SMAL'. GRAIN PRODUCTION GUIDE
MIMEOGRAPH REVISION SEPTEMBER, 1977
OF CIRCULAR 267D
D. L. Wright, Assistant Agronomist, R. D. Barnett, Associate Agronomist
and T. A. Kucharek, Associate Plant Pathologist
IFAS, University of Florida
TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY IN SMALL GRAIN PRODUCTION:
1. Select soils that are naturally well drained or can be drained
2. Have soils tested and apply kinds and amounts of lime and fertilizer
3. Prepare good seedbeds by disking or turning land to incorporate lime
and to bury crop residues.
4. Choose species and varieties that are well suited for the uses to be
made of the crop.
5. Use high-quality weed-free seed.
6. Plant during the recommended planting seasons at times when soil
moisture conditions are favorable for germination and growth.
7. Plant 2 to 4 weeks earlier and at higher rates when sown for grazing
than when sown for grain.
8. Topdress with nitrogen in accordance with need as determined by type
of soil, amount of nitrogen applied at planting time and use of crop.
9. Manage grazing so as to maintain proper balance between yield and
quality of forage or secure good yield of grain.
10. Harvest grain when moisture content drops to 12% or less.
11. If stored, protect grain from animal and insect pests.
LUM LIRARY 1
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SMALL GRAIN PRODUCTION
In Florida, oats, rye, and wheat are grown for production of forage or
grain or a combination of forage and grain. Small grain production is con-
centrated on well drained soils following corn, soybeans, peanuts, or grain
Wheat is grown primarily as a grain crop in a rotation. The acreage of
small grain used in Florida for both grain and grazing should be increased to
utilize fertilizer and land more efficiently while alleviating disease and
insect pressures. Most of the acreage planted to oats and rye is used in
late fall, winter and early spring grazing programs. Rye grows at lower
temperatures and produces more forage than oats or wheat. Oats are best
suited for a combination of forage and grain production. Because of the
dates of planting and growing habits of the small grains, rye is most suit-
able when used for grazing and may be seeded early in the fall while oats
give both grazing and grain production and wheat is seeded last and has the
shortest grazing period and good grain production.
Triticale, is a cross between wheat and rye and in Florida produces less
grain than wheat and less forage than rye. No varieties are currently recom-
mended in Florida.
The varieties of rye, wheat and oats recommended for grazing, grain or
combination of grazing and grain have been evaluated in Florida Agricultura
Experiment Station variety trials for several years. Dates and rates of set
are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Recommended Seeding Rates and Seeding Dates for Small Grains.
Plantings for Grain Plantings for Forage
Seed Production Forage and Grain Production (
Seeding Rates Seeding Seeding Rates Seeding
bu/Acre Dates bu/Acre Dates
Oats 2 21 Nov. 15-Dec. 15 3 4 Sept. 15-Oct.
Rye 1 1l Dec. 1-Dec. 31 1 2 Oct. 15-Nov.
Wheat 1 1 Nov. 15-Dec. 15 1 2 Oct. 15-Nov. 1
* In plantings for grazing only, the grazing season may be lengthened and fc
production increased by reducing the seeding rate of the small grain to two-
of the lower rate, and adding 10 to 12 pounds of an adapted variety of ryegr
or one of the following: 2 pounds improved southern white clover, 15 pounds
reseeding crimson clover, 4 pounds of arrowleaf clover, 2 pounds white clove
6 pounds of red clover, 15 pounds of hairy vetch, 20 pounds of common vetch,
or 40 pounds of sweet lupine. The legume included in the mixture should be
adapted to the soil, and the seed should be inoculated with the proper cultu
of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
- 3 -
Rye Florida Black for late fall and early winter grazing. Pennington
Wintergrazer 70, ACCO WR-811, Wrens Abruzzi, McNair Vitagraze,
Athens Abruzzi, Gurley Grazer 2000, Hiawassee, Elbon, Weser, and
Gator for winter and spring grazing.
Oats Florida 501 and Coker 227 for winter and spring grazing. Florida
501 produces more early season grazing while Coker 227 produces
more late season grazing.
Wheat Wakeland for winter and spring grazing.
Rye Weser, Wrens Abruzzi, Elbon, and Florida Black
Oats Florida 501, Elan, and Coker 227
Wheat Holley, Coker 68-19 and McNair 1813. If seed of the recommended
varieties is not available, Wakeland, and Coker 65-20 are
acceptable choices. The following varieties have fair leaf
rust resistance and will yield well if planted early not later
than November 10. Authur, Authur 71, Abe, Oasis, Beau, Sullivan,
and Double Crop. These varieties are susceptible to powdery
mildew. High fertilization increases the mildew damage and
therefore, should not be fertilized heavily. Characteristics
of wheat and oat varieties for grain are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Major Characteristics of Wheat and Oat Varieties Recommended for
Disease Resistance Hessian
Loding Leaf Powdery Fly
Variety Maturity Height Resistance Rust Mildew Resistance
Holley very early medium fair good good poor
Coker 68-19 early short good good poor poor
McNair 1813 early short good good good good
Wakeland medium tall poor fair poor poor
Florida 501 very early medium good fair ---- ----
Coker 227 late medium exc exc ---- ----
Elar medium short exc fair ---- ----
* Grain yield data is available in the Florida Field and Forage Crop Variety Report.
