Farm Talk

Area Farm & Ranch News

July 17, 2012

Forage nitrate workshop set July 25

Parsons, Kansas — University of Missouri Extension will offer a “Forage Nitrate Workshop” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, at Halfway High School in Halfway, Mo.

“The drought this summer has increased the likelihood of nitrate accumulations in several forages and feed sources like johnsongrass, sudangrass, and corn,” said Andy McCorkill, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

High nitrate levels are a concern in fresh forages or in hay because it can be fatal to livestock.

During the workshop, participants will learn which forages and feed sources can accumulate nitrates, what conditions promote accumulations, symptoms and treatment of cattle that have consumed high-nitrate feeds, and management options for forages and cattle.

“Testing is the best way to determine whether a forage is safe to feed or not,” said Brie Menjoulet, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension. She will also be instructing at the workshop.

Participants are welcome to bring fresh forage samples to the workshop for a “quick” nitrate test or to have the sample submitted for quantitative analysis.

“The ‘quick’ test is used only to indicate whether nitrates are present or not. When we use this type of testing, we don’t know how high the nitrate levels actually are,” said Menjoulet.

Quantitative testing for forage nitrate levels is available through several private laboratories and universities. Materials needed to submit a sample will be available during the workshop or can be picked up at most MU Extension offices.

Participants are also encouraged to bring their test results if they would like help interpreting the results.

There is no cost for the workshop, but pre-registration is required by Tuesday, July 24.

To pre-register, or to make special arrangements due to a disability, please contact the Polk County Extension Center at 417-326-4916.

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