There are a wide variety of forage crops used in the United States for dairy farms. One of the most common is oat as it provides the benefit of diversifying crop rotation. In fact, over 1.3 million hectares of oat were planted in the United States with over 60 percent of the output used for forage. Similar planted areas have been reported in Brazil, China, and other countries around the world. This diversification and inclusion of oat as a forage crop has a wide range of benefits for dairy farmers and agriculture as a whole.
Adding oat to a corn/soybean rotation has been found to reduce pests and weeds in the farm and decrease diseases. It additionally can aid with sustainability efforts as these reductions in pests and weeds also decrease the need for chemical pesticides and herbicides. Oat has a wide range of uses, from human consumption to incorporation into animal rations through grain, hay, or silage.