Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a very adaptable grass that can grow in wet or dry conditions as well as low or high fertility. It will tolerate more abuse (hoof and wheel traffic) than other grasses, thus it’s good for sacrifice lots, waterways, and outdoor wintering and winter stockpiling. Older varieties have given tall fescue a bad name. Many of the older varieties have very low palatability and some are infected with a toxic endophyte.

Tall fescue deserves more recognition as a hay/haylage crop; especially by large operations. It can utilize a lot of manure and tolerates heavy manure-truck traffic very well. A good tall fescue variety will out-yield orchardgrass by about a ton/acre/year over a five year period (i.e. New York study). In a feeding trial conducted by Dr. Cherney at Cornell, tall fescue haylage produced more milk per cow than orchardgrass or alfalfa haylage. 3 to 4 inch grazing height increases the longevity of tall fescue.

Seed at 35 to 40 lbs/acre for a pure stand.

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