NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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Livestock Water Quality Report

livestock water quality,

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent/Agriculture and Natural Resources

Livestock water quality is becoming an issue across the state. Even with the high amount of rainfall that has occurred within the last week, producers are strongly encouraged to test their water supplies for total dissolved solid levels. Below is the June Livestock Water Quality Report from NDSU Extension. A few spots in the southwest region of the state tested at levels well above the limits, which will likely cause death to animals. With temperatures forecasted to be in the 90’s the next few weeks, livestock ranchers need to monitor their water supplies at least weekly. Please refer to the publication website address for more information or give me a call at the Extension office at 873.5195. I have a meter to conduct a quick test to determine if further laboratory testing is needed.

NDSU Extension agents sampled 98 surface and ground water sources in June, which included 76 surface water sites and 22 ground water sites. Surface water sites include dugouts, ponds and streams. Ground water sites include tanks supplied by wells and springs. The total dissolved solids (TDS) of water sources sampled in June ranged from 120 to 23,050 ppm with an average of 1,877.2 ppm. The TDS of surface water sites ranged from 120 to 23,050 ppm with an average of 2,105.4 ppm. The TDS of ground water sites ranged from 434 to 3,250 ppm with an average of 1,231.5 ppm. Negative impacts to livestock health occur when levels exceed 5,000 ppm with risk of brain damage and death at levels above 10,000 ppm. Laboratory analysis was completed for three locations. These results confirmed elevated TDS for two sites and elevated sulfates for three sites (one of which had acceptable TDS levels). Refer to the NDSU Extension Livestock Water Quality Publication (AS-1764) for more information: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/livestock-water-quality.

Source: Miranda Meehan, Extension Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist, miranda.meehan@ndsu.edu.

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