6 NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
August 10, 1961
NFES Mimeo Rpt. 62-2
SUGGESTIONS FOR NORTH FLORIDA SMALL GRAIN GROWERS
By D. T. Sechler
Small grains are grown extensively in the North Florida area either for
winter pasture, grain. green manure or a combination of these. The choice of a
particular grain and the variety to use is quite dependent upon how the crop is
utilized and growing conditions. Suggestions included in this report are based
on experimental work conducted at the North Florida Experiment Station.
CHOOSING THE BEST CROP FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE
Rye will produce more forage than other small grains. Growing at lower
temperatures than oats or wheat, abundant forage is produced when pasture is
normally short. Rye forage is less palpable than oat or wheat forage although this
is not a problem unless unbalanced grain mixtures are used or more than one crop
is seeded separately in the same field. On the lower fertility, sandy soils
rye is relatively better suited than oats or wheat since fertility and moisture
requirements are lower. Rye cannot be seeded as early as oats due to high
seedling losses from disease and high temperature.
Oats have been found best suited for both forage and grain production.
Unless overgrazed or grazed too late in the spring, a desirable variety will
produce a good yield of high quality grain in addition to the forage. For good
grain yields following fall and winter grazing, however, fertilizer applications
must be generous or the inherent fertility relatively high. Erect types will
provide earlier grazing than decumbent types but are more easily damaged by
uncontrolled grazing. Oats can be seeded relatively early without seedling losses.
Over-all carrying capacity of oat pasture is less than rye but gains per acre are
usually about equal.
As a cash grain crop, wheat is the most profitable but it is less
suitable than either rye or dats for winter grazing. Only soft wheat varieties
produce grain of acceptable quality under Florida climatic conditions. Wheat is
best suited to the heavier soils of Northwest Florida. Adapted wheat varieties
make very little Prowth until spring providing little pasture when needs are
Barley has been found poorly adapted to this area. Disease problems
make production of present barley varieties impractical either for grain or forage.
Rye (late fall and early winter grazing) Florida Black, Wren's Abruzzi
(winter and spring grazing) Gator .
Oats (fall grazing) Florad .
(late fall, winter, and spring grazing) Suregrain, Floriland,-''6/,' 6;
Radar 2 and Radar 1 '
Wheat (not generally recommended for grazing) Coastal, Bledsoe, or'
Wakeland will provide some late winter and spring grazing.
For ?rain production
Oats Florad, Suregrain, Moregrain, Radar 1, Radar 2, Floriland.
Rye not generally recommended for feed grain production but Gator
would be the preferred variety for grain production due to its
good grain quality and yield.
Wheat -Wakeland, Ga. 1123, Bledsoe, Coastal.
As dual-purpose crow
Oats Suregrain, Floriland, Radar 2, Radar 1.
To assist in the selection of a desirable variety for specific conditions,
a description of some common varieties is included along with table 1 showing
Gator.- A medium early variety with semi-winter growth habit. Some
mildew and leaf rust resistance. Superiority of gator is best shown in years
when these diseases are prevalent. Non-uniformity of plant types is quite notice-
able from time plants start to joint until variety is full head. Kernels are
plump and light in color. Straw is tall but stiff and grain yields are good.
Produces an abundance of vegetative growth for grazing over a longer period of
time than provided by other varieties.
Florida Black.-A very early maturing variety with an upright growth habit.
Rather susceptible to leaf rust and mildew. Kernels are small and range from very
dark to medium light in color. Grain yield is good with slightly better test
weight than Gator. Makes more early growth than Gator but over-all forage produc-
tion is less and spring grazing period is shorter.
Wren's Abruzzi.- A medium early variety with upright growth type. Much
susceptibility to mildew and leaf rust in the variety. Grain is light in color
and yields are low. Similar to Florida Black in that will produce an abundance
of early forage but will provide grazing slightly later in spring than Florida
Explorer.- A medium late semi-winter type with fair leaf rust resistance.
Rather susceDtible to mildew. Grain yield usually low. Provides grazing during
same season as Gator but usually in lesser amounts.
Suregrain.- A medium early, hardy, high tillering variety with
intermediate growth habit. Good forage producer during winter and spring.
Susceptible only to rare races of crown rust and resistant to Victoria blight,
culm rot, and smut. Short stiff straw with kernel that is light in color, plump
and free of awns. High test weight and yield. An excellent dual-purpose oat if
both pasture and grain is needed.
Moreerain.- A variety similar in most ways to Suregrain. In Florida
tests, however, it has been slightly more susceptible to crown rust and lodging
and has produced slightly less forage. Grain yield and quality is good.
