Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Tall fescue is a deep-rooted, perennial bunch grass. It develops a relatively deep root system and has some salinity tolerance. Varieties are broadly split into two categories for end user. Turf type tall fescue and forage type call fescues. A turf type tall fescue is bred for turf characteristics such as leaf colour, height of growth, leaf fineness. Most North American turf varieties also contain endophytes, please see our endophytes section for more details. Forage type tall fescues are bred for feed characteristics, such as feed quality, hay yield, and palatability. This breeding generally leads to a taller plant with much wider leaves.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are quackgrass, wild oats, other course grasses, Canada thistle, catchfly and cleavers.

Seeding Tall fescue establishes best without a companion crop. However if a companion crop is used we suggest seeding the companion crop at half the normal rate and reducing nitrogen levels. Wheat and flax are the best options for companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing.

Seeding depth ½ to ¾ inch (1 to 2 cm)

Seeding rate 3 to 4 lb/acre (1.5 to 2 kg/acre), higher seeding rate when a companion crop is used.

Fertilizer 90 to 110 lbs N/acre (40 to 50 kgs/acre) Ensure fertilizer is available to the plant when it breaks dormancy in spring.

Weed Control Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest The field is ready to swath in the last week of July or first week of August, roughly 25 days after flowering. The seed is ready for combining 6 to 10 days after swathing. The seed is safe for storage at 10 to 12% moisture.

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