Blue Green Algae

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can produce toxins that are harmful to livestock, wildlife and people.

North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists are warning producers to take steps to prevent cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, which can produce toxins that are harmful to livestock, wildlife and people.

“This summer, cyanobacteria blooms have been in the headlines frequently,” says Miranda Meehan, Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist. “Several of the blooms have produced high toxin levels, requiring the issuance of a water advisory for recreationists and resulting in the death of several livestock.”

This has led to inquiries on treating cyanobacteria.

“However, many of the treatments available for cyanobacteria only treat the current bloom,” Meehan says. “These treatments kill the bacteria. However, toxins are released when the bacteria die, increasing the risk for poisoning. Additionally, these products can be deadly to beneficial aquatic organisms and wildlife. For long-term prevention, you need to understand the causes of a bloom.”

Read the full story in your Monday, August 31st Times-Record online edition. Purchase your online copy by clicking subscribe in the top left corner of the www.times-online.com home page.

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