Beef steers are the major animals comprising the stocker industry, which depends on E+ tall fescue as a foremost nutrient source in the mid-southern United States. When stocker operators feed large quantities of commodity feed byproducts, tall fescue pastures serve as green lots to control mud and potential manure runoff. Tall fescue pastures also serve as primary nutrient sources for many stocker operations that rely heavily on forage-based cattle weight gains. Weaned stocker steers have been used extensively to investigate toxicosis because they are young and growing and therefore are more sensitive to changes in nutrient quality. Steers have the additional advantage over heifers and cows that they do not have to be bred during the spring when most grazing trials are conducted on tall fescue. Therefore, the largest volume of research data on the effects of N. coenophialum on cattle has been obtained with growing beef steers.



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