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    Re: [RC] Pasture - Bette Lamore

    Hi Lisa
    We have fescue in one of our pastures and were told that it carries a mold which causes miscarriages in the last trimester and can cause founder. I had one mare reabsorb last year so I had the pastures tested. Fortunately we had our pregnant mares in the back pasture which was free of fescue (had two foals) but now I am wondering which type of fescue causes this and is there some way to avoid the mold? IS that the endophyte infested type you are talking about, and if so, why would anyone want to plant this type if it can have these potential bad side effects?

    Lisa Redmond wrote:

    Hold it a minute:

    Endophyte-free tall fescue isn't as drought-tolerant as the endophyte-infested. One of the benefits that the endophyte provides to the fescue is drought tolerance. Unless they've finally developed a drought-tolerant cultivar of endophyte-free tall fescue, you're going to have problems with any endophyte-free cultivar of Festuca arundinacea (Shreb.) staying well-established, particularly if you have heavy grazing pressure or insect problems along with the drought. It also doesn't do any good to have an endophyte-free pasture if you rotate animals straight off an infested one. If they've been grazing seed heads in the infested pasture they can shed viable seed in their manure, and infest the "clean" pasture, because the endophyte is transmitted in the seed. Other species of fescue don't have the endophyte associated with fescue toxicosis.

    Fescues are cool season perennials, so if you're looking for a summer grass, you'll have to go with a Bermuda or some other warm season perennial for this time of year anyway. Fescues grow between February and June, then go dormant with the summer heat. They start back up growing in September and continue into November or December, depending on how far north they're planted.

    Lisa (can still recite passages of fescue articles in her sleep!)

    Bette Lamore
    Whispering Oaks Arabians
    Home of 16.2h TLA Halynov
    who lives on through his legacy
    Hal's Riverdance!

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    RE: [RC] Pasture, Snodgrass, Bonnie
    Re: [RC] Pasture, Lisa Redmond