Accomplishments and challenges

Henry A. Fribourg, David B. Hannaway, Charles P. West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


By the mid 1950s, tall fescue had filled a large ecological niche in the southern United States, and its use for forage and seed production had precipitated political polemics, enriched a few opportunists, and created a perplexing and sometimes deadly problem for cattle that ingested it. It was not until the late 1970s that investigators in Georgia and Alabama rediscovered the association between tall fescue and the Neotyphodium coenophialum fungal endophyte described by J.C. Neil and published in the New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology. A major advance in the management of fescue toxicosis occurred with discoveries of Neotyphodium strains that lacked the toxins deleterious to livestock but retained the benefits of plant persistence and growth. Since tall fescue has one of the longest growing seasons among cool-season grasses, management strategies that can extend the grazing season were developed, especially those that tend to equalize yield distribution across seasons using complementary warm-season plants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTall Fescue for the Twenty-First Century
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780891181859
ISBN (Print)9780891181729
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Fungal endophyte
  • Management strategies
  • Neotyphodium coenophialum
  • New zealand
  • Tall fescue
  • Toxicosis puzzle


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