What is oats - a complete description and biological characteristics

Oats are a widely used grain crop in agriculture. It is cultivated all over the world - from Russia to the USA and Australia. Oat grains are used in cooking and medicine, as livestock feed, green manure and natural fertilizer.

What is oats

Oats - an annual crop of the Cereals family (Bluegrass, Real cereals)... It has been widely used in agriculture for several thousand years. It earned its popularity due to its adaptability to various natural conditions and a high content of nutrients.

Important! It is the most cold-resistant crop among cereals. Oat seeds can germinate at a temperature of + 1 ... + 2 ° С, and crops can withstand frosts down to -9 ° С.

The culture belongs to the early... The homeland of oats is the northeastern province of China and Mongolia.

Winter or spring oats are planted in the fields.

What is oats - a complete description and biological characteristics

Winter oats

Valuable grain sideral, cold-tolerant food grain... In central Russia, sowing begins in early September. The seeding depth is 3.5 cm. Consumption - 14 g per 1 sq. m. When the plants reach 30-40 cm, they are covered with a layer of mulch. Harvesting occurs when the plant reaches 60 cm in height.

Spring oats

Herbaceous annual plant... In central Russia, sowing begins in mid-May. Due to its strong stem, suitable for planting with climbing legumes. The seeds must be lowered to a depth of 4-5 cm. Oats ripen unevenly, therefore, harvesting occurs when 60% of the grains are in waxy ripeness. It is not recommended to sow the plant in the same place for two consecutive years - this leads to low yields due to diseases and depleted soil.

Reference. The Russian Federation is the leader in oat growing. The area occupied by it is 8.5 million hectares.

Biological and morphological features

Oats consists of root, stem, leaves and panicle... The stem is straight, thin, straw. Long leaves, pointed at the ends, are alternately located along the stem.

What is oats - a complete description and biological characteristicsWhat is the inflorescence of common and seed oats? In both cultures, it is called a panicle. Consists of large hanging spikelets with 2-3 flowers... The lower floral scales are incised at the apex, two-spine or two-dentate, with a strong spine on the back, less often without an awn. Hairy ovary at the apex. The oat fruit is a weevil, pubescent over the entire surface.

The root system is fibrous type, well developed and can penetrate into the soil to a depth of 120 cm... It has the ability to assimilate poorly soluble elements from the soil well. About 80-90% of oat rhizomes are located in the arable layer. The surface of the system is increased due to the large number of root hairs.

The culture is undemanding to heat. Already + 1 ... + 2 ° С is enough for the seeds to germinate... The period from sowing to germination depends on the temperature and is 20 days at + 5 ° С and a week at + 15 ° С. It is good if for the period of germination and the beginning of booting, the air temperature is + 12 ... + 16 ° С, and during the period of flowering and filling of grains - no more than + 22 ° С.

Attention!Young seedlings are able to withstand frosts down to -8 ° C, but during the flowering period, a temperature of -2 ° C is already capable of destroying the plant.

Due to the fact that the root system develops quickly and absorbs moisture from the soil powerfully, oats are more resistant to spring drought.than barley and spring wheat. On the contrary, it tolerates summer droughts worse. Temperature + 38 ... + 40 ° С is already fatal for him.

Oats are not picky about the soil, but still sod-podzolic sandy loam and light loams are preferable for its cultivation.... This is due to the fact that a large amount of oxygen is required for the normal development of the root system. The root system of oats has a high absorbency due to the large number of root hairs that are highly active. They occupy 90% of the entire surface of the root system.

For good growth and full development, oats require potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen.... The need for phosphorus is greatest in the early stages of development and growth. Potassium is essential at all stages.

Oats are a long day plant... At the initial stage, a little light is enough for him. During the flowering phase, the duration of daylight should be at least 13 hours per day. Failure to do so will result in the oats continuing to grow, but the flowering period will not come. In the future, for normal development, it is important that daylight hours are from 14 to 16 hours. At the end of fruiting, further growth does not depend on the length of daylight hours.

What is oats - a complete description and biological characteristics

Chemical composition of grain

The chemical composition of the grains depends on the variety and growing conditions... Average indicators:

  • 9-19.5% proteins;
  • 65-89% carbohydrates;
  • 3-12% fat;
  • 0.5-2% disaccharides;
  • 10-15% fiber;
  • 8-12% hemicellulose;
  • 0.15-0.2% monosaccharides;
  • 33-45% starch.


  • 355 mg potassium;
  • 340 mg phosphorus;
  • 130 mg magnesium;
  • 80 mg calcium;
  • 8 mg sodium;
  • 5.8 mg iron;
  • 3.2 mg zinc;
  • 3.1 mg manganese;
  • 0.42 mg copper;
  • 7 mcg of selenium.

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  • 2400 mcg niacin (B3);
  • 960 mcg vitamin B6;
  • 840 mcg vitamin E;
  • 710 μg of pantothenic acid (B5);
  • 675 μg thiamine (B1);
  • 170 mcg riboflavin (B2);
  • 35 mcg of folic acid.

Amino acids:

  • 1020 mg leucine;
  • 850 mg arginine;
  • 790 mg valine;
  • 700 mg phenylalanine;
  • 560 mg isoleucine;
  • 550 mg lysine;
  • 490 mg threonine;
  • 450 mg tyrosine;
  • 270 mg histidine;
  • 230 mg methionine;
  • 190 mg tryptophan.

About calories: the most nutritious unprocessed grains. They contain 389 kcal per 100 g. Instant oat flakes - 369 kcal. Long-term oatmeal (62 kcal) and oat bran (40 kcal) are considered the lowest in calories.

What is oats - a complete description and biological characteristics

Shelf life and storage conditions

Oats retain their sowing qualities for 3 years under optimal storage conditions... Germination can last up to 7-10 years, but every year it decreases by 1%. It is not recommended to store oats for processing for more than 1.5 years.

After harvesting and threshing, the grain is delivered to grain drying complexes, where it is dried and filtered. Due to this, grain moisture does not exceed 12-14%. Then the grain is cooled to + 10 ... + 15 ° С.

Oats are stored in a dry, clean granary with good ventilation... Storage takes place not only dry but also chilled or sealed. This allows you to suspend the internal processes of seeds and extend their life.


Oats are an unpretentious plant that is considered the leader among cereals in terms of the content of vitamins and amino acids. No wonder this grain crop was one of the most important for our ancestors. And dishes made from oatmeal have been the basis of the diet of the population of Russia for many centuries.

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