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Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Assistive Technologies in Agriculture

In terms of work-related injuries, farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In 2007, national statistics showed 411 fatalities – 23.5 deaths per 100,000 farm workers – from accidents resulting from agriculture-related activities (NIOSH 2009). Statistics also reveal that agriculture-related activities result in nonfatal injuries. For example, in 2006, crop and animal-production activities resulted in 22,400 and 13,100 injuries, respectively (U.S. Department of Labor 2006). These nonfatal injuries may include primary as well as secondary injuries.

Jul 1, 2010 442-084
Calibrating Forage Seeding Equipment

Successful forage establishment requires that seed be planted at the recommended density. Planting lower than the required rate will result in thin stands with increased weed problems and lower yields. On the other hand, planting at a higher than recommended seed rate will significantly increase seeding costs. Calibration becomes more important as the cost of the seed increases.

Calibration charts can be found on most seeding equipment and they provide a good starting point. However, variations in seed size, weight, purity, and coatings, and performance of seeding equipment can cause large discrepancies between chart settings and actual seeding rates. Therefore, it is critical to know how much seed is actually being metered out for any given combination of variety, seeder, and field condition.

Dec 10, 2009 418-121
Constructing High-tensile Wire Fences

High-tensile wire fence is an effective barrier for controlling and protecting livestock. Some advantages of this type of fence include ease of handling, minimal maintenance, and high strength. High-tensile wire fence can be easily electrified and will outlast most other fences. Building a high-tensile wire fence that will provide years of service requires proper construction techniques. Unfortunately, many farmers consider fence building a low priority. The result is a poorly built fence that is a waste of time and money. Every fencing job presents slightly different problems. However, the application of a few basic principles of fence construction can result in well-built fence. This publication discusses the basic components of high-tensile wire fence construction.

May 1, 2009 442-132
Decentralized Small Community Wastewater Collection Systems Jul 10, 2014 BSE-77P
Droplet Chart / Selection Guide

When choosing nozzles/droplet sizes for spray applications, applicators must consider both coverage needed and drift potential. As a rule, smaller droplets provide better coverage, but larger droplets are less likely to drift.

Sep 25, 2014 442-031 (BSE-149P)
Filtration, Treatment, and Maintenance Considerations for Micro-Irrigation Systems

Micro-irrigation systems can deliver water and nutrients in precise amounts and at controlled frequencies directly to the plant's root zone. With micro-irrigation systems, an extensive network of pipe is used to distribute water to emitters that discharge it in droplets, small streams, or through mini-sprayers. The major cause of failure in micro-irrigation systems is emitter plugging. Emitter plugging can severely degrade irrigation system performance and application uniformity. Because the emitters are small and can easily plug, it is important to understand the filtration and maintenance requirements of these systems and be proactive to prevent plugging. The basic components of a typical micro-irrigation system are shown in Figure 1.

May 1, 2009 442-757
Fine Tuning a Sprayer with "Ounce" Calibration Method

This extension publication discusses guidelines to quickly evaluate the performance of a sprayer. Sprayer calibration, nozzle discharge, spray pattern uniformity, speed checks, pump performance and plumbing arrangements are evaluated with minimal calculations.

Tractor-mounted, pull-type, pick-up-mounted and self-propelled sprayers are available from numerous sources. Rising chemical costs and new low rate chemicals are making accurate application more important than ever before. Proper calibration must be a primary management consideration whether one is a farmer or a custom applicator. Since most pesticides are applied with hydraulic sprayers, users should also know proper application methods, chemical effects on equipment, and correct cleaning and storage methods for hydraulic sprayers.

May 1, 2009 442-453
Five Strategies for Extending Machinery Life
Machinery ownership and operation is a major crop and livestock production cost. Several strategies when combined can significantly affect costs, improve machine reliability, and improve profit margins.
Oct 9, 2014 442-451 (BSE-174P)
Guidelines for Protecting Youth Workers: Promote Safe Practices and Protect Youth Workers Aug 13, 2014 BSE-46NP (BSE-107P)
Hand Tools Safety: Lawn Care Training Guide Hand Tool Care and Safe Use

