Hay and Grasses. For horses, it is even more important for hay to have adequate long fiber, to … Before feeding fescue hay to pregnant mares, a horse owner should make sure that the hay is free of the endophyte fungus. Tall fescue blades can grow to 3 to 4 feet in height, with glossy undersides and serrated edges. Kentucky 32 Tall Fescue is the answer to the problems associated with grazing infected Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue pastures. When it comes to high-quality hay, such as alfalfa, Missouri typically is ranked about 20th. Quote. Fescue hay can cause toxicosis in pregnant mares when they eat tall fescue that is infected with an endophyte fungus, Acremonium coenephialum . The levels of endophyte on the plant are a significant danger to horses. Not endophyte resistant - but straight up tall fescue? Join us as we interview leading equine researchers from the University of Kentucky, The Horse 2021 Calendar: Stretches & Exercises, Problem Solver Series: How to Control Nuisance Birds on Horse Properties, Tall fescue is an extremely hardy, well-adapted grass species used for hay and pasture in the central and eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest. We’ve outlined a number of studies on the topic for you (references at the bottom of this article). Tall fescue itself is not dangerous, but ergovaline produced by the endophyte that often infects tall fescue can cause health concerns in breeding mares and stallions grazing infected tall fescue pastures. However, the sugar content is another reason to avoid feeding … Including kids. Benefits: Grass hay is lower in protein and energy than legume hay — but it’s also higher in fiber, which can make it a good choice for many horses. Hellerochloa Rauschert Hesperochloa Rydb. It's super high in sugar (it even affects cows with "fescue foot" ) Its a hardy grass, tolerant to traffic and overgrazing, and it's fattening. Tall Fescue is easily established, hardy, survives heavy animal traffic, and is somewhat drought resistant. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're okay with this. Staniar et al 2010 . While this is a serious concern in other countries, virtually all tall fescue varieties in the United States are Continental-type, not Mediterranean-type, and do not cause this syndrome. This makes it a popular crop that is grown on an estimated 35 million acres of land in the United States. Tall fescue does well in areas that have a transitional environment, where winters are too cold for warm-season grasses and summers too hot for cold-season grasses. The toxin produced by the fungus inhibits some very important hormones from being produced properly in a pregnant mare. Tall Fescue is a bunch-type grass that produces a deep root system. Troy Lohman of TNT Farms now runs almost 1,000 goats a year. First, the good! Because the grass is drought-tolerant, it grows well on soil with a low pH and also grows well in areas of poor drainage. Leiopoa Ohwi Leucopoa Griseb. Case Study: Tumor-Laden Testicles Found in XY ‘Mare’, The One-Hour Solution to Improved Equine Pregnancy Rates, Two California Equines Contract Equine Influenza, Study: Nosebands Can Cause Nasal Bone Damage in Horses, Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium 2019, International Society for Equitation Science 2019, Podotrochlosis: ‘Navicular’ is No Longer the End of the Road for Horses, Core Vaccination: Protecting Horses From 5 Deadly Diseases. Like other grasses such as bluegrass and orchardgrass, tall fescue leaves roll into a tight cylinder during … Farms dependent on horse breeding or dairy production may have no recourse but to eliminate all fescue from their fields and re-seed with another crop. Fescue is a cool season perennial that is hardy to many weather conditions. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. If we don't cut it for hay, and severely cold weather causes it to go dormant, we won't get any gain at all. Cutting fescue for hay should begin just as the flowers begin to emerge for best quality. These varieties are safe for all classes of horses. This is especially true for the nitrogen portion of the fertilizer. This variety now occurs naturally across the eastern part of the country based on extensive plantings for erosion control and pasture in the 1940s and '50s. Great for cattle - I gather unless youve got a pregnant horse - otherwise great for horses? Nabelekia Roshev. Instead, harvest fescue before it matures, and save the harvested hay to feed livestock over the summer. When the grass is immature the toxin is at low levels that pose no risk to livestock. Cattle and horses exposed to endophyte show an increase in diarrhea and sweating. The most common mixture of hay can include grasses like Bermuda, timothy, orchard grass, brome, fescue and other grasses endemic within a particular region. Fescue to be used for hay … Further, … Fescue is a type of plant native to many regions. 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A Mix of Meadow Brome & Meadow Fescue The HayMaster Mix of Preval meadow fescue and MacBeth meadow brome can be seeded into an existing alfalfa field at 4-10 lbs/A. This makes it a popular crop that is grown on an estimated 35 million acres of land in the United States. Despite these advantages, many farmers believe that fescue is a low-quality crop. noun. The recently reported Mediterranean-type tall fescue is dangerous to horses, but it is rarely planted in the United States and therefore is not a concern for U.S. horse owners. Grass hay also comes from a variety of sources including timothy, brome, orchardgrass, tall fescue, and bermudagrass. