Triticale

 
 
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 Spring triticale | Winter triticale

Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) is a man-made crop developed by crossing wheat (Triticum turgidum or Triticum aestivum) with rye (Secale cereale).

Early attempts to cross wheat and rye produced only sterile offspring. It was not until the 1930s that techniques were available to produce fertile hybrids. Once this step was accomplished, it was possible to develop new combinations between wheat and rye as well as direct combinations between triticales with differing wheat and rye parents. Consequently, new varieties of winter or spring triticale can be developed with the same methods used for breeding other cereal crops.

In 1953, the University of Manitoba began the first North American triticale breeding program. Early breeding efforts concentrated on developing a high yielding, drought tolerant human food crop species suitable for marginal wheat producing areas. In contrast, more recent programs concentrate on developing improved animal feed and fodder varieties for production under a number of diverse environmental conditions. Table 1 shows a historical list of spring and winter triticale cultivars.

Spring Triticale

Drought tolerance is the primary advantage that spring triticales have over other spring cereal crops. Under dryland conditions, spring triticales are a valuable alternative to feed barley and oats. Spring triticale has a 5 to 19 per cent yield advantage over Spring wheat (CPS), see Table 2. This advantage is most apparent in areas with longer growing seasons.

Table 1. A list of past and present triticale cultivars evaluated in western Canada, 1969-1999

VarietyTypeYearInstitutionStatus
RosnerSpring1969University of ManitobaDeregistered
WelshSpring1977University of ManitobaDeregistered
CarmanSpring1980University of ManitobaDeregistered
OAC TriwellSpring1980Ontario Agriculture CollegeDeregistered
OAC WintirWinter1980Ontario Agriculture CollegeRegistered
OAC DecadeWinter1984Ontario Agriculture CollegeDeregistered
WapitiSpring1987Alberta AgricultureRegistered
OAC TrilliumWinter1988Ontario Agriculture CollegeRegistered
FrankSpring1988Agriculture CanadaRegistered
PikaWinter1990Alberta AgricultureRegistered
BanjoSpring1991University of ManitobaRegistered
AC CopiaSpring1993Agriculture CanadaRegistered
AC AltaSpring1994Agriculture CanadaRegistered
Ac CertaSpring1995Agriculture CanadaRegistered
PronghornSpring1995Alberta AgricultureRegistered
SandroSpring1998Swiss Federation of Ag Res.Registered
AC UltimaSpring1999Agriculture CanadaRegistered
BobcatWinter1999Alberta AgricultureRegistered

Spring triticale cultivars need a longer growing season because they mature more slowly than CPS wheat (Table 3). Triticale is best adapted to the Brown soil zones of Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.


Table 2. Grain yield of spring triticale compared to CPS wheat, (1995-2000)*
Soil Zones
Black
BrownIrrigation
VarietyMBSKAB
Pronghorn136112119110114
AC Alta135106119105121
AC Ultima146+120+145+107+115+
CPS Wheat100100100100100
* Yields are expressed as percentage of the yield of the CPS wheats AC Taber and AC Crystal. Data based on registration trials and Alberta Cereals and Oilseeds regional trials. Black soil locations: Winnipeg, Glenlea, Portage La Prairie, Morden, (Indian Head and Saskatoon Dark Brown), Lacombe, Ellerslie and Vegreville. Brown soil locations: Regina, Swift Current, Stewart Valley, Stettler, Trochu, Lethbridge and Oyen. Irrigation locations: Brooks and Lethbridge Irrigation.
+ limited data


Table 3. Days to maturity of spring triticale compared to CPS wheat, (1995-2000)
Soil Zones
Black
BrownIrrigation
VarietyMBSKAB
Pronghorn97107123109102
AC Alta103111132114105
AC Ultima97107126109102
CPS Wheat9510411610498

Data based on registration trials and Alberta Cereals and Oilseeds Regional trials. Black soil locations: Winnipeg, Glenlea, Portage la Prairie, (Indian Head and Saskatoon Dark Brown), Lacombe, Ellerslie and Vegreville. Brown soil locations: Regina, Swift Current, Stettler, Trochu, Lethbridge and Oyen. Irrigation locations: Brooks, Lethbridge Irrigation.

Spring triticale also provides an excellent high yielding alternative to barley and spring oat forage (Table 4). In particular, a silage yield advantage of around 10 per cent over barley and oats under dryland conditions makes triticale an excellent choice for livestock producers. Triticale generally ranks between barley and oats for silage quality (Figure 1).