Floriland.- An early, high tillering variety with semi-winter growth
habit. Excellent forage producer during winter and spring. Susceptible to some
new races of crown rust but resistant to other races as well as Victoria blight
and culm rot. Kernels are red, medium plump, awned, and have basal hairs which
results in relatively low test weight. Grain yields are fair.
Florad.- A very early variety with an erect type of growth and low
tillering potential. Makes more vigorous early growth but less spring growth
than Floriland. More susceptible to cold damage than Floriland but sufficiently
hardy for Florida if properly managed. Due to the rapid growth and possibility
of damage from late spring freezes when seeded early and not grazed, do not seed
solely for grain production until late November or December. Straw is tall but
stiff. Resistance to crown rust, as well as other common diseases, best available
in a commercially adapted variety. Kernels are light reddish-yellow in color,
plump, awned (usually thresh off), and normally free of basal hairs. Test weight
and yield usually high.
Radar 1.- An early. dual-purpose oat variety that makes a semi-erect
growth and produces an abundance of winter and spring forage. Short, stiff straw
with relatively plump kernels of a uniform golden yellow color. Susceptible to a
few new races of crown rust but resistant to most rust as well as smut, Victoria
blight, and culm rot. Good yield and test weight.
Radar 2.- A sister variety to Radar 1 with similar disease reaction and
yield potential. Slightly taller, larger kernels, and produces slightly more
forage than Radar 1. Kernels range in color from light yellow through white.
Slightly superior to Radar 1 for grazing. Both Radar varieties are susceptible
Red Rustproof #14.- A tall, late variety with winter growth habit. Is
rustproof only in sense it is a late ruster and may escape some damage. Quite
resistant to Victoria blight and culm rot. Kernels are red, slender, and awned
with basal hairs and sucker mouth. Produces an abundance of very late forage.
Grain yields are quite variable and straw is very weak.
Arlington and VictorRrain 48-93.- Not dependable varieties in North
Florida because of susceptibility to Victoria blight and prevalent races of crqwn
Wakeland.- Matures earlier than Bledsoe with much shorter straw. Has
semi-winter growth habit. Resistant to mildew and prevalent leaf rust races but
susceptible to soilborne mosaic. Usually yields slightly higher than Bledsoe
with high test weight.
Georgia 1123.- Moderately short straw, awnlets, early maturing with
resistance to leaf rust, hessian fly, and soilborne mosaic. Moderately susceptible
to mildew. Kernels harder than the standard soft variety, Chancellor, and tends to
be slightly lower than Bledsoe in test weight. Heads appear less numerous than
Bledsoe but yields are comparable.
Bledsoe.- A very tall but relatively stiff strawed variety. Semi-winter
type of growth and medium early maturity. Moderately resistant to mildew and
soilborne mosaic but moderately susceptible to some new races of leaf rust.
Consistently yields toward top of variety tests with high test weight.
Coastal.- A medium tall, stiff strawed variety that is somewhat tolerant
to leaf rust and mildew. Growth is more upright than Bledsoe with a more abundant
early growth. Yield and test weight comparable to Bledsoe with grain of good
Anderson and Chancellor.- Not dependable varieties in North Florida
because of late maturity and disease susceptibility.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR GROWING SMALL GRAIN
Date of seeding.- Seed oats for grazing between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.
Do not seed rye until after October 15. Good grain yields of oats and wheat may
be obtained from seedlings made from November until late December.
Seeding.- Use clean, viable seed of a recommended variety and sow on a
clean, well-orepared seedbed. Seed treatment with Ceresan M or Delsan will reduce
damage from seedling diseases.
Rate of seedin.e- If early grazing is desired 3 to 4 bushels of oats
per acre should be seeded. Two bushels is adequate for grain production or when
seeding a high tillering variety for late grazing. Seed most rye varieties at
rate of 11 to 2 bushels per acre although 1 bushel is adequate of a small seeded
variety like Florida Black. From 1 to 11 bushels per acre of wheat should be
seeded depending upon seed size.
Fertilization.- Apply 400-500 pounds per acre of 4-12-12 or a similar
fertilizer at time of seeding. For grain production topdress with 24 to 32
pounds of nitrogen per acre when grain is 8 to 10 inches tall. For grazing apply
60 to 80 pounds of nitrogen per acre preferably in split applications. A soil
test should be taken to determine needs of other elements.
Harvesting.- Do not graze until 6 to 8 inches tall. Do not overgraze.
Rotational grazing will utilize growth most efficiently. Rye must be kept grazed
or the forage will become stemmy and unpalable. For hay, cut in soft dough stage.
When grain is combined, do not attempt to store grain containing over 12-13%
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