Free, confidential water testing will be available at the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices booth (#521A) at the Peoria Farm Show on December 1-3. Bring a water sample from your farm to the show in a clean container. The test will within minutes provide you a snapshot of your water quality with a nitrate reading. You may collect a sample anytime, but keep it refrigerated until you travel to the show. If you cannot make the show, be sure to consider taking water samples to other events and locations that are participating in the program. A list of the testing locations can be found at www.ilcorn.org/nutrientstrategy.
The water testing program is free and confidential. The water testing technician will offer you an interpretation of the results that you can use to consider your management practices. More in depth analysis is available if you can also provide a flow rate (for samples collected from a stream or running tile line.)
The water testing program was designed to engage farmers in the nutrient and water quality issues facing agriculture by providing information on possible nutrient losses from their farms. These results are simply a snapshot in time of ambient nitrate levels in the sample. Nutrient levels in runoff water can vary greatly depending on the time of year, temperature, rainfall, and in-field practices.
You can find water sampling instructions at www.ilcorn.org/nutrientstrategy.