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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388587

Research Project: Managing Nutrients and Assessing Pathogen Emission Risks for Sustainable Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Effects of harvest date and growth stage on triticale forages in the southwest USA: Agronomic characteristics, nutritive value, in-vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber, and energy

Author
item Coblentz, Wayne
item OTTMAN, MICHAEL - University Of Arizona
item KIEKE, BURNEY - Marshfield Clinic Research

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2021
Publication Date: 3/4/2022
Citation: Coblentz, W.K., Ottman, M.J., Kieke, B.A. 2022. Effects of harvest date and growth stage on triticale forages in the southwest USA: Agronomic characteristics, nutritive value, in-vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber, and energy. Journal of Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac021.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac021

Interpretive Summary: Recently, there has been increased interest in using triticale within forage programs in the southwest USA. Our objectives were to screen 14 triticale cultivars for agronomic and nutritive characteristics with specific emphasis on identifying normal, as well as deviant, responses to calendar date and plant maturity at Maricopa, AZ. Cubic or quartic regression relationships for neutral-detergent fiber, acid-detergent lignin, 30- and 48-h in-vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber, and energy density (NEL) were fit for the mean or typical cultivar using both days from 1 February or growth stage at harvest as independent regression variables. Traits associated with the negative deviation from a typical cultivar included greater plant height, a greater stem percentage beginning at anthesis and continuing until physiological maturity, and a reduced head-weight percentage. The total range in energy density at a common late-boot/early-heading stage of growth (0.23 Mcal/kg) suggests some attention should be placed on cultivar selection, especially when specific cultivars display abnormal growth characteristics, as well as general forage inventory needs and overall cropping goals.

Technical Abstract: Recently, there has been increased interest in including triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack) or other winter cereals within forage programs throughout the southwest USA. Our objectives were to screen 14 diverse triticale cultivars for agronomic and nutritive characteristics with specific emphasis on identifying normal, as well as deviant, responses to calendar date and plant maturity for forages seeded in December, and harvested from late-February throughout May at Maricopa, AZ. Fourteen cultivars were established in a randomized complete block design with each cultivar represented within each of 3 field blocks. Plots were clean tilled and established 18 December 2018, and then harvested at 2-wk intervals beginning on 27 February and ending 23 May 2019. Across all harvest dates, forage (N = 315) energy density (NEL) exhibited strong negative correlations with growth stage (r = - 0.879), plant height (r = - 0.913), head weight (r = - 0.814), and estimated DM yield (r = - 0.886), but was positively associated with percentages of leaf (r = 0.949), and weakly associated with percentages of stem (r = 0.138). Through 10 April, similar correlations were observed within individual harvest dates (N = 45) for growth stage, leaf percentage, and plant height, but not for stem or head-weight percentages. Within later harvest dates, only sporadic correlations with NEL were observed. Primarily cubic regression relationships for neutral-detergent fiber, acid-detergent lignin, 30- and 48-h in-vitro disappearance of dry matter and fiber, and energy density NEL were fit for the mean or typical cultivar using both days from 1 February and growth stage as independent variables. Coefficients of determination (R2 = 0.860) in all cases indicated good fit for the polynomial models. For NEL, deviation from the typical cultivar when days from 1 February was used as the independent regression variable was largely affected by cultivar maturation rate. When growth stage was substituted as the independent variable, plant height, stem percentage beginning at anthesis, and low grain-head percentage were associated with the maximum negative deviant cultivar (Merlin Max). The 0.23 Mcal/kg difference between maximum positive and negative deviant cultivars at a common late-boot/early-heading stage of growth suggests some attention should be placed on cultivar selection, especially when specific cultivars display abnormal growth characteristics, as well as general forage inventory needs and overall cropping goals.