2021 Virginia Forage and Grassland Council Virtual Winter Forage Conference

Dates: January 18 through January 22, 2021 The Virginia Forage and Grassland Council (VFGC) is pleased to announce our 2021 Winter Forage Conference: Building Resilience in Grass-Based Farms. This year’s conference will be virtual, and will feature a combination of live online presentations, videos, and live Question and Answer sessions. The virtual conference will spotlightContinue reading “2021 Virginia Forage and Grassland Council Virtual Winter Forage Conference”

Developing Heifers on Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue

Heifer development is critical for a strong cow/calf production system.  Replacement heifers are typically produced on-farm to replace from 15 to 20% of the cow herd annually.  Heifers are selected from the calf crop based on their own performance, and the performance/genetic merit of their dam and sire.  Heifer development programs have changed over theContinue reading “Developing Heifers on Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue”

Don’t Make a Mistake-Calibrate!

Grain drill calibration is a critical, yet often ignored, part of successful forage establishment and pasture renovation. Planting lower seed rates than recommended can result in thin stands that are susceptible to weed encroachment. Planting more than the recommended seeding rate is undesirable due to increased seed costs. As drills wear, and tires and cogsContinue reading “Don’t Make a Mistake-Calibrate!”

The Alliance For Grassland Renewal Announces dates for virtual workshop and three in person trainings for 2021.

An online, three night Novel Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop will be he held February 23-25, and is open to producers across the US who are interested in learning more about toxic and novel tall fescue endophytes. In person trainings will also be held in Athens, GA (March 18), Mt. Vernon, MO (March 23), and Lexington,Continue reading “The Alliance For Grassland Renewal Announces dates for virtual workshop and three in person trainings for 2021.”

Calving First-Calf Heifers on Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue is Hard to Beat

This past year, I have spent a lot of quality time at the farm, which has been a joy.  My family runs 110 cows on the family farm near Virgilina, Virginia.    We calve starting October 15 and have a tall fescue-based system.  As I write this we are calving and getting along quite well.  InContinue reading “Calving First-Calf Heifers on Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue is Hard to Beat”

Novel Fescue: One Year In

Hear from Virginia cattle producer Miller Adams one year after he began converting pastures to novel endophyte tall fescue. ~ Video produced by Becky Sz 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 resourcesContinue reading “Novel Fescue: One Year In”

Strange Behavior Exhibited by Cattle Consuming Toxic Tall Fescue

Here in the South it is not uncommon to see cattle standing in farm ponds that have not been fenced off.  That behavior is common in the summer months when it is hot and humid, especially if there is limited shade to escape the scorching sun.  However, cattle may exhibit strange behavior when grazing pasturesContinue reading “Strange Behavior Exhibited by Cattle Consuming Toxic Tall Fescue”

Why Should I Convert My Pastures?

In the past, I have asked myself this same question…” Why should I or suggest to others to convert to Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue”?  As a disclaimer, I am not an Ag Scientist nor extension agent; this is written from the perspective of a producer. Most of us have heard that cattle grazing fescue canContinue reading “Why Should I Convert My Pastures?”

Amazing Endophyte, part 3: Use Tall Fescue Cultivars with Novel Endophytes

Epichloë coenophiala, the fungal endophyte found in tall fescue, can cause toxicosis by producing ergot alkaloids, but not all isolates are identical. For example, dogs are the same species, Canis familiaris, but different breeds represent genetic diversity of the species. Most Epichloë coenophiala in the fescue belt of the United States produce ergot alkaloids andContinue reading “Amazing Endophyte, part 3: Use Tall Fescue Cultivars with Novel Endophytes”

Research Highlight: Variability of Ergovaline and Total Ergot Alkaloid Expression among Endophytic Tall Fescue Cultivars

Tall fescue is one of the most widely grown grasses in the United States. Most plants are infected with an endophyte that produces high concentrations of ergot alkaloids, which cause fescue toxicosis in livestock. Of all ergot alkaloids, ergovaline has been determined to be one of the main causes of fescue toxicosis. The economic lossesContinue reading “Research Highlight: Variability of Ergovaline and Total Ergot Alkaloid Expression among Endophytic Tall Fescue Cultivars”