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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

TAMU Professor and AgriLife Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Specialist Bill Higginbotham has made five publications available on cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) toxicity in livestock drinking water. If a landowner suspects that blue-green algal blooms in a water trough or pond may be involved in livestock sickness or death, livestock should be moved to another source of water and water samples should be forwarded to the TVMDL for diagnostics. Although there are always exceptions, blue-green algal blooms are usually most prominent in the hottest time of the summer without significant rainfall (e.g., “stagnant” conditions)—and just because blue-green algae is present does not necessarily mean it will have an adverse impact on livestock and wildlife drinking it.

All five publications are available under livestock water quality at


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