Wild Oats in Cereal Oats

Farmer planted certified Jerry oats in ~5 acre field. Oats have been grown in this field for the last 6 years. Recently notice a large patch 40′ x 150′ that had much taller oats, with more open and larger seed heads. The oats in question appear to be wild oats, and did appeared both in the planted row and in between planted rows. This is the first time the farmer has seen this and I have not observed wild oats in the area before either. Given the fact that this is the only field on the farm with wild oats, what is the chance that is came in on the purchased seed (South Dakota Certified Seed)? What control options would be recommended to reducing wild oats on the farm in the future?

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  1. Yes, this is wild oat, characterized by the taller height, lighter green color (not bluish), and long dark awns that will twist off to the side when they are mature. Wild oat will shatter before the rest of the oats are harvested so it’s seed will be returned to the soil. Regarding the source, South Dakota certified seed allows upto 1 wild oat seed per pound of oats. So, the potential for an earlier planting of certified oats may have been the original source. After a couple years of seed production without being a noticeable problem, it could expand into what is seen this year. In regards to management, some oat seed will be spread with the combine, so combine this area last. Rotating the field to corn (atrazine, Accent, etc. glyphosate) soybean (glyphosate or post grass herbicides), or alfalfa (Poast, Select, or normal harvesting) will allow many excellent options to control the wild oats. Wild oat seed has a moderate amount of dormancy (in the 7 year range), so it will take more than a couple years to clean this up. When tame oats are grown in the future, there are no herbicides to control wild oats in tame oats. When the oats start to head out, the grower could hand rogue the wild oats out of this small of area when he grows oats again after rotating to another crop for a couple years.

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