Triticale is a winter forage that is a man-made hybrid crossbred between wheat and rye. It has the disease resistance of rye and the seed and forage quality of wheat. Triticale is also known as a small grain. Small grains are widely grown in Southeast United States during the winter. Small grains are great green forage during the winter and in early spring when pastures are dormant and non-productive. Triticale is more cold tolerant than oats and has excellent rust and good barley yellow dwarf virus resistance. Triticale is a great option for our Florida soil, because it tolerates our acidic and sandy soil better than wheat and oats.
Triticale can be used for:
- Wildlife food-plots
- Cover crops.
Triticale is an excellent energy source! Cattle producers use it in blends with winter forages especially ryegrass. If triticale and ryegrass is used for grazing it can extend the growing season from winter to early spring, so when triticale is depleted then ryegrass would take over. If triticale is used alone it should be used for hay or silage instead of grazing purposes. Dairy farmers in the Southeast United States use triticale for silage production and swine producers use it for feed grain.
Two varieties that are recommended for Florida forage:
- Tricale 342
Both of these varieties were developed at the North Florida Research and Education Center. Tricale 342 is the newer leafy variety.
Planting and harvesting:
- Triticale should be planted in the fall during October –November when there is rain.
- Seed rate: 90-120 lb. /A
- Seeding depth: 1-2 inches
- For silage or hay triticale should be harvested in April.
When planting triticale a cleaned tilled seedbed will result in more forage production then over seeding on grass with a no-till drill.