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Place in the Rotation
Like husked oats, naked oats can be drilled in lower lying areas of England and Wales and more sheltered parts of Scotland. Winter naked oats offer a Take All break and consequently are most likely to replace winter barley or a third cereal after wheat. To avoid problems with soil borne Oat Mosaic Virus and Stem Eelworm, winter oats should not be grown more frequently than one year in four.
Naked oats have an exposed germ and therefore achieving a good seed bed together with sowing an accurate seed rate is important to ensure a good platform for maximum yield. Consolidation is important to avoid frost lift particularly on light or organic soils. The highest yields can be achieved on deep, moisture retentive soils, which are not prone to drought or hot spots.
Seed Rate and Time of Drilling
Under normal field conditions naked oats are sold in unit packs, each pack containing sufficient seed to plant 330-340 seeds/m2 depending on the variety used. Winter oats should be sown in mid-September on exposed or more northern sites and can be drilled later on more sheltered sites in the South. Later sown crops are less uniform, later to ripen and more prone to lodging and attack by BYDV or frit fly.
Naked oats suffer similar diseases and pests to husked oats which can be reduced with a combination of cultural and chemical methods.
There are no specific weed problems associated with growing naked oats.
Diseases of Naked Oats
Naked oats are similar to husked oats with powdery mildew and crown rust as the most common and potentially most damaging to crop yield.
Eyespot and sharp eyespot do occur on winter oats but neither disease is thought to have a significant effect on yield. Significant losses have resulted from crops affected by Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) and Oat Mosaic Virus (OMV).
Most naked oats varieties are taller than husked oats and therefore the use of growth regulators should be considered in combination with the fertiliser policy.
Fertilisers and Crop Nutrition
Autumn nitrogen is generally not needed for winter oats. Oats are prone to manganese deficiency and this should be borne in mind in field selection.
Winter naked oats should be fit to harvest slightly before wheat. Harvesting should be delayed until the crop is fully ripe to reduce hull retention. This is best assessed by hand rubbing the oat panicles. When the majority of the grain separates from the hulls, the crop is sufficiently ripe to combine. Naked oats are covered in fine hairs, and attention must be given to ensuring optimum combine settings to remove as much hair in the field as possible without incurring high combine grain losses.
The use of recommended respirators is advised due to the high dust content.
Drying and Storage
Naked oats pack in store similar to oilseed rape. It is important to pre-clean to remove admixtures and dust and dry to a maximum of 14%. Whilst naked oats have a much higher oil content than other cereals, they will store safely for long periods provided good storage practice is maintained.