SOIL SELECTION AND PREPARATION
Small grains will not tolerate flooding or waterlogged soils. Land should
be well prepared and worked into a firm seedbed. A turning plow to bury crop
residue which may harbor insect and disease pests and then followed by a disk
or harrow just before planting will normally provide an excellent seedbed.
Rye may be seeded by aerial application into late season soybeans before com-,
plete leaf fall without tillage when early grazing is desired. Proper moisture
at planting time is the key to success of this practice.
Proper liming practices are necessary for high yields. Liming acid soils
increases the availability of several plant nutrients, favors increased micro-
organism activity and supplies calcium for plant growth while decreasing the
availability of toxic elements. Dolomitic limestone supplies both magnesium
Test soils to determine liming needs and broadcast the recommended kind
and amount of lime at least three to four weeks prior to planting. The lime-
stone should be incorporated into the upper six inches of soil with a disk
Small grains grow best in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and minimum CaO
and MgO levels of 600 and 100 pounds per acre, respectively.
Good fertilization practices are an essential part of a successful small
grain production program. Soil tests should be made to determine the kind and
amount of fertilizer needed. If soil test results are not available, the
recommendations in Table 3 may be used.
The basic fertilizer application may be made prior to or at planting.
Broadcasting the fertilizer and disking to incorporate is preferred.
Table 3. Recommended Fertilization of Small Grains Without Benefit of Soil
Recommended Fertilizer Application
Texture of Pounds per Acre of
Surface Soils N P205 K20
Sand 32* 64 96
Loamy Sand or Sandy Loam 32* 96 96
Peat or Muck 0 72 96
*Supplemental nitrogen is needed for good grain or forage yields. On
plantings for grain production, apply 35-50 pounds of nitrogen (105-150
pounds of ammonium nitrate or its equivalent) in late January or early
February. On plantings for forage production, apply 35-50 pounds of
nitrogen just after the stand is established and an additional 35-50
pounds in late January or early February. Splitting the nitrogen application
gives better.distribution of forage growth.
Use a grain drill, and plant high-quality weed-free seed that have
?n treated with a recommended fungicide for control of soil-borne diseases.
11 moisture at planting time should be favorable for germination and growth.
The prepared seedbed can be kept free of weeds until planting time by
wing as necessary. Seeding rates and dates shown in Table 1, should
S.sed on the kind of small grain and the use to be made of the crop.
Interplanting small grain into a perennial warm season grass sod
-seeding) is desirable for high quality winter grazing. This practice
tisfactory during cold weather when the grass is completely dormant
ot competing with the small grain for moisture and fertility. The
should be disked to form a seedbed or planted with a sod-seeding machine.
!i! sod seeding for grazing purposes, a mixture of annual ryegrass and a
r;r should be included to extend the grazing period and to supply nitrogen
rigorouss grass growth. Seeding rates of grass and legumes with the small
i is shown at the bottom of Table 1.
Small grain should not be grazed until it reaches a height of 8 to 10
iles. If possible, practice rotational grazing, leaving stubble about
e inches high and allowing intervals of three to four weeks between
zings. If grazing is continuous, control animal numbers or daily grazing
iods so that plant height is maintained between 5 and 10 inches. Surplus
SAge may be cut for hay or silage when the first seedheads appear in the
IiIhg. If grain is to be harvested, do not allow grazing after the plants
Ofn to joint. Grain should not be harvested until the moisture content
Ial dropped to 12 percent unless drying facilities are available.
Seed treatment of small grain is a relatively inexpensive and unused
practice. Seed may be best treated immediately after drying and
cleaning. Drill-box treatment is less effective but is more practical for
Control of preemergence seedling blight of small grains can be reduced
-by the following methods:
A. Use good quality seed
B. Treat seed with one of the following fungicides:
SArasan 75, Arasan 50, Arasan 42-S
Arasan 70-S, Captan 75, Orthocide 75
C. Use a crop rotation system that excludes small grains or other
D. Avoid deep planting of seed because the longer the seed or
seedling is below the soil surface, the greater the chance
of seedling blight
Pythium root rot of wheat, barley, oats and rye can best be control"
by treating the seed and not planting prior to the recommended planting c
for the specific crop.
Wheat leaf rust, powdery mildew and wheat soil borne mosaic virus art
best controlled by using resistant varieties (Table 2).
Aerial application of fungicides have been used profitably for control
of wheat leaf rust and Septoria glume blotch (also a disease of foliage).
For instructions on use of fungicide spraying on wheat, contact your coun'
agent as incorrect timing and spray technique can result in non-economica
returns. A spray program of three applications with Dithane M-45 or Manz
200 should be initiated prior to flag leaf (uppermost leaf) emergence for
this technique to be profitable.
MAR 2 3 1978' 9a
Use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of pro%
specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of products nat
and does not signify approval to the exclusion of others of suitable coi
This public document was promulgated at a cost of $ lo0.00
11 cents per copy to inform county personnel and producer '
of up-to-date information on the production of small grains.