For best results and maximum benefit, all toxic tall fescue and troublesome annual grasses including cheatgrass, rescue grass and unwanted ryegrass
should be killed prior to the blooming stage before establishing a novel endophyte tall fescue. A firm seedbed is important for good stand establishment. Seed can be drilled into a prepared, firm seedbed, no-tilled into killed sod with a no-till drill or surface broadcasted onto a prepared seed bed and packed in with a culti-packer. Experts recommend seeding novel endophyte tall fescue alone. A perennial white clover can be sod-frost seeded the year following fescue establishment.
SEEDING RATE: 15- 20 lbs/acre in a prepared seedbed or 20-25 lbs/acre sod-seeded in stubble.
DEPTH: 1/4” to 1/2”. Planting too deep can result in poor stand emergence.
PLANTING DATES: Midwest and Northeastern states: Aug. 15 to Oct. 1.
FERTILIZATION: Lime to a pH of 6.0 – 6.5. Apply phosphorus and potassium according to soil tests. Use 25 – 35 lbs/A starter nitrogen.
1ST YEAR MANAGEMENT: Do not graze or cut seedling stand until it reaches 6”-8” tall. During the year after establishment, rest fescue pastures during the
summer months. If weather conditions are favorable for growth, forage may be used for light rotational grazing for short periods or harvested for hay. Leave
3 – 4” of forage growth after grazing or haying. To prevent hoof pugging damage, do not graze when soil is excessively wet and soft.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT: For maximum productivity and stand life in grazed pastures, use a rotational grazing system. Apply N, P & K fertilizer annually as
recommended by a soil test. Apply nitrogen in early fall and in late winter. Keep forage fresh and leafy by grazing or periodic clipping. Rotate cattle between pastures more often during periods of heat and drought stress. Forage may be stockpiled during periods of rapid growth in early fall and utilized for winter grazing. To prevent contamination, do not feed toxic fescue hay in newly established pastures.
~ Pennington Newsletter, THE FENCEPOST
The Alliance for Grassland Renewal is a national organization focused on enhancing the appropriate adoption of novel endophyte tall fescue technology through education, incentives, self-regulation and promotion. For more resources or to learn more about the Alliance for Grassland Renewal, go to www.grasslandrenewal.org