2012-10-04 / Local & State

Free Water Tests For Dairy Farms Available

Submitted by Greg Strait

Pennsylvania dairy producers have the opportunity to participate in a free Penn State Extension Water Testing Program beginning October 1, 2012. 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 in part encourages livestock producers to regularly test their water supply. One free water test kit is available for each farm that applies. The test kits will be made available on a first-come, firstserved basis to dairy producers who register online at http://www.surveymonkey.co m/s/dairywater (preferred method) or call Laurie Porter at 888-373-7232. The registration deadline for this free testing is October 31, 2012, 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 November 30, 2012, using the postage-paid envelope provided. Each water supply 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.

The Penn State Extension Water Testing Program will inform participating dairy producers 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 Penn State Extension educational 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.

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Bryan Swistock 814-863- 0194 in advance of your participation or visit.

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