Livestock Water Quality Dropping

Little rainfall and high temperatures are rapidly diminishing the quality of surface water for livestock and wildlife. The NDAWN weather station at Bowbells has only recorded 16% of normal rainfall accumulation in the last 60 days.


Water Quality plays a huge role in the weight gains of cattle and calves on pasture.


North Dakota State University Extension Specialist Miranda Meehan has worked with Extension Agents across the state to monitor the quality of livestock water sources during the grazing season since 2020. The goal of this Extension program is to improve the quality of livestock water sources, improve livestock production and reduce losses of livestock due to toxic water conditions. This will be accomplished by monitoring and reporting the level of TDS and sulfate in livestock sources monthly throughout the grazing season. During site visits agents will also complete a visual assessment to determine the presence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae blooms). In the event that the monthly screening identifies a potential toxicity risk to livestock, the county agent will assist with sample submittal for further analysis and interpretation of results.


I have the equipment in the Burke County Extension office to test water samples for TDS and Sulfates. If you are concerned about your water quality please bring in a sample or contact me to come out.

Burke County Extension phone 701-377-2927

Dan Folske cell 701-339-1133