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.