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Nitrate QuikTest available at Extension office

By Staff | Aug 18, 2017

The Pierce County Extension office now has the ability to perform the Nitrate QuikTest in the office for those wishing to test green forages for nitrates prior to baling or turning cows out to graze.

Drought stressed forages and small grain crops are prone to nitrate accumulation, which is toxic to cattle and sheep in high levels. Nitrate poisoning can cause abortion in pregnant animals, small calf size, reduced milk supply and death.

Common plants known to accumulate nitrates are some weeds especially wild oat, quackgrass, pigweed, lambsquarters, kochia, and Russian thistle, small grains, corn, sudan grass, sorghum, millet, sweet clover and alfalfa.

The Nitrate QuikTest provides a quick, reliable method to detect the presence of nitrates in ND forages. The QuikTest is a qualitative screening mechanism, which means that it only gives a positive or negative reading. It is recommended that all positive samples be sent to a lab to determine specific levels of nitrate in the plant material in order to determine safe feeding levels.

There is NO COST for the QuikTest.

Call Yolanda @ 701-776-6234 ext. 5 for more information or to set up a testing appointment.

Please note that no testing services will be available in the Pierce County office during the week of August 14th, as Yolanda will be attending a Spray Drift Management and Weed Resistance short course in North Platte, NE with a group of other ND extension agents and educators.

Drought Stressed Forage Sampling Program

Due to the drought, we (NDSU Extension) have been receiving a number of questions at the county, area and state levels regarding the quality of various non-traditional forages. Unfortunately, there is limited, if any data available on many of these forages. In order to provide the best possible data and information to producers, NDSU Extension is launching a program to sample drought stressed forages. This sampling program will give specialists, county agents and producers a better understanding of the quality of these forages in order to make more informed feeding recommendations and decisions.

Goals and procedures of the drought-stressed forage sampling program are similar to the Ditch Hay and Corn Silage projects. The main goals of the drought-stressed forage sampling project are to determine quality and quantity of these forages to aid in informed feeding recommendations and decisions.

As with past sampling projects, individual producer data will be used to compile a report comparing drought-stressed forage quality characteristics across the state and by region.

Individual producer data will be anonymous. Each producer will receive a copy of his/her results.

Sample data most needed for this project is that of non-traditional forages such as hail damaged cash crops, weeds, and/or cattails being baled or ensiled.

Sampling materials are expected to begin arriving in participating county offices within the next week or two. In the meantime, interested producers may contact the Pierce County Extension office to let me know they are interested in participating. Once I have a list of interested producers, I will begin setting up times to come out and collect samples.

Thanks for your time and consideration in taking part in this project. For questions or more information about this project, please call Yolanda at the Pierce County Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5.

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