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ISSN : 1598-5504(Print)
ISSN : 2383-8272(Online)
Journal of Agriculture & Life Science Vol.52 No.6 pp.61-72
DOI : https://doi.org/10.14397/jals.2018.52.6.61

# Enhancing Seed Productivity and Feed Value of Oats (Avena sativa L.) with Different Seeding Rate and Nitrogen Fertilizing Levels in Gyeongbuk Area

Byamungu Mayange Tomple, Jo Ik Hwan
Department of Animal Resources, College of Life and Environmental Science, Daegu University, Gyeongsan, 38453, Korea
*Corresponding author: Jo Ik Hwan
Tel: +82-10-3799-6725
Fax: +82-53-850-6729
August 21, 2018 November 13, 2018 November 28, 2018

## Abstract

The aim of this present study was to investigate the impact of different seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizing levels on the seed yield and feed value of oats(Avena sativa L.) grown in Gyeongbuk area for two years. The experiment was arranged in split plot design with 3 main plots(100, 130 and 160 kg of seed/ha) and 4 subplots(0, 50, 70 and 90 kg N/ha), with 3 replicates. Heading, flowering, and maturing dates of oats sown in spring 2017, delayed by two days compared to that of spring 2016, and the plant height of spring 2017 were significantly shorter than that of spring 2016(18.1 ~ 23.4 cm). In addition, the highest number of stems and number of panicles according to different seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizing levels were achieved with the seeding rate of 160 kg/ha and 90 kg of N/ha in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In case of seed yield as affected by different seeding rate, the highest seed yield was achieved with a seeding rate of 130 kg/ha(p<0.05), and based on nitrogen fertilizing levels, the highest yield was obtained in 50 kg of N/ha compared to others. The crude fiber(CF), neutral detergent fiber(NDF) and total digestible nutrients(TDN) of oats cultivated and harvested in spring 2016 and 2017 according to different sowing rate were the highest in the seeding rate of 130 kg/ha. The crude protein(CP) content and total digestible nutrients(TDN) of 2016-2017 as influenced by nitrogen fertilizer levels were the highest in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 90 and 50 kg N/ha, respectively. In conclusion, the proper seeding rate and the optimal nitrogen fertilizing level in Gyeongju, Gyeongbuk province were considered to be the most appropriate in 130 kg/ha and 50 kg of N/ha, respectively.

## 초록

Daegu University

## Introduction

In Korea, the number of cattle population has increased(~2.67 million) and are widespread throughout the country but two major southern provinces(Gyeongbuk and Jeonnam) are found most abundant and play a leading role in the domestic production of beef in Korea(KOSTAT, 2015). This rapid growth in the animal industry is due to an increasing demand for animal products as GDP per capita has improved from $22,086.95 in 2010 to$27,538.81 in 2016(World Bank, 2016).

For these facts, improvement of self-sufficiency rate and continuous improvement of productivity to meet the demand of forage has important significance to reduce production cost and secure competitiveness for domestic livestock farmers who depend on forage import and forage production.

To increase self-sufficiency and a stable production, it is necessary to develop a technology for the domestic production of oat seed. In cultivation, oat is a lowinput crop that positively contributes to soil health especially in crop rotation systems by improving soil structure and reducing crop pests(Marinus et al., 2018).

In many countries, oats are used primarily as a feed grain and also as an additional source of energy for animals. About 90% of its production has been used for livestock feeds because it grows fast, has a high dry matter yield, feed value and greater preference for livestock(Han et al., 2010). The chemical composition of oats is well balanced, nutritionally valuable and safe for animal nutrition. Oats can be used for both ruminants and monogastric animals because of its fiber content which is greater than in all other cereal grains(Stein et al., 2016).

Cho et al.(2002) reported that seed yield of oats increased with increasing seeding rate and Mohler et al.(2001) found out that increasing seeding rate of a crop almost always increases crop yield and reduces weed biomass. The application of nitrogen fertilizer will increase oat protein content but too much uptake of nitrogen can injure oat and too little can reduce yield. Chalmers et al.(1998) reported that the nitrogen content increased with augmentation of nitrogen fertilizer, but the grain nitrogen offtake level did not increase above a certain level.

The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of different seeding rate and nitrogen fertilization levels on the seed yield and nutritional value of oats in Gyeongbuk.

## Materials and Methods

### 1 Location of study

This experiment was conducted at Gyeongju site in Gyeongbuk Province of South Korea. Gyeongju city has geological coordinates latitude: 35°50'59.99'' N and Longitude: 129°12'60.00'' E.

