Information gathered from the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) was used to compile this summary on how to use triticale as a cover crop in Ohio. For more information, see the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide, Third Edition, and the Cover Crop Selector Tool found at: midwestcovercrops.org/selector-tool/.
- Resembles wheat and winter cereal rye
- Plant looks like wheat, but the awns resemble cereal rye
- Membranous ligules
- Winter annual
- Minimum germination temperature: 38 degrees Fahrenheit
- Reliable establishment window (state average): Aug. 15–Nov. 1
- Upright growth habit: 3–5 feet
- Preferred soil pH: 6.0–7.0
|Low fertility tolerance||Very good|
|Expected for winter triticale|
- Drilled at ¾–1½ inches
- 40–90 lb./acre (pure live seed)
- Broadcast with shallow incorporation
- 45–90 lb./acre (pure live seed)
- Broadcast without incorporation
- 50–90 lb./acre (pure live seed)
Additional planting information:
- 13,000 seeds per lb.
- When planting on slopes or using for forage/grazing, increase seeding rate.
- When interseeding, time the seeding to match the appropriate crop growth/maturity.
- Broadcasting without incorporation is usually less dependable than drilling or broadcasting with incorporation.
Rules for Financial Assistance Program Recipients
Individuals participating in financial assistance programs are required to follow Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Appendix A regarding seeding rates and dates. Failure to do so will jeopardize payments. Appendix A can be found in Ohio’s Field Office Technical Guide, Section 4, Ecological Sciences Tools: efotg.sc.egov.usda.gov/#/state/OH/documents/section=4&folder=-6.
- Dry matter = 2,000–5,000 lb. per acre, per year
- Biomass quantity is highly dependent on planting/termination dates and precipitation.
Additional performance information:
- The high seed cost of triticale typically restricts its use to forage.
- Triticale has good biomass production and rooting capability.
- Residue presence could increase risk of spring cutworm and potato stem borer.
- Triticale is a host for penetrans root lesion nematode, but it does not host sugar beet cyst nematode, soybean cyst nematode, and root knot nematode.
- Triticale may reduce sclerotinia risk.
|Nitrogen scavenger||Very good|
|Soil builder||Very good|
|Weed fighter||Very good|
|Quick growth||Very good|
|Lasting residue||Very good|
|Mechanical forage harvest||Excellent|
|Grain seed harvest||Very good|
|Cash crop interseed||Good|
- If terminating with only tillage, multiple passes are often required.
- Triticale may be difficult to terminate with tillage.
- Roller crimper
- Roller crimping is the most difficult/variable termination method.
- Crimp during reproductive stage (full bloom).
Additional termination information:
- It is best to terminate when plants are small except when rolling/crimping.
- Mowing after heading may terminate.
- Adjust termination dates based on soil moisture.
- Terminate at least two weeks before planting corn.
- Triticale can become a weed if not completely terminated.
- Follow NRCS guidelines for cover crop termination dates to comply with crop insurance.
|Frees phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)||Very good|
|Allelopathic (produces biochemicals that inhibit weeds)||Very good|
|Bears traffic||Good when drilled|
|Short windows||Very good|
Increased weed potential: occasionally a minor problem
Increased insects/nematodes: could be a moderate problem
Increased crop diseases: could be a minor problem
Hinders crops: could be a minor problem
Mature incorporation challenges: could be a moderate problem
This publication was adapted with consent from the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) with content from the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide, Third Edition, and Cover Crop Selector Tool (midwestcovercrops.org/selector-tool/). It was created under a joint project with MCCC to produce customized introductory guidance about cover crops for all member states/provinces. Ohio cover crop recipes can be found at midwestcovercrops.org/statesprovince/ohio/.
The Midwest Cover Crops Council (midwestcovercrops.org) aims to facilitate widespread adoption of cover crops throughout the Midwest by providing educational/outreach resources and programs, conducting new research, and communicating about cover crops to the public.
Funding for this project was provided by McKnight Foundation.