Tall fescue. PHOTO: Krista Lea
Tall fescue.

Warm winter could affect tall fescue toxicosis in broodmares

Tall fescue often infected with endophytic fungus that can produce ergovaline, a vasoconstrictor that can cause narrowing of blood vessels.

Mild weather this winter is likely the cause of higher-than-average concentrations of a toxic substance in tall fescue called ergovaline that has been observed in central Kentucky, according to experts with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food & Environment. Tall fescue toxicosis in broodmares, which is caused by ingesting ergovaline, is rare in the early months of the year due to typically cold winter temperatures.

Naturally occurring tall fescue is often infec

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