It is well known to farmers that the oat plant is more sensitive to the moisture condition of the soil than are many of the other farm crops. For this reason oats find favor as an irrigated crop, since under irrigation the supply of water can be so easily controlled.
In order to secure the best results, it becomes necessary to know as much as possible about the moisture requirements of the various crops that are to be irrigated. This is particularly true of oats on account of their sensitiveness. The farmer should know at which period in the life of the plant it requires moisture as well as the approximate total water requirements for the growing season.
It is impossible to give any definite rules that would apply for the irrigation of any crop under all conditions. The kind of soil, the rainfall, the temperature, the winds, and several other factors must be considered in deciding when to irrigate and how much water to apply. It is not supposed that the experiments reported in this bulletin can be taken as the last word under all conditions; they must simply be used as a guide to help the farmer in working out methods of irrigating for the conditions in which he finds himself. The experiments, it is believed, show some fundamental characters of the oat plant, the knowledge of which should be helpful no matter in what situation the farmer finds himself.
Harris, F. S. and Pittman, D. W., "Bulletin No. 167 - The Irrigation of Oats" (1919). UAES Bulletins. Paper 133.