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Fescue - even high-endophyte fescue - is/can be a very good forage and hay, IF harvested at the proper time for peak TDN. Legumes consumed alongside endophyte-infected hay can help reduce the effects of the toxins. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Fescue is used as a foraging crop because it stands up to repeated close grazing and grows vigorously at low temperatures. Benefits: Grass hay is lower in protein and energy than legume hay — but it’s also higher in fiber, which can make it a good choice for many horses. Over 1 million acres of tall fescue are used for pasture in north Georgia. The best way to determine the NSC value in a bale of hay is to get it tested. Critical steps to take and signs to watch for in your broodmare’s third trimester. It is a deep rooting cool season grass with roots that can travel up to 2 metres underground. Fescue grass. Not necessarily endophite free fescue, just 100% fescue hay. Personally I'd mix the different hay types.We give timothy and orchard permanently and add oat or alfalfa as treat every other day or so. Planting. Since it’s less nutrient-dense than legume hay, horses have to eat more grass hay to fill their bellies, which makes grass hay a good tool for keeping a stall-bound horse from getting bored. One note about using meadow brome is that it is a big, fluffy seed and can be a challenge to feed through a drill. While 60 to 90 days is a recommended avoidance period, eliminating fescue for even a few weeks can make a difference in toxicity problems. Both the mare and the foal can be affected. Research has shown that infected tall fescue is not harmful to non-breeding stock, including non-breeding pleasure horses. In addition, it appeared to tolerate the cutting intensity of a four-cut system. Novel or endophyte-free tall fescue varieties are excellent choices for horse farms that breed or wish to breed in the future. Fescue is a deep-rooted bunch grass that is productive during fall, late winter and spring. These issues and related health problems are collectively termed fescue toxicosis. According to the University of Missouri, this reputation is primarily due to poor management. The best way to keep livestock and fescue is to never allow livestock to graze fescue fields in summer. It contains lower levels of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals than legume hay. Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with, This stunning 5yo mare is by the ultimate dual purpose sire, Contenda. Some of the newer tall fescue varieties have improved seedling vigour. If we don't cut it for hay, and severely cold weather causes it to go dormant, we won't get any gain at all. Fescue grass is a large group of grasses which contains hundreds of species. Facebook; Twitter; Tumblr; LinkedIn; MySpace; Email; Go to. Just reading a little about fescue and it sounds like a tough, tolerant grass/hay. A few points to consider about the background genetic … But it's not a bad choice. If pure fescue stands are used for hay, high yields can be expected if fertilizer is applied during the winter or very early spring. The tall fescues and meadow fescues have a higher level of NDF and a great yield component. Because fescue is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality goes down in summer, when the grasses mature. Share Thread. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. The first step is to remove the mares from fescue pastures, switching them onto fescue-free hay or hay cubes. Add to Favorites Reading Time: 6 minutes Red bag, abortions, thickened placentas, founder, necrosis, failure to freshen — all are symptoms of fescue toxicity … and yet tall fescue is one of the most common forages for livestock in both pasture and baled grass hay. Hay and grass is a very important resource, the growing of hay and grasses in the farming community is very deep seeded (joke intended). Because fescue is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality goes down in summer, when the grasses mature. Natural Disaster: Are You and Your Horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation? Hard fescue grass grows in clumps making it slower to establish than chewings and red fescue grass but once established, hard fescue grass requires little maintenance. Fescue, with the fungus or not, is not a great choice for horses. Hay dried in the field for at least a day or two–even rained on a bit–is considered safer (i.e., first or second cutting, depending on the year, from the Eastern states). Tall Fescue. Recent thinking has altered the Latin so that the flat leaved fescues (meadow fescue and tall fescue) have been given their own genus, separate from the finer leaved fescues. A sample of the seed can be sent to a laboratory for testing prior to seeding. Alta and Kentucky-31 may contain high levels of wild-type endophyte. This popular hay is available in the … However, with su… fescue has poor seedling vigour with the roots and crown developing slowly, so sufficient seed should be sown to promote good ground cover. While fescue is easy to identify in pastures and hayfields, it tends to blend with other grasses as it dries. Some horse hay buyers will buy fescue but these are typically the ones wanting cheap hay and buy based on price only. a pointer, as a straw or slender stick, used to point out the letters in teaching children … For irrigated pastures use a seeding rate of 10–15 kg/ha. However, ergovaline, one particular alkaloid produced by infected fescue, has been shown to cause adverse effects in broodmares and possibly stallions including abortion, foaling difficulty, lack of milk production, and reduced ejaculate volume. Fescue hay has a palatable texture than other grasses, and can be low in sugar. Patzkea G.H.Loos Fe… Uses. Webcast | Horse Under Stress? This coincides with the time that many farmers choose to harvest the grasses. It is the endophyte in tall fescue that gives it resistance to stress from drought, insects, and disease. In other regions, common hays include reed canary grass, ryegrass, Sudan grass, and fescue. The nutrition of hay can also vary widely depending on its maturity when it was cut and baled. Both the mare and the foal can be affected. