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10 Tips for Fighting Fungus-infected Fescue
Tall fescue is a grass which grows on over 35 million acres of land in the United States. As many as 700,000 horses may graze fescue pastures or be fed fescue hay each year. Many of these pastures contain fescue that is infected with an endophytic fungus that is toxic to horses. When the horse ingests the grass, it is steadily poisoned by alkaloids produced by the fungus.
If replanting a pasture, it is extremely important that all infected plants and seeds be destroyed prior to sowing. Discuss the best methods for eliminating stands of infected fescue with an agronomist, toxicologist or your county extension agent. For more information about treating EI fescue problems in your horse, contact your equine veterinarian and request "Fescue: Minimizing the Risk to Your Horse's Health," a brochure provided by the AAEP in conjunction with Educational Partners Bayer Animal Health and Purina Mills. Additional information can also be found on the AAEP's horse health Web site, www.myHorseMatters.com.
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.