luke03cr wrote:There are a few different types of fescue that you can plant. I am assuming you have the Endophyte-infected tall fescue which is in almost all Ky31 seeds. What you would be looking to plant would be ky32 or endophyte free equalivelent, it is a Endophyte free tall fescue seed that does not carry the risks of the infected fescue. The endophyte is a fungus that grows in the cells of the plant which increases its drought hardiness and ability to withstand acidic soils. The trade off is fescue toxosis for your cattle herd. What i would do if you were concerened about this is mow down your suspected infected fescue, then plant you ky32 in the fields you which to graze or bale, i would do this in the fall. Then in the early spring i would plant 6 to 8lbs.of clovers, mix of white and crimmson red for added nitrogen for soil.
dun wrote:Good article, BUT, the spray smother spray method won;t completely eliminate the infected stuff. It took 4-5 years but our WSG field has more and more fescue in it. We did all the steps and it took about 2 years to really get the WSG producing. Now any bare spot either comes up in fescue or crabgrass. The seed bank can lay there for years before it decides it's time to germinate.
Banjo wrote:dun wrote:Good article, BUT, the spray smother spray method won;t completely eliminate the infected stuff. It took 4-5 years but our WSG field has more and more fescue in it. We did all the steps and it took about 2 years to really get the WSG producing. Now any bare spot either comes up in fescue or crabgrass. The seed bank can lay there for years before it decides it's time to germinate.
Do you think most people waste money on fescue seed especially and other seed by buying it and sowing it when there is probably plenty already in the seed bank that may only need the soil tickled/scratched a little? What are your/anybody's thoughts on this.
Yes, endophyte-infected fescue can be a problem. But, speaking from past experience, I would never again kill out an established stand of good ol' 'dirty' KY-31 - I'd just manage it - keeping a good stand of legumes(clovers, lespedezas) going to 'dilute' out deleterious effects, while selecting cattle that can perform on it.
Back in the day, when I was still stupid enough to chase 'giverment' dollars from FSA, NRCS, etc., I killed out my KY 31 - and also reclaimed a creekbottom field that had been in corn/soybean rotation for years - planting the orchardgrass/timothy/red clover mix THEY require, though I also mixed in some endophyte-free fescue 'on my own dime'. Looked good the first year...but, timothy only lasts 1-2 years here, endophyte-free fescue turns 'toes-up' at the first hint of drought or overgrazing, red clover only lasts 2-3 years at best, and orchardgrass is about the last thing my cows will eat when they're rotating through the paddocks.
So...I've ended up having to come back, within 3-5 years and re-plant(again, on my own dime). Have done it with Max-Q(novel endophyte) and Persist orchardgrass - both of which have performed well in combination in grazing trials down in Lawrence Co., TN. Probably would have just gone back with KY-31, if it weren't for the wife's thought that she might, one day, want to breed some mares and raise some foals. Certainly was more expensive to seed Max-Q or any of the other novel endophyte varieties than KY-31, but it's performed well here.
Are my cows performing better on Max-Q than they would on KY-31, and was it a wise decision to go that route? I don't know; and without any significant stand of KY-31 on the place anymore, I don't have any way to compare.
Studies have shown that there's minimal, if any, 'migration' of undesirable endophyte into endophyte-free or 'friendly-endophyte' stands from neighboring fields - but if you don't have a 1.5-2 year span between killing off the original high-endophyte stand - and preventing seedlings of that infected stand from becoming established(the endophyte in seed pretty well dies off in the seed after 2 years) - you can have significant 'volunteer' endophyte-infected fescue popping up in a renovated field.
Bigfoot wrote:I am experimenting with some of the pasture on my place. It's in bad shape grass wise. I am being pretty persistent spraying it with 2 4 d. Twice in the spring, and once recently. The most recent didn't kill good though. I'm hopeing letting the fescue spread, and seed out will be better than sewing it down. I have terrible luck planting any kind of grass seed anyway. I did it with my horse pasture last year, and it worked great. The difference was, I would graze it close, rotate the pasture, spray it, then couple weeks later mow it. Kinda an intensive grazing for horses. Through the drought this year I grazed 4 horses on 4 acres. Everybody that comes to my house comments on how thick the grass is. I can't do that on my place for the cows. To labor intensive. I read all of agmans stuff, but I just don't have the time, or water. I hope it works. I am relying on the seed bank/dropped seed for it to work. If my calculations are correct a few pass overs with 2 4 d are going to be substantially cheaper than reseeding.
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