The Excellence of Triticale
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    Triticale Breeding
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Breeding Objectives

In 1982 when his first really successful triticale variety LASKO was released for seed production, and after more than 10 years of experience in developing his own triticale varieties, Wolski summarized the following breeding objectives - the achievements of which are being reported under the following:

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Lodging Resistance

LASKO, the first really successful triticale variety, was rather long and not perfect in lodging resistance. Breeders have had an eye on this weakness, and successes are quite obvious: The new varieties mostly are shorter and of excellent lodging resistance.

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Winter Hardiness

As a result of using hexaploid hard wheat as a crossing partner which only is available as spring wheat, winter hardiness of the first varieties was not satisfying. Especially in Eastern Europe where winters as a rule are more severe, at the beginning winter killings had been a matter of concern . Nowadays, thanks to strict selections, most of the modern varieties are sufficiently or even very winter hardy.


Test for winter hardiness

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Sprouting Resistance

Sprouting in triticale can be observed in unfavourable years even in modern triticale varieties; but in such years also rye and even wheat are being affected. Since triticale mostly is used for feeding animals and sprouting up to a certain level has no negative influence on the feeding value, this problem should not be over-estimated. There is a description of the feeding characteristics of sprouted triticale under Recommendations .

Breeders intensively thrive to improve sprouting resistance in their new lines which of course is costly, time-consuming and arduous labour. Nevertheless, chances are not bad that within foreseeable time improved varieties will be released to the market.


Test for sprouting resistance

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Disease Resistances

When LASKO started the breakthrough for triticale at the beginning of the 80-ies of the last century, farmers were enthusiastic for its healthy foliage with its marvellous fresh green colour. No problems were observed – and that was sensational for a cereal plant!

After triticale had become more popular and its surface had quickly expanded, and – in combination with higher input - the new varieties had become much higher yielding, not unexpectedly diseases have found their way to attack triticale. Most important are mildew, brown rust, leaf septoria, septoria nodorum, yellow rust and fusarium in the ear.


Mildew on a triticale leaf

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Selection for disease resistances has been a matter of high concern, and very satisfactory successes have been obtained. The new varieties have good to very good resistances, especially against mildew and brown rust. Nevertheless, fields have to be controlled regularly (which applies to all crops): Even the best resistance might be broken by new pathogens. Using new and improved varieties with better resistances is a good method to be on the safe side.

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Aluminium Tolerance

Aluminium frequently is a problem on acid soils; non-tolerant varieties can suffer heavily. Good aluminium tolerance which for example is found in rye, is of great advantage. Triticale, after rye, is considered to be highly tolerant to aluminium. Some triticale varieties, thanks to good selections, have much better aluminium tolerances than the average which for example can be looked up in the Polish variety list. Such varieties should given preference when grown on acid soils.

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Grain Quality

Triticale grain 

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Main quality features in breeding are:

> Improvement of test weight. In normal years test weight should be 70 kg or more. Lower results indicate bad grain filling and structure.

> Protein content. This is very important, since triticale mainly is being used for feeding animals. Good triticale varieties reach the protein level of good baking wheats, with excellent amino acid contents and pattern.

> Starch which is important for animal feeding as well as for ethanol production.

> High falling number which is an indication for an improvement of sprouting resistance.

To continue, click: Cultivation

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