Fescue is a common cool season grass found in pastures and hay fields across the United States. It was planted in mass in Arkansas in the early 1940's to increase grass for livestock and soil conservation. Fescue is usually baled and fed as dry hay but in this year of extreme drought that has created a shortage of forage feed, we are harvesting fescue after frost to add to our dairy cow's diet. Even though many fields of fescue in Northwest Arkansas have died due to the drought, we are fortunate to have a few fields of mixed grass and fescue that are being harvested and hauled to the silo.
A sample of the chopped feed will be analyzed by a forage testing lab to provide our dairy nutritionist with information in designing the nutritious diet for our cows. High-quality milk begins with taking good care of our dairy cows by making sure they eat a balanced, healthy diet. Efficient use of every feed ingredient is even more important in a drought year when feed availability is limited.
We added some of the "green chop" fescue with the other feed ingredients and the cows are enjoying every bite!