Wild Oat

Pest: Wild Oat (Avena fatua)

Pest Type: Weed, grass

Major Identifying Features: Elongating first internode and coleoptile, no auricles, counterclockwise twist of the leaf blade, seeds are yellowish white to grey, brown or black, seeds have hair at the base

Life Cycle: Winter annual, reproduces from seed, germinates when temperatures are cool, can be dormant to up to 6 years

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Difficult because it has delayed germination, it shatters its seeds before most crops are harvested, its growth habitat is similar to that of wheat, barley, and domesticated oats

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Widespread in California in most grasslands, sandy/poor soils on road verges

Damage Information: Replaces native perennial grasses, very competitive with our food crops

Management Options: Early identification, prevention by buying uncontaminated crop seeds, cleaning machinery and equipment, cleaning field-run seed, cultural control by roguing the field, rotating crops, grazing-out infested small fields, seeding late in fall, producing strong and competitive crop





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