Gasp: the cows love fescue (and I do too)

Cows grazing Advance Tall Fescue

The cows really seem to prefer the Advance tall fescue over ryegrass

I’m beginning a clandestine (well maybe I’m coming out of the closet with this blog) love affair with fescue and cocksfoot. Our Gippsland dairy farm has always relied on a combination of ryegrass and clover, although prairie grass loves to volunteer. Because the weather patterns have changed so much, I’ve started to experiment with other pasture types.

We sowed the aptly-named swamp paddock with Advance tall fescue last year. It doesn’t mind waterlogging and produces massive volumes of feed in summer – just when the swamp paddock can withstand grazing without getting pugged. I’d had the paddock sown to an annual ryegrass which reshot and seemed to overwhelm it, so had the whole lot sprayed out with glyphosate. To my delight, the ryegrass was knocked out and the fescue has come back in force.

The cows seem to love Advance. I had them in the adjacent paddock of gorgeous perennial ryegrass but when I lifted the fence to let them into the rear of the still partially inundated swamp paddock, they rushed in and stayed there to eat the fescue.

2 thoughts on “Gasp: the cows love fescue (and I do too)

  1. I love reading about your life, and especially the way your little girl is involved in the farm. We milk around 80 Jerseys and we raise Holstein heifers for another farmer. My eldest daughter, Firn, is as involved – she can inseminate, inject intravenously, milk, you name it! She’s 14 years old and my ‘right hand man’ on the farm. My husband is a computer programmer and only farms on weekends.
    Dinki in South Africa

    • Thanks Dinki! I’ve only just started the blog, as you can see, and it’s really encouraging to hear that you are reading and enjoying it! Sounds like you have a very interesting story of your own to tell. I’m always curious about how farmers overseas care for their land, animals and families, so will keep an eye on Hydeaway.

      I reckon farm life is a great way for kids to learn patience, determination and become resilient, resourceful people – just like Firn.

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