TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY
IN SMALL GRAIN PRODUCTION:
1. Select soils that are naturally well drained
or can be drained economically.
2. Have soils tested.
3. Apply recommended kinds and amounts of
4. Prepare good seedbed by disking land to in-
corporate lime and turning it to bury crop
5. Choose kinds and varieties that are well
suited for the uses to be made of the crop.
6. Use high-quality weed-free seed of each
7. Plant during the recommended planting sea-
sons at times when soil moisture conditions
are favorable for germination and growth.
8. Apply adequate quantities of mixed fertilizer
at planting time.
9. Top dress with nitrogen in accordance with
need as determined by kind of soil, amount
of nitrogen applied at planting time and use
of the crop.
10. Manage grazing so as to maintain proper
balance between yield and quality of forage
or secure good yield of grain.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
SMALL GRAIN PRODUCTION
In Florida, oats, rye and wheat are grown for
production of forage or grain, or a combination
of forage and grain. Most of the acreage planted
to oats and rye is used in late fall, winter and
early spring grazing programs. In contrast, most
of the acreage planted to wheat is harvested for
grain. Small acreages of all three are grazed for
short periods and then allowed to produce grain
for use as food, feed or seed.
SOIL SELECTION, LIMING AND
Select soils that are naturally well drained
or can be drained economically. Small grains
will not tolerate flooding or waterlogged condi-
tions. If soils are not well drained, make provi-
sion for prompt removal of any surplus water
that might accumulate during wet periods.
Have soils tested and, at least three to four
weeks ahead of planting time, broadcast the rec-
ommended kinds and amounts of limestone and
prepare seedbed by disking land to incorporate
limestone and turning it to bury crop residues.
Keep seedbed free of weeds until planting time by
harrowing it as necessary.
Choose kinds and varieties that are well suited
for the uses to be made of the crop.
Of the three small grains grown in Florida,
oats are best suited for production of both grain
and forage. Rye grows at lower temperatures
and produces more forage than either oats or
wheat but it is a poor grain producer. Wheat
usually produces more grain but less forage than
either oats or rye.
There are significant differences among va-
rieties of each kind of grain in type of growth,
winter hardiness, date of heading, resistance to
disease, production of forage and yield of grain.
Varieties of oats, rye and wheat recommended
for various uses are listed below, and some of the
important characteristics of the recommended
varieties are presented in the accompanying table.
MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF RECOMMENDED VARIETIES OF SMALL GRAIN*
Lodg- Leaf Relative Yield of Forage by:t
Plant ing Rust Mildew Grain
Type of Heading Height (Per- (Per- (Per- Mid- Mid- Mid- Mid- Yield
Kind and Variety Growth** Date (inches) cent) cent) cent) Dec. Feb. March April (bu./A)
Oat Average Average
Oats 1959-62 1 1959-62$
Florad S 4/1 54 47 5 179 100 107 75 62.5
Radar 1 I 4/5 46 5 70 100 102 102 96 63.3
Radar 2 I 4/6 48 14 65 133 112 103 99 64.6
Moregrain I 4/10 46 32 40 69 81 67 89 68.8
Suregrain I 4/13 47 18 13 100 100 100 100 76.2
Floriland I-W 4/6 52 55 63 99 108 113 99 52.1
Red Rustproof 14 W 4/27 50 70 55 97 92 76 109 57.4
Rye Average Average
Florida Black S 3/11 54 5 45 45 136 78 83 79 21.4
Wrens Abruzzi S-I 3/21 54 10 60 60 110 93 99 106 22.9
Gator I 3/24 55 20 Trace 35 100 100 100 100 13.2
Explorer I-W 3/30 53 45 40 55 99 85 101 108 16.3
Wheat Average Average
Hadden S 3/29 41 16 0 0 115 116 105 115 34.4
Coastal S 4/14 47 13 Trace 50 100 100 100 100 29.8
Bledsoe S-I 4/6 50 29 14 30 83 101 95 113 34.2
Wakeland I 4/5 44 15 Trace 0 85 103 100 109 38.8
Ga. 1123 W 4/7 47 8 0 35 46 66 77 84 30.4
From studies by D. T. Sechler and W. H. Chapman at the North Florida Experiment Station, Quincy.