Table 4. Silage yields (dry matter) of spring triticale as compared to Cascade spring oat (1995-2000)*, AC Lacombe barley and CPS wheat
Black Soil Zone
Variety
Head/Anth Stage
Dough Stage
Pronghorn
114
109
AC Alta
113
103
AC Ultima
119
107
CPS
96
81
AC Lacombe
96
Cascade
100
100
* Yields are expressed as a percentage of Cascade oats. Data based on registration trials and FCDC silage evaluation trials. Black soil location: Lacombe.



While the test weights and weight per 1000 kernels of wheat are very similar within classes, this is not true for triticale (Tables 5 and 6). In general, a spring triticale has a 1000 kernel weight that is 20 per cent greater than a CWRS wheat such as AC Barrie. Consequently, if the recommended seeding rate for AC Barrie is 1.5 bu/ac (90 lb/ac), the average spring triticale should be seeded at a rate of not less than 110 lb/ac.


Table 5. Test weight (lbs/bu) of spring triticale compared to CPS wheat, (1995-2000)
Soil Zones
Black
BrownIrrigation
VarietyMBSKAB
Pronghorn5457565556
AC Alta5258545654
AC Ultima5458565757
CPS5963636362

Data based on registration trials, Alberta Cereals and Oilseeds trials and regional trials. Black soil locations: Winnipeg, Glenlea, Portage la Prairie, Morden, (Indian Head and Saskatoon Dark Brown), Lacombe, Ellerslie and Vegreville. Brown soil locations: Regina, Swift Current, Stuart Valley, Stettler, Trochu, Lethbridge and Oyen. Irrigation locations: Brooks and Lethbridge Irrigation.


Table 6. 1000 Kernel weight (grams) of spring triticale compared to CPS wheat, (1995-2000)
Soil Zones
Black
BrownIrrigation
VarietyMBSKAB
Pronghorn3944444243
AC Alta4152494848
AC Ultima4448484446
CPS3439424040

Data based on registration trials, Alberta Cereals and Oilseeds trials and regional trials. Black soil locations: Winnipeg, Glenlea, Portage la Prairie and Morden, (Indian Head and Saskatoon Dark Brown) Lacombe, Ellerslie and Vegreville. Brown soil locations: Regina, Swift Current, Stuart Valley, Provost, Stettler, Drumheller, Trochu, Lethbridge and Oyen. Irrigation locations: Brooks and Lethbridge Irrigation.

The desired seeding rate plant population is 310 plants/m2 (30 plants/ft2). Triticale does not tiller as much as wheat. Maturity can be delayed and yields can be less when plant population is low. Triticale seeding rate should target higher plant density than CWRS wheat. Calculate your seeding rate using the seed s 1,000 kernel weight, germination and seedling mortality for a target plant population. There is a calculator on our Alberta Agriculture website that can help.

Most cultural techniques for growing wheat can be transferred directly to triticale. Consequently, the fertilization,
seedbed preparation, seeding depth and seeding methods used for wheat are acceptable for triticale. Spring triticale should be planted during the first two weeks of May. Although only a limited number of pesticides have been tested on spring triticale, pesticides that are suitable for use on both wheat and rye may be considered.
One of the most serious deficiencies of spring triticale is its susceptibility to sprouting in the swath. Spring triticale is more likely to sprout than red-seeded wheat but less likely than white-seeded wheat. Because triticale resists lodging and is hard threshing, it responds well to direct combining in areas were this practice is feasible (i.e. dryland).

Winter Triticale

Winter triticale provides a high yielding early maturing alternative to spring triticale for short-season areas of the prairie provinces. Varieties such as Pika and Bobcat are similar in winter hardiness (Table 7) to CDC Osprey winter wheat but are less hardy than fall rye. Pika and Bobcat are the only suitable varieties for use in Western Canada. Consequently, winter triticale is best adapted for seed production in the Brown soil zone of southern Alberta and in higher snowfall areas such as the Black soil zones of the prairies. In areas where winter triticale is well-adapted, yields exceed those of CDC Osprey winter wheat by as much as 10 to 20 per cent (Table 8).


Table 7. Winter survival (%) of winter triticale, fall rye, and winter wheat, (1995-2000)
Soil Zones
Variety
Black
Brown
Bobcat
86
85
Pika
91
88
Musketeer
90
91
CDC Osprey
84
80

Data based on registration trials and FCDC evaluation trials. Black soil sites: Lacombe, Olds and Ellerslie (Saskatoon Dark Brown). Brown soil sites: Trochu, Stettler, Lethbridge and Swift Current.


