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Article

Winter Triticale: A Long-Term Cropping Systems Experiment in a Dry Mediterranean Climate

1
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Dryland Research Station, 781 E. Experiment Station Road, Lind, WA 99341, USA
2
Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, POB 459, Mandan, ND 58554, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(11), 1777; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111777
Received: 16 October 2020 / Revised: 5 November 2020 / Accepted: 7 November 2020 / Published: 13 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: alternative crops; straw; crop rotation; dry Mediterranean climate; economics; winter triticale alternative crops; straw; crop rotation; dry Mediterranean climate; economics; winter triticale
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schillinger, W.F.; Archer, D.W. Winter Triticale: A Long-Term Cropping Systems Experiment in a Dry Mediterranean Climate. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1777. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111777

AMA Style

Schillinger WF, Archer DW. Winter Triticale: A Long-Term Cropping Systems Experiment in a Dry Mediterranean Climate. Agronomy. 2020; 10(11):1777. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111777

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schillinger, William F.; Archer, David W. 2020. "Winter Triticale: A Long-Term Cropping Systems Experiment in a Dry Mediterranean Climate" Agronomy 10, no. 11: 1777. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111777

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