As a means of improving soil quality and reducing soil
erosion, farmers have begun utilizing cover crops like triticale. Triticale is
an option farmers could use as a forage in the diets of their lactating dairy
Triticale has proven to be a suitable option for forage
in lactating diets and has a very similar composition to another widely used
forage; corn silage (Brown et al, 2018). Dry Matter (DM) is only slightly
higher with triticale silage (28.1%) than corn silage (27.8%) (Brown et al.,
2018). Crude Protein nonetheless was found to be significantly higher in the
triticale silage than corn silage (Vatandoost et al., 2007). However, triticale
is less digestible than corn silage since it contains a higher Acid Detergent
Fiber (ADF) content and therefore a higher Total Digestible Nutrient (TDN)
content (Harper et al., 2017). Data found on Dry Matter Intake (DMI) dropped slightly
from corn silage (Vatandoost et al., 2007).
Although, DMI is slightly lower with triticale silage,
milk production was not affected when given triticale diet (Vatandoost et al.,
2007). Milk yield was 32.2kg/day in diets containing corn silage and triticale
silage (Vatandoost et al., 2007). Though, in a
study to determine the results of a presence of legumes with triticale silage,
the results showed a higher intake levels and milk production with the legumes
present than without (Emile et al., N.d).
In addition, triticale is a hardy crop that can grow
under many diverse conditions with limited inputs yet is still able to produce
a large yield while helping to prevent soil erosion (Hunter et al., 2014).
Moreover, since it does not have a negative impact on milk production and has
shown to be an effective replacement to corn silage, I would recommend that a
farmer could use triticale as a forage source in their lactating cows.