Benefits of Oats
Oats are a favorite small grain crop among whitetail food plotters. They are an awesome nurse crop for spring plantings or a fall food source. Oats are compatible with a number of other food plot choices such as clover and chicory. They are highly nutritious and desirable to whitetails. Oats work well with spring plantings but do not over winter in the north. Therefore, they can be planted in the fall as a food source but will not offer any spring regrowth. Oats may be tilled under as green manure and are satisfactory nutrient scavengers. The oat crop will utilize excessive nutrients for growth, but will do little in the sense of recycling nutrients back into the soil.
There are many low cost varieties of oats available with many different characteristics. Some oats are great for forage, others are more cold tolerant and others are higher in protein. Evaluate and consider the varieties available in your area before paying excessive prices for oats. Many plotters prefer to use the cheapest oats possible. Yet, others believe promises made by big buck on the bag companies, that their oats have superior cold tolerance, are more nutritious and more desirable than other oats. Although some of these statements may be true Many times these big buck companies will charge outrageous prices, 4-5 times the amount of comparable products. The food plotter will have little extra to show for their efforts. Oats are a short season crop and the extra money spent on a big buck brand is impractical.