The development of a low-input production system for triticale
Triticale (X Triticosecale Wittmack), a man-made hybrid between wheat (Triticum aestivum Lem. Thell.) and rye (Secale cereal L.) has existed for almost a century. However, the commercial adoption of this cereal crop did not start until recently. The characteristics of triticale, such as growing well at low nitrogen level, high disease resistance and better nutritional value of the grain, encouraged the development of a less intensive, low-input production system to meet the challenge of lower prices of cereal grain, high inputs and environmental stress around the world. A year round series of sowings was carried out in 1990/91 to study the response of triticale cv. Lasko to the environment, especially to temperature and daylength. Linear relationships were found for leaf emergence with accumulated temperature in September to June sowings. For summer sowings, the gradual slowing down of leaf emergence rate was believed to be influenced by daylength change. The date of achievement of key developmental stages: double ridge, terminal spikelet, stem elongation and anthesis also showed the effects of temperature and daylength. Triticale primordia production was similar to that described for wheat, with a slow rate for initiation of leaf primordia and a fast rate for that of spikelet primordia. A slight delay in switching from slow rate to fast rate was found in triticale cv. Lasko.