Novel Endophyte Fescue Questions

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leeave96

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Anyone planted novel endophyte fescue? If so...

How do you like it over K31?
How many years have you had it and do you think it will last as long as K31?
Do you test for toxins and/or do you see K31 creeping back in?
Do you find heavy application of nitrogen increases toxicity like K31?
What novel endophyte fescue variety did you plant?
Anyone bale novel endophyte fescue for dry hay?
How is the heat and drought tolerance?
If it goes to seed, will that seed germinate and reseed your field for continued growth and stand longevity?
Is novel endophyte fescue more palatable than K31?
Would you plant novel endophyte fescue again?

Thinking about planting some novel endophyte fescue, of all things, for square bales of horse quality hay. I want stand longevity of K31 (read longer than orchard grass or timothy), heat/drought durability, good yield and good regrowth for second and third cuttings.

Any experience and/or sage advice regarding novel endophyte fescue is much appreciated!
 

JParrott

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We've done both KY32 endophyte free and novel Max Q. I prefer the Max Q simply because it behaves exactly as KY31 and the stands have lasted last longer before returning to what I assume by this point is all or partially KY31. Dad sprayed 15 acres and planted it in Max Q only back in 2015 and then harvested the seed over the next four years and kept it. Used the seed to plant into other fields after we'd sprayed them.

I've (we) have never tested for toxins, rather watched how the cows that are more susceptible reacted to grazing the pasture each summer. Palatability was no different in my experience. I could tell more of a difference in the preference based off of soil Ph rather than what was growing. In my experience, Max Q behaves the same as KY31 with regard to heat and drought tolerance. Yes, we've cut and baled our original Max Q 15 acre field at least once a year since it was planted. It's probably 50/50 in clover though at this point.

I would plant again and I may in the future at some point.

I don't sell hay to horse people.

All that aside, I am of the opinion that diluting pasture with red and white clover, maintaining soil Ph of 6-6.5, and culling based off susceptibility is a better operating method for myself. The reason why is mainly that KY31 will creep back in eventually as I can't control the neighbors and it's everywhere around here. It's a matter of when, not if. The only way to establish novel or endophyte free is to start from scratch in the dirt and that's not something I'm willing to do over and over every so many years. I can lime, fertilize, frost seed clover every two or three years, and cull the middle aged and older cows that don't handle it well with less work and it fit the rhythm and flow of everything here better.

I think you can get what you want fairly easy if you work it. If there's anyone around with KY31 adjacent though, I don't think it'll last as long as you'd like.
 

Little Joe

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My thoughts are along the same line as JParrot, I don't believe in fescue country that there's anyway to eradicate KY31 for good, it's gonna come back at some point. Dilution is the best solution, overseed it with clover and cool season annuals and it will dilute how much fescue they're getting in a bite. Also cull for cattle that can handle the endophyte infected fescue. Keeping the seedheads clipped helps as well.
 

FungusProudKY31

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Tried Estansia, BaroptimaPlus and maybe another one but not Max Q on newly cleared land. In SC, the Max Q I've seen never gets out of the row pattern even after years. A researcher who knows told me it was a first step and the endophyte was not what they really needed. All said, the Persist orchardgrass I added to the stands have outperformed the novels and we are in a marginal area for orchardgrass. My efforts were purely to satisfy myself to know what will or will not work. If you want once and done - plant KY31 and take the great advice from above:

"I am of the opinion that diluting pasture with red and white clover, maintaining soil Ph of 6-6.5, and culling based off susceptibility is a better operating method for myself. The reason why is mainly that KY31 will creep back in eventually as I can't control the neighbors and it's everywhere around here. It's a matter of when, not if."

Our soils here are largely ruined from 100+ years of cotton and erosion. A quality mineral is a luxury to some but a necessity here. Be sure that the Zn, Cu and Se are good sources and enough and be sure it has iodine to keep down hoof issues.

And my opinion again - I think it is slightly dishonest for extension gurus to talk folks into the expense and lost grazing of renovation and not produce research to tell what we all know in that KY31 will rule again one day. Tell us how long that is going to be. It ties heavily into the economics.

Animal selection is the key. We strip graze in winter and breed in the spring on KY31 and the calving seasons for the past 2 years have been 46 and 47 days. Calf weights are good to almost too big while the information is that KY31 suppresses BW. Sometimes you have to think for yourself and know who funds the research. I hate it is that way.
 

coachg

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Not sure which variety my son planted but we got a poor stand , what we got up died out 2-3 years later . Perfect conditions for planting and growing, so we thought it was on the grass . Same year we planted orchard grass , it has done well . My only complaint with orchard grass is a tendency to be clumpy. I agree with the idea of planting regular fescue but planting white clover , orchard grass , and possibly crabgrass . We graze and cut hay off our mixed fields .
 

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