Symptom of fescue toxicity?

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inyati13

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I am using a select fescue seed that is said to be endophyte free. Does that mean it is not containing the fungus but when exposed (as it will be in this area) will become infected or that it will never become infected? The vendor only knows that it is endophyte free. The bag says it is grown in Oregon and that it is an endophyte free fescue.
 

dun

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inyati13":2cuepzz3 said:
I am using a select fescue seed that is said to be endophite free. Does that mean it is not containing the fungus but when exposed (as it will be in this area) will become infected or that it will never become infected? The vendor only knows that it is endophyte free. The bag says it is grown in Oregon and that it is an endophyte free fescue.
The plants that grow from that seed or plants that grow as volunteers from it will not become infected. But other plants that will eventually take over the field will probably be. The endophyte free plants don;t have very good persistence and will die out relatively fast. Any seed from adjoining fields that are endophyte infected will end up taking over. Rather then the E-free stuff, the friendly endophyte stuff is a better bet. It's pretty expensive but it has almost as good persistence as the KY-31.
 

dun

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The counter the endophyte in fescue they defloped fesue with ni endophyte. Ehen it turned out to be less persistant then the orginal KY-31 they went back to the drawing boards and developed a fescue with a "friendly" i.e. non-toxic fescue. I think it;s called MaxQ. It's persists almost as well as KY-31 but it is really priceym around 8 bucks a pound. There are more friendly endophyte varietys I;m sure, but MaxQ was the first of them
 

Lucky_P

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What dun said.
I planted some endophyte free fescue 10-12 years ago, when reclaiming a corn/bean field to pasture. Looked GREAT for about 2 years - until we had a drought, then it died.
Have since gone back and re-seeded that and another 40 acres with MaxQ (I would never recommend killing out a stand of KY-31 to do it for commercial beef cattle, but that's another story for another time).

Endophyte-free fescue may be great in an irrigated hayfield, but in a pasture situation, if you ever encounter moderate to severe drought or overgraze it, it'll turn 'toes-up'. Go with a 'novel endophyte' variety or manage your high-endophyte stands to minimize toxicity problems.
 
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Chris H

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regolith":2lvx1k6q said:
It sounds like photosensitivity/eczema which can range from not much to worry about, to fatal. What we call Facial Eczema in NZ is caused by fungal toxins in the ryegrass, and the symptoms are due to liver damage. Photosensitivity can exist without liver damage.
http://cowcalfandvet.blogspot.co.nz/200 ... czema.html (photos of a Jersey cow with spring eczema)

Although our vet said fescue toxicity, I still have had a problem with that diagnosis. Our cow has not had any of the typical fescue toxicity symptoms. Sunday night I thought she was getting lame, but she had just walked across fresh limestone rock and favored the one foot. That foot was fine the next day. She's also 10, born & raised on this farm, grazed on the field 7 months of every year of her life.
I've continued researching and found information about photosensitivity, caused by fungal toxins damaging the liver. This site really comes closest to her symptoms, http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/coumarin.html The combination of hot & dry, being replaced by cool & wet really got the fescue growing in that field. But, there are weeds & sweet clover growing under that fescue that's gotten to 18-24 inches high. The possibility of fungus is real high in that field, as well as other fields. Spots of lush sweet clover growth is also a likely culprit.
I've been wondering if our vets cow had 2 things wrong, fescue toxicity as well as photosensitivity, with our cow just the 1 thing.
No other cows have gotten sick, this cow is eating & drinking OK. I think she's drying up, so her udder isn't as swollen. Her teats are still dark.


I just clicked on your link... yep, that is pretty much like it. Our cows teats are a bit darker, but being a Herf with a nice pink udder I would expect the color to be different. That, plus our calf was nursing it probably brought the blood to the surface of the skin more than a milker would have.

I've been looking for more articles about spring eczema, seeing 'agitation' as a symptom makes it seem more likely, too. This cow is getting calmed down more as the week goes on and she's on hay. But Tuesday she was flipping crazy!
 

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