Table 7-1. Tall fescue grazing management guide for sheep and beef farms.

Period and conditions


Recommended management

First grazing


When plants are 10 to 12 cm, graze for 1 to 2 d with concentrated mobs, leaving 5 cm behind.

First spring


Maintain grass at 4 to 12 cm by frequent rotational grazing or short periods of careful set stocking.

First summer


When growth slows due to dryness, remove stock until 12 cm of regrowth occurs.



Keep tall fescue at 4 to 10 cm after the autumn break.

Vegetative phase autumn to early spring)


Rotationally graze from 10 down to 2 cm, or set stock with at least a 5-cm cover.

Heading phase (Sept.-Nov.; Aug.-Oct. for early cultivars)


Use set stocking at 2 to 4 cm of cover, or between 5 and 7 cm with stock rotation. High stocking rates may be needed.



When tall fescue growth has almost stopped, remove stock until 12 cm of regrowth occurs following substantial rain (not essential with Mediterranean cultivars).

Wet weather


Remove stock from paddock when soils are wet, especially with heavy stock, to prevent compaction.

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Tall Fescue Monograph