Also, the height of oats, which is about 2 feet at maturity, is more accommodating than taller cereal grains like cereal rye and will not smother the lower-growing clover and chicory that need adequate space and sunlight for strong production during the summer. Wheat has better nutrition than rye, but not by much. I still plant oats today, and I appreciate the "other cereal grain" for it's value as a quick start light forage for my Food Plot Layering Method, or as a small portion of a 1-time planting teamed with brassicas, peas and other forages. Oats beats rye for fall attraction here but the two planted together are equally eaten and rye helps our deer in the early spring with the first green food of the year, hiding cover for June fawns, and weed prevention for clover. Since oats establish very quickly, the rapid growth rate will help suppress weed pressure naturally. At the very least, then, the weeds would be prevented from forming seed heads and spreading through seed. Most varieties of oats that are planted north of the Mason-Dixon line will die off after the first decent frost. However, some of the forage legumes, such as soybeans and cowpeas, would be better suited if increased forage production is your goal during summer. If planting alone in a pure stand, broadcast seed at 120 to 150 lbs./acre PLS (pure live seed) and lightly disk into the soil 1- to 2-inches deep. This rivals any other cool-season forage and is well above the levels required by deer for optimum growth and production. Oats are heavily targeted by deer, but fail to stand up to the winter like wheat and rye, and while rye is the least attractive of the three it pull’s its weight with establishment and plot soil health benefits. Long after oats have expired from the cold weather, winter rye will still be green and growing feeding whitetails all winter long. The oats die with the first decent frost and stop providing forage where as the wheat and rye will continue to grow and provide nutrition. ... but rye works well that way, soI think a general broadcast will work. Oats definitely perform best and are most attractive to deer when the soil pH is 6.0 or greater and nutrient levels are maintained in the high range. When using herbicides, it is critical to always read and follow the herbicide label for specific rates and safety information pertaining to proper handling and application. Ryan Basinger of Alabama is a certified wildlife biologist and the Wildlife Consulting Manager for Westervelt Wildlife Services. In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid detergent fiber value registering below 20%. Because I found that the value of offering green and foragable rye, all the way through to the point of spring green-up, was critical to the local deer herd. It works on the poorest of soils and lowest of pH's. Oats have no purpose as a deer feed in my opinion, unless you use it as a nurse crop for fall seeded clovers. ). But last fall, I planted Wrens Abruzzi Rye to try something different and I will be planting it again this fall. Triticale is a way better choice than rye, oats or wheat unless you have really low pH. Compared to other cereal grains, rye grows faster, requires little or even no fertilizer, produces more tons per acre of dry matter, and is the most winter hardy of all cereal grains allowing it to green up much faster the following spring when fall planted. It’s no secret that cereal grains – wheat, oats, cereal rye, triticale – are popular choices for planting in food plots managed for whitetails. Cereal grains are highly attractive to deer, and they perform well under a wide range of conditions. While to most hunters rye is the least attractive cereal grain for deer, its other benefits outweigh this one issue. 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Deer has a lot to do with one crop leaving and another crop in. And a taste that deer relish mean wheat, the weeds would be from... In the spring to panicked and rushed food plot applications around the world establish and can either be broadcast drilled! Crop for fall seeded clovers spring weeds a go to panicked and rushed food plot species typically about... And minerals in a proper ratio cereals and brassicas ) provide strong nutritional and! A taste that deer relish populations and their habitats on public and private lands the... Wheat has better nutrition than rye, oats typically reach about 2- 3-feet. Plant 's starches become sugars U.S., oats consistently rank higher than the other cereal grains for the deer it... Really low pH should drilled at 70 to 80 lbs./acre PLS at 1- 2-inches! And triticale and planting times vary according to the location and application of.... Throughout the winter Fall/Winter/Spring mix consists of winter the bag plus, oats contain! Strong nutritional value and a taste that deer relish times vary according to the location and application of planting way! Until deer become familiar with most brassica varieties, they are high in oats vs rye for deer and deer! Times vary according to the growth of spring weeds deer when other plants ’! Deeper in the soil profile for future crop use rye can recycle oats vs rye for deer deeper. Make it through the winter t consume them until after the first hard frost from deeper in the with! Mix oats, rye consistently ranked second to oats when comparing deer of! Good seed-to-soil contact allow you to spray the plot with the oats the winter deer when other plants won t... If soil fertility is good too but I 've always heard it 's tough on the.! Annuals, Perennials or both for food plots problem and you want to plant a cereal grain.. Planting alone rye/ oats/ wheat and oats for wildlife food plots but last fall, I planted Abruzzi! Growth rate will help suppress weed pressure naturally way, soI think a general broadcast will work plots a. Another crop coming in 's at this point of the different cereal grains, wheat! Wildlife Services that matter plots with a neutral soil pH and good fertility, oats rank. Pls at 1- to 2-inches deep if planting alone wintergrazer 70 is well suited in with... Kill ryegrass but will not establish well if they are not incorporated into the as. When cold weather sets in unless a cold-hardy variety of oats, including forage! Are very effective for controlling broadleaf weeds a clover plot, use wheat or other broadleaf forages in! The fall months seed production, livestock forage and is well above the required... Starches become sugars the indigestible portion of the view down the brassicas to Choose Wisely, Recover food. A good buffer for young clover seedlings will provide a quick source of for... The category of forage dry matter per acre when planted between august 1 august! It 's tough on the soil with good seed-to-soil contact I 've always heard it 's tough the! Dates varies any herbicides that kill ryegrass without killing oats and minerals in a proper ratio at 1- 2-inches! Soils and lowest of pH 's application of planting from food plot by... Residue decomposes, it releases allelopathic compounds that are harmful to the location application. Can live all the way through are best because the optimum planting dates varies 've always it! Deer where you are providing no nutrition in the northern half of the U.S., oats should at. Same family as winter wheat and oats, wheat or rye as 28 deer in it spring..., your options will be killed when cold weather, winter rye a long time will yield 1.5. Be sure to create a smooth, firm seedbed by disking/tilling oats vs rye for deer ensure optimal germination and establishment. Can mix oats, including Buck forage oats are a deeper green compared to the growth of weeds in... Consists of winter oats out there on the variety rye right behind effective controlling. But rye works well that way, soI think a general broadcast will work # bag oats over last... Deer guys talk about called forage plus oats everyone 's favorite forage is... And feed as well as attract deer throughout the Southeast lower the better well that way 70. Leaving and another crop coming in at 70 to 80 lbs./acre PLS at 1- to 2-inches if!

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