area, provided they are naturally well drained or have 
been artificially drained, meet the requirements of the oat crop. 
Their proper management with regard to rotation and cultural prac- 
tices is sometimes of greater importance than soil fertility. 

FERTILIZERS 

The soil in the area in which spnSxg-sown red oats are grown varies 
widely in fertility, and the price of fertilizer is subject to consider- 
able fluctuation. For these reasons only general statements can be 
made regarding the kinds and the amounts of fertilizer to use. The 
plant nutrients in which soils are most often deficient are nitrogen, 
phosphorus, and potash. Some soils are deficient in lime and as a 
result are acid. Soils usually contain sufficient nitrogen and potash 
for oat production, and lime seldom is necessary, except on soils that 
are very sour. Many soils are deficient in phosphorus. Oats make 
their greatest withdrawal of plant food from the soil early in the 
season. During this time rather cool temperatures' usually prevail, 
and the nitrifying bacteria, which are able to change the nitrogen- 
containing materials in the soil into a form usable by plants, are 
not very active. On poor soils the application of small quantities of 
readily available nitrogenous fertilizers at the time of seeding some- 
times results in considerable profit. Oats intended for use as forage 
or hay will produce larger yields from heavier applications of manure 
or nitrogenous fertilizer. 

It is seldom advisable to apply barnyard manure directly to oats, 
except on very poor soils. Ordinarily more satisfactory results are 
obtained by applying it to the previous row crop in the rotation, such 
as corn or cotton. Where manure is available for use on land intended 
for oats it should be applied during the fall and winter months and 
not immediately previous to seeding the oats. 

Light applications of complete commercial fertilizers low in nitro- 
gen may be applied directly to oats on most soils without danger of 
excessive straw growth. On sandy soils larger applications of com- 
mercial fertilizers relatively high in i^itrogei?. may be applied directly 
without danger. 



4 



FARMERS' BULLETIN" 15 83 



In the lower Ohio River Valley and in Missouri and Arkansas 
fertilizers formerly were not considered necessary for oats. However, 
experiments conducted in this part of the red : oat area indicate that 
commercial fertilizers may be applied to oats with favorable results. 
In the western part of the area, especially in Kansas, Oklahoma, and 
Texas, commercial fertilizers are as yet but little used on any crop, 
owing to the high native fertility of the soil. 

When commercial fertilizers are used, the quantities of the dif- 
ferent elements to apply and the methods of application depend 
largely on local conditions. A fertilizer mixture recommended for 
oats on heavy clay and loam soils contains 50 pounds of nitrate of 
soda and 150 pounds of superphosphate (acid phosphate)^ The 
■ mixture is applied at the rate of 200 pounds per acre. Experiments 
have shown that on sandy and gravelly soils increased yields often 
are obtained by the addition of 25 to 50 pounds of potash salts to the 
above-mentioned combination. On very poor soils the rate of appli- 
cation of this combination may be increased to 250 or 300 pounds 
per acre. 

In Arkansas a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, 
and potash applied with lime has given best results. Where fertilizers 
are needed, from 150 to 200 pounds of superphosphate (acid phos- 
phate) is one of the most effective single fertilizer treatments for 
oats. Applications of superphosphate (acid phosphate) not in excess 
of 200 to 250 pounds to the acre usually are more effective than 
heavier ottes. . * 

ROTATIONS 

For best results, spring oats must be sown as early as practicable. 
Oats should follow a crop that leaves the soil in a condition that 
permits it to be prepared quickly in the spring. Generally oats 
follow corn very successfully, dorn ground can be prepared for 
oats by disking and harrowing. , Oat land is considered good for 
wheat. The oat crop is harvested early, permitting the early plow- 
ing so advantageous for wheat. Grass or clover usually is sown with 
oats or wheat. In the northern portion of the spring-sown red-oat 
section a popular rotation is corn for two years, followed by oats 
and wheat each for one year, and clover and timothy for two years. 
In this rotation wheat serves as a nurse crop, the timothy being 
sown with the wheat in the fall and the clover the next spring. If 
wheat is omitted, oats serve as the nurse crop for clover" and timothy, 
but the position of the oats in the rotation usually is the same. 

In the more southern part of the area where spring-sown red oats 
are grown, cotton is the important cash crop. One rotation including 
oats in this section consists of corn with cowpeas sown between the 
rows the first year, followed by oats the second year, with cowpeas 
sown in the stubble as soon as the oats are removed and cotton fol- 
lowing the cowpeas the third year. 

It is impossible to devise one rotation suitable for all conditions. 
Each farmer must take into consideration the fertility of his soil 
and the adaptation of the different crops and returns therefrom in 
choosing the rotation he will follow. 



SPRING-SOWN' RED OATS 



5 



PREPARING THE SEED BED 

Oats generally follow corn or other row crop in the rotation. Corn, 
being a cultivated crop, leaves the ground in comparatively good 
condition for oats. Also it usually is off the ground early in the 
winter, permitting early soil preparation and seeding of oats in the 
spring. To prepare a good seed bed following corn, the ground is 
usually disked twice to break up the soil held by the corn roots. If 
cornstalks have been left standing, it is good practice to break the 
stalks before disking. This can be done by dragging a heavy pole or 
an iron rail broadside across the field when the ground is frozen. A 
common practice is to hitch a team of horses to each end of a steel 
rail dragging it across the field. Cornstalks snap off close to the 




Fjgubb 2 — Preparing a seed bed for spring-sown red oats on stuhble lani by the 
use of a disfe- ami a spike-tooth harrow 



ground much more readily when the weather is cold than when it is 
warm. 

Disks should be sharp in order successfully to cut the stalks. It 
is unnecessary and inadvisable to rake and burn the stalks, as to do 
so results in loss of organic matter. In the western portion of the 
area where spring-sown red oats are grown, soil blowing is a factor, 
and the surf ace litter and organic matter supplied by the stalks tends 
, to reduce soil blowing to some extent. Oats usually give the best 
results if the seed bed is rather .firm beneath and has from 2 to 3 inches 
of loose, mellow soil on the surface. Such a seed bed ordinarily can 
be obtained by disking the field twice. It usually is best to "lap 
disk " rather than to cross disk a field. This keeps the surface more 
nearly level. The disks should be set to cut the soil only 3 or 4 
inches deep. After the soil is disked it should be smoothed with a 
sj)ike-tooth harrow. A disk harrow in. operation is shown in 
Figure 2. 



6 



FARMERS' BULLETIN 1583 



Land seldom is plowed for oats in the northern part of the spring- 
sown red-oat area. Plowing usually is unnecessary, as it consumes 
too much time, loosens the soil too much, and often prevents the early 
seeding of the oats, which is desirable. Soil blowing and erosion also 
are more likely to occur if the ground is plowed. 

If grass, clover, or alfalfa are to be sown with the oats, the soil 
may be fall plowed and prepared for spring seeding by double disk- 
ing and smoothing with a spike-tooth harrow. Where soil blowing 
may occur or there is danger of the soil puddling during the winter, 
fall plowing may not be advisable, 

SEED PREPARATION 
SCREENING AND FANNING 

Clean seed is essential if oats are to be free from weeds. Oat seed 
ordinarily should be screened or run through a fanning mill. This 
removes the light oats and much of the dirt, trash, and weed seed. 
The trash should be removed in order to facilitate the perfect opera- 
tion of the drill or seeder. Light oats are not likely to germinate if 
sown, and weed seed should be removed to prevent the spreading 
of noxious weeds. Fanning also removes some smut spores from 
the seed, decreasing smut infection to that extent. 

TREATING FOR SMUT 1 

Smut infection in oats annually causes material losses. (Fig. 3.) 
At present the best means of controlling smuts of oats is by the use of 
formaldehyde, which may be applied by spraying, sprinkling, or 
dipping the seed. In all methods 1 pound of formaldehyde is used to 
each 50 bushels of oats. If fewer bushels of seed are to be treated, 
make up a correspondingly smaller quantity of solution. The meth- 
ods differ only in the quantity of water used ancf the manner of apply- 
ing the solution. Eegardless of the method used, the seed should be 
thoroughly fanned and screened before it is treated. 

