Charles A. Shapiro

Date of this Version



© 1979, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Information is provided for various oat production practices including seed selection, fertilizing, planting, weed control and harvest. Oats were among the first crops grown by pioneers who settled eastern Nebraska. As recently as 1950, Nebraska produced 2.7 million acres of oats. Acreage has declined steadily, however, and in 1990 there were just 300,000 acres. Oats are grown throughout the state, with the majority being in eastern Nebraska where the cool, moist climate provides for the best growth. The feed value of oats also favors its production in northeast Nebraska where swine, dairy cattle, and beef cattle production are heavy. An increase in the pleasure horse population also has renewed interest in oats as a feed. Oats have increased in importance for human nutrition, with about 10 percent of total production processed for human consumption. The United States imports 45 to 65 million bushels of oats annually.