New Castle News

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October 9, 2012

Free water tests offered to dairy farms

NEW CASTLE — Pennsylvania dairy producers have the opportunity to participate in a free Penn State Extension Water Testing program.

More than 200 livestock drinking water tests 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 will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis to dairy producers who register online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/dairywater — which is the preferred method. They also may call Laurie Porter at (888) 373-7232. The registration deadline for the free testing is Oct. 31 or until supplies run out.

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 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 a month 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.

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