SDSU guide discusses water analysis for livestock suitability
June 30, 2008
A new publication from South Dakota State University can help producers understand whether their water is suitable for livestock.
The publication discusses water consumption by class of livestock; water quality; conductivity/total dissolved solids; sulfates; sodium; alkalinity; hardness; nitrates; and other factors.
The guide includes worksheets for total sulfur intake and for water interpretation summaries.
The guide addresses sodium levels in water, as well as alkalinity and hardness. Comparing alkalinity and hardness levels is important because of interactions between sulfates and alkalinity. For example, the laxative effects of high-sulfate water are more pronounced in water with higher alkalinity levels. A table in the guide illustrates this interaction.
Nitrate levels and other factors also are considered in the guide, and it addresses all livestock operations, from poultry to cattle.
SDSU publication C274-1, “Interpretation of Water Analysis for Livestock Suitability,” is online at this link: http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/C274.pdf. Or ask at your county Extension office.
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Authors are David German of the Water Resources Institute at South Dakota State University, Nancy Thiex of SDSU’s Olson Biochemistry Laboratories, and SDSU Extension Beef Specialist Cody Wright.