Heritage Grass Discovered

Wisconsin dairy grazier, Charles Optiz, has discovered a remnant stand of Meadow fescue that was the predominant grass in the upper Midwest 50 to 60 years ago. Opitz reports that his cows love it and produce more milk when they eat it. The ARS has determined that Meadow fescue is four to seven percent more digestible than other cool season grasses dominant in the USA. Under haying, it has a slightly lower yield than fescue but yields similarly under Management-intensive Grazing. A new variety called Hidden Valley is being grown for future release by Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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