DIRECTIONS FOE SPRAT METHOD 

Add 1 pint of formaldehyde to 1 pint of water. This is sufficient for 50 
bushels. Put the quart of solution in a hand sprayer (not a sprinkler) and 
spray the oats while shoveling them from one pile to another. Cover the 
treated pile with clean sacks or canvas for at least five hours or overnight. 
Then sow immediately or spread out to aerate. 

DIRECTIONS FOR SPRINKLE METHOD 

Add 1 pint of formaldehyde to 40 gallons of water. This quantity is sufficient 
to treat 50 bushels. Spread the grain to be treated in a layer on a clean 
granary floor or on canvas. Apply the formaldehyde solution from a sprinkling 
can while the seed is being turned with a shovel. After treatment shovel the 
grain into a pile and cover with ctean sacks or canvas for at least five hours or 
overnight. Then sow immediately or spread out to dry. 

DIRECTIONS FOR DIP METHOD 

Add 1 pint of formaldehyde to 40 gallons of water. This quantity is sufficient 
to treat 50 bushels. Put the seed in loosely woven burlap or gunny sacks. 
These should be only half filled and tied at the top. Successively dip the grain 



1 Prepared under the direction of V. F. Tapke, pathologist, Office of Cereal Crops and 
Diseases. 



SPRING-SOWN" BED OATS 



7 



in this solution and drain until the seed is thoroughly wet. Remove the sacks 
from the solution and let them stand at least two hours or overnight. Then 
sow immediately or spread out to dry. 

The treated grain should not be allowed to come in contact with 
bags, bins, or machinery in which there may be smut spores. To 




Figcub 3. — Healthy and smutted panicles of oats. Loose smut at left, covered 

smut at right 



avoid clanger of reinfection, all containers should be sprayed with 
the formaldehyde solution before being used for the treated grain. 

Surplus treated grain may be fed to farm stock without injurious 
results, provided it is thoroughly dry and has been exposed to the air 
for a few days. 

41378 c — 29 2 



8 



FARMERS' BULLETIX 1583 



For more detailed directions the reader is referred to Miscellaneous 
Publication No. 21 of the United States Department of Agriculture.- 

SOWING THE SEED 
SEEDING METHODS 

! Oats may be sown either by broadcasting or with the drill. The 
latter method usually is to be recommended. Drilling places and 
covers the seed more uniformly and insures placing it more often in 
moist earth where conditions tor germination are more favorable. In 
broadcasting and harrowing or disking to cover the seed, some of 
the seed is left on the surface, whereas other seed is buried so deeply 
that emergence is slow or the seedlings never reach the surface at 
all. Drilled oats are less affected by soil blowing. Drilled oats also 
are better protected from late spring frosts than are those sown 
broadcast. On the other hand, broadcast seeding frequently permits 




much more rapid and, in some cases, earlier seeding. Under some 
conditions and in certain seasons these may offset the advantages of 
drilling. A grain drill in operation is shown in Figure 4. 

DATES OF SEEDING 



It is essential to sow red oats early in the spring if favorable 
results are to be obtained. Early seeding often is as important as 
good soil preparation. The danger of loss from late seeding usually 
is greater than that by freezing from seeding too early. The area in 
which spring-sown red oats are grown extends over so wide a terri- 
tory that only general recommendations on seeding dates can be made. 
In Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and southern Missouri red oats can 
he sown much earlier in the spring than farther north. In the 

a TAPKE, V. P. FORMALDEHYDE SEEIl TREATMENT FOR OAT SMUTS. U. S. Dept. Agr. 

Misc. Tub. 21, 4 pp., illus. 1928. 



SPRING-SOWN RED OATS 



southern part of the spring-sown red-oat territory seeding may be 
done in February, climatic and soil conditions being favorable. 
Farther north the seeding date is later. The Missouri Agricultural 
Experiment Station recommends seeding oats prior to March 15. As 
a rule, spring-sown red oats should be sown before March 15 in 
Kansas and the southern parts of Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, and 
Ohio. Climatic conditions being favorable, early seeding for spring- 
sown red oats can hardly be emphasized too strongly. 

