Agronomic practices for bioethanol production from spring triticale in Alberta.

McKenzie, R.H., Bremer, E., Middleton, A.B., Beres, B.L., Yoder, C., Hietamaa, C., Pfiffner, P.G., Kereliuk, G., Pauly, D.G., and Henriquez, B. (2014). "Agronomic practices for bioethanol production from spring triticale in Alberta.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 94(1), pp. 15-22. doi : 10.4141/CJPS2013-112  Access to full text


Triticale (×Triticosecale Wittmack) is an attractive crop for biofuel production due to its high grain yield potential, weed competitiveness, and drought tolerance. Field plot studies were conducted at seven locations across Alberta from 2008 to 2010 to determine optimum agronomic practices (seeding date, seeding rate and N fertilizer rate) for grain and starch production of spring triticale. The yield penalty from delayed seeding was variable, with an average yield decline of only 0.1% per day. Significant yield benefits from increasing seeding rates from 100 to 500 viable seeds m2 were obtained at site-years with more than 200 mm of growing season precipitation, but were inconsistent or negligible at site-years with less than 200 mm of growing season precipitation. Optimum N fertilizer rates for grain production increased with growing season precipitation, but were not correlated with pre-seeding soil extractable NO3-N levels. Starch concentrations were either unaffected or only slightly affected by seeding date, seeding rate or N fertilizer rate. Thus, agronomic practices that were optimum for triticale grain production were also optimum for starch production. Under good growing conditions, grain production of spring triticale was optimum when seeded at 350 to 450 seeds m2 and N fertilizer rates of 90 to 150 kg N ha1.

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