### 2 Climate characteristics of the research site

The average temperature and rainfall data during the experimental period are given in Table 1. The average temperature was slightly higher in 2017 than the average temperature in 2016. It is believed that the higher is the temperature, the more favourable it is for the faster growth of oats. During the test period, the precipitation and the amount of sunshine in 2016 increased 162.5 mm and 355.0 MJ/m2 respectively, compared to 2017; and 2016 was judged to be more favourable for the growth of oats. However, it does not seem to have a significant effect on the growth of spring oats.

### 3 Survey items

The growth surveys were conducted according to the standardization of research survey on agricultural science and technology(RDA, 2012). The plant height was measured from the soil at its base to the highest point reached with all parts in their natural position and the stem length was measured from the soil to the neck of the plant. The panicle length was measured from the neck to the end of the ears, the total number of stems whose leaves grew more than 1 cm was measured. The kernel weights were measured by weighing the number of grains(ea/spike). The immatured kernel weights were measured by weighing seeds passed through 1.8 mm stocks in m2 harvested samples. The liter weight of seed was measured using a 1 liter of seed measuring instrument from which the immatured kernel was removed. 1,000 grains were measured in the seedlings from which the immatured kernel was removed. Seed yield after harvesting was calculated by multiplying the yield per hectare and moisture content(14%).

### 4 Physicochemical properties of soil in the experimental site

The soil in this study was a mixture of sand and mud and its physicochemical properties are shown in Table 2. The soil was sampled on the field and placed in the oven for physicochemical properties experiments. After laboratory parameters, we found out that in 2017, the pH, OM, EC, T-N and available P2O5 were higher than the physicochemical properties of 2016. On the other hand, the concentrations of calcium, potassium and magnesium ions were 4.9, 0.66 and 1.28 cmol/kg in 2016, respectively, and slightly increased to 7.4, 1.7 and 2.93 cmol+/kg in 2017, respectively.

### 5 Experimental treatments

The experiment was carried out for 2 years from 2016 to 2017 under a split-plot design with 3 main plots and 4 sub-plots. Oats were evaluated under 3 main plot treatments with 3 replicates: treatment 1; seeding rate of 100 kg/ha, treatment 2; seeding rate of 130 kg/ha and treatment 3; seeding rate of 160 kg/ha. Four nitrogen fertilizing levels were evaluated under 4 main sub-plots with 3 replicates: 0(control), 50, 70 and 90 kg N/ha.

### 6 Land preparation and seeding period

The field was divided into 3 plots; each plot contains 3 treatments(seeding rate), and within each treatment, we applied 4 different nitrogen fertilizing levels. The planting density was 125 cm2(25 cm × 5 cm), according to the standard application rate of oats. The seeding period was performed on 29th February 2016 and 28th February 2017 and the harvest was carried out on 28th June 2016 and 21st June 2017.

### 7 Chemical composition Analysis

Samples were taken from each test section and dried in a 70 ℃ circulating air dryer for 72 hours or more and then weighed after drying. The obtained samples were first crushed by an electric mixer and then passed through a 2.0 mm standard, which was placed in a plastic sample storage bottle and the amount required for the experiment was used for sampling and analysis. The chemical composition analysis was performed according to scientific methods of AOAC(2000). The crude protein content was determined through Kjeldahl digestion method using quantitative determination of organic nitrogen. Fiber analysis like neutral detergent fiber(NDF) and acid detergent fiber(ADF) was made by Van-Soest(1991) method and the total digestible nutrients(TDN) were calculated by following formula of Linn & Martin(1989).

### 8 Statistical Analysis

The data collected were analyzed by using SAS program(version 9.1; SAS Institute Inc.; Cary, NC) and the significant differences among the treatment were determined at 5% probability level by using least significant difference(LSD).

## Results and Discussion

### 1 Effect of seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizing levels on the emergence date, emergence rate, lodging rate, heading date, flowering date and maturing date

Table 3 shows the growth state as influenced by different seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizer levels. The seeding rate and nitrogen fertilization did not affect the emergence date and degree, and lodging degree of oats. However, in spring 2017 the maturing, flowering and maturing date delayed by two days compared to that of spring 2016. Weather conditions during the growing season(spring 2016 and 2017) seemed to influence the effects of delay in the growth state of oats. The number of days from heading to flowering period and from flowering period to maturing period was 10 and 12 days, respectively.

