Three small plot trials were sown in autumn 2000 with three tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix syn. Festuca arundinacea) cultivars, each infected with a non-toxic fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) or endophyte-free. Over the first year, endophyte infection improved yields at Bega (South Coast, NSW) by an average of 113% compared with endophyte-free. The greatest differences occurred over summer/autumn and were associated with damage from African black beetle (Heteronychus arator) in endophyte-free plots. At Gatton (Southern Queensland) and Armidale (Northern Tablelands, NSW), endophyte infection increased annual yields 0 to 16%, with differences greatest in autumn (up to 20%). At these sites, insect populations did not appear to be at levels that would significantly affect grass productivity and persistence. Tall fescue hosting the non-toxic endophyte was free of ergovaline, the prime endophyte alkaloid associated with fescue toxicity in animals. These early results indicate potential agronomic advantages in using tall fescue infected with non-toxic endophyte.
|Title of host publication||Solutions for a better environment|
|Place of Publication||Australia. CDROM|
|Publisher||Australian Society for Agronomy|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
|Event||11th Australian Agronomy Conference - Geelong, Australia, Australia|
Duration: 02 Feb 2003 → 06 Feb 2003
|Conference||11th Australian Agronomy Conference|
|Period||02/02/03 → 06/02/03|
Wheatley, W. M., Hume, D. E., Kemp, H. W., Monk, M., Lowe, K. F., Popay, A. J., Baird, D. D., & Tapper, B. A. (2003). Effects of fungal endophyte on the persistence and productivity of tall fescue at 3 sites in eastern Australia. In Solutions for a better environment Australian Society for Agronomy.