Nov 18, 2015
New Extension publication on interpreting irrigation water tests

A growing number of farms and greenhouses in Pennsylvania rely on irrigation for crop production. Sources of irrigation water include wells, springs, streams, ponds, runoff and municipal water. Penn State Extension surveys of irrigation water sources have found that the majority have water quality characteristics that may be problematic for crops or irrigation equipment, most commonly high pH, alkalinity and hardness.

To meet increasing demand for testing of irrigation water sources, the Penn State Agricultural Analytical Laboratory developed an irrigation testing program in 2007. Penn State Extension recently created an updated publication to assist lab customers and anyone who has water test results from irrigation water, in understanding the meaning of those results. The new publication describes the various water quality parameters that are important for crop growth and/or functioning of irrigation equipment and provides recommended limits for each parameter. The publication can be accessed online or printed as a PDF file.

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