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Agriculture

Free water testing for nitrates

PRINCETON — The Bureau County Farm Bureau has teamed up with Nutrient Stewardship of Northern Illinois to host free water testing open house days for private landowners and operators. Each Friday from 8 to 10 a.m., an open house will be held at the Bureau County Farm Bureau, 535 Elm Place in Princeton.

Tested water can be collected from field tiles, streams or ponds. The testing and results of water samples are for private land owner/operator use only. The water test is free, and confidential, no results will be saved. Results are simply a snapshot in time of nutrient levels and can vary greatly depending on the time of year, temperature, rainfall, and crop and in-field practices.

When collecting samples keep in mind that a measurement of flow (the volume of water leaving a site) would help determine the total nutrient loading into a body of water. Also, an additional measurement of acres being drained would help determine the pounds per acre leaving the field.

Sample collection instructions:

• Sample containers should be clean and free of any residual chemicals or detergents.

• Water samples need to be at least 8 ounces.

• Samples should be taken as close to the testing time as possible (preferably within 48 hours).

• Samples should be kept refrigerated if not being tested immediately.

For more information about the test and additional testing sites, visit www.illinoiscbmp.org/Water-Testing/ or call the Bureau County Farm Bureau at 815-875-6468.

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