Fescue and Grazing Research

Fescue and Grazing Research

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Grazing cattle Grazing cattle

May 13, 2016

Story provided by the University of Kentucky

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFDTV) - Tall fescue is a cool season grass that is the forage base for grazing animals in the southeast here in the U.S. that’s the case in Kentucky for cattle, horses and other animals. Fescue has a fungal partner, an endophyte that helps the plant tolerate harsh weather, but it produces chemicals which can be toxic to livestock and insects as well.  Jeff Franklin reports on-going research at the University of Kentucky is looking at climate change and the effect it may have on the endophyte and its ability to adapt with the changes.

UK researchers emphasize the importance of genetics, saying that the tall fescue endophyte response to the climate change is very dependent on the genetics of both plant and endophyte. Through research and development, there are now new varieties of tall fescue pasture grass that are endophyte free or endophyte friendly and are recommended when planting new pastures or renovating older ones. 

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