Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328028

Title: Registration of Azov meadow fescue

item Casler, Michael
item Brink, Geoffrey
item CHERNEY, JEROME - Cornell University - New York

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Registrations
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2016
Publication Date: 1/19/2017
Citation: Casler, M.D., Brink, G.E., Cherney, J.H. 2017. Registration of Azov meadow fescue. Journal of Plant Registrations. 11:9-14.

Interpretive Summary: Azov is a new variety of meadow fescue grass, suited for use in pastures and hay production, which was developed by USDA researchers. It originated by intensive selection for increased forage production from ten wild populations collected near the Sea of Azov in Russia. Compared to other pasture grasses, Azov has a forage yield approximately 7% lower than orchardgrass and tall fescue. But it is more digestible by cattle; neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) is approximately 7% higher than for these two common grasses. Azov is adapted to a wide range of pasture managements and conditions in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 6, especially the northern portions of this range, where its productivity is equal to that of tall fescue and orchardgrass. When used to renovate pastures, Azov will provide a direct and significant benefit to livestock producers in the central and northeastern USA.

Technical Abstract: 'Azov' meadow fescue [Schedonorus pratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv.; syn. Festuca pratensis Huds.; syn. Lolium pratense (Huds.) Darbysh.] is a synthetic population originating from 1000 parental genotypes. The parents of Azov were selected from ten Russian plant introductions, mostly originating from the area surrounding the Sea of Azov. Azov meadow fescue has forage yield approximately 7% lower than tall fescue and orchardgrass in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 and 6, but forage yield equal to these two species in hardiness zone 4. Neutral detergent fiber digestibility of Azov tends to be similar to or lower than for other meadow fescue cultivars, but is still approximately 5 to 7% higher than for tall fescue and orchardgrass. Azov is well adapted for forage production and grazing in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 6, with superior adaptation in the colder portions of this range.