AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

January 18, 2019

Fescue Renovation School March 18 in Mt. Vernon

WARSAW, Mo. - Livestock producers have known for many years about the animal production issues associated with toxic Kentucky 31 (KY-31) tall fescue. The endophyte fungus that grows between infected plant cells produces chemicals harmful to animals, but the fungus is beneficial to the fescue plant.

Researchers developed varieties of tall fescue that did not have the endophyte fungus, but these endophyte-free varieties lacked persistence. Additional research discovered novel or friendly endophytes. These novel endophytes do not produce animal toxins, but provide plant protection benefits, and have the potential to be more persistent than their endophyte free counterparts.

New tall fescue varieties have been developed that contain these friendly endophytes.

To establish novel endophyte tall fescue, in many cases toxic KY-31 tall fescue must be killed before the new fescue variety can be seeded. Information about this renovation process has been condensed into a one-day school.

During 2019, renovation schools are being held in Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. These schools are being sponsored by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal with additional support from the University of Missouri, and the land grant universities in the respective states.


The Missouri school is 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2019 at the MU Southwest Research Center at Mt. Vernon, MO. Registration is handled through the MU Southwest Research Center and producers can call 417-466-2148 ext. 21.

The registration fee includes a notebook of presentations, lunch, and breaks.

Additional registration information and forms are available on the Alliance for Grassland Renewal website

Gene Schmitz, livestock specialist with MU Extension, can be contacted via e-mail at or by calling the Benton County Extension at (660) 438-5012.

Source: Gene Schmitz, (660) 438-5012

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