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Protect Livestock with Water Testing

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension is offering on-site livestock water testing service at all SDSU Extension Regional Extension Centers and several SDSU Extension County Offices throughout the state.

"It is critical to monitor livestock water quality, because poor quality water can have a negative effect on growth, reproduction and general productivity of the animal," says Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "In some cases, death could occur within days or hours after consumption of contaminated waters or water deprivation."

Water samples can be taken to one of the sites listed below and must be collected in a clean, plastic or glass container. This includes water or pop bottles, jelly jars, etc.

A quick test is conducted free of charge with an electro-conductivity (EC) meter to determine total salts in the water. After consultation with an SDSU Extension field or state specialist, Salverson says additional laboratory testing may be suggested but will be at the cost of the producer.

"The appearance of water can be deceiving, and the clearest of water can be the worst," she says. "Additionally, some water sources, regardless if it has been dry or wet, can be high in total salts. Therefore, continuous monitoring of water quality and quantity is important to maintain a productive livestock program."

Sites for Livestock Water Testing

Below is a complete list of SDSU Extension locations where testing is offered and the staff to contact.


County OfficesStaffPhone Number
Aurora CountyTina Kieffer605-942-7754
Bennett CountyMary Kay Sell605-685-6972
Butte/LawrenceCindy Riley / Michelle May605-892-3371
Campbell CountyShari Rossow605-955-3305
Corson CountyDawne Donner605-273-4368
Gregory CountyAshley Meyer605-775-2581
Haakon CountyRebekah Taylor605-859-2840
Hanson CountyShannon Tegethoff605-239-4542
Harding CountyRyanna Turbiville/Laurie Elmore605-375-3412
Hutchinson CountyJenaya Brengle605-387-4205
Jackson CountyKaycee Jones605-837-2133
Jones CountyVanessa Hight605-669-7101
McCook CountyStacy Sieverding605-425-2242
McPherson CountyJackie Rau605-439-3331
Mellette CountyVanessa Hight605-259-3385
Miner CountyMaria Feldhaus605-772-4661
Walworth CountyShari Rossow605-649-7607


Regional Extension CentersPhone Number
Aberdeen Regional Center605-626-2870
Lemmon Regional Center605-374-4177
Mitchell Regional Center605-995-7378
Pierre Regional Center605-773-8120
Rapid City Regional Center605-394-1722
Sioux Falls Regional Center605-782-3290
Watertown Regional Center605-882-5140
Winner Regional Center605-842-1267
Cottonwood Research Station/Adele Harty605-441-5870
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