Creeping red fescue (festuca rubra L. subsp. rubra s.l.) is a hardy, cool-season turf grass that grows vigorously. It is found worldwide and can tolerate many habitats and climates. It is persistent, has good drought and heat tolerance, stands up well under low fertility conditions and has good winter hardiness. In southern climates it is well suited as a shade grass.
There are many subspecies and many cultivars have been bred. Creeping red fescue is the ideal cash crop for Peace River Country farmers. Harvest generally takes place in late July or early August before other crops have matured. This crop works well in rotation with oilseeds and cereal crops, as the sod provides fiber to the soil. It also gives the producer an opportunity to easily spray out weeds such as wild oats and dandelions as well as volunteer cereals and oilseeds. Cattle producers frequently graze their previously harvested fescue crops in late fall as an alternative to mowing.
C. R. Elliot selected boreal creeping red fescue at the Canada Department of Agriculture Research Station at Beaverlodge, Alberta. The source of the seed was from commercial seed fields in the Peace River region. Open-pollinated seed of 300 lines were used to establish progeny test. Ratings were taken on seedling vigor, winter injury, uniformity, disease resistance (primarily leaf rusts) and yield. The polycross nursery included 36 top-yielding clones with similar maturity.
There is a limited area in Canada conducive to Creeping Red Fescue. The Peace Country offers the perfect conditions to grow fescue naturally, with long days, cool nights and wet falls. It’s also a persistent grass, has good drought and heat tolerance and stands up well under low fertility conditions. Because of its durability, Fescue works well as a low maintenance turf grass, ground cover on roadsides and yards.
Timothy seed is used primarily in mixes for hay, pasture or silage. It is also used in solid stands for the hay compaction industry. In Alberta, timothy seed is produced mostly in the Peace River region.
Meadow bromegrass is a grass species that has become common for pasture and rotational grazing in the Western Canadian prairies. Smooth bromegrass is a widely used cool-season grass in North America. It is grown extensively in Canada.
Visit our contact page for full contact information for all of our divisions.
Foster’s service area consists of the entire Alberta Peace Country and BC Peace Country. From Fort St. John to Manning to High Prairie to Elmworth, we cover it all and more.