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Some Special Recommendations for Growing Triticale

Cultivation of triticale is not complicated, similar to that of population rye. Some special points should be observed.

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Helthy triticale field 

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Without any doubt, triticale - after careful selection by its breeders -among other things has inherited the natural disease resistance of population rye. At the beginning - and this was particularly the case with the first outstanding variety LASKO - health conditions of leaves and ears were just striking. Nevertheless, in those first years, it was found out and confirmed in exact trials that a fungicide treatment (as late leaf or early ear application) resulted in distinctly higher yields.

As a consequence of broader and more intensive cultivation, new and specialized pathogens have appeared which have broken the initial resistances respectively tolerances. For triticale breeders this did not happen unexpectedly, since this happens quite frequently with other species, for example wheat. It rather was a new challenge.

I think that it is necessary to point out that triticale should not be propagated particularly for its superior health - the great advantage is its contents (see: Value and Use ) - but it should rather clearly be emphasized that during its growing period triticale has to be observed like any other cereal plant, and as a matter of precaution or specifically be treated with fungicides and/or insecticides. For details, I want to refer to the special recommendations issued by advisors, breeders and the industry.

Here, I just want to draw the attention to to two special problems that might occur in triticale - but not only in triticale which must be emphasized - and which need some explanations.

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Occasionally, some people have attributed to triticale that it is more susceptible to Fusarium culmorum than other cereal plants. First of all, the following needs mentioning:

In many cases, triticale is being cultivated as second cereal after wheat, and there are good reasons for this position in crop rotation: Compared with wheat after wheat, triticale - with lower requirements as to fertilizer and fungicides - yields comparably high or even higher and therefore is more economical to grow than wheat after wheat. And here - mostly due to lack of experience and information - in the past growers had made the mistake not to care for good rotting of the stubble of the forecrop which is the most important means of precaution against fusarium diseases.

Quite often, triticale is grown after maize, at much higher percentage than wheat after maize. Maize - as found out by research scientists in Switzerland - is being attacked by 16 different species of fusarium. Consequently, highest attention has to be given to the rotting of plant residues.

Thanks to experiences of advisers and practical farmers, the following shall be pointed out:

It has been found out by investigations and research that fusarium graminearum is decisively responsible for DON pollution. Starting from plant residues - especially from maize and cereals - in the topsoil, fungal diseases can attack wheat and triticale with the help of their spores.

To summarize: The danger of ear fusarium depends to a high degree on the following:

1. Position in crop rotation,
2. Cultivation after maize or wheat without plowing,
3. Insufficient rottening of the stubble of the previous crop,
4. Precautionary fungicide treatment in the case of maize and wheat being the previous crop,
5. Choice of triticale varieties less susceptible to fusarium.

Source: Thüringer Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft.

Fusarium Contaminated Grain can be used for Biogas

In an extreme case - this applies to all species - it is good to know that fusarium contaminated grain without any problems can be used for biogas production. In an official examination, it was proved that no Deoxynivalenol (DON) was found in fermentation remnants. The study is available - in German language only - under:

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In years with unfortunate weather conditions, sprouting can occur in triticale as well as in rye and wheat (and even in barley, as has happened in the year 2009). In the course of sprouting, starch is being transformed into sugar. This has no negative effect as to the nutritious value in pig fattening; though - since fungus infestation cannot be excluded - no more than 30 % of sprouted grain in the whole quantity of grain should be used, and no sprouted grain should be fed to pregnant and suckling sows as well as to piglets. Also, sprouted grain only in limited quantities should be fed to ruminants.

Plant breeders pay great attention to sprouting in their selections for new varieties. First of all, lodging resistance - as one of the best precautionary features - has been highly improved in the new varieties. Furthermore, some of the newest varieties show improvements as to sprouting resistance, and further progress can be expected.

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Test for sprouting resistance 

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To continue click: General Information

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