 Many hand tools such as rakes, shovels, and pruners are used widely in lawn care operations. While these non-powered tools are not known to cause major injuries, they have the potential for injuries that may require absence from work and/or medical assistance when they are used improperly. Examples of such injuries may include bruises, cuts, sprains, back problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Sep 15, 2014 BSE-51P (BSE-113P)
Lawn Care: Hand Tools Safety Nov 5, 2013 BSE-40NP (BSE-98P)
Lawn Care: Powered Hand Tool Safety Nov 6, 2013 BSE-41NP (BSE-97P)
Lawn Care: Rotary Mower Safety Nov 5, 2013 BSE-42NP (BSE-96P)
Lawn Care: Tractor Safety Nov 5, 2013 BSE-43NP (BSE-100P)
Lawn Care: Utility-Type Vehicle Safety Nov 5, 2013 BSE-44NP (BSE-99P)
Manure Management and Environmental Stewardship Apr 1, 2010 442-309
Natural Ventilation For Freestall Dairy Barns

Ventilation systems in dairy barns help maintain a comfortable environment to keep cows healthy and productive. Cows continuously produce heat and moisture. Therefore, a ventilation system is necessary to constantly exchange warm, humid air inside the barn for cooler, drier air outside of the barn. This exchange must occur regardless of outside temperature or weather conditions. Fresh outside air is required even on a cold, windy night to reduce moisture accumulation inside the barn. Good air exchange also removes nuisance odors and manure gases that can have negative effects on animal health and performance.

May 1, 2009 442-763
Nozzles: Selection and Sizing

This fact sheet covers nozzle description, recommended use for common nozzle types, and orifice sizing for agricultural and turf sprayers. Proper selection of a nozzle type and size is essential for correct and accurate pesticide application. The nozzle is a major factor in determining the amount of spray applied to an area, uniformity of application, coverage obtained on the target surface, and amount of potential drift.

Jan 31, 2014 442-032 (BSE-103P)
Planning for a Farm Storage Building

A farm storage building is a good investment for many agricultural operations. The building can be used to store hay, machinery, or both. As a result, the value of these commodities will be worth more than if left in the field. However, does the increased value of stored hay or machinery offset the cost of owning a building? The following discussion examines the costs and savings of owning a farm storage building.

May 1, 2009 442-760
Planter/Drill Considerations for Conservation Tillage Systems

No-till planters and drills must be able to cut and handle residue, penetrate the soil to the proper seeding depth, and establish good seed-to-soil contact. Many different soil conditions can be present in the Mid-Atlantic region at planting time. Moist soils covered with residue, which may also be wet, can dominate during the late fall and early spring and, occasionally, in the summer. Although this condition provides an ideal environment for seed germination, it can make it difficult to cut through the residue. In contrast, hard and dry conditions may also prevail. Although cutting residue is easier during dry conditions, it is more difficult to penetrate the hard, dry soils. Proper timing, equipment selection and adjustments, and crop management can overcome these difficult issues.

Aug 8, 2014 442-457 (BSE-147P)
Plumbing Systems of Agricultural Sprayers

The plumbing systems of agricultural sprayers are usually considered foolproof. Sprayer problems may occur if plumbing and/or modifications are improperly done or maintenance is ignored. Retrofitting, addition of electrical control systems, and replacement of pumps or nozzles require proper knowledge of the plumbing system and the implications of these changes to sprayer performance. Routine maintenance of the plumbing system is essential.

Oct 1, 2014 442-452 (BSE-171P)
Poultry and Livestock Manure Storage: Management and Safety Nov 19, 2009 442-308
Powered Hand Tools Safety: Lawncare Training Guide Sep 24, 2014 BSE-50P (BSE-112P)
Precision Farming Tools: Variable-Rate Application

There are a number of questions that must be answered before establishing a site-specific crop management (SSCM) program. Many of these questions are economic, some are agronomic and environmental, and others are technology-related. This publication is intended to discuss variable-rate devices that are available, while providing an understanding of which technologies might best fit a cropping system and production management strategy.

Aug 1, 2011 442-505
Predicting Tractor Diesel Fuel Consumption

Ability to predict tractor fuel consumption is very useful
for budgeting and management. The objective of
this factsheet is to develop relationships using field
measurements and Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory
results to estimate tractor fuel consumption. Using
these equations, farmers can estimate and compare the
fuel consumption for different operating and loading
conditions.

Oct 14, 2014 442-073 (BSE-175P)
Pumping Water from Remote Locations for Livestock Watering

Both intensive grazing and water quality protection programs are increasing the need for pumping water to livestock from locations where commercial electricity is not readily available. If electricity is available, it will generally be the most cost-effective method for pumping water. However, there may be instances where the distance from existing power lines to the desired pump location makes it cost-prohibitive to obtain electricity from the utility. A rule of thumb is that alternative energy sources may be economically justified if the distance to commercial power exceeds one-third of a mile. In this case, the livestock producer can select from a range of alternative power methods. The "best" alternative power option is generally site specific.

