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Effects of Aminocyclopyrachlor Plus Metsulfuron on Tall Fescue Yield, Forage Quality, and Ergot Alkaloid Concentration

  • Trevor D. Israel (a1), Gary E. Bates (a1), Thomas C. Mueller (a1), John C. Waller (a2) and G. Neil Rhodes (a1)...

Abstract

Most tall fescue in the United States is infected with a fungal endophyte which imparts certain advantages to the plant, such as drought tolerance, insect feeding deterrence, and enhanced mineral uptake. However, the endophyte also produces ergot alkaloids that are harmful to livestock and contribute to fescue toxicosis. Because the alkaloids are concentrated in seed and stems, a potential way to reduce the likelihood of fescue toxicosis is by suppressing seedhead formation with herbicides. Research was conducted from 2012 to 2014 using metsulfuron applied alone and in combination with other herbicides in spring to determine the growth response of tall fescue, effects on forage quality, and ergot alkaloid concentration. Clipping or metsulfuron applied alone or in combination with aminocyclopyrachlor or aminopyralid reduced seedhead density by 36 to 55% compared to the nontreated control. Treatments containing metsulfuron reduced spring harvest yield 35 to 61%, but no differences were observed in the summer or year-after harvests. The same treatments increased crude protein levels by 1.03 to 2.14% and reduced acid detergent fiber levels by 1.60 to 2.76% compared to the nontreated control at spring harvest. Treatments containing metsulfuron reduced ergot alkaloid concentration 26 to 34% at the spring harvest, but no differences were observed in summer-harvested forage. Results from this study indicate metsulfuron applied alone or in combination with aminocyclopyrachlor or aminopyralid can potentially reduce the severity of fescue toxicosis and improve forage quality.

La mayoría del pasto Schedonorus arundinaceus, en los Estados Unidos, está infectado con un hongo endófito lo que le brinda ciertas ventajas a la planta, tales como tolerancia a la sequía, repelencia de insectos plaga, y una absorción de nutrientes mejorada. Sin embargo, el endófito también produce esclerocios con alkaloids que son dañinos para el ganado y contribuyen a la toxicosis con S. arundinaceus. Debido a que los alkaloids están concentrados en las semillas y los tallos, una forma potencial de reducir la probabilidad de la toxicosis con S. arundinaceus es el suprimir la formación de inflorescencias con herbicidas. Se realizó una investigación desde 2012 a 2014 usando metsulfuron aplicado solo y en combinación con otros herbicidas en la primavera para determinar la respuesta del crecimiento de S. arundinaceus, los efectos en la calidad del forraje, y la concentración de alkaloids de esclerocios. La poda o la aplicación de metsulfuron solo o en combinación con aminocyclopyrachlor o aminopyralid redujeron la densidad de inflorescencias en 36 a 55% al compararse con el testigo sin tratamiento. Los tratamientos que contenían metsulfuron redujeron los rendimientos de cosecha en la primavera 35 a 61%, pero no se observaron diferencias en la cosecha de verano o cosechas en años posteriores. Los mismos tratamientos aumentaron los niveles de proteína cruda de 1.03 a 2.14% y redujeron los niveles de fibra detergente ácida de 1.6 a 2.76% al compararse con el testigo sin tratamiento en la cosecha de primavera. Los tratamientos que contenían metsulfuron redujeron la concentración de alkaloids de esclerocios de 26 a 34% en la cosecha de primavera, pero no se observaron diferencias en la cosecha de forraje de verano. Los resultados de este estudio indican que metsulfuron aplicado solo o en combinación con aminocyclopyrachlor o aminopyralid pueden potencialmente reducir la severidad de la toxicosis con S. arundinaceus y mejorar la calidad del forraje.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail: nrhodes@utk.edu.

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Associate Editor for this paper: Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri.

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References

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Effects of Aminocyclopyrachlor Plus Metsulfuron on Tall Fescue Yield, Forage Quality, and Ergot Alkaloid Concentration

  • Trevor D. Israel (a1), Gary E. Bates (a1), Thomas C. Mueller (a1), John C. Waller (a2) and G. Neil Rhodes (a1)...

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