tall fescue, grazing, ladino clover, interseeding, stocker, endophyte, steers, stocker cattle


One hundred ninety-two yearling steers grazing tall fescue pastures were used to evalu­ate the effects of fescue cultivar and interseeding ladino clover on available forage, grazing gains, and subsequent finishing performance in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Fescue cultivars evaluated were high-endophyte ‘Kentucky 31,’ low-endophyte Kentucky 31, ‘HM4,’ and ‘MaxQ.’ In 2016 and 2018, steers that grazed pastures of low-endophyte Kentucky 31, HM4, or MaxQ gained significantly more (P < 0.05) and produced more (P < 0.05) gain/a than those that grazed high-endophyte Kentucky 31 pastures. Gains of cattle that grazed low-endophyte Kentucky 31, HM4, or MaxQ were similar (P > 0.05). In 2017, steer gains were similar (P > 0.05) among all cultivars. High-endo­phyte Kentucky 31 pastures had more (P < 0.05) available forage than low-endophyte Kentucky 31, HM4, or MaxQ pastures during both 2016 and 2017. Steer gains and gain/acre were similar (P > 0.05) between pastures fertilized with nitrogen (N) in the spring and those interseeded with ladino clover during all three years. Fescue cultivar or legume treatment had little effect on finishing performance or carcass characteristics of steers grazed in 2016 or 2017. Steers that grazed high-endophyte Kentucky 31 in 2016 had lower (P < 0.05) final finishing weight and lower (P < 0.05) carcass weight than those that grazed low-endophyte Kentucky 31, HM4, or MaxQ. In 2017, steers that grazed pastures interseeded with ladino clover had lower (P < 0.05) finishing gains and greater (P < 0.05) feed:gain than those that grazed pastures with no legume.


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