May 1, 2009 442-755
Rotary Mowers Safety: Lawncare Training Guide Aug 12, 2014 BSE-47P (BSE-110P)
Selecting A Post-Frame Building Contractor

Post-frame buildings have been popular in the agricultural community for over fifty years. However, many agricultural producers do not have the resources to design and construct post-frame buildings and should rely on a contractor to do this work for them. The challenge for the producer is to select a contractor who will incorporate adequate materials with well-engineered designs to construct a structurally sound and functional building. Lack of an sufficient building design may result in a post-frame structure that looks structurally sound, but has an unacceptable risk for failure or that may not be suitable for the intended purpose.

May 1, 2009 442-761
Selecting a Treatment Technology for Manure Management May 11, 2009 442-306
Selection and Location of Poultry and Livestock Manure Storage

If you raise dairy cows, broilers, layers, turkeys, horses, beef cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, or swine for income or a hobby, you will have to deal with the manure they produce. The amount of manure produced by the birds or animals you keep depends on their type, age, size, and diet.

Nov 19, 2009 442-307
Signing A Post-Frame Building Contract

Post-frame buildings have been popular in the agricultural community for over fifty years. However, many agricultural producers do not have the resources to design and construct post-frame buildings and should rely on a contractor to do this work for them. The challenge for the producer is to select a contractor who will incorporate adequate materials with well-engineered designs to construct a structurally sound and functional building. Lack of an sufficient building design may result in a post-frame structure that looks structurally sound, but has an unacceptable risk for failure or that may not be suitable for the intended purpose.

May 1, 2009 442-762
Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation Mar 1, 2010 444-501
Silo Management, Learning From The Experts Jul 9, 2014 DASC-39NP
Skidder Safety and Efficiency: A Discussion Leader's Guide

This handbook is designed to accompany the Skidder Safety and Efficiency training DVD available from Virginia Cooperative Extension www.ext.vt.edu, Forest Resources Association www. forestresources.org, and the Virginia SHARP Logger Program www.sharplogger.vt.edu. The following pages contain a transcription of the video narrative, along with suggestions for discussion topics.

May 26, 2009 420-122
Streamside Livestock Exclusion: A tool for increasing farm income and improving water quality

Did you know that livestock, like humans, prefer a clean water source and are healthier and more productive when they drink clean water? Virginia producers who have restricted or eliminated livestock access to streams and farm ponds and converted to a clean, alternative water source have observed increased livestock productivity, improved water quality, and restored stream banks on their farms. As a consequence, livestock stream exclusion practices are gaining popularity across Virginia. This publication, produced through the cooperation of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, describes the findings, experiences, and successes of individual producers who are limiting livestock stream access.

Dec 13, 2012 442-766
Subterranean Termite Biology and Behavior Mar 5, 2010 444-502
Subterranean Termite Treatment Options Mar 5, 2010 444-500
Tractor Safety: Lawn Care Training Guide, Safe Use of Tractors

 Tractors are versatile equipment used in a variety of jobs ranging from hauling goods to lawn care to agriculture. While they are extremely versatile, they can be very dangerous unless they are used with care following safe practices. Accidents resulting in fatalities and severe injuries are very common during tractor use. The National Safety Council estimated that approximately 36 percent of all the agricultural fatalities in 1997 involved a tractor. Published data also show that farm accidents cause more than 100 deaths and about 2,600 serious injuries among children annually. Tractors account for about 41 percent of the accidental deaths among children under 15 years of age. In spite of these convincing data, a large number of operators continue to follow unsafe practices that can cause serious accidents. 

Sep 25, 2014 BSE-48NP (BSE-111P)
Tractor-Mounted Inclined Lifts Jan 8, 2013 BSE-60NP
Tractor-Mounted Lifts Jan 8, 2013 BSE-58NP
Tractor-Mounted Vertical Lifts Jan 8, 2013 BSE-59NP
Using Tractor Test Data for Selecting Farm Tractors May 12, 2009 442-072
Utility Type Vehicles: UTV Maintenance and Safe Use Lawn Care Training Guide Jun 6, 2014 BSE-49NP (BSE-108P)
Water Reuse: Using Reclaimed Water for Irrigation

Water reuse can be defined as the use of reclaimed water for a direct beneficial purpose. The use of reclaimed water for irrigation and other purposes has been employed as a water conservation practice in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and other states for many years.

May 1, 2009 452-014