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Wild oat has seedlings with hairy foliage, like hare barley. Mature wild oat plants are easily distinguished by their open panicled, nodding inflorescence. Wild oat has a tall, pointed ligule with toothed margins and no auricles. The sturdy, mature plant is 1 to 4 feet (30 - 120 cm) tall. Leaf blades generally have hairy margins.
A trial to evaluate wild oat and broadleaf weed control in winter wheat was conducted by Dan Ball, OSU Weed Scientist in the Mission area in 2003. Herbicide applications were made on March 27 when the wheat was in the 6-7 leaf stage and wild oats were 4-5 leaf. Wild oat and tumble mustard control ratings were taken on April 28 and May 29, 2003. Wild oat control was excellent with either Discover at 12.8 oz/a and 16 oz/a, or Puma 10.5 oz/a, with or without tank mix partners. Everest gave only partial control of wild oats. For complete results of the study go to http://oregonstate.edu/dept/weeds/