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A Yearly Planning Guide To Planting & Establishment
MaxQ Tall Fescue Grass Pasture

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Establishing A MaxQ Tall Fescue Pasture

Year 1 - Spring

  • Prevent any toxic fungus fescue from blooming.
  • Either close graze/harvest winter forage for hay, spray kill stubble; or, spray kill existing toxic fungus fescue. Plow up if ground is uneven.
  • Soil test. Apply fertilizer and lime as recommended.
  • Drill summer annual forage, i.e. Pennleaf pearl millet or Sorghum/Sudangrass

Year 1 - SUMMER

  • Graze summer annual forage, or harvest for hay.
  • Prevent transfer of toxic fescue seeds in manure to summer annual forage. Graze another forage for three days between toxic fungus fescue and summer annual forage.

Year 1 - FALL

  • Clip summer forage, or harvest for hay. Spray kill stubble. Supply fertilizer as recommended.
  • No-till drill MaxQ tall fescue seed. If planting in tilled seedbed, cultipack before and after drilling seed.
  • Planting Dates: September to November for southern states. August to September or March to April in mid west and northeast states.
  • Seeding Rates: 20 lbs./acre in tilled seed bed, 25 lbs./acre in no-till.
  • Companion Species: Puna forage chicory 2-4 lbs./acre, ladino clover at 2-3 lbs./acre.
  • Soil temperature should be warmer than 55°F at planting time.

Year 1 - Winter

  • Don't graze seedling pasture.
  • Don't feed animals toxic fescue hay on paddock.

Managing A MaxQ Seedling Pasture

Year 2 - SPRING

  • Apply fertilizer as recommended.
  • Wait until pasture plants are 8" high and firmly anchored. Graze for short periods, or make early hay (cut at early boot stage). Maintain pasture height 2" to 8".
  • Option: No-till drill legume seed, white clover 3 lbs./acre, red clover 5-8 lbs./acre in mid west and northeast.
  • Prevent transfer of toxic fescue seeds in manure to new pasture. Graze another forage for three days between toxic fungus fescue and new pasture.

Year 2 - SUMMER

  • Rest MaxQ tall fescue seedling pasture stand, or graze lightly for short periods.

Year 2 - Fall

  • Stockpile pasture (save forage to 8" height). Soil test. Apply fertilizer after rains commence.

Year 2 - Winter

  • Maintain pasture height 2" to 8" by rotational or continuous grazing.
  • Remove animals when ground is very wet.
  • Don't feed toxic fescue hay on paddock.

Grazing Management of MaxQ Tall Fescue

Year 3 & Thereafter - Spring

  • Apply fertilizer as recommended.
  • Keep pasture leafy and short by heavy and continuous grazing at 2" cover.
  • Mow rank growth, seed heads, and old, low quality forage.
  • Prevent transfer of toxic fescue seeds in manure to new pasture. Graze another forage for three days between toxic fungus fescue and new pasture.

Year 3 & Thereafter Summer

  • If grass growth slows due to dry weather, remove animals until re-growth to 8".

Year 3 & Thereafter - Fall

  • Stockpile pasture (save forage to 8" height). Soil test. Apply fertilizer after rains commence.

Year 3 & Thereafter - Winter

  • Maintain pasture height 2" to 8" by rotational for continuous grazing.
  • Remove animals when ground is very wet.
  • Don't feed toxic fescue hay on paddock.

OPTIONAL RENOVATION PHASE

Remove toxic fungus fescue. Plant winter annual forage.

FALL

  • Close graze, clip or harvest fescue forage for hay.
  • Spray kill toxic fungus fescue. Plow up if ground needs leveling>
  • Soil test. Apply fertilizer and lime as recommended.
  • Drill small grain annual forage, i.e. Winter grazer 70 rye.

WINTER

  • Graze winter annual forage.
  • Prevent contamination from toxic fescue seeds.
  • Don't feed animals toxic fungus fescue hay on paddock.

TIPS - Things to DO and NOT TO DO With MaxQ Pastures

Things to Do For Your MaxQ Fescue Pasture

  • Clip fescue pastures in spring to eliminate seed production prior to renovation.
  • Sow a summer of fall annual forage crop after killing toxic fungus tall fescue, graze or save for hay
  • Apply lime when recommended by soil test
  • Spray kill volunteer tall fescue and ryegrass plants before planting MaxQ
  • Check "plant by" date on MaxQ label - endophyte has a limited shelf life
  • In a tillage operation prepare a well cultivated, firm seed bed - cultipack ground before seeding MaxQ
  • Rotational graze for highest forage quality, yield and animal performance
  • Mow rank growth, seed heads and old, excess forage to maintain forage quality
  • Allow fescue pasture a rest period each year from June to August by rotational grazing - this rest period is even more important during hot, dry summers
  • Allow a withholding period of 3 days between grazing toxic fungus fescue pastures and MaxQ pastures to ensure that all toxic seed has emptied from rumen
  • Apply fertilizer every year according to soil test, amount of grazing, and forage conserved - keep your pasture actively growing and healthy
  • Renovate MaxQ pastures by sod seeding with MaxQ seed only, if needed

Things NOT to Do

  • Don't allow toxic fescue pasture to bloom in the spring prior to planting MaxQ
  • Don't sow MaxQ on existing toxic fungus fescue pasture without first killing the existing plants
  • Don't sow MaxQ seed immediately after ryegrass or toxic fungus fescue pasture
  • Don't store seed in a hot, humid place - refrigerated storage is best
  • Don't mix MaxQ seed with toxic fungus fescue seeds
  • Don't sow seed into a loose and poorly prepared seed bed
  • Don't plant too deep - 1/4" to 1/2" is correct
  • Don't plant into dry soil
  • Don't plant MaxQ seed into cold soils - 55°F and higher temperatures are best. Generally Air temperatures should be 60° to 75° F for this soil temperature to occur.
  • Don't overgraze pasture in the first year, or during drought stress
  • Don't move grazing animals directly from toxic fungus fescue to MaxQ pasture - wait 3 days, and graze on non-toxic forage in between
  • Don't feed out toxic fungus fescue hay to animals on MaxQ pastures
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