Unlike other grass species, tall fescue does not need to remain ungrazed to allow for self reseeding during its first year because it persists by vegetative regeneration rather than from seed set each year. In the first spring, excluding grazers from tall fescue (i.e., shutting up) to produce rank growth and seed set will result in lower tiller densities; therefore, this practice is not recommended. Pastures of Mediterranean cultivars can be allowed to accumulate standing forage in late spring when this feed is needed to maintain stock during dry summer periods. This also will promote volunteer reseeding. To improve persistence, the lower 3 to 5 cm of stem should be preserved throughout the summer. This will conserve the carbohydrates stored in this part of the plant and improve regrowth when soil moisture becomes available. In contrast, long nongrazing periods in spring will reduce grass and clover populations, as well as result in feed of low nutritive value. Rank growth of tall fescue stands should be avoided because tall growth leads to lesser tiller densities of up to 40% (Vecellio et al., 1995). Increases in tiller density after rank regrowth will depend on the availability of soil moisture, soil N, and moderate soil temperatures (6-12°C at 10-cm depth) in early morning.


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