Agriculture is constantly facing
struggles when it comes to the deleterious environmental effects of growing
crops. To improve soil quality, dairymen are looking to use a cover crops such
as triticale and want to know what the impact of triticale is on dairy cows.
Triticale is a wheat and rye hybrid crop
that is primarily used for feed. The nutritional value of triticale silage
begins when the hay is cut, ideally it should be harvested for silage at the
boot stage (Harper et al., 2017). In the studies that were reviewed, the
triticale silage constituted for no more than 50% of the ration. However
according to two articles the triticale silage should not constitute more than
10% of the diet (Harper et al., 2017). In most studies, there was not a significant
change in milk yield or milk components. One experiment showed that there was a
slight decrease in milk yield compared to corn silage (Harper et al., 2017).
The downside of feeding triticale would
be looking into heifer development as triticale has lower growth rates compared
to other silages such as barley or oats (McCartney, 1993). An additional
concern for the triticale is that it has an increase rate of digestion in
comparison to other cereal grain silages and the animal and microbes would
benefit from having additional forages added to help slow it down (Myer, et
Triticale is a safe feed choice for dairy
cattle, but it should be fed in low percentages of the diet. Because it has
little effect on milk yield and milk components triticale silage there would be
no harm in adding triticale silage to a ration.