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Author Topic: Fescue Grass/Hay  (Read 3035 times)

Offline Big M Show Cattle

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Fescue Grass/Hay
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:40:51 PM »
I figured I would put this out as it was brought up on another topic of hay about fescue being toxic. I knew fescue grass was toxic but some people thought that after the fescue grass was dried and baled into hay that it was no longer toxic. Below is a link showing that fescue is toxic for 2 years or longer even after being baled. The fungus moves up into the seeds when the seed heads are formed in the fescue grass which is where the toxicity comes from. Figured I would bring it up because I was considering going to Missouri to get some hay from family to bring back to Wyoming but my cattle have never had fescue hay before and that can create problems with cattle that has not built up an immune to the toxicity of fescue grass.

http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/fescue.html
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Offline rocknmranch

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 02:52:02 PM »
There are different types of fescue grasses. Some are not susceptible to the fungus. Most persons that grow hay know this. As far as I know!

Offline firesweepranch

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 03:00:31 PM »
Exactly! We make sure to bale before the fecue seeds, since that is where the toxin resides. We have also combined the seed when seed is high, sell it, then bale it, but the quality of hay is lower since the plant is more mature. We also make sure we have at least 25% clover in it, to help offset the toxicity, since the cows will eat the clover when the fescue is hot (if it has a chance to boot).
But, our cows love it! And get fat on it. So I am not complaining. There is a toxic free variety out there, but you have to kill your entire pasture area of EVERYTHING, then replant. Very expensive and very time consuming. Also, the neighbors field can reinfect your field, so almost not worth it.
We have noticed that Macho lines seem to be more susceptible to it, they are the ones that wonder to ponds and breath a little harder.
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Offline Big M Show Cattle

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 04:48:29 PM »
There are different types of fescue grasses. Some are not susceptible to the fungus. Most persons that grow hay know this. As far as I know!
Yes there are the new types of fescue that don't get the fungus but like Firesweep said, if you have the strain of fescue, the neighbors seeds can blow into your pasture and before you know it, your pasture is covered again. I was born and raised in Missouri and familiar with fescue and my Dad still cuts and bales alot of fescue and anybody in Missouri knows there is more fescue than any other type of grass in Missouri. Hay prices are so high in Wyoming, was looking to buy some Hay when I was back in Missouri this August while visiting family. If I can find a high percentage clover with a little fescue, that is fine but I don't want a high percentage fescue with my cattle never have eaten it before. Cause when I start to feed them the fescue this winter and it slows down the blood system, it is suppose to be hard on the cattle in Summer and Winter and with us having severe winters in Wyoming sometimes, I don't need for my cattle loosing hooves from frostbite. So I guess I will just have to see, I have a large dual tandem flatbed trailer and would like to pull it with me and load up hay to save some money this winter with our hay costs, I guess we will have to see if I can find a low percentage fescue hay in Missouri or maybe if hay is cheap enough in Nebraska when I travel through I could pick some up there, does Nebraska have very much fescue?
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Offline firesweepranch

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »
Yes there are the new types of fescue that don't get the fungus but like Firesweep said, if you have the strain of fescue, the neighbors seeds can blow into your pasture and before you know it, your pasture is covered again. I was born and raised in Missouri and familiar with fescue and my Dad still cuts and bales alot of fescue and anybody in Missouri knows there is more fescue than any other type of grass in Missouri. Hay prices are so high in Wyoming, was looking to buy some Hay when I was back in Missouri this August while visiting family. If I can find a high percentage clover with a little fescue, that is fine but I don't want a high percentage fescue with my cattle never have eaten it before. Cause when I start to feed them the fescue this winter and it slows down the blood system, it is suppose to be hard on the cattle in Summer and Winter and with us having severe winters in Wyoming sometimes, I don't need for my cattle loosing hooves from frostbite. So I guess I will just have to see, I have a large dual tandem flatbed trailer and would like to pull it with me and load up hay to save some money this winter with our hay costs, I guess we will have to see if I can find a low percentage fescue hay in Missouri or maybe if hay is cheap enough in Nebraska when I travel through I could pick some up there, does Nebraska have very much fescue?
[/quote]

Watch craislist for the area you are going to be in. There is a TON of hay listed, orchard grass and other without fescue. Just an idea!
God, family, and Simmental cattle;  that's what makes life worth living!

Offline Big M Show Cattle

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 05:08:52 PM »
Good Idea, Firesweep. I am going to be in Central Missouri around Jefferson City which is close to my Dad's farm. But I drive through the whole state of Nebraska, 450 miles of it down I-80 to Highway 2 into a small portion of Iowa down into the North West part of Missouri and then go south to KC and across to Jefferson City Missouri. So I cover a large part of country to try and find hay, but hay is way cheaper in Missouri than Wyoming and was going to take advantage of it and try to buy around 13 round bales which is about as much as I think I'll be able to safely stack on my trailer. 
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Offline rocknmranch

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Re: Fescue Grass/Hay
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 08:27:58 PM »
I'm in CA, grow and cut or own hay. Grass hay, rye, orchard mix. 3 wire bales are roughly $9, alfalfa which we have had better luck feeding in the winter is now $18. Last year we picked it up for $8 per bale. Figured we f eed less, and the do better on the alfalfa.

 

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