Influence of time of emergence on the growth and development of wild oat (Avena fatua)

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Successful control of wild oat in cereal crops requires an accurate prediction of the developmental stages of wild oat plants that emerged during the growing season. The main objective of this research was to evaluate wild oat growth and to predict the phyllochron of wild oat plants that emerge at various times in the Red River Valley region of Minnesota and North Dakota. Field experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 in Crookston, MN, and Fargo, ND. Four emergence cohorts were established in 4 successive wk. Research plots were arranged in randomized complete blocks with six replications. From the naturally emerged wild oat population, 10 randomly selected plants per plot were evaluated for plant height, leaves on main stem, tillers per plant, total leaves per plant, days to flag leaf emergence and to heading, biomass per plant, and seeds per plant. Haun's numerical cereal development scale was regressed on days after emergence (DAE), day length (DL), growing degree days (GDD), or photothermal units (PTU). Wild oats that emerged first required more time for flag leaf emergence and heading, were taller, and had more biomass, leaves, tillers, and seed production than wild oat plants that emerged later. Wild oat phyllochron intervals were 5.3 d, 94 GDD, or 1,468 PTU, regardless of emergence timing. These data suggest that wild oat phyllochron is primarily driven by air temperature and is relatively stable during the extended emergence period. Later-emerging wild oat plants, although not as competitive as earlier emerging ones, still have the potential to contribute to the seed bank if left uncontrolled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalWeed Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Growing degree days
  • photothermal units
  • phyllochron


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