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Fescue Toxicosis
Joe Sellers
(Thanks to Craig Roberts and Steve Barnhart
for material)
How is fescue a problem in
Iowa?
• It is moving further north
• It is colder here than in other fescue belt
states
• We ha...
Questions I get
• Does clipping stop the problem?
• How long does it effect the cattle after they are
removed from fescue?...
Tall Fescue Endophyte Life Cycle
Active
endophyte
fungus
infects new
grass seedling
Fungus enters
the rapidly
elongating
s...
Fescue BMPs
• Keep vegetative
• Introduce legumes
• Careful with N fertilization
• Fescue toxicosis is a health disorder, ...
Fescue BMPs
• Good for calving pastures
• Hay will have 50% alkaloid level compared
to grazed
• If stockpile, do it from A...
 Vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels)
 Fescue foot
 Poor thermoregulation
 Low feed intake
 Low rate of gain...
© George Garner
1400
1000
600
Duckett et al., 2001
Problems exist even if native
cattle and no visible signs
• Gain and reproductive losses
• Seed heads and stems are worse,...
1999 2000
------- lb/d -------
Toxic endopyte 0.73 0.50
Endophyte-free 1.26 1.56
Novel endophyte 1.30 1.54
Steer gains on ...
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
Ergovaline(µgkg-1DM)
Georgia Missouri South Carolina
...
Alkaloid Management!
 In endophyte (replant)
 In plant (fertilizers, seasonal, anatomical)
 In pasture (dilution, rotat...
Spray Smother Spray Renovation
 Experiment with small acreage
 Plan for fall plant if possible (Sept. 1 for mid-MO)
 If...
grass only
with rotation
with supplement
with legumes
E+ E-
DailyGain(lb/A)
Incremental Alleviation
 Tall fescue
 Smooth bromegrass
 Orchardgrass
 Red clover
 White clover
 Birdsfoot trefoil
Dilute the Field
 Nitrogen increases alkaloid concentration
 High nitrogen associated with toxicosis
Nitrogen Fertilizer (lb/acre)
0 60 1...
?
Roberts et al, 2002
Roberts et al, 2009
Graze Stockpile Late Winter
© Rob Kallenbach
Kallenbach et al, 2003
Grazing stockpile
• Reduces Hay 2390/lbs per cow compared
to dry lot (three year average)
• Stockpile from around August 1...
Stockpiled legume/fescue
Pasture management
is important
• www.iowabeefcenter.org
• Joe Sellers, 641-203-1270
• sellers@iastate.edu
• Welcome, Scot...
Joe Sellers, Dr. Scott Flynn - Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle: Understanding and Managing the Problem
Joe Sellers, Dr. Scott Flynn - Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle: Understanding and Managing the Problem
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Joe Sellers, Dr. Scott Flynn - Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle: Understanding and Managing the Problem

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Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle: Understanding and Managing the Problem - Joe Sellers, Iowa State University Extension; Dr. Scott Flynn, Dow AgroSciences, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA

More presentations at http://www.trufflemedia.com/agmedia/conference/2014-iowa-cattle-industry-convention

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Joe Sellers, Dr. Scott Flynn - Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle: Understanding and Managing the Problem

  1. 1. Fescue Toxicosis Joe Sellers (Thanks to Craig Roberts and Steve Barnhart for material)
  2. 2. How is fescue a problem in Iowa? • It is moving further north • It is colder here than in other fescue belt states • We have lost a lot of improved non-fescue pastures (35% less pasture than 2002) • Increasing spring growth with N makes it worse
  3. 3. Questions I get • Does clipping stop the problem? • How long does it effect the cattle after they are removed from fescue? • Are some cattle immune to the effects? • Do some mineral additives eliminate the problem? • How do I identify it?
  4. 4. Tall Fescue Endophyte Life Cycle Active endophyte fungus infects new grass seedling Fungus enters the rapidly elongating stem tissue Fungus Mycelium invades the developing seed Grass Vegetative Stage: Most Active Fungus Growth in Leaf Sheaths
  5. 5. Fescue BMPs • Keep vegetative • Introduce legumes • Careful with N fertilization • Fescue toxicosis is a health disorder, not nutritional, but -- • You must meet cow mineral requirements • Dilute with other feeds, forages • Renovate with spray/smother/spray
  6. 6. Fescue BMPs • Good for calving pastures • Hay will have 50% alkaloid level compared to grazed • If stockpile, do it from August 1 • Source genetics from herds with fescue • Mineral additives – some data finds response, but mixed results
  7. 7.  Vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels)  Fescue foot  Poor thermoregulation  Low feed intake  Low rate of gain  Dystocia (birthing problems) and poor reproduction  Aglactia (poor milk production) Fescue Toxicosis
  8. 8. © George Garner
  9. 9. 1400 1000 600 Duckett et al., 2001
  10. 10. Problems exist even if native cattle and no visible signs • Gain and reproductive losses • Seed heads and stems are worse, but alkaloids are in all of the plant • Year to year and seasonal differences
  11. 11. 1999 2000 ------- lb/d ------- Toxic endopyte 0.73 0.50 Endophyte-free 1.26 1.56 Novel endophyte 1.30 1.54 Steer gains on three types of fescue
  12. 12. 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 April May June July August September October Ergovaline(µgkg-1DM) Georgia Missouri South Carolina Rogers et al., 2011
  13. 13. Alkaloid Management!  In endophyte (replant)  In plant (fertilizers, seasonal, anatomical)  In pasture (dilution, rotations)  In diet (ammoniation, supplementation)
  14. 14. Spray Smother Spray Renovation  Experiment with small acreage  Plan for fall plant if possible (Sept. 1 for mid-MO)  If replacing E+ KY31, may clip seed heads in spring  Also if replacing E+ KY31, “spray-smother-spray”  Add legumes later (except for BFT)  15 lb/A drilled; 1/8” deep  Add N for “pop-up” (30 to 40 lb/A) Old Stand Summer Annual New Stand spray & plant Spring Summer Fall spray & plant Yield
  15. 15. grass only with rotation with supplement with legumes E+ E- DailyGain(lb/A) Incremental Alleviation
  16. 16.  Tall fescue  Smooth bromegrass  Orchardgrass  Red clover  White clover  Birdsfoot trefoil Dilute the Field
  17. 17.  Nitrogen increases alkaloid concentration  High nitrogen associated with toxicosis Nitrogen Fertilizer (lb/acre) 0 60 120 ------- Ergovaline (ppb) ------- Leaf 258 306 485 Stem and Sheath 494 561 1,003 Seedhead 895 1,050 1,488 Rottinghaus et al., 1991 Careful Fertilization
  18. 18. ? Roberts et al, 2002
  19. 19. Roberts et al, 2009
  20. 20. Graze Stockpile Late Winter © Rob Kallenbach Kallenbach et al, 2003
  21. 21. Grazing stockpile • Reduces Hay 2390/lbs per cow compared to dry lot (three year average) • Stockpile from around August 1 for beef balance of yield and quality • Graze cornstalks first, then stockpiled fescue (quality, less alkaloids in fescue)
  22. 22. Stockpiled legume/fescue
  23. 23. Pasture management is important • www.iowabeefcenter.org • Joe Sellers, 641-203-1270 • sellers@iastate.edu • Welcome, Scott Flynn, Dow AgroSciences

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