|Plant Species:||Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Reed Canarygrass, Dallisgrass, Bahiagrass|
|Causes:||Caused by Fungus (Acremonium) in old mature growth/seedhead.|
|Mode of Action:||Acute ergotism produces alkaloids, which are toxic. These alkaloids cause a degeneration of nervous tissue, hence the name staggers.
Chronic ergotism (gangrene) – causes reduced blook circulation, similar to fescue toxicosis (Acremonium)
Acute ergotism – cattle twitch, tremble, become stiff-legged in the hind quarters, weak in the front legs, and are poorly coordinated.
Chronic Ergotism – animals loose extremities.
|Conditions:||Ryegrass/Dallisgrass – seedheads carry fungi (Claviceps) – reduces blood circulation.
Bermudgrass staggers – tall rank growth with cool cloudy weather promotes fungi.
|Treatment:||Remove cattle from infested pastures.|
|Prevention:||Graze heavily, mow, suppress seedhead production, and don’t graze seedheads.|