2016 Nitrate Quick Test Trainings
As we enter the spring and summer months, livestock producers need to start thinking about the risk of nitrates in feed supplies and how it will affect their livestock operations, explains Karla Hernandez, SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist.
“Nitrates are naturally occurring substances in plants but can accumulate to toxic levels when plants are stressed due to lack of rainfall and moisture,” Hernandez said.
If producers have reason to be concerned, a nitrate quick test allows them to quickly determine if their feedstuffs are safe for livestock consumption.
SDSU Extension will be hosting Nitrate Quick Test Recertification and New Certification Trainings April 5 and April 6, 2016 at all eight Regional Extension Centers across the state.
If you were not trained to perform the Nitrate Quick Test in 2015 you will need to attend one of the New Certification Trainings, which will last an hour.
If you were trained in May 2015, you can attend one of the Recertification sessions. Both the New Certification and Recertification will be offered twice to give more people an opportunity to participate.
Recertification & Certification Training Details
Dates and Times for the event are as follow:
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Re-Certification Class: 1 p.m. (MDT) and 2 p.m. (CDT)
New Certification Class: 2 p.m. (MDT) and 3 p.m. (CDT)
Wednesday, April 6, 2016:
Re-Certification Class: 8:30 a.m. (MDT) and 9:30 a.m. (CDT)
New Certification Class: 9:30 a.m. (MDT) and 10:30 a.m. (CDT)
Nitrate toxicity 101
Hernandez explained that nitrate accumulation occurs in the lower portions of the plant, such as the stalk or stem, and less in the upper portions of the leaves.
When forages contain too much nitrate, and livestock consumer the plant, it can prevent animals from completing its conversion to amino acids and protein.
“These nitrates are absorbed directly into the blood stream when they combine with hemoglobin to form meth-hemoglobin. This last compound is the cause of asphyxiation in animals,” Hernandez said.
When producers suspect there is a problem with nitrates, testing can be accomplished to establish the levels of nitrates present, or no present, in the plant.
For more information or contact Karla Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-882-5140.