Field experiments were carried out in northern Greece during 1994, 1995, and 1996 to study the effect of nitrogen fertilization on competition between sterile oat and wheat, barley, and triticale. Dry weight of all crops was not affected until early March by sterile oats (110 plants m−2), but wheat and triticale dry weight were significantly reduced by sterile oats competition after that time. Grain yield of both wheat and triticale was equally reduced by 61% due to the presence of sterile oats, whereas the reduction for barley grain yield was 9%. Nitrogen fertilization (150 kg N ha−1) slightly increased yield of all crops grown without weed competition compared to the control (0 kg N), whereas the same treatment increased sterile oats dry weight as well as its competitive ability against wheat and triticale. Split application of nitrogen (50 kg N ha−1 before planting and 100 kg N ha−1 in early March) caused a slightly higher increase in sterile oats dry weight compared to the control or one application (150 kg N ha−1) before planting, when grown with wheat and triticale. However, dry weight of sterile oats grown with barley was severely reduced by the interference of the crop. Total nitrogen content of all crop plants grown without sterile oats increased with nitrogen fertilization compared to the control. However, total nitrogen in crop plants grown with sterile oats was reduced compared to the weed-free control; percent reduction was greater in plants grown in plots treated with nitrogen than in the control. These results indicate that barley could be used for limiting sterile oats interference in areas where winter cereals are grown; time of nitrogen application could also be used for a slight reduction of sterile oats competitive ability against wheat or triticale.
Nomenclature: Barley, Hordeum vulgare = distichum L. ‘Carina’; sterile oat, Avena sterilis L. AVEST; triticale, × Triticosecale ‘Dada’; wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘Yecora’.