Triticale Plays a Fundamental Role in N Use
Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for plant growth and crop production. Cropping systems are costly operations, so implementation of best management practices for N fertilization is crucial to increase efficiency and profitability. The N cycle involves a series of linked natural processes involved in the movement of N among different pools of the air-soil-plant-animal interface of croplands and grasslands that can be difficult to define. However, understanding the basics of the N cycle helps improve the use of fertilizers (organic or inorganic) to meet crop needs while safeguarding the environment. The N can be lost from soils that produce grain and hay crops through several processes, including volatilization, soil erosion and runoff, leaching, and denitrification. However, implementation of proper management techniques can mitigate these losses of N from cropping lands.
N scavenged by cover crops during winter can be made available to the following crop during decomposition. Long-term use of these practices helps to increase nutrient recycling, diversity, and abundance of soil microorganisms, and to lower bulk density, which helps root development.
Triticale is a potential leguminous winter cover crop to utilize.