What Are Festuloliums?

First of all, all of the commercially available Festaloliums are endophyte free so you do not have toxicity issues like with KY-31 tall fescue.

Festuloliums are hybrids between various fescues and ryegrasses with higher quality than tall fescue and improved stand survival over perennial ryegrass. The festulolium varieties with tall fescue in their parentage show better survival over the varieties with meadow fescue in their parentage, but often their yield is not as high especially in the first year.

For pasture I tend to recommend the varieties with a tall fescue background. If you were going to overseed every year or two then varieties with Meadow Fescue in their background make more sense. They tend to be slightly more vigorous getting started and have more yield that first year.

Pure tall fescue is my choice for long term pasture, but it is slower to establish. Pure tall fescue is generally less palatable too. That said, a novel endophyte tall fescue is the best choice for long term survival, just be patient with stand establishment and it is generally best to plant in a pure stand where the previous stand has been sprayed out so there’s no competition.

For more details on the performance of festulolium varieties read the “2019 Annual and Perennial Ryegrass and Festulolium Report” here.