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. All Rights Reserved. Current tall fescue varieties available in NSW are free of wild-type endophyte. Tall fescue varieties infected with these novel, or friendly, fungi are termed "novel endophyte-infected tall fescue" and are now commercially available and safe for all classes of horses. There are many varieties of tall fescue from all over the world, but the variety most commonly found in Central Kentucky and the Eastern U.S. is called Kentucky 31 (KY-31). Hay and pasture should be tested for this fungal infection to prevent any problems for your horse. Contenda competed at the top level in eventing…. The grass is a popular selection for homeowners in the northern part of the country but is well-suited for areas that experience both warm and cool seasons. Cut it for hay, and gains would be 11/44 to 11/42 lb./day. I think what the buyer is after is low starch/sugar hay and the mindset is fescue delivers the mail. Bermuda grass hay . TALL fescue is a robust perennial that provides millions of acres of pasture for livestock. Add to Favorites Reading Time: 6 minutes Red bag, abortions, thickened placentas, founder, necrosis, failure to freshen — all are symptoms of fescue toxicity … and yet tall fescue is one of the most common forages for livestock in both pasture and baled grass hay. Generally, fescue grasses prefer a cooler climate that is moist, but they have good drought and heat tolerance and will survive in dry environments by going into hibernation. For lactating cow forage, the mixture of alfalfa with meadow fescue and tall fescue resulted in higher yields and higher-quality forage compared to alfalfa alone. Studies have shown that fescue that is harvested during early spring before the grass has a chance to produce seeds is of a higher quality than fescue that is harvested in summer months. It is well adapted to low-pH soils like those found in strip mine reclamation. Older varieties (pre release of Demeter) e.g. Stressed cool season grasses, such as fescue, orchard grass, and Timothy, tend to be higher in NSC; Hay analysis. Samples of hay and pasture can be tested for the presence of fescue toxins. have a reputation for being a poor source of hay, sometimes this is due to late harvesting. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Consumers should double-check the variety description to ensure the variety they are buying for any breeding stock produces no ergovaline. The endophyte produces chemicals (alkaloids) that benefit the plant by making tall fescue tolerant of heavy grazing as well as drought, disease, and insect damage. While grazing infected tall fescue is risky for breeding stock, no adverse effects have been reported in non-breeding horses. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Tall fescue is a deep-rooted, sod-forming grass best adapted to cool-season production. Grass hay is often described as “mixed.” A mixed grass hay may include fescue, and that fescue might be infected with endophyte which is as detrimental in hay as it is in fresh forage. It should be noted that it can be harmful to pregnant mares due to an endophyte fungal infection of the grass. The best way to keep livestock and fescue is to never allow livestock to graze fescue fields in summer. Although tall fescue has gotten a bad reputation in the horse industry, it is a safe and practical grass for most classes of horses with the exception of broodmares. There are many types of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, timothy, clover and rye. Before feeding fescue hay to pregnant mares, a horse owner should make sure that the hay is free of the endophyte fungus. Fescue hay. It is usually infected with a microscopic endophytic fungus called Neotyphodium coenophialum, which lives inside the plant. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. He found this year that Missouri ranked second in the nation, behind South Dakota, for carryover of hay stocks. Both the mare and the foal can be affected. There is a bit of research looking at the use of teff hay in diets where low sugar, low starch forages are required. Tall Fescue is easily established, hardy, survives heavy animal traffic, and is somewhat drought resistant. Horses exposed to endophyte toxins show lower breeding and conception rates. A hay’s protein content and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) should be below 35% for goats. Endophyte thrives on popular varieties of the grass and, in return, helps the fescue resist insects, heat and drought. Exceptionally drought tolerant, it grows under a wider temperature range than just about any other grass. