Nutrient losses due to leaching commonly occurs when soils are wet and draining, often after summer crops have been harvested heading into winter.  Cover or catch crops are often used as a mitigation tool for nitrate leaching, however the challenge is to plant a crop which actively grows during the wetter and colder months.

Cates recently introduced WinterMax T-100 Triticale to the market.  WinterMax T100 was developed by the team at Plant Research (NZ) and Grasslanz Technology to fit a need in the dairy sector for a catch crop that can be sown in autumn or winter and can rapidly accumulate dry matter over the winter period.

WinterMax T100’s rapid growth reduces soil surface temperature extremes and creates a micro-climate for less frost tolerant species to grow underneath.  WinterMax T100 can be effectively included in a pasture mix with high feed-value forage species, including ryegrass and clover. In this situation the grower can cut the Wintermax T100 following winter to allow for the other species to dominate.

If grown for green chop silage WinterMax T100 matures approximately two to three weeks faster than oats. This gives farmers more flexibility and also allows for a longer time of decomposition between crops if no-till farming systems are being utilised.

Forage trials sown in Canterbury (April 2014) evaluating dry matter production, comparing oats and triticale, showed that WinterMax T100 produced 1350 kg DM/ha, whereas the oat varieties only produced 528 kg DM/ha 80 days after planting.

WinterMax T100’s deep root system gives this variety excellent nutrient scavenging ability and it offers superior early vigour when compared to similar catch crops such as oats and wheat. WinterMax T100 also offers a highly nutritious early spring forage supplement by retaining green leaf throughout winter.

The combination of WinterMax T100’s vigorous winter growth and deep rooting potential offers protection when soils are most susceptible to nitrate leaching and soil erosion risks. Results of a cover crop trial sown in April 2019 (Irwell) found WinterMax T100 had a 17% increase in aggregates over 1mm from prior to sowing to after green chop harvest. Aggregates reflect the soil structure. Soils with lower aggregates <1mm are prone to soil erosion, soil compaction and reduced crop yield from reduced plant root depth

Results of FAR field trials (Chertsey, 2015) show positive results in terms of nitrogen uptake.  In trials comparing WinterMax T100 with Doubletake Triticale, Milton Oat, and Torch Wheat it was found that WinterMax T100 was the only variety where Kg/Ha nitrogen removed at the final harvest exceeded the total Nitrogen applied (Mineral N + applied N)


In June 2022 Wintermax T100 Triticale was awarded a UK national listing with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).  APHA is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK.  This significant achievement illustrates a recognition by the UK of Wintermax T100’s significant winter growth rates and its superior features.  It also further reinforces its credibility and recognises the huge amount of work that has been undertaken by Plant Research Limited to deliver this high performing triticale to the global


To find out more about this effective option for reducing nitrogen contact your local Cates agronomist or call 0800 900 308.

To read more about WinterMax T100 Triticale click here.

Agronomist, Darcy Moore inspecting WinterMax T100 drilled into a lucerne stand at the Ashburton Airport (photo taken in October 2021)

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