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SDSU Extension Offering Livestock Water Testing Across State

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University Extension is offering on-site livestock water testing services at all SDSU Extension regional centers and several SDSU Extension county offices throughout the state.

“It is critical to monitor livestock water quality, because poor quality water can have a negative effect on growth, reproduction and general productivity of the animal,” said Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. “In some cases, death could occur within days or hours after consumption of contaminated waters or water deprivation.”

Water tests already indicate marginal quality water present this spring.

“This may come as a surprise because of the amount of snow we had this winter, however, fence-high snow does not mean the dugouts and dams were all flushed out with fresh water,” Salverson said. “The rain has been a welcome sight, but it does not mean the water sources have been diluted to safe levels.”

Water samples can be taken to one of the SDSU Extension sites. Samples must be collected in a clean plastic or glass container, such as a sanitized water or pop bottle or jelly jar.

A quick test is conducted free of charge with an electro-conductivity (EC) meter to determine total salts in the water. After consultation with an SDSU Extension field or state specialist, Salverson said additional laboratory testing may be suggested, but will be at the cost of the producer.

“The appearance of water can be deceiving, and the clearest of water can be the worst,” she said. “Additionally, some water sources can be high in total salts regardless of how wet or dry it has been. Continuous monitoring of water quality and quantity is important to maintain a productive livestock program.”

For more information, contact Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, at 605-374-4177 or

SDSU Extension Regional Centers where testing is available

Aberdeen Regional Center: 605-626-2870

Lemmon Regional Center: 605-374-4177

Mitchell Regional Center: 605-995-7378

Pierre Regional Center: 605-773-8120

Rapid City Regional Center: 605-394-1722

Sioux Falls Regional Center: 605-782-3290

Watertown Regional Center: 605-882-5140

Winner Regional Center: 605-842-1267

County offices where testing is available

Aurora County: Tina Kieffer, 605-942-7754

Bennett County: Mary Kay Sell, 605-685-6972

Butte/Lawrence Counties: Cindy Riley/Michelle May, 605-892-3371

Campbell County: Shari Rossow, 605-955-3305

Clark County: Joslyn Hurlbert, 605-532-3681

Corson County: Robin Salverson, 605-374-4177

Charles Mix County: Sara Bauder, 605-487-7666

Dewey County: Rita Long, 605-865-3652

Gregory County: Sean Kelly, 605-842-1267

Haakon County: LeAnna Fitzgerald/Kaycee Jones, 605-859-2840

Hanson County: Caroline Hanson, 605-239-4542

Harding County: Ryanna Turbiville/Laurie Elmore, 605-375-3412

Hutchinson County: Jenaya Brengle, 605-387-4205

Jackson County: Kaycee Jones/LeAnna Fitzgerald, 605-837-2133

Jerauld County: Audra Scheel,

Jones County: Vanessa Hight/Addison Kierl, 605-669-7101

Lake County: Jill Dold, 605-256-7603

McCook County: Stacy Sieverding, 605-425-2242

McPherson County: Jackie Rau, 605-439-3331

Mellette County: Vanessa Hight/Addison Kierl, 605-259-3385

Miner County: Brittany Yanish/Jillian Calmus, 605-772-4661

Roberts County: Lauren Sankey/Dustie Richards, 605-698-7627

Todd County: Ron Frederick, 605-856-2198

Walworth County: Robin Salverson, 605-374-4177

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