Martin 2 Protek™ is a new novel endophyte tall fescue, combining the proven genetics of Martin 2 forage tall fescue with the enhancement of the Protek™ endophyte.
Martin 2 is an early-medium forage tall fescue selected for the transition zone. Its pedigree includes several USA varieties including Mozark, the original Martin, Cajun, and three KY31 synthetics. Despite its southern breeding, it is adapted to the entire US tall fescue market. In addition, Martin 2 is marketed in South America, Australia and is on the registration list in Canada. Martin 2 continues to be available as an endophyte free variety and now also as a novel endophyte enhanced tall fescue.
Protek™ is a novel endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that does not produce detectable levels of harmful ergot alkaloids such as the toxin ergovaline.
Tall fescue plants inoculated with Protek™ endophyte show increased forage productivity compared to the non-inoculated plants of the same variety. In addition, Protek™ endophyte will defend the inoculated tall fescue plants against insects feeding on the tillers and leaves, resulting in reduced stress from insect damage. Protek™ endophyte inoculated plants have shown improved tolerance to environmental stresses such as heat and drought.
All these combined factors result in improved persistence of the inoculated tall fescue plants in environments where these stress factors are prevalent, i.e. the Transition Zone.
The Benefits of Martin 2 ProtekTM
The value of replacing toxic KY31 pastures with novel endophyte tall fescue is well documented and includes, but is not limited to:
- Stocker calves – higher weight gain, smoother hair coat
- Cows – higher body scores, increased conception rate, shorter calving interval
- Bulls – higher semen quality
Uses of Martin 2 ProtekTM
The palatability of Martin 2 Protek™ is better than average for tall fescue. Martin 2 Protek™ can be used for grazing, balage, dry hay and stockpiling. It is adapted across the entire tall fescue belt.
Oregon State University conducted an animal safety study with grazing ewes measuring the effect of the Protek™ endophyte on performance and health. Included in the study with Martin 2 Protek™ was the endophyte free Martin 2 and KY31 with the toxic wild type endophyte. See sidebar on second page.