Wild oat is the most important weed in Argentine barley and one of the worst weeds in wheat and barley worldwide. During 1997 and 1998, field experiments were performed to determine the response of wild oat to N fertilizer at planting and at early tillering at 55 kg ha−1 with and without the use of diclofop-methyl. Seedling emergence and survival rate, individual fecundity, and preharvest seed dispersal rate of wild oat were assessed. The effect on the individual growth of wild oat was also studied. N fertilizer increased both wild oat seedling survival rate and fecundity, especially when it was applied at early tillering. However, the effect of N fertilization was negligible with diclofop-methyl treatment. In addition, the application of N fertilizer reduced the seed dispersal rate immediately before crop harvest. Quantification of the effects of each agronomic practice, such as N fertilization, is useful to develop simulation models that predict the population dynamics. When N was applied at sowing, the annual growth rate of the wild oat population was almost 25% lower than when applied at early tillering.
Nomenclature: Diclofop; wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA; barley, Hordeum vulgare L.; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.