For decades KY-31 Tall Fescue was planted widely as a forage and erosion control plant because it is widely adapted, easy to establish and long lived under harsh conditions and mistreatment. It is now recognized that the presence of a toxic endophyte contributed to both the tough nature of KY31 and the poor performance of grazing animals in the warmer months. It is suspected that endophyte infected KY31 has been deleterious to wildlife as well. Today, there are many varieties of Tall Fescue that are low endophyte or endophyte free, which can be used for hay or pastures without any of the animal health concerns posed by endophyte infected KY31.
While tall fescue is tolerant of abuse and low fertility, it does respond to fertilizer inputs. Follow the soil test recommendations for turf and forage uses. Endophyte-infected tall fescue will tolerate grazing abuse better than most cool season grasses. If the tall fescue is an endophyte-free variety, it should not be grazed closer than 3 inches, and will not tolerate overgrazing. Tall fescue can be grown with white clover, red clover and alfalfa. First cutting for hay should be at the late boot stage with further cuttings as regrowth allows. Tall fescue is one of the best grasses for stockpiling in the fall. When used for turf, mowing height should be 2-3”. Mow frequently enough so no more than 1/3 of the total leaf surface area is removed. Fertility requirements are low to medium. Disease control measures may be needed depending on conditions during the growing season.
- Price: Call
- Seeding Rate (lbs per acre): for forage or pastures: 15-20 (drilled) or 20-25 (broadcast)
- Seeds per Pound: 227,000
- Planting Depth: 1/2"