RATES OF SEEDING 

The rate at which oats should be sown varies with locality, con- 
dition of the soil, method of seeding, and kernel size. On soils foul 
with weeds more seed should be used than on clean soil. About one- 
fourth less seed is required when drilled than when sown broadcast. 
Most of the red-oat varieties have comparatively large kernels and 
"therefore should be sown at heavier rates than the smaller kerneled 
northern varieties, such as Kherson and Sixty-Day. Many experi- 
ments have been conducted to determine the best rate of seeding oats. 
The results of these experiments show that tillering smooths out 
differences in numbers of plants per acre. In thin stands more tiller- 
ing occurs than in thick stands. The best seeding rate depends on 
so many factors, some of which are seasonal, that it is not advisable 
to make specific recommendations. Most oats are sown at rates vary- 
ing from 8 to 12 pecks per acre, the average for the red-oat section 
probably being about 10 pecks. The Red Rustproof variety, owing to 
its large kernels, should be sown at rates from 1 to 2 pecks greater 
than Fulghum and Burt. 

CULTIVATION 

Oats sometimes are harrowed after the plants are well through the 
ground, to destroy the weed growth. Where a large number of small 
weeds appear after the oat plants have become established and before 
the oats shade the soil, many of the weeds may be destroyed by a light 
harrowing. To prevent the harrow from damaging the crop, the 
teeth should be set to slant backward so as to stir a minimum amount 
of soil, yet to destroy the maximum number of small weeds. Such 
practices are only partially successful and are usually impracticable, 
weeds being better controlled by rotation and by cultivation previous 
to seeding. 

Some farmers remove large weeds from their oat fields by pulling 
or cutting with hoe, shovel, or knife. Some oats are tramped down 
in such operations, but the grain lost in this way probably is more 
than compensated for by the eradication of the weeds and the pre- 
vention of their seeding. Spraying with iron sulphate, sodium 
arsenite, and other chemicals to kill weeds in oats is sometimes 
recommended, but this method of eradication has not proved prac- 
ticable and has not come into general use. 

HARVESTING THE CROP 
CUTTING 

Binding is the usual method for harvesting oats in most of the 
spring-sown red-oat area. In the extreme western portions of this 



10 



FARMERS' BULLETIN 15 8 3 



area some fields are cut with the header and a few with the combined 
harvester-thresher. Fields of oats which are extremely short, be- 
cause of heat and drought, are cut with the mower. Mowing also is 
necessary sometimes where the oats have lodged to a considerable 
extent. If handled in this way, the crop is raked into windrows and 
later placed in cocks. When mowed, oats should be cut before be- 
coming too ripe, or a considerable portion of the grain will be lost 
through shattering. 

The best time to cut oats depends on the method of harvest. If 
the grain is cut with the binder it is best to start very shortly after the 
grain reaches the hard-dough stage. If the header is used, oats 
should be cut while in the hard-dough stage. When the combined 




Figure 5. — One type of combined harvester-thresher used in harvesting oats 



harvester -thresher is used the oats should be allowed to stand until 
fully ripe, so that the grain can be stored without danger of loss from 
heating and molding in the bin. A combined harvester-thresher in 
operation is shown in Figure 5. 

SHOCKING 

When oats are cut a little green because the straw is desired for 
roughage or to avoid damage by storms, etc., they may mold if 
shocked at once. If allowed to dry somewhat in the bundle, danger 
from shocking too green is lessened. If the grain is cut when in the 
hard-dough stage it may be shocked at once without danger. 

In shocking oats, two types of shocks, the long and the round, may 
be used. Many farmers use the round type exclusively, while others 
prefer the long type of shock. If the grain becomes wet after it is 
cut and before it is shocked, it will dry out more quickly if shocked 
in long shocks. If capped properly, long shocks will protect the 
grain from moisture almost as well as the round shocks. Usually 



SPRING-SOWN EED OATS 



11 



round shocks offer more protection from the weather, however. In 
sections where winds are prevalent shocks are seldom capped, as cap 
bundles are likely to be blown off and injured as a result of lying on 
the ground. 

Shocking Kanota oats after the grain binder in Kansas is shown 
in Figure (>. A " close-up " view of a w T ell-built round shock is 
shown in Figure 7. 

