Preval Meadow Fescue
~ Medium Maturity
~ Excellent Rotational Grazing
~ Excellent Palatability/Digestibility
~ Wide, Succulent Leaves
~ High Yielding
~ Tolerates Wet Soils
~ Improved Winter-Hardiness compared to Orchardgrass & Tall Fescue
~ Good Regrowth
~ Tolerates Close Grazing
Preval is a great "new" grass to use in the northern USA. Meadow fescue comes mainly from northern Europe and mountainous regions of southern Europe and was introduced to the United States and Canada in the early 1800's. Meadow fescue works well in MIG (managed intensive grazing) situations and is a good choice for hay production where "winter kill" is an issue.
Preval meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds) was developed from ecotypes from Switzerland and France. Preval combines good forage yield with improved resistance to diseases. Preval exhibits good winter hardiness and summer production. Preval will produce long, wide leaves making it an excellent choice for haying or pasture.
Preval can be used in forage blends to improve summer productivity for grazing or hay production. Like most meadow fescue, Preval has an early spring growth, with a regrowth consisting mainly of leafy shoots. It is suitable for both cutting and grazing.
Varieties of meadow fescue tested by the University of Wisconsin have been consistently higher in neutral detergent fiber digestibility than certain tall fescue and orchardgrass varieties.
Although meadow fescues do contain endophytes they show no signs of having detrimental effects on livestock. Meadow fescue endophyte produces only the protective alkaloids that contribute to heat and drought tolerance, while tall fescue endophytes produce both protective and harmful alkaloids.
New fields/pasture: 35-45 lbs./acre as pure stand; 10-15 lbs./acre with other grasses; 35-45 lbs./acre with legumes.
With new alfalfa seeding: 2-3 lbs/acre.
Renovating/Overseeding existing fields/pastures:
~ Pastures: 30-40 lbs/acre.
~ Alfalfa Hay Field: 5-7 lbs/acre.
Method of Seeding:
Spring sowing is preferred. Use of a Brillion seeder, a no-till drill or a culti-packer is ideal. Frost seeding and broadcast seeding in winter, timed with moist soil can work well, especially if the animals are allowed to "hoof" it into the existing pasture. Seed to soil contact is vital to having a successful stand. Plant ¼" deep. Preval establishes rapidly, but plants should be firmly rooted prior to first grazing.
Protein content is highly influenced by nitrogen fertility. When available, legume-derived nitrogen is preferred - i.e. use of Kopu II white, or Starfire II red clover. If no legume-derived nitrogen is available, apply commercial fertilizer or manure at a rate of 50# N/a at planting time and approximately every other grazing. If machine harvesting, 50# N/a should be applied at green-up and after each cutting. Finally, follow soil test recommendations.
Grazing & Harvest Tips:
Preval is more palatable then tall fescue so watch for over grazing. Rotational grazing is preferred and will increase yields and animal performance, as well as ensure stand longevity. Graze at approximately 10-12 inches and remove animals when at 3-4 inches. When grazing Preval, reduce grain levels and consider adding more fiber to the ration. For high quality hay, harvest at boot stage.