Tilahun Sahlu

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dairy Science

First Advisor

Howard H. Voelker


Corn accounts for 80% of the total silage production in the United States while oats ranks second as a feed grain crop. Oats are a major crop in areas of the world where temperatures are cool and short growing seasons are not well suited for corn production. South Dakota is the leading oat producing state in the nation with 1. 68 million kilograms of oats produced annually. Oats play an important roll as animal feed because among common cereals in the United States it ranks highest in both protein and lysine content. Due to the wide genetic diversity of oat protein content, it seems possible to raise protein quantity in cultivated oat cultivars. Oat silage contains higher crude protein and a higher percent of digestible protein than corn silage, sorghum silage, and barley-pea silage. However, corn silage is superior to oat silage in total digestible nutrients (TDN) and digestible energy (17, 56, 96). The protein yield in oat groats (dehulled kernels) of Spear (Neal x Clintland 64 cross) oats is one of the highest of currently available varieties. This high average protein yield indicates a combination of high protein percent and adaption to South Dakota's environment. The grain contains 7% oil as compared to 5 or 6% for most other varieties (21, 68). In addition, Spear oat has a stiff straw and moderate rust resistance which makes it favorable to farmers who grow it for livestock feeding. Regular oatlage has been compared to corn silage by various workers at various times, but no comparison has been made between com silage and oat silage ·from high protein oat varieties. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the high protein oats variety (Spear) to corn silage as a sole forage for lactating cows.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oats -- Silage
Corn -- Silage
Proteins in animal nutrition
Dairy cattle -- Feeding and feeds


Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-40)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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