STACKING 

A large portion of the oat crop never is stacked, but is threshed 
directly from the shock. However, many farmers prefer to stack 
their oats and thresh them at their convenience. It is essential that 
the stack be properly built. If the stack is not well built the grain 
had better be left in the shock. In building the stack it is well to 
start it on a framework of posts or rails. These should be arranged 




FiGuitE 6.— Harvesting Kanota oats in Kansas 



on the ground in such a manner as to prevent the oats from coming in 
contact with the soil. This will prevent absorption of moisture from 
the ground and will allow the air to penetrate beneath the stack. 

Round stacks are more popular than long ricks, but the shape of the 
stack is immaterial so long as it is properly constructed and turns 
water. 

To build a round stack, set up two bundles precisely as in starting 
to build a shock; then add bundles to the shock, placing each one a 
little flatter until a basal diameter of 10 to 12 feet is attained. Lay 
all bundles with the butts outward. The stacker progresses either 
to the right or the left, and the pitcher places the bundles with butts 
to the front at the point most convenient to the stacker. 

Start the second layer by placing a row of bundles around the 
outer edge. The second rov? of bundles should be laid with the butts 
extending just past .the bands of the outer row of bundles, overlap- 



12 



FARMERS' BULLETIN 15 8 3 



ping each successive row a little more than the preceding one. When 
the center of the stack is reached the builder will start again at the 
outside and proceed similarly with the third layer. 

As shocked bundles have a rather slanting butt, lay the successive 
outer rows with the long side of the bundle up and extending slightly 
beyond the layer beneath. The diameter is gradually increased in 
this manner until a height of 7 or 8 feet is reached. This gradual 
enlargement of the stack forms the bulge. To reduce danger of slip- 
ping while building the bulge, the so-called double-row or triple-row 
courses of bundles may be laid. Instead of laying a single row at a 
time, a course containing two or three rows is laid at each successive 
round. 

The center of the stack always should be kept well tramped, 
solid, free from holes, and higher than the rim. The outer rows, 




Fig UK'S 7. — A well-built round shock of oats with a cap sheaf 



however, should be tramped as little as possible, so that when the 
stack settles the straws in the exposed butts will slope downward and 
thus prevent water from running into the stack. 

After the bulge is built the diameter is slightly decreased with each 
layer, the stack thus tapering gradually to a point. This is best done 
by laying the bundles with the short side of the sloping butts up, 
Which decreases the diameter with each successive layer and gives 
about the desired slope and smoothness to the stack. As a rule, one 
row of bundles is laid at a time in topping out the stack, as the 
drawing-in process greatly lessens the danger of slipping. It is 
very important in building the top of the stack that the center be 
kept well filled and solid, and higher than the outside, This is con- 
veniently done by overlapping each successive row a^ little more in 
progressing toward the center of the stack. The middle also may 
be kept more solid by laying-some of the inside bundles with the heads 
pointing toward the outside of the stack. 



SPRING-SOWN RED OATS 



13 



The top bundles of the stack should be put on like those of a cap 
for a shock. These may be held in place by driving a sharpened 
stake 6 to 8 feet long down into the center. Weights made of two 
light timbers tied together with rope or wire also may be hung across 
the top of the stack to keep the top bundles in place. If desired, 
stacks also may be thatched with straw or hay, or even covered with 
tarpaulins. 

Long stacks or ricks are built similarly. However, greater skill is 
required in building this type of stack, for which reason the smaller 
round stack usually is preferable. 

In stacking mowed- or headed oats, the stacks should be started on a 
well-drained plot of ground. It is well to cover the ground with 
rails and straw, just as when stacking bundle grain. Headed grain 
usually is stacked in rather long, narrow stacks, sharply pointed or 
topped to prevent water from entering and damaging the grain. 
They should be covered or thatched with straw or hay to prevent 
rain from gaining entrance. The stacks should not be made too 
large; from 14 to 16 feet at the greatest diameter of the bulge is 
about the proper size, as the grain contains some moisture when cut, 
and it may be injured by heating too much during the " sweat " if 
the stacks are too large. Care should be taken to stake or weight 
securely the tops of the stacks, to prevent the wind from blowing . 
them off. 

