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Testing shows rain increases nitrate levels

Testing is showing that nitrate levels in corn being cut for green chop, increased after a rain.

“We’ve seen, out of the same field before the rain we were running about 20 ppm (parts per million) nitrates and then after the rain on Saturday we got a report back that it was 600 ppm,” said Greg Garman, of Garman Feed and Supply at South Salem, Ohio.

Stan Smith, Extension program assistant in Fairfield County Ohio and member of the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team, tells Brownfield a level of 1,000 ppm is when nitrate levels become a concern and why blending it is recommended.

“This would be an ideal opportunity for guys to get rid of some of their poor quality hay, or if they are making hay on some CRP acres that are cool season grasses, it would be a great place to blend that down,” Smith said. “In a perfect world, we’d chop that hay, we’d green chop our silage and blend the two together and we could make a real nice, safe feed that would meet the nutritional requirements of our cattle regardless of what stage of reproduction they might be in, or even if they were stockers or feeders.”

Audio: Stan Smith. Extension program assistant, Fairfield Co. Ohio (4:00 mp3)

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