Endophyte Toxins in Grass and Other Feed Sources: Risks to Livestock

Gene Pirelli, Nicole Anderson, A. Morrie Craig and Carolyn A. Young
EM 9156 | Published November 2016, Reviewed 2020


Many varieties of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are infected with a fungal endophyte. Endophytes produce bioactive compounds that, while beneficial to the host plants, can be toxic to livestock that consume them. This publication explains what an endophyte is, describes livestock health problems associated with endophytes, outlines research on toxicity levels, and provides information on safe forage and feed management and endophyte testing services.

About the authors

A. Morrie Craig
OSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Carolyn A. Young
Associate professor
Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK.

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