Winter Oat management strategies from planting to harvesting are outlined in this section
The area of winter oats tends to be variable from highs of 9,000 ha to 16,000 ha in recent years. Generally the increases or decreases drives an adjustment in the spring oat plantings up or down to give a national oat crop of around 21,000 ha on average each year. Yields are dependent on the growing season but target yields of 9.5t/ha are achievable. Oat crops tend to yield higher in a normal to wet year. Teagasc eProfit monitors show that winter oats can be one of the most profitable break crops in the rotation.
A oat research program has been ongoing in Teagasc Oak Park , now lead by Atikur Rahman who took over form the lead by the late Dr John Finnan. Results from agronomic trials are pointing to a relatively plastic crop, i.e. the crop has the ability to recover from low plant numbers to produce similar grains per hectare as normal and likewise where the crop is too thick the crop reduces grain sites. Seeding rate, nitrogen rates and timings can all influence yield and quality of the oat crops. The main yield driver in the crop is to maximise the numbers of grain seed per meter squared.