Forage for Advancing Livestock Production

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

Protection of sloping land dictates that forages be used on large areas within the transition zone. Research is needed to improve the quality and the availability of forages for these livestock. Information is needed on adaptation of cool-season and warm-season species to assist producers in developing more productive forage utilization systems. Forage systems involving multiple species are needed to minimize the negative impact of the large acreages of endophyte-infected tall fescue that remain in this region. Native and introduced warm season perennial grasses may provide needed forage during mid- and late summer when cool season species productivity may be low and when tall fescue toxicosis is worst. Research is also needed to reduce storage losses and improve forage quality of forages stored for winter feeding. Efforts toward development and thorough evaluation of endophyte-free tall fescue varieties are also needed. Objectives of this work include characterization of impacts of plant species, environment and management on forage quality of warm and cool season perennial and annual forages for use in grazing systems designed to optimize forage quality and utilization. We will also develop improved systems that improve quality and minimize DM losses in harvested, stored forage. This research will compare continuous and rotational grazing of endophyte-infected fescue at multiple stocking rates. In addition, we will evaluate nutritional and reproductive consequences of grass-associated mycotoxins and strategies to alleviate these effects. Breeding related objectives are to increase variability for forage quality and agronomic traits in tall fescue by intergeneric hybridization in the Festuca-Lolium complex and to develop techniques to measure leaf tensile strength in tall fescue for use in breeding for improved forage quality. A final objective will be to evaluate establishment and management methods and to determine forage quality of native warm season grasses in Kentucky.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date6/1/015/31/04

Funding

  • US Department of Agriculture: $350,007.00

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