Ohio ag department offers free nitrate testing of stalks

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is offering free nitrate testing of drought-stressed cornstalks.

Ohio farmers concerned about elevated levels of nitrates in corn that will be chopped for forage or silage can send samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for free testing.

During a drought, nitrates can accumulate in the lower portion of the corn plants. Concentrations of more than 1,000 parts per million in forages can pose health risks to livestock.

Take good sample. Officials caution that in order to get good results, farmers have to provide good samples. Representative samples should be collected from six areas in the field. Start 3 inches above the ground and take 18 inches of the stalk. Coarsely chop the stalks, mix them together and send approximately 1 gallon of the material to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Consumer Analytical Laboratory, 9885 E. Main St. Reynoldsburg, OH 43068.

Farmers should include their name, complete address and phone number with area code.

Sample results will be available in three to five business days after receiving the sample. Lab results cannot be released over the phone, so for a quicker response than mail, include a fax number where results can be sent.

For more information call the lab at 614-728-6230.

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