This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

ThunderTall triticale once again is the champion in forage tonnage and dairy cow milk production at the New Mexico State University winter annual small grain forage trials.

ThunderTall, marketed by Ehmke Seed, LLC, in Healy, Kan., topped the small-grain forage trials in forage production with 21.7 tons/acre. When fed to dairy cows, ThunderTall triticale also set an all-time record at the trials in total milk production with dairy cows giving 20,701 pounds of milk per acre of feed. Triticale is a wheat-rye cross known for its drought tolerance, winter hardiness and disease resistance.

The average tonnage of the 20 entries harvested in April and May according to their individual maturity dates was 17.8 tons/acre, while pounds of milk per acre of feed averaged 17,351 lbs/acre. The study included 14 triticale varieties, two rye varieties and four wheat-triticale blends that were each tested on a barrage of variables important to livestock operators growing irrigated feed for hay or silage.

Each entry in the study was seeded on Oct. 15, 2014 at a rate 100 pounds/acre, and had 12.78 inches of applied water. Precipitation at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, N.M., where the trials are conducted each year was reported at 6.11 inches.

ThunderTall, which also took first place in tonnage in NMSU’s 2011 study, is a tall late-maturing variety rapidly expanding on irrigated acreage across the High Plains.

“ThunderTall triticale has the proven track record as the number-one triticale variety for the Central and South Plains,” says Vance Ehmke, who with his wife, Louise, have grown and sold triticale varieties through their seed company, Ehmke Seed, LLC, in west-central Kansas for 25 years. “With water tables declining and the price of corn down, livestock operators need to be thinking seriously about switching out of irrigated corn and growing this exciting triticale variety to meet their hay and silage needs.”

In nutrition ratings, Ehmke Seed’s new awnletted (short awns) triticale, Short-Beard Thunder, topped the relative feed quality (RFQ) category at 174, while Ehmke Seed’s ThunderGreen DL rye placed first in crude protein (CP) at 19.2% and first in total digestible nutrients (TDN) at 69.8%.