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Crop Science Abstract - FORAGE & GRAZINGLANDS

Using Orchardgrass and Endophyte-Free Fescue Versus Endophyte-Infected Fescue Overseeded on Bermudagrass for Cow Herds


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 5, p. 1929-1938
    Received: Feb 21, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): coblentz@wisc.edu
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  1. W. K. Coblentz *a,
  2. K. P. Coffeyb,
  3. T. F. Smithc,
  4. D. S. Hubbellc,
  5. D. A. Scarbroughd,
  6. J. B. Humphrye,
  7. B. C. McGinleyf,
  8. J. E. Turnerg,
  9. J. A. Jenningsh,
  10. C. P. Westi,
  11. M. P. Poppj,
  12. D. H. Hellwigk,
  13. D. L. Kreiderb and
  14. C. F. Rosenkransb
  1. a USDA-ARS, US Dairy Forage Research Center, Univ. of Wisconsin Marshfield Agric. Exp. Stn., 8396 Yellowstone Dr., Marshfield, WI 54449
    b Dep. of Animal Science, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    c Univ. of Arkansas Livestock and Forestry Branch Stn., 70 Exp. Stn. Drive, Batesville, AR 72501
    d 126 Jessie Dunn, Northwestern Oklahoma State Univ., Alva, OK 73717
    e Humphry Environmental, Inc., Fayetteville, AR 72702
    f Stone County Extension Building, Mountain View, AR 72560
    g North Carolina State Univ. Mountain Research Stn., Waynesville, NC 28786
    h Animal Science Section, Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, AR 72203
    i Dep. of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    j Dep. of Agric. Economics and Agribusiness, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    k Berea College, Berea, KY 40404. W.K. Coblentz, D.A. Scarbrough, J.B. Humphry, B.C. McGinley, J.E. Turner, and D.H. Hellwig all were associated formerly with the Dep. of Animal Science, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701


A 4-yr trial was initiated in January 2000 to evaluate cow-calf performance on mixed-species pasture systems consisting of (i) endophyte-infected tall fescue (E+; Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) diluted by approximately 50% with common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] and other forages; (ii) endophyte-free tall fescue (E−) overseeded into dormant common bermudagrass; and (iii) orchardgrass (OG; Dactylis glomerata L.) established under the same conditions as E−. The E− and OG pastures were grazed with either twice weekly (2W) or twice monthly (2M) rotation schedules, while pastures with E+ were grazed with 2M only. Actual weaning weights tended to be greater (P = 0.096), and age-adjusted 205-d weaning weights and average daily gain from birth to weaning were greater (P ≤ 0.035) for calves raised on low-toxicity (E− or OG) pastures compared to those raised on E+. Over 4 yr, calves raised on low-toxicity pastures exhibited 22- and 24-kg advantages in actual and 205-d adjusted weaning weights, respectively, compared to those raised on E+. Cows grazing OG and E− pastures exhibited greater (P ≤ 0.021) body weights and body condition scores (BCS) at calving than cows grazing E+ pastures. Furthermore, reductions in body weight and BCS between calving and weaning tended to be greater (P ≤ 0.088) for cows grazing E+ pastures. Calf performance was improved consistently by these low-toxicity pasture systems, but management requirements may limit adaptation by producers.

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Copyright © 2006. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America