### 2 Plant height, culm length, panicle length, number of culm, number of panicle, effective culm as affected by different seeding rate

Table 4 shows the agricultural characteristics of oats as influenced by different seeding rate(100, 130 and 160 kg/ha). The plant height of spring 2017 was significantly shorter than that of spring 2016(18.1 ~ 23.4 cm), this may be due to the precipitation which was absolutely low during the growing season of 2017. The 2-year average plant height, culm length and panicle length of oats were decreased as the sowing rate increased. Our findings are in agreement with the results of Peltonen-Sainio & Jarvinen(1995) who reported that plant height of oats(semi-dwarf line) decreased from 118 cm to 113 cm in 1991 with increasing seeding rate but this affirmation was in contradiction with the findings of Joo(2016) who reported that the plant height of oats tended to increase as the seeding rate increased, but the plant height tended to decrease again when the seeding rate was over 130 kg/ha. In the study of Cho et al.(2002), the plant height tended to increase as the seeding rate increased, but the plant height tended to decrease again when the seeding rate was over 150 kg/ha. This clearly did not occur within the present experiment, as the seeding rate increased, the plant height tended to decrease. The decrease of plant height and culm length as we increased seeding rate, may be due to the fact that plants did not have enough space or environment to grow up properly.

The number of culm and panicle of oats as affected by different seeding rate in spring 2016, 2017 and 2-year average tended to increase as the seeding rate increased and the highest number of culm and panicle were achieved with sowing rate of 160 kg/ha(p<0.05). The effective culm of oats was not significant difference between all treatments(p>0.05).

### 3 Plant height, culm length, panicle length, number of culm, number of panicle, effective culm as affected by different fertilizer levels

Table 5 shows the agricultural characteristics of oats as influenced by different nitrogen fertilizer levels of 0, 50 70 and 90 kg N/ha. In 2016, 2017 and 2-year average, the highest plant height was observed in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 90 kg N/ha which was 129.7, 96.5 and 108.6 cm, respectively (p<0.05). Similar findings were reported by Mohr et al.(2007), where plant height typically increased with the application of 90 kg N ha-1 and Bilal et al. (2017) clearly indicated that plant height was most responsive to nitrogen application and each successive increase in nitrogen dose significantly produced taller plants. The 2-year average of culm and panicle length was significantly higher in the nitrogen fertilizer application amount of 90 kg N/ha and 50 kg N/ha, respectively. In 2016, 2017 and 2-year average, the number of stem and panicle, and effective culm showed that as the nitrogen fertilizer increased, the number of culm and panicle, and effective culm also increased(p<0.05).

Gasim(2001) indicated that the increase in plant height and stem length with nitrogen fertilizer is due to the fact that nitrogen promotes plant growth, increases the number of internodes and length of internodes which results in the progressive increase in plant height.

### 4 Effect of seeding rate on the yield components and seed yield of oats

Table 6 shows the yield components and seed yield of oats as affected by different seeding rate of 100, 130 and 160 kg/ha. The highest number of grain and kernel weight of oats in spring 2016, 2017 and 2-year average was achieved with sowing rate of 100 kg/ha (p<0.05). In this experiment, as the seeding rate increased, the number of grain per spike area decreased. This is supported by the findings of Peltonen- Sainio & Jarvinen(1995) with oat at high altitude who reported that increases seeding rate resulted in fewer grains per panicle. The decrease of grain as we increased sowing rate, may be due to the fact that plants did not have enough space or environment to grow up properly. Lloveras et al.(2004) and Otteson et al.(2007) pointed out that kernel weight was significantly affected by environment and variety, but not by seeding rate. The fertilizing rate of oats in 2016, 2017 and 2-year average as affected by different seeding rate was not significant difference between all treatments(p>0.05). In spring 2017, the highest liter and 1,000-kernel weight of oats were achieved with the seeding rate of 160 kg/ha(p<0.05). In this study, the 1,000-kernel weight of oat tended to increase as the seeding rate increased. This is supported by the findings of Veselinka et al.(2013) who found out that higher sowing rate resulted in increasing of 1000- kernel weight. On the other hand, there are results showing that higher seeding rate decreased 1000-kernel weight(Laghari et al., 2011). The 2-year average of the liter, 1,000-kernel weight and immatured kernel weight of oats were not different between all treatments (p>0.05). The grain yield of oats cultivated and harvested in spring 2016 and 2017 as affected by seeding rate was not significant difference between all treatments(p>0.05). The 2-year average of grain yield showed that the grain yield of oats was significantly higher in the seeding rate of 160 kg/ha(p<0.05), which was 4,212 kg/ha. In the previous study, Zhou et al.(1998) found that seed yield increases with increasing seeding amounts. Our findings are in total agreement with these results of Zhou et al.(1998). The results are also in line with the findings of Cho et al.(2002) who reported that the seed yield of oats increased with increasing seeding rate. However, in this study, there was no significant difference between sowing rate of 130 and 160 kg/ha, thus to avoid wastage of resources, the sowing rate of 130 kg/ha is proper sowing rate in Gyeongbuk area.

