Thursday 10 June 2010


It'd be almost impossible NOT to learn something new each day. If, however, one managed the impossible, I would consider that day wasted.

Yesterday afternoon, for example, my friend Laurence popped in to see us unexpectedly, and I quizzed her about her field, above, of (what I now know to be) Triticale.

We've all heard of Wheat, Barley, Oats, and Rye; but TRITICALE?

Developed in the late 19th Century by Scottish/Swedish researchers (hence the peculiar name), it's an ingenious cross between Wheat and Rye. Wheat playing the female role, and Rye the male (i.e. Rye provides the pollen).

It's only recently been perfected as a viable crop, and is already being grown extensively across Europe, China, and elsewhere. So, have you eaten it? Quite possibly, as it turns up in breakfast cereals, pasta, health-foods, and some breads.

Laurence said her own crop would probably be sold as cattle feed, but research is also under way to use it to produce bioethanol. I also understand that it contains much higher protein than Wheat. The plants themselves are very sturdy, so little chance of it being knocked down by wind, as one sees so often in ordinary Wheat fields.

So the next time you see a nice solid looking field of Wheat, it could in fact be TRITICALE. Pub-quizzers take note!.... (couldn't they have called it Reat?)
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  1. hi Cro...another great blog full of info..I must chat to my farmer friends and see if they have heard of it here in Australia,Seeing it rolled like that is just the same as we do it here although some farmers still do the square bales,thanks again.Carole

  2. Carole, the field in the foreground was just hay. The Triticale is the bluer standing crop beyond.

  3. No, I never heard of it before, either. Rape is grown more and more in England, and the lemon-yellow fields are becoming part of the typical landscape. I don't know how I feel about that, apart from that I prefer Flax blue.

  4. lol ok Cro glad you put me right there lol

  5. I love that wonderful blue tinge it has. I find out all kinds of interesting stuff here, Cro!

  6. Thanks for that interesting piece of info, yes you do learn something every day, I mainly am taught by my children :)
    sue x

  7. I hadn't heard of Triticale either. I would imagine the corn harvest would be earlier where you are. Looks as if it would stand up to the weather better than the norm. We had torrential rain at times here on Sunday - just the thing to flatten the corn fields.


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