Minnesota Corn Growers offering free nitrate screening to help farmers address water quality
(May 2, 2016) — The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is encouraging farmers to bring in water samples from wells, ditches, streams or tile outlets for free nitrate screening.
The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. Nitrate testing is an easy way for farmers to get a better idea about water conditions and nutrient loss on their own farms.
There will be free screening available in Morris on May 13, 2016, at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, located at 46352 State Highway 329 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Check MinnesotaCornerstone.com or follow @mncorn on Twitter for updates and information about additional testing locations and dates throughout the state.
Collecting a sample
Collecting a sample for testing is simple:
- To take a ditch, stream or tile water sample, collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
- For well water, run your cold tap for 5-10 minutes and collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
- If a sample is collected within 24 hours of testing, it does not need to be frozen, but should be kept refrigerated.
“Testing is quick, easy and practical,” said Noah Hultgren, MCGA president and a family farmer in Raymond, Minn. “This is another tool we’re making available to farmers as all of us continue to make water quality improvements.”