### 5 Effect of fertilizer level on the yield, yield components and seed yield

Table 7 shows the yield components and seed yield of oats as affected by nitrogen fertilizer levels of 0, 50 70 and 90 kg N/ha. In spring 2016 the highest number of grain and kernel weight was observed in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 90 kg N/ha (p<0.05), whereas in 2017 the highest number of grain and kernel weight was observed in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 50 kg N/ha. Our findings are in partial agreement with previous studies of Mohr et al. (2007) who reported that increasing rates of nitrogen fertilizer resulted in a statically significant linear decline in kernel weight. This is also supported by the findings of Walter et al.(1995) with malting barley that in all experiments, N fertilizer applied, resulted in increases in the number of kernels per spike of 30% to 100% above those of unfertilized plots. Spring 2017 and the 2-year average of fertilizing rate was significantly higher in control compared to other treatments. In spring 2017, the highest liter weight and 1,000-kernel weight of oats were observed in nitrogen fertilizer level of 50 kg N/ha and 90 kg N/ha, respectively. The highest immatured kernel weight of oats was observed in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 90 kg N/ha(p<0.05).

The grain yield of oats cultivated and harvested in spring 2016 was slightly higher in the nitrogen fertilizer level of 50 kg N/ha, which was 4,900 kg/ha but the grain yield of oats in spring 2017 was no significant difference between all the nitrogen fertilizer levels(p>0.05); and The 2-year average of grain yield of oats increased as we increased nitrogen fertilizer level from control to 50 kg of N/ha, but decreased significantly when we increased nitrogen fertilizer application amount from 50 kg N/ha to 70 kg N/ha. This is supported by the findings of Chalmers et al. (1998) who reported that the nitrogen content increased with augmentation of nitrogen fertilizer, but the grain nitrogen offtake level did not increase above a certain level.

The increase of grain yield as we increased the dose of nitrogen in this study is due to the fact that the additional uptake of nitrogen by the plant will stimulate growth through high rates of photosynthesis.

### 6 Feed value(chemical composition, %) of oats

Table 8 shows the chemical composition of oats as influenced by seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizer levels. The chemical composition of oats is well balanced, nutritionally valuable and safe for animals nutritions(Welch, 1995). The crude protein content is one of the most important parameters affecting the nutritional value of fodder crops(Ahmad et al., 2011) and the average crude protein content of 2016-2017 was 11.38, 13.39, 13.75 and 13.72, 12.03, 12.85, 14.05 and 14.62, 12.14, 13.39, 13.40 and 13.91, respectively.

The highest among the treatments were found as we increased the dose of nitrogen. This affirmation has also been confirmed by Welch(1995) who found out that the application of nitrogen fertilizer will increase oat protein content and Ahmad et al.(2011) reported that crude protein was affected significantly by different source of fertilizers. Similarly, Bilal et al.(2017) reported that the crude protein was increased with subsequent increase in nitrogen from 0 to 120 kg N/ha.

The EE, CP, CA, ADF and NDF content were significantly different between the control and the application of the different level of nitrogen. The TDN content was the highest in seeding rate of 130 kg/ha and the nitrogen fertilizer level of 50 kg N/ha. The CP, CP, CA and NDF content of oats varieties typically vary between 12-17, 7-17, 2-5 and 25-45%, respectively.

## Acknowledgement

This research was supported by Daegu University Research Grant, 2016.

## Table

The mean temperature and rainfall data during the experimental period(2016-2017)

Soil properties of the experimental site

Effect of seeding rate and nitrogen fertilizer levels on the growth state of oats

Agricultural characteristics of spring oat as affected by different sowing rate

Agricultural characteristics of oats as influenced by different nitrogen fertilizer application amounts

Yield components and seed yield of spring oats as affected by different sowing rate

Yield components and seed yield of oats as affected by nitrogen fertilizer application amounts

CP, EE, CF, CA, ADF, NDF, TDN of oats as influenced by sowing rate and nitrogen fertilizer application amount(2016-2017)

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