Extension to Provide Free Water Tests for Dairy Farms

10/13/2012 7:00 AM

Penn State Extension has over 200 livestock drinking water tests available that will be given to Pennsylvania dairy producers as part of an Extension educational program that encourages livestock producers to regularly test their water supply.

One free water test kit is available for each farm that applies. The test kits became available Oct. 1 on a first-come, first-served basis to dairy producers who register online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/dairywater (preferred method) or call Laurie Porter at 888-373-7232.

The deadline for the free testing is Oct. 31 or as long as supplies last.

Producers successfully enrolled in the free water testing program will be notified and sent a test kit in the mail with sample materials, instructions and a one-page survey about their water supply.

Farmers can collect and return their water samples through Nov. 30 using the postage-paid envelope provided.

Each sample will be tested for pH, total dissolved solids, nitrate-nitrogen, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, sodium, chloride, sulfate and hardness by the state-accredited Agricultural Analytical Services Lab at Penn State University.

Participating dairy producers will be informed about existing water quality problems that may be affecting herd health or milk production.

Producers will receive their results along with basic interpretation within about four weeks after submitting their sample.

Several Extension programs will be offered online and at locations around the state, after the testing is completed, to interpret the water test results and provide producers with recommendations to help solve their water quality problems.

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