Replacing alfalfa hay with triticale hay in high-producing dairy cow diets

Fernando Diaz

Triticale (× Triticosecale) is a hybrid of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale) developed during the late 19th century. This cereal combines the grain quality, productivity, and disease resistance of wheat with the vigor and hardiness of rye. As forage, it is typically grown in the fall-winter season in double-cropping production systems.  When triticale is harvested at the dough stage of maturity (9.0 – 15.0% protein), it is a good forage source for dry cows and replacement heifers. However, triticale may be a good forage for lactating cows if this is harvested at boot stage (more than 15.0% protein).

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