Chisholm Fescue

Persistent, Perennial Cool-Season Grazing

Cattle grazing Chisholm Fescue

Chisholm Fescue is an endophyte-free tall fescue cultivar of Tunisian parentage with excellent persistence recently released by the Noble Research Institute. It was developed to provide livestock producers with a persistent, perennial cool-season grazing option and is adapted to the hot, dry summer environment typical west of Interstate 35 in Oklahoma and Texas where summer-active types fail to survive and offers more resilience during drought periods in traditional fescue zones.

Growing Zones 6,7,8,9 with 24″+ rainfall or Irrigation

Chisholm is capable of producing high-quality pasture from autumn through spring suitable for grazing livestock before entering summer-dormancy; this fills the forage gap by reducing the need to feed hay and provides a perennial grazing option to complement or replace winter annual plantings. Chisholm tall fescue can be used in both tilled and no-till forage-based livestock production systems.

Perennial grasses like Chisholm can also benefit soil health by sequestering carbon in the soil year-round, improving organic matter and reducing soil erosion.

 Chisholm summer-dormant tall fescue seed is a PVP cultivar #:201800411 and commercially licensed to Warner Brothers Seed Company located in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Where to Plant

  • Areas with 24″+ annual rainfall
  • Irrigate Chisholm in drier areas
  • Areas with wet winters and dry, hot summers
  • Ground that is moisture retentive, clay, black, loam soils,or sandy loam; fertile and pH 5.5 – 7.5
  • Do not plant in low fertility, deep, loose, sand, or droughty soils.

When to Plant

Location:Plant Before:
North OklahomaSeptember 15th
South OklahomaSeptember 30th
North TexasOctober 15th
Central TexasOctober 31st
South TexasNovember 15th
Southern and Southeastern statesSept.15 to Nov.1
South Central U.SOct. 1 to Nov. 15
Mid-South, Midwest and Northeastern statesAug. 15 to Oct. 1 or spring planted in March and April.

Chisholm Fescue
Chisholm Fescue

This field of Chisholm Fescue was one year old. In August 2020 it was fertilized. It rained 3 inches on September 1, 2020. It averaged an inch a day growth in 22 days.

5 more days of growth

Calves grazing Chisholm Fescue 3-31-2020
Chisholm Fescue 3-31-2020 Lawton, OK
Chisholm Fescue Alva, OK 4-29-2020
Chisholm Fescue Hay 7-16-2021
Chisholm Fescue Hay 7-16-2021

Horses on Chisholm Fescue.

Chisholm Fescue is an endophyte-free cultivar. We had it tested to verify it and this is our 5th year of production. I have a friend that had 3 old brood mares from 17 to 21 years old. He said they were in poor shape and could see their ribs, even though he had been feeding them well. He visited with his veterinarian and he said it was probably due to their age. He put the horses in the Chisholm Fescue pasture with the cattle and when I looked at them about 2 months later they had a shiny, healthy, bloom and looked 10 years younger. One of mares foaled while she was still on the Chisholm Fescue. He said he was going to put more of his horses on it next season.

This was at Ardmore, Oklahoma in an above average rainfall year, but would be more common in higher rainfall zones or with irrigation. Notice twice the grazing days compared to wheat. The Chisholm fescue fields where established (not first year production).

Seed Depth 1/8″ to 1/2″

3/26/2019 Watonga, Oklahoma
3/26/2019 Watonga, Oklahoma
Chisholm Fescue Seed head
Chisholm Fescue Seed head
7/12/2021 Frederick, Oklahoma
7/16/2021 Frederick, Oklahoma
7/17/2021 Frederick, Oklahoma 9 days of regrowth
Sheep on tall fescue

Potential use as a quick cover commercial and residential turf grass with shade tolerance and less water requirements.

Rate: 8-10 Lbs./1000 Square Ft.

Chisholm Fescue - 7 days after planting.   10/22/2023
Chisholm Fescue – 7 days after planting. 10/22/2023 This is a highly shaded area between 2 houses and planted 1 month later than optimal timing.
Chisholm Fescue - 7 days after planting.   10/23/2023
Chisholm Fescue – 7 days after planting. 10/23/2023
Chisholm Fescue - 7 days after planting. 11/03/2023
Chisholm Fescue – 19 days after planting. 11/03/2023
Chisholm Fescue - 7 days after planting. 11/26/2023
Chisholm Fescue – Cutting to test regrowth 41 days after planting. 11/26/2023
Chisholm Fescue - 59 days after planting. 12/16/2023
Chisholm Fescue – 18″ leaves at 59 days after planting. 12/16/2023
Chisholm Fescue - 7 days after planting. 12/20/2023
Chisholm Fescue – Regrowth from cutting 63 days after planting. 12/20/2023