Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack
) is a cereal feed grain grown annually worldwide on 4.2 million ha. Washington is the leading state for rainfed (i.e., non-irrigated) triticale production in the USA. A 9-year dryland cropping systems project was conducted from 2011 to 2019 near Ritzville, WA to compare winter triticale (WT) with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum
L.) (WW) grown in (i) a 3-year rotation of WT-spring wheat (SW) -no-till summer fallow (NTF) (ii) a 3-year rotation of WW-SW-undercutter tillage summer fallow (UTF) and (iii) a 2-year WW-UTF rotation, We measured grain yield, grain yield components, straw production, soil water dynamics, and effect on the subsequent SW wheat crop (in the two 3-year rotations). Enterprise budgets were constructed to evaluate the production costs and profitability. Grain yields averaged over the years were 5816, 5087, and 4689 kg/ha for WT, 3-year WW, and 2-year WW, respectively (p
< 0.001). Winter triticale used slightly less water than WW (p
= 0.019). Contrary to numerous reports in the literature, WT never produced more straw dry biomass than WW. Winter wheat produced many more stems than WT (p
< 0.001), but this was compensated by individual stem weight of WT being 60% heavier than that of WW (p
< 0.001). Spring wheat yield averaged 2451 vs. 2322 kg/ha after WT and WW, respectively (p
= 0.022). The market price for triticale grain was always lower than that for wheat. Winter triticale produced an average of 14 and 24% more grain than 3-year and 2-year WW, respectively, provided foliar fungal disease control, risk reduction, and other rotation benefits, but was not economically competitive with WW. A 15–21% increase in WT price or grain yield would be necessary for the WT rotation to be as profitable as the 3-year and 2-year WW rotations, respectively.
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