Last year Central Kentucky's Mill Ridge Farm was dealing with foaling problems, including lack of milk production in their mares and dystocias. Upon the guidance of veterinarian Dr. Stuart Brown, II, the farm enlisted the help of University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Pasture Evaluation Program.
UK forage extension specialist Jimmy Henning and coordinator for the university's Horse Pasture Evaluation Program Krista Lea came out to the farm to collect soil samples from pastures in which pregnant mares grazed. Results confirmed that the pastures contained tall fescue, which had high ergovaline levels. Ergovanline is a toxin that can affect pregnant broodmares.
Henning and Lea made recommendations for how to irradiate the fescue, which included completely killing off the two fields with the highest levels of ergovaline and reseeding them with bluegrass, orchardgrass and a small amount of perennial ryegrass, which was used to help with forage establishment.
Read more at UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
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