The Tall Fescue for the Twenty‑first Century monograph is a comprehensive presentation by experts from around the world about the science of tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum [Schreb.] Darbysh.= Schedonorus arundinaceus [Schreb.] Dumort., formerly Festuca arundinacea Schreb. var. arundinacea) and its applications. Tall fescue is the most important cultivated pasture grass in the United States and it is increasingly important in other humid temperate regions of the world. Its agronomic characteristics make it the primary choice of many managers who desire a forage suitable for a variety of animals under diverse and challenging climatic and soil conditions, or who want a perennial plant for functional or aesthetic soil cover.
This publication was started several years ago as the preliminary Tall Fescue Online Monograph to meet science-based, readily-available, up-to-date informational needs by many scientists, students, practitioners and managers, through the communication tools of the computer age. The warm reception accorded this earlier effort justified the preparation of a new publication with an expanded roster of contributors and a more thorough coverage of important subjects. Topics in the monograph include the origin, history, and classification of tall fescue; its ecological suitability and adaptation; methods for establishment and management; its pests and control methods; its utilization, quality and anti‑quality factors; genetic improvement; seed production and marketing; and turf and conservation uses.
Tall Fescue for the Twenty‑First Century updates and supplants the 1979 Agronomy Monograph 20, Tall Fescue, and complements Agronomy Monograph 34, Cool-Season Forage Grasses. Both earlier monographs were published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies). Tall Fescue for the Twenty‑First Century was released in October 2009 as a peer-reviewed traditional book (Agronomy Monograph 53) by the Tri-Societies and is available for purchase at https://www.agronomy.org/publications. For those with limited access to the Internet, the book is accompanied by a CD with the color illustrations and large tables not easily accommodated for inclusion in the book. Using the preliminary online version as a guide, the entire monograph is presented here digitally, with color illustrations (most illustrations in the printed book are grayscale) through the collective efforts of the contributing editors, the Tri-Societies, and a team of information technology specialists, as a web book on the Oregon State University computer system hosted on the Forage Information System at http://forages.oregonstate.edu/tallfescuemonograph/.
Such a unique and precedent-setting dual presentation has the advantage of constant availability worldwide for a diverse readership of students, investigators, teachers, extension professionals, and producers and managers interested in principles of forage and turf production, management and utilization. Furthermore, it provides for near instantaneous updating of the information as new innovations and findings become available.
Every chapter was reviewed by two or more anonymous peer reviewers who helped authors improve, clarify and augment their submissions by their comments; these selfless individuals are acknowledged here as a group and are recognized by name in a special section. Compliments and appreciation expressed, in alphabetical order, to Lisa Al-Amoodi, Nathaniel France, Ben Greenwalt, Daniel James, Christina Larson, Tracy Mitzel, Sara Griffith Monk, Dawn Seigel, Patti Sohn, Rand Taylor, and Cynthia Walker for their assistance with the preparation, design, implementation, reviews and revisions of the manuscripts and the web‑based product. Review and counsel by Stephen Darbyshire regarding the Latin nomenclature for tall fescue is gratefully acknowledged.