Triticale Offers Potential as Alternative Feed Ingredient

CANADA - A pork research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Food reports triticale offers excellent potential as an alternative feed ingredient for swine producers looking to escape the increasing cost of wheat, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 January 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Increased demand for corn in the United States and for wheat in Canada by the biofuel industry has pushed up the cost of those two grains and influenced the price of other grains, such as barley, which have traditionally been used to provide dietary energy in pig and poultry diets.

In an effort to come up with alternatives researchers with Alberta Agriculture and Food compared weaned pig diets based on hard red and prairie spring wheats to diets based on triticale.

Pork research scientist Dr. Eduardo Beltranena explains the primary reason for considering triticale was its higher yield compared to wheat and its higher net energy value compared to corn.

Dr. Eduardo Beltranena-Alberta Agriculture and Food
We have recently tested four varieties of triticale, AC Ultima, Pronghorn, Pika and Bobcat and we have seen a very nice response in nursery pigs with a four percent improvement in feed conversion efficiency.

The other that triticale gives you is about a 10 to 20 percent increase in yield per unit of cultivated land so once you add increasing yield per cultivated land, there's a four percent increment in feed conversions efficiency, you can produce more pork per unit of land with triticale compared to either CPS or hard red spring wheat.

Dr. Beltranena notes, while feed efficiency differed among the diets, pigs fed the triticale diets had better overall feed efficiency than those fed the hard red spring or Canada prairie spring wheat diets.

As for the availability of triticale, he says, it's a chicken and egg type of thing pointing out triticale has been grown in western Canada but not at volumes that will meet the demand that's anticipated.

None the less he expects to see acreages increase for both spring triticale as well as winter triticale varieties.

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