ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 104, No. 3 (2017), p. 209–218
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2017.104.027

Influence of wild oat plant density on spring wheat yield

Ieva DUDELE, Laura GAILE, Lelde STIRNA, Kaspars RANCANS, Dainis POLIS, Liene SPURINA


Wild oat (Avena fatua L.) is the most serious weed infesting cereal fields in Latvia. To predict possible yield loss at different wild oat densities field trials were established in four consecutive years, each year in a different spring wheat field in the southern part of Latvia. Growth dynamics and biomass of both crop and wild oat and grain yield were measured. Yield loss model developed by Cousens (1985) and exponential decay model were fitted to the data from each year. Grain yield and biomass of both spring wheat and wild oat significantly differed between the years. The average grain yield of spring wheat in all treatments was 4443.38–7127.02 kg ha-1. The targeted wild oat density was 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 100, 200 and 500 plants m-2. The achieved density in the field trial reached from 0 to 332–466 plants m-2. The emergence of wild oat seedlings lasted for 35 to 56 days after sowing, depending on the year. The initial hypothesis that low wild oat plant density may cause grain yield loss of spring wheat was supported by the results of the field trials. There was substantial variation in model parameters among the years of the trials, 5% yield loss was estimated to result from wild oat density ranging from 3 to 54 plants m-2 in different years. The variation of spring wheat yield loss and wild oat competitiveness might be explained by different meteorological conditions in the years 2013–2016 and different nutrient supply in the trial fields. Further research is necessary to find the most influential factors that determine yield loss caused by wild oat. The results are important to raise awareness of the harm caused by wild oat in cereals in the Baltic region.

Key words: Avena fatua, spring wheat, yield loss.

Full text: 104_3_str27.pdf