Nutrien Ag Solutions in Montana offers producers forage varieties that fit the varied climates of the state.
Many ranchers are searching for better yielding and higher-quality forages, and they like what they see in triticale. They can plant in the fall and the root systems develop faster to better take advantage of spring and fall moisture.
“We are planting our first foundation seed of a new triticale variety this year,” said Ryan Holt, division seed manager for Nutrien Ag Solutions.
The new triticale is an improvement on TriCal Flex 719 triticale. It doesn’t have a name yet, as it is still an experimental.
The advantage the new triticale variety has over TriCal Flex 719 is that it is completely awnless and has excellent winter hardiness.
“It still has tremendous yield potential and the great feed quality that 719 has,” Holt said. “It has great winter hardiness, along with the awnless package that allows ranchers and farmers to not have to worry about awns.”
In addition, the TriCal triticales tend to mature earlier, which makes the yield potential higher. There’s also less risk of nitrates than with most spring crops.
The new triticale variety, under the TriCal label, is in the early release stage, but producers should be able to purchase certified seed in the fall of 2021.
Nutrien Ag is also releasing an attractive spring-planted hay barley called Redrock. There is certified seed available now at all Montana Nutrien Ag seed plants.
“Redrock is exclusive to Nutrien Ag and it is very attractive to look at,” Holt said. “More importantly, data shows that it yields better than other hay barleys available in Montana, with good biomass.”
Redrock yields higher than the high-yielding Lavina, and its quality is tremendous, drawing quality comparisons to the older forage Stockford.
“The digestibility of hay barley is excellent for beef or dairy cattle,” said Dale Clark, plant breeder and director of research at Nutrien Ag, “They get more nutrients out of it than any other feeds.”
However, when harvesting forages, be sure to check the nitrate level. Barley can have higher nitrates, so sample the nitrates and make sure the samples are not too ‘hot,’” Clark said.
“Redrock tends to be better at lower nitrates than some others, like Haybet,” he said.
A Nutrien crop advisor can help with taking a sample for nitrates and finding out if the sample is okay. They can answer any questions a producer would have.
“There has been high demand for it,” Holt said.
Redrock has high forage yield and great standability on irrigation. It was a top yielder in Montana forage trials.
“This is our first big year of available certified seed, and it has been in high demand,” Holt said.
Nutrien Ag Solutions continually updates its facilities, including adding storage at every location.
“The additional storage is a big deal for seed plants,” Holt said.
The Fort Benton location has added a new seed cleaner and truck scale within the past couple of years.
For pulse crops, Nutrien Ag has added new drum treaters for pulse crops at Fort Benton, Conrad and Shelby.
The system reads the amount of seed it rotates through the drum and then calculates the exact amount needed for excellent seed coverage.
“We really need it for good seed treatment coverage of round seed, such as pulse crops. It does a great job of treating seed,” Holt said. “It helps us do a better job of treating our pulses, but you can use them for all crops.”
At the Nutrien Ag Solutions research center, the crew has some new plot equipment, as well.
“To help us handle no-till planting, and go through trash and residue, we upgraded to a homemade version of a Great Plains 6-foot no-till drill,” Clark said.
It helps with good soil to seed contact when planting.
“We have had a lot of improvement in seeding with this no-till drill – better planting technique and good seed contact,” he said.