Winter oats are generally grown between latitudes of 20’ to 40’ north. Oat grains are sown in the winter and ripened in the fields by the summer sun. The oats are then harvested when fully ripe in the autumn.
One can easily recognize oats from other grain crops such as wheat and barley, by the way the grains appear in clusters called "panicles" on tall graceful stems.
The crop is adaptable to many soil types, produces better on acid soils than other small grains and grows successfully on the leached, acid podzolic of humid, cool regions.
A typical oat plant grows to around 90cm (3ft) high and each stem generally carries about twenty to twenty-five grains.
Each panicle carries two or three grains and each grain is covered by a outer husk that helps protect it all the way to the mill. These oat grains are the raw material used to produce oatmeal and a variety of oat-based products.
Part of the oats crop is used for human food, the best quality of oats being ground into oatmeal or manufactured into rolled oats and proprietary breakfast foods, but their main use is as animal feed, the bulk of the crop being consumed on the farms where it is grown. Growing oats in United States