Yield and chemical composition of oats (Avena sativa L.), at different stages of maturity

Juan Carlos Dumont L.1 y Francisco Lanuza A.1

The changes in chemical and physical components of oats (cv. Llaofén) were studied during two years (1984/85 and 1985/86). at Remehue (INIA, Osorno). Sowing date was September 6, using a seed rate of 120 kg/ha. Fertilizers were applied at 60 kg N, 56 kg P, and 41.5 kg K/ha. Four 2 x 20 m blocks were stablished at random, within a 4 ha field. Samples were taken at weekly intervals, from November to January. The highest dry matter yield was reached at hard-milk grain stage, in the middle of January, with 13-15 ton/ha. Important changes on the leaf-stem-gra in ratio were observed. TotaI protein content decreased rapidly from 27.0%, at the leafy stage, to 9.0%, at the full-head stage, and then decreased further to 6.3%, at the hard grain stage. In vitro dry matter digestibility, declined from 87.0%, at the early leaf stage, to 51,0%, at full head, and then to 44.0% at hard-grain stage. The grains did ñot compensate for the overall reduction in quality, occuring in the late stages of maturity of the plant. The stages of development of oats are a useful indicator of the plant's nutrient contento This crop is potentially an alternative feed for animal production systems.

1 Estación Experimental Remehue (INlA), Casilla 24-0, Osorno, Chile.