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Growing Information

“Introducing New Products & Ideas”


Forerunner Triticale a versatile new option for the Dairy, Beef, Equine, Sheep producers and commercial hay growers.

World wide there has been a swing to using forage cereals instead of pasture for animal feeding, particularly in the production of hay. Forerunner Triticale which was bred for this purpose has been a pioneer in this area.

It has been grown for 16 years in America and 11 years in New Zealand. Forerunner crop seems to prefer warm conditions.

The  experiment:

During really hot weather early in April this experiment was sown. This is the growth on the Forerunner Triticale 10 days later. For the first 5 days the maximum temperate for the region ranged between 33 to 38c. For the next 5 days the temperature range was 24 to 27c.
The soil was not fertlised and the only water applied was at planting.

This has confirmed this plant is better suited to early sowing and could perform in sub tropical regions.


 Forerunner spends the cooler days of winter developing the root system and growing large numbers of tillers. At this stage it grows in a more prostrate manner (spread more outwards) and can be grazed longer and lower then the erect (straight up) grain cereals.


This is the main time when it needs to be monitored for weed competition. Any chemical that is applied to wheat can be used. 


The New Zealand Partners have been growing Forerunner for longer the any other and they use simple chemicals.

Knock down with Spray Seed, then post emergent Glean plus Reglone later on. To make sure this crop is protected when it is it's vunerable Stage.

Check with your  local agronomist would able to advise on the best regime.

When spring temperatures rise and the day length increases it will grow upright.  The crop canopy will fill rapidly with broad succulent leaves and compete well against weeds. 


Forerunner works well in both in early winter and spring plantings.

 Its greatest value may be the two cut management. Forerunner can be cut and ensiled prior to “boot” or heading stage and let to re-grow for a second cut for hay, silage, or grazing. In dry-land conditions.

Forerunner can be cut at the appropriate time for hay allowing grazing on the stubble and re-growth.

Harvest Maturity:

For two cut usage. The first cutting should be at early boot or flag leaf stage for the best quality of product.

The second cutting presents some option to the forage producer.

The greatest tonnage/quality mix (and in dry-land situations) the crop can be cut near anthesis (pollination) time for hay or silage.

Letting the crop mature longer does produce more dry matter per hectare but digestibility and overall quality of the forage product will decrease.

Crop Characteristics:

Forerunner is a “beardless” or “awnless” variety. This means Forerunner will display a very high percentage of heads with little or no long awns, unlike most triticale’s available today. Forerunner is a true forage variety.

It is designed and bred for grazing, plus hay or silage.

Forerunner can grow to average heights of 120 to 150cm for forage purposes.

Straw strength is good.

This crop will stand well with higher rates of nutrients. Stems are soft and highly palatable to livestock. Lower leaves stay green and “hang on” to provide a good leaf/stem ratio.

The harvested grain has the same attributes as other grain lines of Triticale.

Forerunner triticale appears to be resistant to current races of stem and leaf rusts.

So far the plantings in West Australia have been grown without insecticides or fungicides.

In the USA where wheat streak mosaic virus is a problem.

The early plantings are triticale which has high resistance.


Triticale’s are noted to be good users of Nitrogen and Phosphorous. Where environmental concerns are present Forerunner is an excellent choice to utilise excess or deficient nutrients on land.

Particularly in these situations it is recommend forage analysis of the crop to guard against any possible nutritional imbalances caused by nutrient availability. Anecdotal evidence shows the stock prefer to eat the Forerunner to pasture hay and there is less spoilage. 


Triticale forage can be an excellent source of digestible fiber that is vital for ruminant health and productivity. Protein content at boot stage will vary depending on fertility, moisture, and other growing conditions, but generally will range around 12 %.

For feeding animals that do not need maximum protein and digestibility, delaying baling can increase yield significantly.


Forage yield at the soft dough stage of development can be double the yield at boot stage, but protein can drop below 10%.

Cultural Practices:

As with any crop good seedbed and seed placement to the soil is essential to success.

Triticale’s planted in the early winter generally needs nutrition similar to wheat.


However, Forerunner can fully use higher levels of N which will contribute towards forage production. Seeding rates for forage production should be between 100 to 150kg per ha


The Forerunner franchise is owned by 3 farming families 2 West Australian Rodney & Murray Field, Rob Ladyman and the Simpson family from New Zealand.


These families believe livestock enterprises in the future will be more intensive. So they nurturing forage and hay products that will fit into this trend. 

 Forerunner Triticale is a PBR variety.

Further information: 0428 899 010 or Seed Services


If you would like to Purchase Forerunner Triticale or discuss this further please contact us.


IF You have any question about growing this line contact 


State Wide

Rodney Field                    0428 899 010   Email; Rodney 



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