Not All Irrigation Sources Are Created Equal

Water quality can vary widely between irrigation sources, so it’s important to test your water to ensure optimal plant growth and health. Some of the biggest concerns in irrigation water are excess soluble salts, sulfates and nitrates.   

Soluble salts (sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium) that are dissolved in irrigation water reduce soil moisture, limit plant growth and affect soil health. Additionally, high levels of sulfates and nitrates in irrigation water can affect a plant’s nutrient uptake. 

An irrigation water test can help ensure your crops aren’t impacted by poor water quality, or help you remedy any existing problems. AgSource’s Irrigation Suitability Package includes the primary analyses you need when evaluating your irrigation water quality.

Properly collecting a water sample will give you the most accurate results. Here are some tips to remember when collecting your irrigation water sample:  

  1. Use a clean plastic container, NOT a glass container. Rinse the bottle (including the lid) several times with the water to be tested. Order Free Sampling Supplies. 
  2. Collect the sample from the pumping station or within the irrigation system as outlined below:  
    1. If a system of irrigation wells (ground water) is being used, sample each well separately. 
    2. When collecting a sample from the irrigation system, let the water run for two to three minutes before collecting the sample.  
    3. When sampling from a pond, collect water from the pumping station, if possible.  
  3. Fill the bottle completely and ensure it is sealed. The laboratory needs at least 125 ml (about 4 ounces) of water for the analyses.   
  4. If possible, collect and ship the samples(s) on the same day. Cool the sample(s) in a refrigerator if overnight storage is necessary.  
  5. Clearly identify each sample bottle and complete the sample submission form before shipping. Irrigation Water Sample Submission Form.    

If you are irrigating crops this growing season, consider checking your water quality to maintain crop and soil health. Contact us with any questions!  

Irrigation Suitability Package

• Water pH
• Hardness
• Bicarbonate
• Carbonate
• Nitrate
• Total Dissolved Solids
• Sodium
• Chloride
• Boron
• Sulfate
• Electrical Conductivity (ECw)
• Phosphorus
• Potassium
• Magnesium
• Calcium
• Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR)
• Manganese
• Iron

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