Overseeding With Oats in Texas

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Running Arrow Bill

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2003
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Texas Panhandle On US 83
We're in Texas Panhandle and want some input on overseeding our sandy, native bermudagrass sub-pastures with Oats. Oats germinate rapidly and are usually planted in Northern 1/2 of Texas in spring. Now...

Any advice or recommendations from Texas cattle people on any precautions of cattle eating new oats growth? (Know wheat pasture can sometimes be a problem.)

If we overseed with some oats, we can do a little overhead watering with portable sprinklers. Right now, as dry as it has been, we are even seeing some bermudagrass starting to green up--very little though.

Thanks for any input!
I'm in SE Texas and never realized that folks in the northern part of the state planted oats for spring grazing. Here, and in the hill country, they are planted in Sept. and Oct. I would have assumed that the spring planted oats would delay the greenup and/or growth of the bermuda that you would normally have in spring essentially for free. Also, do you have a drill? I believe oats either need to be drilled or possibly disced in, since just broadcasting them like we do with ryegrass won't result in any meaningful germination. And I suppose you couldn't plant oats right now for fear of really cold weather during the remainder of Feb. and possibly early March, since oats are about the least cold hardy of the forage grains, right? Not trying to be argumentative, just curious. But at one time I read just about all the booklets and articles that A & M has on grazing, winter /summer forages, etc. and I imagine they have something pretty much on point if you feel like doing a bit of reading. As you know, the answers are often very slow to come if you try to ask a question on their Center for Grazingland & Ranch Mgmt. discussion board. Regards, Arnold Ziffle
Thanks Arnold for your input. Agree that Center for Range Management is slow to respond.

I was raised in Denton county in N. Texas and we didn't plant oats in fall due to the worst freezes arriving in late winter would tend to kill the new growth. Thus, the tendency to plant in early spring.

Regarding germination, I have shreaded oat straw and put on top of a garden only to have a good crop of oats compete with the vegetables...lol.

With broadcast at 2X rate and not cover up except perhaps pull a drag over it, I would guess germination would be about 25% + or so .

My main concern would be whether or not the new spring growth of oats would be harmful to cattle or horses and if one would need to limit grazing time?? Also would agree that if the oats grew faster than bermuda it could block sunlight for best bermuda growth.
Bill. sorry but I can only speculate about the effect of putting cattle on the new growth oats, and that would be to say that I don't think it would do any harm to cattle, even if not limit grazed to start off, as long as they also have access to some decent hay and standard mineral mix. And that's based only on (a.) my observations of the guys in the hill country that buy thousands of calves every fall and then turn them out on oat fields -- and (b.) what a friend of mine does near Madisonville with his calves in the fall. I know absolutely nothing about horse management.