Tall Fescue


Tall fescue has a strong agronomic constitution that allows season long productivity that is unmatched by most other cool season grasses. Tall fescue can grow in wet conditions well but is also very drought tolerant. On dairy farms tall fescue is a fabulous addition to the hay portfolio and on beef operations in the Midwest it remains the foundation of pasture systems. In the past number of years, tall fescue has made many appearances at the World Dairy Expo Forage Super Bowl! While tall fescue has long been thought of as a Southern grass, more recently it has shown it can thrive in Wisconsin and Minnesota! Our suppliers are heavily invested in tall fescue breeding programs and bring us a wide selection of varieties for the various situations we face throughout the Midwest.


Tall fescue can be planted with alfalfa, with grass hay mixes, or simply in mono-culture for hay or pasture systems. Remember that tall fescue, like most cool season grasses, stores 90% of food for regrowth after harvest in the bottom 2 to 2.5 inches of the stem. This means that for maximum growth and production at least 3 to 4 inches of stubble should remain after harvest. Also, for top yield, we recommend 1 to 1.5 lbs of available N for each day of growth. Tall fescue can tolerate less than ideal fertility but, like most crops, it gives best yield and quality in balanced soils. Tall fescue is the best grass for stockpile grazing.


Tall fescue is fairly easy to establish, but remember, a good seed bed is at the heart of excellent stands of hay or pasture. It can be no-tilled into existing alfalfa stands (.25 to .50 inches deep) immediately after harvest. (Talk to your dealer about the proper timing for your area.) When seeding in a prepared seed bed, make sure sufficient packing has been done before and after seed is put down. Also, 20 to 30 units of N at seeding is necessary for a faster establishment.


  • Barenbrug USA's endophyte-free tall fescue
  • Selected in the US after multiple screening trials
  • Soft leaf
  • High forage yields
  • Impressive digestibility
  • Key component of Premium Hay Blend

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Baroptima Plus E34

  • Beneficial endophyte tall fescue from Barenbrug
  • Extreme persistence
  • Completely safe for cattle and horses
  • Perfect tool for the beef producer
  • Good success on Southern dairies

Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Product of Barenbrug USA
  • Selected from Dovey variety
  • Early maturity
  • Designed for the South
  • Extreme heat and drought tolerant
  • Excellent for stockpiling
  • Fast establishment

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Bred in Czech Republic by DLF
  • High digestibility
  • High yields
  • Very winterhardy
  • Key component of Premium Hay Blend
  • Very high in NDFD
  • Available in organic

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

LiPalma (NEW!)

  • Very winter hardy
  • Selected for Digestibility
  • Late heading
  • Excellent with Alfalfa
  • Very high yielding
  • Soft Leafed

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


  • Soft-leaved variety
  • Late heading
  • Great for hay or pasture & fiber digestibility
  • Endophyte Free
  • High tiller density


Tower Protek

  • Tower available with novel endophyte
  • Completely safe for livestock
  • More disease, pest, and drought tolerant because of the endophyte
  • Soft leaf
  • Late heading

Zones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Tall Fescue Maturity Hay Production Grazing Preference Winter Hardiness Stockpiling
BarElite Late Excellent Good Good Good
Drover Early Good Fair Fair Excellent
BarOptima Plus 34 Med Excellent Good Good Good
LiPalma Late Excellent Good Excellent Good
Kora Late Excellent Fair Good Good
Tower Late Excellent Good Good Good
Tower Protek Late Excellent Good Good Good