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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF
FARMERS' BULLETIN No.1583
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
Good seed thoroughly cleaned and graded and treated
Early seeding with a grain drill.
Harvesting at the proper time.
Careful shocking and stacking to prevent injury by
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
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
The area 1
Importance and distribution 1
Climatic adaptation 2
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
Sowing the seed — Continued.
Rates of seeding 9
Harvesting the crop 9
Red-oat varieties 14
Red Rustproof 14
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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. . *
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
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
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
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,
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
SPRING-SOWN" BED OATS
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
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
! 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.
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
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
Binding is the usual method for harvesting oats in most of the
spring-sown red-oat area. In the extreme western portions of this
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
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 .
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.
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
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.
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
SPRING-SOWK BED OATS
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
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
to emphasize the importance of red oats in Missouri, Kansas, Okla-
homa, and Texas. A field of Red Rustproof oats is shown in
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.
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