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Nitrate Toxicity

Program Contact: Nils Johnson, Extension Coordinator
(509) 684-2588 • nils.johnson@wsu.edu

Nitrate Poisoning Due To Drought-Stressed Forage Crops

Some forage plants can accumulate excess nitrogen when they’re stressed by drought or other factors.  If animals consume too much nitrogen from forage or water, nitrogen poisoning can occur.  This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “Oat Hay Poisoning”.  Oats and other grain-hay crops have a tendency toward nitrate accumulation, as do many weeds, including Pig Weed, Lambs Quarter, and thistles.  It’s recommended that you test for nitrate levels in grain or weedy hay grown under drought conditions.

Nitrate Poisoning-Related Document Links

Quick-Testing Available from Stevens County Extension

Qualitative Forage Testing is available free of charge for hay growers in Stevens County.  This is a quick test that shows if your hay is of concern and should be tested by a qualified lab.

Contact WSU Extension to schedule a quick test, at (509) 684-2588

More Information about  the Nitrate Testing program used by WSU Stevens County Extension (from MSU Extension)