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Winter Triticale for Extra Spring Forage

Mike Stanyard, Team Leader, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

September 9, 2016
Winter Triticale for Extra Spring Forage

We have been experimenting and working with growing winter triticale as a double crop following corn silage for the past 5 years. Work in the region by Quirine Ketterings and Tom Kilcer have shown that it is a good fit for the dairy and if done properly can provide 2 to 4 tons of dry matter per acre of high quality forage in the spring. Those farms that have stuck with it have been successful and have made it part of their rotation.

Planting Date. As with any small grain, start with high quality seed. We want good germination and successful emergence. It is recommended to plant 100-125 lbs. per acre. Over the years and many research trials, we have developed a rule of thumb that winter triticale for forage needs to be planted 10-14 days before the normal wheat planting date. So we are looking at the last week in August through the first week of September as optimum. The earlier planting allows for sufficient accumulation of growing degree days to develop as many tillers as possible this fall. We can still plant into early October in our area but realized that yields will probably be down by 30% compared to early September.

Plant with a drill at 1.25 inches deep. This will be crucial to get a deep root base established to prevent possible winter kill and heaving. This is even more crucial on later planted fields. I have seen fields that were broadcasted on and worked in. These fields had uneven emergence, were patchy and just didn't produce as well. Remember, you are planting a high quality forage crop not a rye cover crop!

Fertility. Most of the needed N-P-K will come from manure worked in following corn silage harvest. It is still best to soil sample to see if additional P and K are needed. If no manure prior to planting, nitrogen will vary depending on planting date. The earliest plantings in August will need 90 lbs. N. This will gradually decrease to 60 lbs. in the first half of September and 30 lbs. after September 20 (Kilcer, personal comm.). An added sulfur source has shown to be beneficial or use ammonium sulfate as your N source. If N can't be worked in (no-till), a protectant should be applied if we remain dry and hot. Again, it is best to soil sample to determine P and K levels. A good "blue book" number would be 40 lbs. each of P205 and K20.

Early planting definitely has its advantages as winter triticale serves a dual purpose of keeping the soil covered over fall and winter and providing quality forage in the spring. Getting the plant well established in the fall with maximum tillers will help it get through the winter and off to a quick start in the spring. An additional 50-80 lbs. of N will be needed at green-up. This can be based on how it looks coming out of the winter. If it looks good, push it with more N.

We will talk more about the stages of triticale, harvest timings, and techniques in the spring. For additional information on winter triticale see the Cornell Nutrient Management SPEAR program Fact Sheet #56, Winter Triticale Forage ( or the August 2015 Crop Soil News from Tom Kilcer on our webpage (











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Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
Batavia, NY

After the day's work is done, come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's lab:
  • Strategies for improving dairy cattle reproductive performance and economics
  • Using automated sensors for improving dairy cattle health monitoring and management

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Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm
Waterloo, NY

Join the Finger Lakes Graziers on a pasture walk and learn about soil health. 
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USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 ? Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized
DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

"With sign-up for the
DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program," Secretary Perdue said. "Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry."

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in
DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices," said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers."

For more information, access the tool at For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1