Effects of the cereal cyst nematode on oats

The cereal cyst nematode is most damaging to oats and can reduce tillering, although significant infestations are relatively rare.

Pest encyclopaedia home

Cereal cyst nematode crop damage

Scientific name: Heterodera avenae

Cereal cyst nematode is the main nematode pest of cereals. In the UK, it is more damaging to oats than to other cereals.

In the 1960s, when barley began to be intensively grown in the UK, numbers of this pest initially increased. However, infestations then started to decline, mainly because fungal parasites of the nematode favoured by intensive cereal growing.

Infected crops show patches of stunted plants, sometimes tinged with red or purple. Infected oats have a typical bushy root system. Heavily affected plants show reduced tillering, but significant infestations of cereal cyst nematode are relatively rare.

Pest encyclopaedia home