Journal of NACAA

Evaluation of Forage Nutritive Value and Dry Matter Yield of Stockpiled Tall Fescue Across Plant Hardiness zones 7 and 8

ISSN 2158-9429

Volume 17, Issue 1 - June 2024

Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott


The objective of this study was to determine the nutritive value, yield, and economic benefits of stockpiling tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort.] to extend the grazing season. Samples were collected from 14 sampling sites across plant hardiness zones 7 and 8. Forage was clipped from exclusion cages monthly from October through February in years 2021 and 2022. Results did not differ between plant hardiness zones. Dry matter yield increased over the length of the stockpiling period, while nutritive value decreased. Results from this study indicate that stockpiled tall fescue in plant hardiness zones 7 and 8 can support the nutritional requirements of mature cows at all stages of production through winter months. Additionally, a decrease in hay-feeding days due to stockpiled forage availability can reduce winter feed cost per cow.

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