Faced with low milk prices, a growing number of dairy producers are including triticale in cow rations.
“We completely sold out (of triticale seed) last fall,” Ron Kershen of Canyon, Texas, says in the April 21 Southwest Farm Press.
He is a breeder/marketer for Resource Seeds, which was recently purchased by Syngenta.
“Almost all of the seed went to dairy farmers and nearly all of it is being grown for silage,” he says.
Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye. The article says that more dairy producers want small grain silage, whether wheat or triticale.
“Triticale silage is a good alternative to wheat silage,” Brent Bean, Texas AgriLife Extension agronomist in Amarillo, says in the article.
“In research conducted at one regional dairy with triticale and wheat under full irrigation, the triticale silage yielded 16 tons per acre. That compared to 13.1 tons per acre for wheat silage.”
Ellen Jordan, Texas AgriLife Extension dairy specialist in Dallas, says that rations will probably need changing if producers feed triticale or wheat silage instead of corn silage. “Triticale probably lacks the energy value of corn or sorghum silage,” she says.