Tower Tall Fescue

Lolium arundinaceum

The Summer active Tall Fescue that you think is a ryegrass!

Tower Tall Fescue is a unique tall fescue produced in New Zealand that overcomes the negative features of older cultivars, and the limitations often found with perennial ryegrass. You get all the things you would like from a good perennial ryegrass, but you also get much better drought tolerance and persistence.

Tower is a soft and palatable grass, that animals prefer to eat over ryegrass at trial sites. This makes Tower easy to manage and results in excellent animal performance in beef cattle, lambs, and dairy cows.

The drought tolerance and autumn/winter recovery come from its deep and large root system (over 1 metre), and Tower is tolerant of some of the worst insects known to affect ryegrass, including grass grub and porina.

It is easier than older fescues to maintain its fine leafy, high tiller density and high-quality pasture in late spring and summer due to the very late heading date (up to 28 days later) and palatable leaf.

Agronomic information:

The best time to sow tall fescue is in autumn to early winter (March - June) when soil moisture is adequate. In high altitude, high rainfall areas, spring sowing (September) can also be successful.

If tall fescue is not sown with a legume, nitrogen fertiliser will be required. Deficiencies of molybdenum and other trace elements should be corrected.

Tall fescue has a high nutritive value comparing favourably to perennial ryegrass and phalaris. Digestibility ranges from 60-80% DMD, metabolisble energy from 8.5-11.5 MJ and crude protein from 7.5-25%.


Previous clump-forming cultivars with soft leaves have not persisted well due to over-grazing in dry conditions. Tower breaks this link between palatability and persistence because it has a low growing point and dense/spreading growth habit, quickly forming a dense matt over the soil.

Grows across a wide range of soil types from sandy to heavy clay soils. Tower has better tolerance of wet soils and flooding than ryegrass, and soils are less likely to get pugged once it is fully established. Tower also has a moderate drought tolerance.

Tower is a new and better option for those already using tall fescue, and for farmers wishing to overcome the limitations of perennial ryegrass in many of our environments

  • Recommended pH Rate: 5 – 6.5
  • Recommended Rainfall Rate: 600mm+
  • Recommended Sow Rate:
    Single: 15 to 25kgs/ha.
    Mixes: 3 to 10kg/ha
  • Soil Type: Sandy to heavy clay