Watch out for ergot-infected grass this summer
ISU Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell and ISU Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers say the climate this summer has produced a favorable environment for Ergot fungus to infect seed heads of many forage grasses. The toxins produced by the Ergot fungus will compound fescue toxicity. The dark colored Ergot bodies can be visualized within the grass seed head. Grazing or feeding infected hay along with fescue may lead to clinical problems in your herd. If in doubt, have your hay tested for ergopeptides. See more information in this publication, "Ergot Poisoning in Cattle" available as a free download, or check the Iowa Beef Center website.