Entomology, Department of



John E. Foster

Date of this Version



Araya, Jaime E., and John E. Foster. "Insect, mite, and nematode pests of oat." Oat Science and Technology oatscienceandte (1992): 427-471.


Copyright © 1992 American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America. Used by permission.


Various arthropods and nematodes cause damage to oat (Avena sativa L. and A. byzantina K. Koch.) plants throughout their life. No stage is free from damage. Crops can be affected from the seedling stage until the grain is harvested. Pests of oat are either polyphagous (damaging a wide range of plants) or oligophagous (feeding on only a few plant species). Few, if any pests, are truly specific to oat crops.

The presence of various pest species in oat fields does not necessarily imply that yield reduction will result. Hundreds of arthropod species feed on oat cultivated in the USA and other countries. Low infestations of certain pests in cereals may stimulate growth and tillers, and actually increase yields (Southwood & Norton, 1973). The population density of a particular pest species at which economic damage will occur is termed the economic injury level. This level is a quantitative indicator useful in control strategies. The economic injury level, however, needs to be accurately determined for each pest species and such determinations are complicated by factors such as plant genotype, growth stage, growth conditions, the market price of the commodity, and the cost of the control.

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