Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tilley, Alberta
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Re: growing triticale
Well, I am not claiming to be an expert, but we have grown triticale for the past 6 or 7 years, so I will be happy to share with you what I know.
Triticale, (which is a cross between durum and rye) does not stool or tiller out very well at all, and consequently the seeding rate needs to be bumped up to get around that. Using durum as a comparison, on irrigation we seed typically 120-150lb/acre. With triticale, we seed at 150-180 lb/acre. Unreal as it sounds, there is a positive yield response at that seeding rate. If you seed less, you will quickly be disappointed at harvest and blame the crop for not yielding well. Treat the crop like you are growing durum when it comes to fertility. It will perorm in much the same way. It is a scrounger of nutrients moreso than wheat, so beware that if levels are moderate to low, you will for sure have low levels of fertility next year. If wireworms are an issue, treat with something like Cruiser Maxx, but regular seed treatment otherwise will be fine. Competing with weeds it is like any other cereal. It will compete against them, but you will lose yield as a result. For choosing chemical, you won't find many that have triticale on the label. As long as you use a herbicide that is listed OK for durum, you should be fine. Days to maturity are about +5 compared to HRSW in your area, so it is a longer season crop. If your crop is clean, you can certainly straight cut it. Our fields usually have second growth weeds, so we have to swath as we can't do pre-harvest glyphosate; that will kill the germination on the seed. I would suggest that the sprouting tolerance is much better than durum, probably equal to or slightly better than HRSW. Yields for us range anywhere from 85-125 bu acre. As far as a selling price, it obviously depends on the year. From what I am hearing this year, some of my customers are selling theirs into the human consumption market for $4.55/ bu at the bin, and some are only getting $3.25 / bu as they have some barley in it. I'm not sure what you can expect for your farm, as you have no information on your profile as to where you are so I can't help you there.
One other thing is that triticale is susceptible to ergot, which you can't do much about other than help it by mowing any brome grass around the field perimeter. Some years are bad, some years you don't see any, but it indeed is susceptible. Hope that helps you out.