Workshop Tells Producers How To Renovate Tall Fescue Pastures

   Livestock producers can learn how to improve pastures and profits during the March 18 Novel Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center in Mount Vernon.
   MU Extension livestock specialist Gene Schmitz says the one-day workshop will tell producers how to remove toxic tall fescue and replace it with novel tall fescue varieties. Speakers will cover seed purity, animal safety and plant persistence.
   Most tall fescue in Missouri is infected with a toxic fungal endophyte. Grazing animals experience low conception rates, reduced growth rates, elevated body temperatures and loss of blood flow to the extremities, which causes fescue foot. MU Extension forage specialist Craig     Roberts says losses to the beef cattle industry alone are well over $600 million annually.
   Speakers will cover tall fescue toxicosis symptoms, economics of renovation, establishing and managing pastures, seed quality and endophyte testing, and cost-share programs. Local producers, seed company representatives, extension specialists and researchers also will participate.
   There also will be a demonstration of seed drill calibration and a tour of plots at Southwest Center, says Schmitz.
   Speakers are from MU Extension, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, the Noble Research Institute, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, DLF Pickseed, Pennington Seed, Mountain View Seeds and Barenbrug USA. Cattlemen will share their stories also.
   The Alliance for Grassland Renewal and its partners sponsor the event. The Alliance works to replace toxic tall fescue grass with a tall fescue that hosts a nontoxic “novel” endophyte. The Alliance pursues this through education, seed quality control, incentives and promotion.
   The workshop runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Register before March 8 for a discount. For more information, contact Jendel Wolfe at 417-466-2148 or go to
   Schools will also be held at Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, University of Georgia and University of Kentucky. ∆

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