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.

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