** S-Spring (upright); W-Winter decumbentt) ; I-Intermediate.
t For each kind of small grain, forage yields are expressed as percentages of the yield of a standard variety. Standard varieties for the different kinds
are: Suregrain, for oats; Gator, for rye; and Coastal, for wheat.
1962-63 data not included because of severe damage by freezes of December 13 and January 25.
Oats: Florad for fall grazing.
Suregrain, Radar 2, Radar 1 and
Floriland for winter and spring graz-
Red Rustproof 14 for late spring
Rye: Florida Black and Wrens Abruzzi for
late fall and early winter grazing.
Gator, Wrens Abruzzi and Explorer
for winter and spring grazing.
Wheat: Hadden and Coastal for late winter
and spring grazing.
Bledsoe and Wakeland for late spring
Oats: Suregrain, Moregrain, Radar 2, Ra-
dar 1 and Florad.
Rye: None recommended.
Wheat: Wakeland, Hadden and Ga. 1123.
For Grazing and Grain:
Oats: Suregrain, Radar 2, Radar 1 and
Rye: None recommended.
Use a grain drill, and plant high-quality weed-
free seed that have been treated for control of
seed-borne diseases. Soil moisture conditions at
planting time should be favorable for germina-
tion and growth.
Base the seeding rate and planting date on
the kind of small grain and the use to be made of
the crop. Recommended seeding rates and dates
for plantings for different uses are:
For Grazing or Combination of Grain and
Oats: 3 to 4 bushels per acre, September
15 to October 31.
Rye: 11/ to 2 busheds per acre, October
15 to November 15.
Wheat: 11/2 to 2 bushels per acre, October
15 to November 15.
For Grain or Seed:
Oats: 2 to 21/2 bushels per acre, November
15 to December 15.
Rye: 1 to 11/2 bushels per acre, December
1 to December 31
Wheat: 1 to 112 bushels per acre, November
15 to December 15.
If soils have been tested, apply the recom-
mended kinds and amounts of fertilizer at the
If soil-test results are not available, apply 400
to 500 pounds of 4-12-12 or 5-10-15 at or just be-
fore planting time. On plantings for produc-
tion of grain only, apply 33 to 50 pounds of nitro-
gen as a topdressing in late January or early
February. On plantings for production of forage
or a combination of forage and grain, apply 66
to 100 pounds of supplemental nitrogen, pref-
erably in split applications, half just after stand
becomes established and the other half in late
January or early February. If anhydrous am-
monia is preferred as the source of supplemental
nitrogen, it should be applied at the proper rate
just before planting time.
In plantings for grazing only, the grazing season
may be lengthened and forage production increased by
reducing the seeding rate of the small grain to two-
thirds of the lower rate, and adding 10 to 12 pounds of
common or Gulf ryegrass and one of the following: 2
pounds improved southern white clover, 15 pounds re-
seeding crimson clover, 8 pounds annual white sweet-
clover, 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 culture of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
The recommendations in the preceding para-
graph are for plantings on mineral soils. For
plantings on organic soils (peat and muck), fer-
tilization should consist of 300 to 400 pounds of
0-12-18 or 0-10-20 per acre at planting time.
Do not graze until plants have reached a
height of from eight to 10 inches. If possible,
practice rotational grazing, leaving stubble about
three inches high and allowing intervals of three
to four weeks between grazing. If grazing is
continuous, control animal numbers or daily graz-
ing periods so plant height is maintained between
five and 10 inches. Surplus forage may be cut for
hay or silage after heading but before bloom
If grain is to be harvested, do not allow graz-
ing after plants begin to joint. Grain should not
be harvested until after moisture content has
reached 12 percent, unless drying equipment is
This guide was prepared by J. R. Henderson, Agronomist
and D. W. Jones, Associate Agronomist, in cooperation
with D. T. Sechler, Assistant Agronomist, North Florida
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director