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Nitrate Toxicity

Program Contact: Kathryn Hoogheem, Agriculture Extension Coordinator
(509) 684-2588 •

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