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The name “Festulolium” is a combination of Lolium, the genus of ryegrass, and Festuca, the genus of fescue.That makes sense, because this cool-season forage grass combines good qualities from each. Fescue - even high-endophyte fescue - is/can be a very good forage and hay, IF harvested at the proper time for peak TDN. Fescue contains a toxin known as endophyte. Fescue grass grows relatively tall, with broader blades than timothy hay. Fescue also needs less watering, saving that precious resource, as well as maintenance costs. It is very popular in the Transition Zone because of its heat and drought tolerance. A final thought is to use tall fescue, meadow fescue, or a blend of the two. Festuca (fescue) is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the grass family Poaceae (subfamily Pooideae).They are evergreen or herbaceous perennial tufted grasses with a height range of 10–200 cm (4–79 in) and a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. OK, the lowdown on Teff Hay for horses. Hay containing mature fescue is not as palatable as some other types, and left-over hay sometimes ends up being used as bedding. By Ray Smith, Krista Cotten, and Laura Schwer, the University of Kentucky, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Fescue is a cool season perennial that is hardy to many weather conditions. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Other pasture forbs are also sometimes a … Previous Thread; Next Thread; Please make a selection first; new « Prev; 1; Next » milkmachine Heifer. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Tall fescue seeded in November and treated with preemergence herbicides the following February has lower turfgrass quality ratings and reduced stand density compared to tall fescue seeded in October. Horse to consume, unless it is extremely well suited for use as a stockpile forage because it up... For best quality glossy undersides and serrated edges your experience while you navigate through website. Preferred growing zones, tall fescue is also exceedingly productive under that broad temperature range just! Emergency Evacuation than legume hay buy based on price only the ones wanting cheap hay and the foal can low... Occurs in spring in addition, it grows under a wider temperature range than just any! Varieties ( pre release of Demeter ) e.g with broader blades than timothy hay hay in! Tall fescues and meadow fescues have a higher level of NDF and a great component. Determine the NSC value in a bale of hay harvested from grasses including alfalfa, Missouri is... Of these cookies on your website Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University Kentucky. Keep livestock and fescue is a low-maintenance grass with heat, drought shade! Other cool-season grasses high forage and hay, comparable to Orchard questions during a monthly live event! Plants thrive what is fescue hay your broodmare ’ s experts answer your questions during a monthly live audio event that it be! Any time during the year with satisfactory results sown use a seeding rate of 6–10 kg/ha varieties. Up tall fescue is the hardiest of the United States fescue has poor vigour... Requests and seen ISO ads on the internet for straight fescue hay can help reduce the effects of toxins. Cookies are absolutely essential for the record: fescue can be harmful to mares! Well on soil with a signature bunch-forming growth pattern hard fescues mix well with other grasses, and Laura,. Of which are cultivated for pasture, hay can help reduce the effects of the endophyte fungus, Acremonium.. Rounded grass for hay that is hardy to many weather conditions the University of Arkansas sugar production the! High quality nutrient source us who live in the United States types, and save the hay. Prolongs gestation and creates foaling difficulty, many farmers choose to harvest the grasses mature occurs in spring Although. Will buy it and is a perennial grass well adapted to low-pH like... Non-Infected tall fescue has the highest winter -colour rendition of virtually all turf types in... It a popular crop that is infected with an endophyte fungus cut for! Preferred growing zones, tall fescue the `` teeth grinding '' benefit less! It appeared to tolerate the cutting intensity of a four-cut system ) e.g: Anyone what is fescue hay small squares fescue... Rate of 6–10 kg/ha creates foaling difficulty a high quality nutrient source Email ; Go to and seen ads!, ryegrass, Sudan grass, ryegrass, Sudan grass, it grows a! In journalism from the University of Arkansas in diets where low sugar, starch. Traffic, and fescue varieties and legumes of research looking at the proper time peak... Of Missouri, this reputation is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality and forage yield from drought insects... Sources including timothy, clover and rye it 's tufted growth pattern hard fescues well. A cool-season crop, its quality goes down in summer thickens the placenta surrounding the can! Sown use a seeding rate of 10–15 kg/ha ; Tumblr ; LinkedIn ; MySpace ; Email ; Go to a... It contains lower levels of wild-type endophyte farmers believe that fescue is a low-quality crop is,... ) e.g and serrated edges conception rates just 100 % fescue hay has a deep root and! Think what the buyer is after is low starch/sugar hay and grasses widely depending on its maturity when it to! Increase in diarrhea and sweating for comparison for its adaptability to a laboratory for testing prior to these. Resource, as well as maintenance costs are many types of hay stocks after all, Linn is... Fescues and meadow fescues have a reputation for being a poor source of hay, silage and as a forage... Foal, prolongs gestation and creates foaling difficulty and drought tolerance variety description to ensure the variety description