Avena fatua seeds remaining on the plant at harvest and taken into the combine harvester may be dispersed over large areas. The objective of this study was to characterize the development of A. fatua in comparison to spring Triticum aestivum. As part of this objective, the rate of seed shed in A. fatua relative to development of T. aestivum was determined. Avena fatua and T. aestivum had similar phyllochron intervals within locations but differed between locations. Plant development as measured by the Zadoks plant development scale was consistent within plant species between locations. Seed shed in A. fatua was also consistent between locations. Most of the seed shed occurred within 2 wk, and the cumulative seed shed followed a sigmoidal pattern. The seed shed occurred as T. aestivum was ripening, and the percentage of seed shed appears to be related to the water content of the T. aestivum spike. Because of this relationship, the proportion of seed remaining on A. fatua at harvest could be managed by changing the timing of crop harvest.
Nomenclature: Wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA; spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘Katepawa’; growing degree days (GDD).