Forage Safe Test Kits (FSTK-01)

Stressed Sorghum Crop
Nitrate Test - Cut Stem
Nitrate Test - Splitting the Stem
Nitrate Test - Adding Testing Solution
Nitrate Test
Nitrate Test - Positive and Negative Results
Prussic Acid Test - Sorghum in Esky
Prussic Acid Test - Place Sample in Bag
Prussic Acid Test - Spray Mist
Prussic Acid Test - Place Outside
Prussic Acid Test - Positive and Negative Results
The Forage Safe Test Kit allows the user to conveniently test plant material for the presence of Prussic acid and Nitrates right in the paddock. These tests are presumptive (not quantifiable) and can be used as a rapid decision-making tool when it comes to grazing livestock.
What’s in the Forage Safety Test Kit?
  • 2 x sets of instructions and safety information
  • 1 x general safety card
  • 5 x Prussic acid Test bags
  • 1 ml plastic dropper containing Nitrate test reagent 
  • 5 x sets nitrile gloves

Before use of the Forage Safety Test Kit please read the available MSDS.

When Should I Worry about my Forage?

When should I worry about my forage? 

Prussic acid and Nitrate poisoning can have severe health implications for livestock and may even cause death. It is important to check the quality (safety) of forage particularly after any event that may retard plant growth or induce stress.

Events that may cause the risk of Prussic acid and Nitrate poisoning include:

  • Drought
  • Any stress that may retard plant growth
  • Environmental extremes (from frost to heat stress)
  • Nutrient depletion- particularly phosphorous, potassium, sulphur and molybdenum
  • Excessive accumulation of Nitrogen in soil;
  1. Reduced leaching
  2. Overuse of nitrogen containing fertilisers
  3. Overstocking in small areas

What is Prussic Acid?

What is Prussic Acid?

Prussic acid is naturally produced by cyanogenetic plants (this includes sorghum species) and in conditions of normal growth, these levels are generally nontoxic to stock. When growth becomes retarded, abnormal levels of hydrocyanic acid (Prussic acid) are produced, making the forage unsafe for consumption by livestock. Feeding forage with toxic levels of Prussic acid can result in death by respiratory paralysis.

What are Nitrates?

What are Nirtates?

Nitrates accumulate in the plant when freely available in the soil. These nitrates concentrate heavily at the lower portion of the plant stem and can be toxic to stock when consumed in large quantities.  Symptoms of nitrate poisoning are generally the result of gastrointestinal inflammation and include diarrhoea and salivation. 

Further, in normal digestion, nitrates are converted to nitrites and then to ammonia. If toxic levels of nitrites accumulation before conversion, nitrite poisoning can occur. Nitrite poisoning can result in death by respiratory paralysis.

Nitrate accumulation in plants generally occurs in two scenarios:

  1. When the rate of plant growth abnoramly decreases, yet the uptake of nitrogen continues at a pace that is no longer relative to growth
  2. When crops are grown in soils that have high levels of nitrate

Nitrate accumulation in soils generally occurs after:

  • Drought
  • Overuse of Nitrogen containing fertilisers
  • Nutrient deprivation, particularly sulphur and molybdenum
  • Overstocking and confinement of livestock. Accumulation of urine and faeces increases nitrate levels in soil.

Purchasing Test Kits

The Forage Safe Test Kit is an essential and convenient tool used to rapidly assess suitability for livestock consumption. The tool can be used for buying, selling or private assessment of forage to reduce the risk of Prussic acid and Nitrate Poisoning amongst the heard.

FSTK are currently available for purchase through Feed Central, Toowoomba.

Feed Central
10775 Warrego Highway Charlton/Toowoomba, QLD, 4350
www.feedcentral.com.au
(07) 46304899
info@feedcentral.com.au

Safety Documents

Before use of the Forage Safety Test Kit please read the available MSDS.

You can download the safety data sheets here:

Nitrate Regent Safety

 

 


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