Range and Habitat in Illinois
Oats naturalizes occasionally throughout Illinois, although it rarely persists for more than a few generations (see Distribution Map). This non-native grass was introduced from Europe into North America for agricultural purposes. Habitats consist of cropland, abandoned fields, roadsides, areas along railroads, and areas near grain elevators. Highly disturbed habitats with exposed open ground are preferred. Oats is still cultivated as a source of grain, forage, and straw. It is also used for erosion-control purposes along roadsides and others areas.