THRESHING 

Oats thresh more easily than any of the other cereals. The grain 
should be thoroughly dry before it is threshed. If not dry, both 
the grain and the straw are likely to mold, the threshing opera- 
tion is less efficiently performed, and there is greater likelihood of 
machinery troubles than if the grain is dry. 

The thresher should be thoroughly cleaned before starting to thresh, 
to avoid mixture of varieties and to prevent the scattering of noxious 
weeds from farm to farm by the machine. The separator should be 
watched carefully to see that it is working properly. The grain 
should be threshed free from the straw ; yet the concaves of the 
machine should not be set so close to the cylinder as to cut the hulls 
from the kernels. Oat straw generally is considered superior to 
that of any of the other cereals as roughage for cattle and other 
livestock. If room is available it is both economical and convenient 
to run the oat straw into the barn when threshing. Otherwise the 
value of the straw well repays careful stacking. 

In recent years some oats have been threshed by the combined 
harvester-thresher. If the combine is used in threshing the oats, 
the grain should be fully ripe before starting the combine. If cut too 

freen it is likely to be injured by molding in the bin. On the other 
and, if allowed to remain standing until overripe, considerable loss 
may result from shattering and from heads breaking over. If the 
straw is to be used it may be dumped in windrows from a straw 
buncher attached to the combine. It is then picked up from the 
dumps and handled as desired. 

RED-OAT VARIETIES 

At the present time three rather definite groups of red-oat varieties 
are being grown from spring seeding. These are the Red Rust- 
proof and its related strains, such as Ferguson No. 71 and Texas 



14 



FARMEBS' BULLETIN" 1583 



Red; Fulghum and related strains, such as Kanota and Frazier; 
and Burt. Formerly Red Rustproof was the leading spring-sown 
red oat, followed by Burt. At the present time Fulghum occupies 
almost as much acreage as the other two varieties combined. The 
Burt oat has lost favor very rapidly, Fulghum being better adapted 
to most of the territory where Burt formerly was grown. Fulghum 
usually outyields Burt, but the greater uniformity and better quality 
of grain of the former has been mostly responsible for the great shift 
from Burt to Fulghum. The Red Rustproof is larger and later 
maturing than either Burt or Fulghum. Fulghum and Burt are 
both very early, and the former especially is adapted to the northern 
part of the red-oat area. Burt is grown in no definite part of the 
red-oat territory at the present time. It once was popular in parts 
of Missouri, but it seems likely that ultimately it will be supplanted 
by Fulghum everywhere. Panicles and spikelets of Red Rustproof 
and Fulghum varieties are shown in Figure 8. Spikelets and florets 
of these varieties, and of Burt also, are shown in Figure 9. 

RED RUSTPROOF 

The straw of the Red Rustproof variety is of midheight, fine or of 
midcoarseness, straight and stiff, and of the reddish color character- 
istic of all so-called red oats. The panicles are small to midsized 
with rather ascending branches. The kernels are large and plump 
and of a reddish brown color. Both kernels of the spikelet usually 
are awned. In most of the spring-sown red-oat area Red Rustproof 
ripens as a mid-season or late variety, and it usually is relatively free 
from smut. There are several named strains. The one best known 
in this area is Red Texas or Texas Red (also called Texas Rustproof 
and Texas Red Rustproof). Ferguson No. 71, Ferguson No. 922, 
and Nortex are selected strains which have been bred for both fall 
and spring seeding. There are other named strains, such as Appier, 
Bancroft, Cook, Hasting (Hundred Bushel), and Patterson, but 
these strains are grown mostly from fall seeding in the winter-oat 
belt of the Southeastern States. In California the Red Rustproof 
oat is most commonly grown under the name of California Red. 

Ferguson No. 71 and Ferguson No. 922 were developed and distrib- 
uted by the Ferguson Seed farms, Sherman, Tex. They were origi- 
nated as plant selections from the Red Rustproof oat. These strains 
are uniform in plant and kernel characters, are of high-yielding 
ability, and are especially recommended for northern Texas. 

Nortex (Texas No. 9235, Reg. No. 67 3 ) was developed from a 
plant selection at Substation No. 6, Denton, Tex. Nortex is uniform, 
high yielding, and of special promise in the experiments conducted 
at Denton, Tex., from both fall and spring seeding. 

