Stockpiling tall fescue is a management practice used by livestock managers as a low-cost supplemental winter feed source. Stockpiling (discussed in detail in Chapter 6) is accomplished by fertilizing tall fescue with N in late summer or very early fall and allowing it to grow until early winter. The accumulated growth is vegetative (i.e., lacking seedheads and consisting mostly of leaves) and usually high in nutritive value. Kallenbach et al. (2003) found that ergovaline levels were highest in mid December and declined slowly throughout the winter in stockpiled tall fescue in southern Missouri. The implication of these findings is that livestock managers should delay the grazing of stockpiled tall fescue as long as possible to reduce the ergovaline intake by cattle.

Ammoniation of hay and crop residues is a management practice that improves the fiber digestion of the crop by cattle. Chestnut et al. (1987) fed ammoniated tall fescue hay to steers in a digestion and metabolism trial. Digestibilities of NDF and ADF were greater in ammoniated hay than in untreated hay. Intakes of digestible NDF and ADF also were greater for ammoniated hay. Kallenbach et al. (2006) recommended ammoniation of E+ tall fescue straw to improve ADG of steers fed such straw.


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