Table 8. Grain yield potential of winter triticale and fall rye compared to CDC Osprey winter wheat, (1995-2000)*
Soil Zones
Variety
Black
Brown
Bobcat
118
119
Pika
104
137
Musketeer
100
105
CDC Osprey
100
100
* Yields expressed as percentage of CDC Osprey. Data based on registration trials and FCDC evaluation trials. Black soil sites: Lacombe, Olds and Ellerslie(Saskatoon Dark Brown). Brown soil sites: Trochu, Stettler, Lethbridge and Swift Current.

Winter triticale can be two to three weeks earlier in maturity than spring triticale in the Black and Gray-wooded soil zones. Pronghorn spring triticale seeded on May 7 matures about September 9 (124 days), but Pika winter triticale matures on August 24 (234 days after January 1), a difference of 21 days. Winter triticale matures approximately five days later than winter wheat and two weeks later than fall rye under similar growing conditions (Table 9).


Table 9. Relative maturity of winter triticale, fall rye and winter wheat based on days after January 1, (1995-2000)
Soil Zone
Variety
Black
Brown
Bobcat
236
223
Pika
233
221
Musketeer
229
214
CDC Osprey
223
219

Data based on registration trails and FCDC evaluation trials. Black soil sites: Lacombe, Olds and Ellerslie (Saskatoon Dark Brown). Brown soil sites: Trochu, Stettler, Lethbridge and Swift Current.

Fall planted winter cereals such as triticale and rye provide a valuable source of forage when spring grazed prior to harvest for silage or seed. Spring-planted winter cereals alone or in mixtures with barley or oats provide an excellent source of pasture from mid-June until late in the fall (see Winter Cereals for Pasture, Agdex 133/20-1). Winter triticale and fall rye may also be planted in mixtures with barley or oats to produce a high quality silage crop with late-season grazing.

The test weight (Table 10) and weight per 1000 kernels (Table 11) of winter triticale are rather variable compared to those of winter wheat. In general, a winter triticale will have a 1000 kernel weight 20 per cent greater than a CWRS wheat such as AC Barrie or a winter wheat such as CDC Osprey. Consequently, if the recommended seeding rate for CDC Osprey is 1.5 bu/ac (90 lb/ac), the average winter triticale should be seeded at a rate of not less than 110 lb/ac.


Table 10. 1000 kernel weight (gm) of winter triticale, fall rye and winter wheat
Soil zone
Variety
Black
Brown
Bobcat
36
35
Pika
35
42
Musketeer (rye)
34
34
CDC Osprey (wheat)
32
32


Table 11. Test weight (lbs/bu) of winter triticale, fall rye and winter wheat
Soil zone
Variety
Black
Brown
Bobcat
53
51
Pika
54
56
Musketeer (rye)
58
58
CDC Osprey (wheat)
63
62

There is no official test weight (pounds per bushel) for triticale, but it must be 52 lbs/bu (65 kg/hl) to make the grade of Canada No.1. However, the market place is demanding 55 lb/bu and higher.

Basic agronomic practices are similar for winter wheat, winter triticale and fall rye. Fertilizer applications should be based on soil tests. Ensure adequate levels of phosphate are applied in the fall and the nitrogen applications are split between fall and spring or if placed all in the fall, nitrogen should be placed outside the seed row.

Because few of the popular pesticides are registered for winter triticale, it may be necessary to use ones that are considered suitable for both wheat and rye.

The best time to seed winter triticale and winter wheat on black soils is between the last week of August and the end of the first week of September. Do not delay seeding winter triticale past mid-September because winter triticales hardens more slowly than winter wheat. Once developed, however, the hardiness of winter triticale equals or exceeds that of winter wheat.

The hardiest winter triticale cultivars are tall and may be subject to lodging if grown under high fertility and moisture conditions. Bobcat is an improvement on lodging susceptibility, but excessive nitrogen can still cause lodging.

Spring grazing for a short period before the end of the first week in June may reduce plant height without reducing seed yield. However, spring grazing may significantly reduce yield if it is poorly managed or timed too late.

Seeding at the earliest recommended date is another way that stand height may be reduced.

When combining triticale, a kernel moisture content of 14.0 per cent or less is considered dry.

Prepared by:
Dr. Donald Salmon
Murray McLelland
Trevor Schoff
Dr. Patricia Juskiw
Field Crop Development Centre
Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Lacombe, Alberta Canada T4L 1W8
V.S. Baron - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Research Station
Bag #5000
Lacombe, Alberta Canada T4L 1W1

Source: Agdex 118/20-1. Revised April 2001.
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Duke.
This information published to the web on April 1, 2001.