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UK forage extension specialists to host Novel Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop March 20 in Princeton

By Katie Pratt
University of Kentucky

Kentucky 31 tall fescue is a double-edged sword for many forage and livestock producers because of its toxin-producing endophyte. University of Kentucky forage extension specialists are teaming up with the Alliance for Grassland Renewal to host a workshop to teach producers how to renovate their tall fescue pastures with a novel endophyte variety.

The Novel Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop will take place March 20 at Central Presbyterian Church in Princeton.

Producers have widely used tall fescue in pastures for decades, because it survives well under many conditions including drought, cold, overgrazing, insects and diseases. However, the most common variety, KY-31, also contains toxins that can severely affect cattle and horse performance.

The workshop will help producers learn how to renovate their tall fescue fields with a novel endophyte variety like the UK-developed Lacefield Max Q II pictured here. (Photo by Katie Pratt, UK agricultural communications)

“Toxic tall fescue reduces livestock weight gains and lowers their reproductive performance,” said Chris Teutsch, extension forage specialist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

By replacing it with a novel endophyte variety, producers can keep the beneficial aspects of the grass while reducing its negative impacts.

“There are a growing number of novel or friendly endophyte tall fescue varieties on the market, including UK’s own variety Lacefield MaxQ II,” said Ray Smith, UK extension forage specialist. “This workshop will help producers learn how they can begin to incorporate these varieties into their operation.”

During the workshop, participants will hear from Kentucky producers, UK specialists, forage experts from across the U.S. and industry representatives. In the afternoon, they will tour research plots at the UK Research and Education Center Farm in Princeton.

Participants can register at 2019UKYNovelTallFescue.eventbrite.com. The cost to attend is $60 per person before March 8. After that date, it is $75 per person. For more information visit the UK Forage Extension website at forages.ca.uky.edu.

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