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Communication

Using On-Farm Monitoring of Ergovaline and Tall Fescue Composition for Horse Pasture Management

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, N-222C Ag. Science Center North, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
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Toxins 2021, 13(10), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13100683
Received: 15 June 2021 / Revised: 23 September 2021 / Accepted: 23 September 2021 / Published: 25 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Impact of Ergot Alkaloids)
Central Kentucky horse pastures contain significant populations of tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinacea (Schreb.) Dumort) infected with an endophyte (Epichloë coenophialum (Morgan-Jones and Gams) Bacon and Schardl) known to produce several ergot alkaloids, with ergovaline in the highest concentration. While most classes of horses are not adversely affected by average levels of ergovaline in pastures, late term pregnant mares have a low tolerance to ergovaline and the related ergot alkaloids. Endophyte-infected tall fescue has been known to cause prolonged gestation, thickened placenta, dystocia, agalactia, and foal and mare mortality. The University of Kentucky Horse Pasture Evaluation Program utilizes ergovaline and endophyte testing, as well as pasture species composition, to calculate ergovaline in the total diet in broodmare pastures. This data is used to develop detailed management recommendations for individual pastures. Application of these recommendations has led to reduced tall fescue toxicity symptoms on these farms, as well as improved pasture management and improved forage quality and quantity. View Full-Text
Keywords: ergovaline; horse pastures; pregnant mares; species composition ergovaline; horse pastures; pregnant mares; species composition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lea, K.L.M.; Smith, S.R. Using On-Farm Monitoring of Ergovaline and Tall Fescue Composition for Horse Pasture Management. Toxins 2021, 13, 683. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13100683

AMA Style

Lea KLM, Smith SR. Using On-Farm Monitoring of Ergovaline and Tall Fescue Composition for Horse Pasture Management. Toxins. 2021; 13(10):683. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13100683

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lea, Krista L.M., and S. R. Smith. 2021. "Using On-Farm Monitoring of Ergovaline and Tall Fescue Composition for Horse Pasture Management" Toxins 13, no. 10: 683. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13100683

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