Tall fescue is a popular forage thanks to the hardiness and ease with which it grows in an array of soils and climates. It’s resistant to drought and overgrazing, a high-quality nutrient source, and a highyield crop. However, this grass can also cause fescue toxicosis in pregnant mares, causing pregnancy losses and decreased reproduction efficiency.
Tall fescue itself is not problematic. Instead, a microscopic endophyte (a fungus that lives inside a plant) called Neotyphodium coenophialumcauses the issues associated with maintaining pregnant mares on tall fescue pastures and bedding. That fungus produces an array of naturally occurring, nitrogen-containing organic compounds called alkaloids. The most prominent alkaloid produced by N. coenophialum is ergovaline.
Download this free fact sheet to learn more about fescue toxicosis, its clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods.