Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2005
Publication Date: 11/6/2005
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Stuedemann, J.A. 2005. Early pasture responses to nutrient source and tall fescue-endophyte association in the Southern Piedmont USA [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Scinece Society of America Annual Meeting, November 6-10, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah. CD-ROM.
Technical Abstract: Tall fescue pastures are an important part of the agricultural landscape in the southeastern USA. We evaluated various plant and animal responses during the first three years of an experiment on a Typic Kanhapludult. Pastures were grazed with yearling Angus heifers whenever sufficient forage was available. Basal ground cover was dominated by tall fescue (>70%), but pastures with endophyte tended to outcompete endophyte-free pastures from initial weed pressure of annual ryegrass. Cattle gain and stocking capacity were not affected by nutrient source averaged across a year. Cattle performance was lower in pastures with wild endophyte compared with novel or endophyte-free pastures in winter, spring, and autumn, but not in summer; a result contrary to expected heat-related symptoms of fescue toxicosis in the region. Since pastures with wild endophyte could support more cattle, because of reduced intake per head, total cattle weight gain was depressed with wild endophyte only in spring and autumn, and only marginally depressed averaged across the year. Results suggest significant seasonal pasture responses that can be used by producers to maximize production opportunities and minimize negative environmental pressures.