The growth habit of tall fescue, its wide range of adaptation to many different soils and climatic conditions (see Chapter 3), and its tolerance to traffic make it a suitable conservation plant. Decisions regarding suitability of tall fescue for particular practices are made in consultation with Land Grant University investigators and on the basis of information gained in field trials conducted by the NRCS Plant Materials Program.

Tall fescue is recommended by many NRCS State Offices for the following conservation practices and situations:

Conservation Cover. Permanent vegetative cover established and maintained to protect soil and water resources.

Contour Buffer Strips. Narrow strips of permanent, herbaceous vegetative cover established across the slope and alternating down the slope with parallel, wider cropped strips.

Cross Wind Trap Strips. Strips of herbaceous cover resistant to wind erosion established across the prevailing wind direction.

Critical Area Planting. Permanent vegetation established on sites that have or are expected to have high erosion rates, and on sites that have physical, chemical, or biological conditions that prevent the establishment of vegetation with normal practices.

Field Border. A strip of permanent vegetation established at the edge, or around the perimeter, of a field.

Filter Strip. A strip or area of herbaceous vegetation situated between cropland, grazingland, or disturbed land, including forestland, and environmentally sensitive areas.

Grassed Waterway. A natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established with suitable vegetation.

Herbaceous Wind Barrier. Herbaceous vegetation established in a row or a narrow strip in the field across the prevailing wind direction.

Land Reclamation and Abandoned and Currently Mined Land. Restoration of land and water areas that are affected adversely by past mining practices to increase the productivity of the areas for a beneficial use.

Pasture and hayland planting. A planting of native or introduced forage species.

Prescribed Grazing. Management of the controlled harvest of vegetation with grazing animals.

Silvopasture Establishment. The initiation of an agroforestry application where trees or shrubs, and compatible forages are established in combination on the same area.

Vegetative Barrier. A permanent strip of stiff, dense vegetation along the general contour of slopes or across concentrated water flow areas.

To see these practice standards as they are being used within NRCS operations, the reader should access the electronic Field Office Technical Guides site of NRCS at, and click on the state of interest. On the menu at the top of the page, select "eFOTG", then "Section IV", then "Table of Contents". The screen will display the titles of all conservation practices for the state. Some other situations where tall fescue is useful are described in Chapter 28.


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