TKe Red Rustproof oat, as represented by these strains and as a 
spring-sown type, is of much less importance than formerly. As 
noted above, it is being replaced by strains of Fulghum. The earli- 
ness and high-yielding ability of the latter are greatly preferable to 
the late-maturing and larger size of the Red Rustproof strains. 

The Red Rustproof as commonly grown has been a mixture of 
strains. Much of the commercial seed of Red Rustproof also con- 



8 Registration number of the American Society of Agronomy and the Bureau of Plant 
Industry. 



SPRING-SOWK BED OATS 



15 



tains admixtures of black and yellow oats. It has been demon- 
strated, however, that uniform, high-yielding strains of Red Rust- 
proof can be maintained by careful roguing and handling of the 
seed. Where Red Rustproof or its strains are still grown, farmers 




Figure 8.— Panicles and spikelets of Red Rustproof (left) and Fulghum (right) oats 



are advised to obtain seed of strains that have been purified by 
selection. 

The distribution of the Red Rustproof variety in 1919, both fall 
sown and spring sown, is shown in Figure 10. This map also serves 



16 FARMERS' BULLETIN" 15 83 




Figure Spikelets and florets of three varieties of red oats: Eed Rustproof <1>, 
Burnt (1>), Fuhjhum <3) 



SPRING-SOWN" BEI> 0ATS 



17 



to emphasize the importance of red oats in Missouri, Kansas, Okla- 
homa, and Texas. A field of Red Rustproof oats is shown in 
Figure 11. 

FULGHUM 

Fulghum, without doubt, is one of the most important oat varieties 
that have been developed in North America. It was originated about 
25 years ago in southeastern Georgia as a plant selection from a 
field of Eed Eustproof oats. It probably resulted from a natural 
hybrid. It first came into prominence in that section of the country 
as a fall-sown variety. Its possibilities as a spring-sown variety were 
first discovered about 10 years ago by the Kansas Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station, where a strain later named Kanota showed un- 
usual promise in the experiments conducted at that station. It was 




Figubh 10. — Outline map of the United States, showing the distribution of Bed 
Rustproof oats in 1919. Since 1919 a considerable portion of this acreage has 
been occupied by Fulghum and Kanota,. 



first distributed to farmers of Kansas in 1919 and at once became 
popular. In 1926 it was estimated that Kanota was grown on about 
1,000,000 acres in Kansas alone. A field of Kanota oats in shock in 
Kansas is shown in Figure 12. 

Fulghum differs from Red Rustproof in growing a little taller 
and in producing more slender kernels with fewer awns and basal 
hairs. It ripens* a week to ten days earlier than Red Rustproof. 
Fulghum is susceptible to crown rust. 

The leading strain of the Fulghum variety is Kanota (Reg. No. 
66), which, when spring sown, may produce better yields than the 
original Fulghum. Kanota is • now grown to some extent in the 
southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, rather extensively in 
Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, and (as already noted) very exten- 
sively in Kansas. 

Another strain of Fulghum'is Frazier, which was developed at 
Substation No. 6, Denton, Tex., as a spring-sown variety for that, 
section. Frazier is similar to the original Fulghum oat, but usually 



18 FARMEKS' BULLETIN" 158 3 

produces more awns than the latter. Frequently both kernels of the 
Ffazier spikelet carry awns. 

BURT 

r Burt is said to have originated in Greene County, Ala., in 1878. 
A Mr. Burt made the selection from a field of Red Rustproof oats 

_ . flip! ., ■■; ■ ~ .■ .. " W^mMM^: 




Figure 11. — An excellent field of Red Rustproof oats in the spring-sown red-oat area 



because of its early maturity. Burt usually grows taller than either 
Red Rustproof or Fulghum. It differs from Fulghum in being 
earlier, less uniform, and having a longer and much more slender 
kernel. Its lack of uniformity in plant and kernel characters are 




Figure 12..— A' field of Kanota oats in shock in Kansas 



undesirable. Burt also is known under the names of Early May, 
June, and Fourth of July. The variety can not be recommended for 
any particular district. Burt should be grown only where an oat 
etill earlier than Fulghum is desired. 

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1929