Wild Oats

Wild Oats is also known as:
  • Oat grass
  • Poor oats
  • Wheat oats
  • Cultivated fields
Wild oats are an annual that reproduces by seed. The stems are smooth, erect and grow as high as .6 m. The leaves are similar to tame oats. The flowering part of the weed has spikelets containing 2 - 3 florets. The seeds are black, brown, grey, yellow or white. They are hairy at the base and have a circular mark at the point where the seed is attached.

Control Practices
There are a number of ways of controlling wild oats. A few options are as follows:
  • Early Cultivation and Delayed Seeding
  • Seeding Rate and Depth - Heavier seeding rates and depth can provide more competition but will not completely control the weed.
  • Post-Seeding Tillage - Rod or cable weeders work the best. Tillage is done after seeding but before sprouts are 2 cm long.
  • Fertilization - Nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer applied to a wheat crop will increase crop yield. This option works better if the wild oats are more controlled.
  • Competition - A crop like barley that has rapid growth in the early stages is a great competitor.
  • Fall Tillage - Harrowing alone is less effective than a cultivator or double disc.
  • Summerfallow - Summerfallow isn't the best way to control wild oats unless it is used in conjunction with other control methods.
  • Minimum or Zero Tillage - Reducing tillage operations or eliminating it all together has shown to significantly reduce infestations.