The Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District Office is offering free water testing for Farmers. The program was designed to engage farmers in the nutrient and water quality issues facing agriculture by providing information on possible nutrient losses from their farms.
Gary Grams, a volunteer with the Soil and Water Conservation District Office says they are trying to encourage farmers to bring in samples to test.
“So there is this initiation by the Illinois Council of Best Management Practices. They have invested in some testing equipment. We are trying to encourage farmers to bring in samples of water from their tiles and edge of field streams, retention ponds, something that might eventually end up in the watershed. The USDA is also working on it, trying to encourage farmers in various counties to bring in samples. We’ve had this program going for a year in Morgan County and now we are expanding into Cass and Scott Counties, doing some testing.”
Grams explains when you can get your water tested.
“So this coming Monday, March 6th we will be testing samples in the morning from 9-10 o’clock. Then the second Monday of the month we will be doing Cass County and so March 13th we will be down there at 11 am testing samples. Then on the 16th, the third Thursday of the month we will be at Scott County in the afternoon at 2 p.m.”
Grams says all samples collected are strictly confidential.
“It’s confidential. If a farmer brings in his sample, we don’t keep track of their name or where the sample is from. They can keep their own records, for their own purposes, for deciding best management practices on their agricultural field. That way we are hoping to get more farmers involved and eliminate the necessity for future legislation efforts.”
For more information about the free water testing program call the Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District Office at 243-1535 extension 3.