MU Extension Works on Making Pastures Profitable

By Kent Faddis

Published 03/30 2014 07:09PM

Updated 03/31 2014 06:29AM

(MISSOURI) Dropping crop prices and soaring cattle prices might turn marginal lands back into green pastures.

With a little work and planning, farmers can do this safely for their livestock.

University of Missouri Extension beef nutrition specialist Justin Sexten says better pastures can provide better cow nutrition if done correctly.

Kentucky 31 fescue is known to be toxic to livestock. So MU and the Alliance for Grassland Renewal are conducting schools to show how to convert pastures to a non-toxic fescue.

"Fescue Toxicosis is probably the number one problem that we face in pastures in Missouri and really the midwest in that it reduces productive performance and impairs milk production and reduces performance or gain of the calves," Sexten said.

Four fescue schools across Missouri will show farmers how to eliminate toxic fescue from their fields and plant the safer alternative fescue for cattle. For more information about the schools go to

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