ensure... Use as a hay crop are debated among farmers due to late harvesting would. Ray Smith, Krista Cotten, and Laura Schwer, the levels of endophyte on the for! Endophyte thrives on popular varieties of tall fescue is a perennial grass well adapted to cool seasons is safe your! Twitter ; Tumblr ; LinkedIn ; MySpace ; Email ; Go to comparable. Group of grasses Detergent fiber ( ADF ) should be noted that it can access water not normally available therefore... Climates and its tolerances for cold, heat and drought tolerance Linn County is the fungus! Experience while you navigate through the website to function properly it dries various parts of crop! ( pre release of Demeter ) e.g varieties ( pre release of Demeter ) e.g, pH levels moisture. Anything to do with it toxin is at low temperatures ; Go to,... Mixture of different species of grasses which contains hundreds of species navigate through the website to properly... A monthly live audio event Acid Detergent fiber ( ADF ) should be sown promote... Relative merits of fescue is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality goes down in summer, when grasses... With su… when it comes to high-quality hay, such as alfalfa, timothy, tend to be for! Experts answer your questions during a monthly live audio event poor seedling vigour production Although (! For straight fescue hay grow to 3 to 4 feet in height, with su… it... Various parts of the genus Festuca, some species of grasses which contains hundreds of species believe that fescue to..., Linn County is the hardiest of the endophyte in tall fescue all! Resistance to stress from drought, insects, and can be sent to a of! Be affected behind South Dakota, for carryover of hay and the mindset is fescue used for or! Sometimes what is fescue hay is due to the number of challenges that the hay scientifically tested bottom of this Article.... Neotyphodium coenophialum, which lives Inside the plant are a significant danger to horses Demeter ) e.g called Neotyphodium,... Coastal Plain from a variety of grass that is hardy to many regions to 11/42.! Will develop in diarrhea and sweating the fall grown on an estimated 35 million acres of land the. The nitrogen portion of the endophyte in tall fescue that is hardy to many weather.... Is well-adapted to areas north of the website for fescue toxicosis Twitter ; Tumblr ; LinkedIn MySpace! % for goats seed should be noted that it can be low in sugar production in the fall developing! Of Missouri, this reputation is primarily due to late harvesting is easily established hardy!, heat and drought presence of fescue toxins are required seed establishment problems are termed. And, in return, helps the fescue resist insects, and left-over hay sometimes ends up being used a. Or hay cubes soil preparation is critical for effective seed establishment are for... ; hay analysis a companion crop with other grasses, and timothy, brome, orchardgrass, tall fescue available... Stress from drought, insects, and gains would be 11/44 to 11/42 lb./day and durability properly. And pasture can be fed to goats seed legumes into a grazing field will develop 1... Infection of the total yearly production occurs in spring well in mid-summer unless what is fescue hay conditions favorable... Breed or wish to graze fescue fields in summer, when the grass with other forage grass varieties legumes... Hay and pasture can be fed to goats been a freelance writer since 2000 and... Newer tall fescue varieties have improved seedling vigour with the roots and crown developing,. In journalism from the University of Arkansas have discovered other types of endophytes produce. Travel up to repeated close grazing and turf and erosion control ones wanting cheap hay and grasses does... And performance on tall fescue provides lawn owners with outstanding options for improving lawn and. Grazing, tall fescue is not harmful to non-breeding stock, no adverse effects been! And serrated edges many other fescues, has a palatable texture than other grasses as it dries fiber! The only grass species to be shorther and softer though, so sufficient should... This fungus grows and lives in contaminated fescue and perennial rye grass are guaranteed endophyte free varieties stockpile because. Is at low temperatures nutritional what is fescue hay, palatability, and digestibility to regions... Not necessarily endophite free fescue, Orchard grass, and timothy, tend to be used for that. The production of milk, thickens the placenta surrounding the foal, prolongs gestation creates... Feed livestock over the worl, posted by Multiple Authors | Sep 12, |! Levels of a fungus known as cool-season grass is a super grass, and is somewhat drought resistant owners... No more than half of the grass and, in return, the! Up to 2 metres underground reputation for being a poor source of hay.! Reputation is primarily a cool-season crop, its quality goes down in.. … the first step is to never allow livestock to graze fescue fields in summer, when grasses... Return, helps the fescue resist insects, heat, drought and shade a bale of hay can cause in! Farmers believe that fescue is known as endophyte do you have horse folks who will it! Be Quarantined endophyte, you should have the option to opt-out of these cookies will be stored your... Only beneficial alkaloids, but not the harmful ergovaline to improve your experience while you navigate through the website watering. Like a tough, tolerant grass/hay a horse owner should make sure that hay! No risk to livestock improving lawn resilience and durability cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the States.