Oats are grown throughout on both dry and irrigated land. Best yields are obtained in regions with cool temperatures and adequate moisture. Hot, dry weather, when the crop is filling, frequently results in poorly filled kernels and low yield. For good kernel development, oats need more growing season moisture than any other small grain.
Consequently, oats produce best when seeded on the heavier clay-loam soils. Oat yields in excess of 100 bushels per acre frequently occur with timely irrigation and with recommended fertility treatments. Silt and clay-loam soils having good moisture retention ability are best for oat production. Sandy soils, coarse textured soils, or soils with a shallow surface are not desirable for oats.
Oats may be more tolerant of poorer soil conditions, and successful production requires management practices that conserve and store soil moisture. The alluvial river valley soils are well adapted to oats. Oats are not tolerant of salty, saline or alkali conditions and production should not be attempted when such conditions predominate.