Due to the drought, nitrate toxicity is an issue this growing season. Before cutting silage or feeding forages to livestock, test for nitrates.
SDSU Extension offers a nitrate quick test for standing forage. Interested parties can take forage samples to the following Extension Regional Centers; Aberdeen, 605.626.2870, Lemmon, 605.374.4177, Mitchell, 605.995.7378, , Rapid City, 605.394.1722, Sioux Falls, 605.782.3290, Watertown, 605.882.5140 and Winner, 605.842.1267; and the following county offices; Charles Mix County Office, Clark County Office, Douglas County Office, Hamlin County Office, or Pennington County Office. Please call before you take samples to be tested to ensure that the individual who is trained to do the testing is available.
Nitrate quick test is an indicator of presence or absence of nitrate in forages. If present, producers can send the sample in for a quantitative analysis or wait for plants to continue to mature/grow.
Trained personnel are only allowed to do the testing. If you have any questions on nitrate testing, contact your local SDSU Extension Regional Center. For information on how to evaluate nitrate tests or other drought resources, visit iGrow.org/drought