Novel Notes

NOVEL NOTES

A monthly e-newsletter for forage producers.

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”

The Adams Farm to host Virginia Forage and Grassland Council’s Fall Pasture Walk

This event will highlight the entire process of novel fescue conversion, including site prep, varieties, seeding rates and dates, recommended fertilization,  weed control and grazing management the following season.  It is hosted at a farm where the farmer has enjoyed the success of a fall 2019 planting of novel fescue and a fall 2020 plantingContinue reading “The Adams Farm to host Virginia Forage and Grassland Council’s Fall Pasture Walk”

Details are Critical in Achieving Successful Stand Establishment

Many of our readers are preparing to plant cool season forages.  Whether you are planting annuals in a regular rotation, or are transitioning into improved perennial forages (like novel endophyte tall fescue), the process of planting is one of the critical times you need to pay attention to details.  Most of our recommended management practicesContinue reading “Details are Critical in Achieving Successful Stand Establishment”

First Exemplary Service Award given to Tony and Margaret Stratton

This year, Tony and Margaret Stratton received the first award bestowed by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal.  The Exemplary Service Award recognizes extraordinary contribution, and the Strattons have more than earned that recognition. Tony was a charter member of the Alliance for Grassland Renewal.  Of all board members, he has been the most knowledgeable andContinue reading “First Exemplary Service Award given to Tony and Margaret Stratton”

Amazing Endophyte, part 2: Some Tall Fescue Endophytes Cause Toxicity to Livestock

The presence of a fungal endophyte (endo = inside, phyte = plant) in tall fescue can limit animal productivity even though it enhances the grass’s ability to persist. Endophytes produce compounds like peramine, lolines and ergot alkaloids. Each of these provides protection against some insects, but the ergot alkaloids also cause toxicity to mammals. TelltaleContinue reading “Amazing Endophyte, part 2: Some Tall Fescue Endophytes Cause Toxicity to Livestock”

New-Crop Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue Seed Reaching Dealers in Early September

We have had a lot of questions recently from farmers about when novel endophyte tall fescue seed will be available.  Farmers can go today and buy either Kentucky 31 or many types of endophyte-free tall fescues at farm supply stores, but may be told that novel endophyte tall tescue seed is not yet available.  ThisContinue reading “New-Crop Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue Seed Reaching Dealers in Early September”

The Alliance for Grassland Renewal Welcomes Dr. Sam Ingram from Corteva Agrisciences to the Board

The Alliance for Grassland Renewal is pleased to announce that Dr. Sam Ingram from Corteva Agrisciences will be joining the board.  Corteva was a founding member of the Alliance which is a collaborative of Industry, Academia and Governmental members working to encourage and support the appropriate adoption of Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue.  Dr. Ingram startedContinue reading “The Alliance for Grassland Renewal Welcomes Dr. Sam Ingram from Corteva Agrisciences to the Board”

Amazing Endophtes, part 1: Introduction to the Endophyte

A lush green tall fescue pasture can often hide an unseen dark side. Many livestock producers recognize that although tall fescue is considered a quality forage, the presence of a fungal endophyte (endo = inside, phyte = plant) can limit animal productivity. Unfortunately, most fescue grown in the United States (largely the Kentucky 31 variety)Continue reading “Amazing Endophtes, part 1: Introduction to the Endophyte”

Workshops Cure For Toxic Fescue Problems

Brownfield Ag News reporter Julie Harker interviews University of Missouri Extension forage specialist Craig Roberts about renovating toxic fescue pastures with novel endophyte fescue.  Fescue renovation and management is taught in workshops every year throughout the Fescue Belt. The Alliance for Grassland Renewal is a national organization focused on enhancing the appropriate adoption of novelContinue reading “Workshops Cure For Toxic Fescue Problems”

Current Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue Varieties Being Compared at NCSU and Other Universities

Most member states of the Alliance for Grassland Renewal have planted many or all of the available varieties of novel endophyte tall fescue to use in research and extension programs.  Some of these plantings have been used only for demonstration, but more detailed research has also been conducted.  For example, the University of Kentucky hasContinue reading “Current Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue Varieties Being Compared at NCSU and Other Universities”

Under the Microscope: A four part look at Endophytes

Part 1: Ergovaline – A Toxin To Avoid in Pastures Endophytes are fungi that live inside plants and are often required in tall fescue and ryegrass pastures to ensure persistence against attacks by insect pests and environmental impacts such as drought. These endophytes enable plant survival through the production of a range of compounds knownContinue reading “Under the Microscope: A four part look at Endophytes”

Alliance for Grassland Renewal Launches New Website

The Alliance for Grassland Renewal is a partnership between seed and related industry companies, universities, non-profits and other interested parties.  The goal of the organization is to support the appropriate adoption of novel endophyte technology through promotion, education, incentives and quality control. This unique collaboration is starting to make a big impact on the managementContinue reading “Alliance for Grassland Renewal Launches New Website”

Even Dung Beetles Prefer Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue

Tatsiana Shymanovich, UNC Greensboro and Sam Ingram, Corteva Agriscience The negative impact of Kentucky-31 tall fescue on cattle and other pastured animals is well documented. And from a recent study in North Carolina, data suggests this the ergot alkaloids produced from Kentucky-31 may also negatively impact beneficial dung beetles. To feed their larvae, dung beetlesContinue reading “Even Dung Beetles Prefer Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue”

What’s Next?

Selecting Winter Forages to Follow Warm Season Annuals. Following last summer’s drought, many beef producers converted thin tall fescue stands into annual rotations of cool and warm season forages to provide emergency forage. Most of the summer species like sorghum x sudan, pearl millet, or crabgrass are already planted and are producing high-quality forage. WhileContinue reading “What’s Next?”

Prevent Fescue Seeds from Maturing in Anticipation of Fall Pasture Renovation

Tall Fescue is the most common cool-season forage in the eastern US, and much of it is infected with a toxic fungus that lives in the plant (called the “endophyte”).  There are many solutions to the problem of toxic fescue, but none better than killing out old stands and planting an exciting new type ofContinue reading “Prevent Fescue Seeds from Maturing in Anticipation of Fall Pasture Renovation”

Freezing, thawing aid in seeding legumes over thinning pastures this winter

Duane Dailey | Published January 29, 2020 Source: Craig Roberts, 573-882-0481  COLUMBIA, Mo. – Present weather with frequent freezing and thawing helps farmers overseed weakened pastures. Natural fluctuations in soil help work broadcast seed into thinned grass stands.  “It’s no-till help,” says Craig Roberts, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.  Thin stands of grass causedContinue reading “Freezing, thawing aid in seeding legumes over thinning pastures this winter”

Tall Fescue Revisited: Establishing Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue as a solution to Fescue Toxicosis

Dr. Matt Poore Tall Fescue.   It performs better than any other cool season perennial grass over most of the Mid-atlantic and Mid-South of the USA.   It can be stockpiled to provide winter grazing that can nearly eliminate the winter hay feeding season with good planning and help from mother nature.  While it is not wellContinue reading “Tall Fescue Revisited: Establishing Novel Endophyte Tall Fescue as a solution to Fescue Toxicosis”


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