Tall fescue seed crops are very bulky and are therefore a challenge to harvest. Seed of tall fescue shatters readily when dry, so crops should be cut at about 36 to 40% seed moisture content (SMC). Depending on conditions, tall fescue may be mown into a swath with a disc mower or windrowed. The seed crop will dry down naturally to less than 11% SMC before pick-up and combining. In wet harvest conditions, pick-up with lifters can be difficult if the underside of the crop remains moist. In the 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 wet harvest seasons in New Zealand, crops had to lie on the ground for up to 4 wk before pick-up could be done. While seed losses occurred, they were low in 1995-1996, while under more difficult harvest conditions the next year, losses of about 40% occurred. In 2001-2002, several growers direct-harvested Moddus-shortened crops after heading, and reported that they intended to repeat the direct seed harvesting in the future.


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