Nothing fishy about Bass Oats

Howard Schaefer, Marenbah NSW

When graziers, Howard Schaefer and son Tommy, were looking for early, quick feed on their farm at Marenbah, east of Guyra, Bass forage oats proved to be the perfect catch.

Bass, a forage oat, is suitable for early sowings on the higher tablelands, providing good quality feed for fattening stock when most pastures are still dormant.

In early February, after a prolonged dry period, the Schaefers planted 16 ha of Bass forage oats to provide some quick feed for their 600 first cross lambs.

“We planted dry into a fallowed paddock. Seed was direct drilled with a tyned combine reasonably deep to chase the moisture. A tyned machine was used as discs couldn’t get into the ground.” When graziers, Howard 

Tom and Howard Schaefer in their crop of Bass oats. Photo taken early October.
Tom and Howard Schaefer in their crop of Bass oats. Photo taken early October.

“With virtually no rain from late January to early May, we were very surprised at how tough this variety is.”

Bass has a strong winter growth habit, making it highly suitable for early sowing, without running to head too early.

“The lambs grazed the oats over winter for 6-8 weeks, followed by 250 steers for 3 weeks.” Howard said.

He continued “we shut up the paddock in early September and made hay about mid-November” producing over 300 bales of good quality hay, that made up nice 3x3 bales.

Bass forage oats are tolerant to Barley Yellow Dwarf virus (BYDV), lowering the impact of this disease which is spread by aphids, important in early sown forage oat varieties.

The Schaefer’s used the Bass oats as part of a clean-up phase in their pasture management system.

Share this page