Oat, Wheat & Barley Hay


Oat  (oht) noun

Often oats (used with a sing. or pl. verb)

Any of various grasses of the genus Avena, especially A. sativa, widely cultivated for their edible grains.

The grain of any of these plants, used as food and fodder.

Archaic. A musical pipe made of an oat straw.

[Middle English ote, from Old English te.]

Cereal plants of the genus Avenaof the family Gramineae (grass family). Most species are annuals of moist temperate regions.


The early history of oats is obscure, but domestication is considered to be recent compared to that of the other grains perhaps c.2500 BC During the Bronze Age, the time when horses were first used as draft animals, oats were widely grown in N Europe but were apparently still uncultivated by the civilizations around the Mediterranean. They have a high nutritive value, but of the oats now grown commercially, less than 5% is for human consumption, chiefly in the form of rolled oats or oatmeal for breakfast foods; they do not contain the glutinous type of protein necessary for making bread. The chief value of oats remains as a pasturage and hay crop, especially for horses. Oats are valuable also in crop rotation and have various industrial uses. Oat hulls are a source of furfural , and oat flour has been used as a food preservative in ice cream and other dairy products. Oat straw is preferred by farmers for animal bedding. Diseases such as cereal rusts and smuts (see diseases of plants ) cause a heavy annual crop loss, but disease-resistant varieties of oats are being developed. Oats rival corn and wheat as a leading grain crop in the United States (the country of highest production), Canada, N Europe, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. The common cultivated species (A. sativa), native to Eurasia, is no longer found growing wild. Like wheat, it is broadly classified into spring and winter types, depending upon the season of planting. Oats are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Gramineae.

Wheat (hweet, weet) noun

Any of various annual cereal grasses of the genus (Triticum) of the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, especially (T. aestivum), widely cultivated in temperate regions in many varieties for its commercially important edible grain.

Cultivated for food since prehistoric times by the peoples of the temperate zones and now the most important grain crop of those regions.

Wheat is a tall, annual plant attaining an average height of 1.2 m (4 ft). The leaves, which resemble those of other grasses, appear early and are followed by slender stalks terminating in spikes, or so-called ears, of grain.


Species of wheat are classified according to the number of chromosomes found in the vegetative cell.

They are divided into three series: the diploid, or einkorn, containing 14 chromosomes; the tetraploid, or emmer, containing 28 chromosomes; and the hexaploid, containing 42 chromosomes. Wheat species crossbreed relatively frequently in nature. Selection of the best varieties for domestication took place over many centuries in many regions. Today, only varieties of common, club, and durum wheats are of commercial importance, but other species are still grown to suit local conditions, and they provide essential stock for formal breeding programs.


According to the regions in which they are grown, certain types of wheat are chosen for their adaptability to altitude, climate, and yield. The common wheats grown in the former Soviet republics, the United States, and Canada are spring and winter wheats, planted either in the spring for summer harvest or in the fall for spring harvest. The color of the grain varies from one type to another; white wheats are mostly winter wheats, red are spring wheats. Closely related to the common wheats are the club wheats, which have especially compact spikes, and spelta (not grown in the United States), in which the glumes (reduced, scalelike leaves) tightly enclose the grains. Durum wheat (Latin durum, “hard”) is so called because of the hardness of the grain. It is grown in north-central regions of the United States. New high-yielding wheats were developed in the 1960s for use in developing countries, and research on them continued in the 1970s. Experimental programs have produced commercial wheat varieties for hardiness and disease resistance. In 1978 the identification of a drought-resistant, high-protein, ancestral species growing in the Middle East held promise of still more improved wheat varieties.

Diseases and Planting Methods

Diseases of wheat are connected with parasitic fungi. The principal diseases are rust and smut. Wheat is also liable to injury from several insect pests; a particularly important insect pest is the Hessian fly.

In the United States wheat is usually planted by sowing machines of the drill or broadcast type. Little cultivation is necessary beyond preparation of the land by plowing, harrowing, and, sometimes, dusting to control pests. Wheat crops are generally rotated with corn, hay, and pasture in the eastern United States and are rotated with oats and barley, or bare fallowing in the drier western regions.


The main use of wheat is in the manufacture of flour for bread and pastries. In general, hard varieties are used for bread flour and soft varieties for pastry flour. Wheat is used also in the production of breakfast foods and to a limited extent in the making of beer, whiskey, and industrial alcohol. Low grades of wheat, and by-products of the flour-milling, brewing, and distilling industries, are used as feed for livestock. A minor amount of wheat is used as a coffee substitute, especially in Europe, and wheat starch is employed as a sizing for textile fabrics.


Remains of both emmer and einkorn wheats have been found by archaeologists working on sites in the Middle East dating from the 7th millennium BC. Emmer was grown in predynastic Egypt; in prehistoric Europe it was grown in association with barley and einkorn and club wheats. Bread wheat was identified at a 6th-millennium BC site in southern Turkistan, and a hexaploid wheat was found at Knossos (Knosós) in Crete (Kríti). The cultivation of wheat in the Americas was introduced by the Spaniards in Mexico and by the English in New England and Virginia.


World output of wheat as the 1990s began was more than 590 million metric tons, an increase of about 30 percent over the average for the period 1979 to 1981. The USSR continued as the world’s leading producer, with a near-record 235 million metric tons, but as the central government broke up in 1991, production fell. China was in second place in 1990, the United States in third. Other major wheat producers are India, Canada, France, and Australia.

The leading wheat-producing states in the United States are North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, and Oklahoma. In Canada, wheat farming is centered in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.

Scientific classification: Wheat is a member of the family Poaceae (formerly Gramineae). It makes up the genus Triticum.

Bar-ley (bahr-lee) noun

A grass in the genus Hordeum, native to temperate regions, having flowers in terminal, often long-awned spikes.
The grain of H. vulgare or its varieties, used for livestock feed, malt production, and cereal.

[Middle English barli, from Old English bærlic. See bhares- in Indo-European Roots.]

Annual cereal plant (Hordeum vulgareand sometimes other species) of the family Gramineae (grass family), cultivated by man probably as early as any cereal.


It was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians and was the chief bread material in Europe as late as the 16th cent. It has a wide range of cultivation and matures even at high altitudes, since its growing period is short; however, it cannot withstand hot and humid climates. Today barley is typically a special-purpose grain with many varieties rather than a general market crop. It is a valuable stock feed (often as a corn substitute) and is used for malting when the grain is of high quality. It is a minor source of flour and breakfast foods. Pearl barley is often used in soups. In the Middle East a limited amount of barley is eaten like rice. In the United States most spring barley comes from the western states and most winter barley is grown in the southeastern states for autumn and spring pasture and as a cover crop. Barley is subject to several diseases including smut and rust. Barley is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Gramineae.

Oat Wheat & Barley  Nutritional Information
Double Compressed Oat, Wheat & Barley Bale *Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein (min)………………………….. 7.0%
Crude Fat (min)……………………………….. 1.5%
Crude Fiber (max)……………………………. 32.0%
Moisture (max)……………………………….. 14.0%