Extension News

Fescue Toxicosis Workshops Coming to Southern Iowa


CHARITON, Iowa -- Beef producers have the opportunity to learn from a national expert about fescue toxicosis and its effects on beef herds.  Craig Roberts of the University of Missouri will be presenting at workshops in the southern Iowa towns of Lucas, Promise City, and Bloomfield.

“Fescue toxicosis is a growing concern for southern Iowa pastures, and we are pleased to have Dr. Roberts for these workshops,” says Joe Sellers, ISU Extension field specialist. 

Fescue toxicosis is a condition in beef cattle that occurs when the animal consumes endophyte-infected tall fescue. Alkaloid compounds associated with endophyte-infected plants are blood vessel ‘restrictors,’ and that reduced circulation leads to a number of related conditions, such as elevated body temperatures in summer, frost-bitten ears and tails in winter, reduced milk production, lower herd conception rates and, in extreme cases, loss of hooves (fescue foot). 

“The meeting will cover several topics, including when toxins are at high levels during the growing season, when to avoid grazing fescue, management techniques to reduce the impact of toxicosis, and a fescue management checklist of what works and what does not,” adds Sellers.

The workshops will be held May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Lucas Community Building, May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Promise City Community Building, and May 26 at 9:30 a.m. at the Davis County Fairgrounds in Bloomfield.  Registration is at the door and the $10 registration fee includes refreshments and handout materials. The workshops are sponsored by ISU Extension and the Rathbun Lake Forage Demonstration Project.

For more information on the seminars, contact Joe Sellers or Sonya Wallace at the Lucas County Extension office by calling (641) 774-2016. 


Contacts :

Joe Sellers, Field Specialist, (641) 774-2016, sellers@iastate.edu

Sonya Wallace, (641) 774-2016, sonya@iastate.edu

Rachel E. Martin, Iowa Beef Center, (515)294-9124, remartin@iastate.edu