SDSU Extension Offers Nitrate Testing

Nitrate Testing on Corn Stalk at SDSU Center July 23, 2012


PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The drought that is impacting much of South Dakota this summer is resulting in nitrate toxicity becoming an issue that some producers have to deal with. SDSU Extension is advising growers and cattle producers that before they cut silage or feed forage, they should test for nitrates. When nitrate reaches a certain level, it can be poisonous to some livestock. Ruth Beck, Agronomy Crops Field Specialist at Pierre’s Extension Center, says her office can do preliminary nitrate testing.

Beck says the tests can only indicate whether nitrate is present. If it is, producers can then send a sample into a lab for further analysis.

Beck says she has had producers bring corn plants in for the quick nitrate tests and many of those tests have indicated that the crops are accumulating nitrates.
The Pierre Extension Center is located at 412 West Missouri Avenue and producers can call with questions at 773-8120. The website also has a tool farmers can use to evaluate nitrate tests or for other drought related resources.

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