Is fescue a good hay?

Is fescue a good hay?

Tall fescue is an extremely hardy, well-adapted grass species used for hay and pasture in the central and eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest. The endophyte produces chemicals (alkaloids) that benefit the plant by making tall fescue tolerant of heavy grazing as well as drought, disease, and insect damage.

What is fescue hay?

(Image Source: Hay & Forage Grower) Tall fescue is the dominant forage species used in the eastern United States. Being a cool-season grass, it provides grazing during the spring and fall for many livestock producers around the nation.

What fescue grass looks like?

Tall fescue is medium- to dark-green in color and coarse textured. It is a bunch-type grass and forms a coarse, clumpy appearance when used alone. The new, improved turf-type varieties have finer leaf texture, denser growth habit, and possess weak rhizomes (Photos 1 & 2).

Does fescue make good hay for cattle?

One is forage quality. While fescue out-produces many other grasses, it is somewhat coarser. However, for cow-calf production, fescue can almost be considered ideal. Cows do not need to gain appreciable weight, and a grass that provides large amounts of forage most of the year is just what is needed.

Can horses eat fescue hay?

Fescue hay Fescue can be fed to horses, but avoid this hay for pregnant mares. Tall fescue is a hardy, popular, cool season perennial grass that can grow on a variety of soils in a variety of climates. It is grown on an estimated 35 million acres in the U.S.

Why is fescue bad for horses?

Fescue infected with the endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum produces chemicals toxic to horses. Infected pasture and hay is toxic for horses to eat. The toxic chemicals in the stems and leaf sheaths tend to peak in late June and decline as the seeds develop.

When should I cut fescue hay?

Recommended Hay Harvesting Schedule

Type of Hay Cuttings Per Year Timing to Harvest
Tall fescue 2-3 Boot to early head stage for 1st cutting. Every 4-6 weeks after for 2nd and 3rd cuttings.
Timothy 2-3 Boot to early head stage for 1st cutting. Every 4-6 weeks after for 2nd and 3rd cuttings.
Wheat 1 Boot to early head stage.

What is the best fertilizer for fescue hay?

For Fescue, it is best to use a slow-release formula with a 3-1-2 ratio. An example would be a 12-4-8 fertilizer. It is important to use slow-release fertilizers whenever possible. Most major brands of lawn fertilizer will have a combination of soluble and slow-release forms of nitrogen (indicated on the label).

Do horses prefer grass or hay?

While most horses do well and thrive on a grass hay diet, other horses with different needs and medical conditions are better suited to being fed a diet of grass/alfalfa mix, or an exclusively all alfalfa.

Why is fescue grass bad for horses?

What exactly is fescue Hay?

Fescue is a variety of grass that is often grown as a hay crop in various parts of the United States. The relative merits of fescue as a hay crop are debated among farmers due to the number of challenges that the crop presents. If fescue is not managed properly, the quality of the crop declines significantly.

Can horses eat fescue Hay?

Horses typically eat hay that’s grown locally, which means their options are often restricted to what grows best in their area. While alfalfa is considered an ideal hay, horses can also eat timothy, clover and tall fescue hays as well as mixtures of these hays.

When to fertilize fescue pasture?

The best time fertilize tall fescue is fall and spring, according to the University of California’s Lawn Guide. In October or November, you’ll need to use a complete fertilizer (contains all three essential nutrients) to nourish your lawn.

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