Interpretive Summary: Effects of harvest date and growth stage on triticale forages in the southwest United States: agronomic characteristics, nutritive value, energy density, and in vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber
By: Wayne K. Coblentz, Michael J. Ottman, and Burney A. Kieke
Recently, there has been increased interest in using triticale within forage programs in the southwest United States. Our objectives were to screen 14 triticale cultivars for agronomic and nutritive value characteristics with specific emphasis on identifying typical, as well as deviant, responses to the calendar date and plant maturity. Regression relationships for neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent lignin, 30- and 48-h in vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber, and net energy of lactation (NEL ) were fit for the mean or typical cultivar using both days from February 1 or growth stage at harvest as independent regression variables. Deviant cultivars usually demonstrated rapid or slow maturation rates, which were often accompanied by physical characteristics reflective of advanced or slow maturation, respectively. Overall, there were a limited number of cultivars that deviated from typical with respect to NEL , but the total range in energy density at a common late-boot/early-heading stage of growth (0.23 Mcal/kg) suggests that some attention should be placed on cultivar selection, especially when specific cultivars display atypical growth characteristics, such as greater canopy height. However, either positive or negative deviation with respect to energy density may be desirable depending on the energy needs of the targeted livestock class.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.