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Sowing (Wild) Oats
Tuesday 12th of April 2011 07:41 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Admit it. When you read "wild oats," you thought maybe this was true confessions or something. Nope, just same old me.

But I guess Facebook thought I was all racy last week. When I tried to post my working cattle tales last week, I got a message saying I was being blocked because of offensive content.

Offensive content?! Who me? I finally figured out that maybe they weren't happy about me using the term "castration." (There I go again: I'll probably get blocked today, too. Will I ever learn?!) But that's about as wild as I get around here.

We did, however, plant some oats this spring. This is how the oats look, right out of the seed sack.

Oats are not typically in our crop rotation. This year, Randy planted the oats on March 1 in an old alfalfa field so he could get one more cutting from the field before he worked it up. An alfalfa field is productive about 7 to 8 years.

The oats are also a good source of nutrition for our cattle herd. At the end of May or the first part of June, he will swath the field and then bale it.

This photo makes the plants look huge, but it's perspective. I had the camera on the ground and in the "close-up" mode. The "bushy" plant is alfalfa and the grass-like plant is the oats.

It costs about $25.00 per acre to plant the oats, figuring cost of seed and use of the machinery. But it should yield a couple of tons of oats and alfalfa for that last cutting. That will increase the value of the last cutting of the hay and provide good feed for feeder cattle.

And there you have it: Not so wild oats on the County Line.

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