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Biological Systems Engineering

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
2011 Virginia Peanut Production Guide Jan 12, 2011 2810-1017
2014 Virginia Peanut Production Guide May 2, 2014 AREC-58NP
A Glossary of Water-Related Terms

The definitions and associated explanations of water-related terms presented here are intended to provide the reader with a working knowledge of terms that apply to Virginia's water resources. The list is designed to assist the user in understanding and interpreting water related information that may come from sources as varied as governmental agencies, environmental groups, or the news media. While terms and definitions are fairly consistent, some terminology presented here could be defined differently to describe water resources issues in other locations.

May 1, 2009 442-758
A Summary of Agricultural Air Quality Perceptions in Virginia Apr 20, 2010 3004-1442
Accurate Application and Placement of Chemicals on Lawns Jul 16, 2012 BSE-39NP
Ammonia Emissions and Animal Agriculture

Agricultural producers are under constant pressure to minimize the impact their management practices have on the environment. Although most environmental concerns related to animal agriculture have focused on water quality during the past two decades, air quality issues have become an increasing concern. Odors have been the main air quality concern related to agricultural animal production. However, ammonia emissions from livestock and poultry operations have recently received significant attention. New air quality standards that cover ammonia emissions in the United States were adopted in 1997. These regulations will have a significant impact on the future of animal production operations. The purpose of this publication is to provide an overview of ammonia production associated with animal agriculture and to explain why it is receiving greater attention from those concerned with environmental quality.

May 1, 2009 442-110
Arthritis and Farming

 Approximately 52.2 million, or more than 1 in 5 Americans, suffer from arthritis. This chronic disease is more prevalent among farmers. A recent survey of Virginia farmers revealed that about 30 percent of the respondents have been diagnosed with arthritis. Among those affected, about half of them reported that the condition interferes with their daily activities even though only 42 percent of them are currently receiving treatment (Mariger et al. 2009). Since it causes pain and inflammation in joints and limits mobility, arthritis has the potential to prematurely disable farmers and farm workers if they do not take proper care. 

Aug 19, 2014 442-083 (BSE-139P)
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
Bedded-pack Dairy Barns

Bedded-pack barns are an alternative type of dairy housing for producers wanting to upgrade or modernize their milking herd facilities while minimizing capital costs. These barns provide cows with a large bedded pen for resting rather than individual stalls (Figure 1). Bedded pack refers to the mixture of bedding, usually wood shavings or kiln-dried sawdust, and manure on the pen floor. A properly managed bedded pack provides a healthy, comfortable surface on which cows may lie.

May 1, 2009 442-124
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 10: Dry Swale Sep 6, 2013 426-129 (BSE-86P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 11: Wet Swale

A wet swale (WS) is an engineered, best management
practice (BMP) arranged in a straight line that is
designed to reduce stormwater pollution. A WS consists
of a shallow, gently sloping channel with broad,
vegetated, side slopes and slow flows (see figure 1).
Wet swales typically stay wet because the bottom of the
swale is below the water table. This is done to encourage
the growth of wetland vegetation, providing water
quality treatment similar to a natural wetland. This
stormwater treatment practice also functions as part of
the stormwater conveyance system. Wet swales have a
relatively low capital cost; however, maintenance can
be is intensive and expensive when compared to other
BMPs.

Sep 9, 2013 426-130 (BSE-89P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 12: Filtering Practices

A stormwater filtering practice (FP) treats stormwater
runoff by passing it through an engineered filter media
consisting of either sand, gravel, organic matter, and/
or a proprietary manufactured product, collecting it in
an underdrain, and then discharging the effluent to a
stormwater conveyance system. FPs are stormwater
treatment practices that are often obtained from the
marketplace due to unique proprietary technologies
(see figure 1).

Sep 9, 2013 426-131 (BSE-87P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 13: Constructed Wetlands

A constructed wetland (CW) is a low-cost and sustainable,
engineered, best management practice (BMP) designed
to reduce stormwater pollution. Constructed wetlands are
considered to be one of the most reliable stormwater treatment
practices. They are designed to function similarly to
a self-sustaining natural wetland, and should require only
moderate maintenance to function (figure 1).

Sep 9, 2013 426-132 (BSE-91P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 14: Wet Ponds

Wet ponds (WP) are ponds or lakes which provide treatment
and storage of stormwater. The water depth is set
by a structure known as an outlet structure. Wet ponds
are probably the most well-known best management
practice for treatment of stormwater. Because of their
size, they are usually designed to include storage above
the normal pool elevation. This added storage can provide
reductions in downstream flooding and assist in
protecting stream channels. They tend to be large; in
some cases, they can become a passive community
amenity (See Figure 1).

Sep 9, 2013 426-133 (BSE-79P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 15: Extended Detention Ponds

Extended detention ponds (EDs) are dry detention ponds
that provide 12 to 24 hours of runoff storage during peak
runoff events (see figure 1). Releases from the ED ponds
are controlled by an outlet structure. During a storm
event, as the discharge restriction is reached, water backs
up into the ED pond. The pool slows flow velocities and
enables particulate pollutants to settle. Peak flows are
also reduced. ED ponds have the lowest overall pollutant-
removal rate of any stormwater treatment option,
so they are often combined with other upstream, lowimpact
development (LID) practices to better maximize
pollutant-removal rates. Due to their placement at the exit
point of the watershed, ED is often the last opportunity
to treat stormwater before it is discharged to a stream.
Because of its low treatment performance, an ED should
be viewed as the treatment option of last resort.

Sep 9, 2013 426-134 (BSE-82P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 1: Rooftop Disconnection

Rooftop disconnection (RD) is one of the simplest means of reducing stormwater from residential lots. RD takes roof runoff that has been collected in gutters and piped directly to streets, storm drains, and streams and redirects it away from impervious surfaces to landscaped areas (figure 1). Rooftop disconnection is a very sustainable best management practice (BMP) because it controls pollutants in runoff near their source. Redirected runoff from downspouts is infiltrated, filtered, treated, or reused prior to draining into a stormwater conveyance system.

Sep 5, 2013 426-120 (BSE-93P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 2: Sheet Flow to Open Space Sep 6, 2013 426-121 (BSE-83P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 3: Grass Channels Sep 6, 2013 426-122 (BSE-88P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 4: Soil Restoration Sep 6, 2013 426-123 (BSE-80P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 5: Vegetated Roofs Sep 6, 2013 426-124 (BSE-81P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 6: Rainwater Harvesting Sep 6, 2013 426-125 (BSE-90P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 7: Permeable Pavement Sep 6, 2013 426-126 (BSE-84P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 8: Infiltration Practices Mar 2, 2012 426-127 (BSE-85P)
Best Management Practice Fact Sheet 9: Bioretention Sep 6, 2013 426-128(BSE-92P)
Biochar in Agricultural Systems Aug 20, 2010 442-311
Biodiesel Fuel

There are broad and increasing interests across the nation in using domestic, renewable bioenergy. Virginia farmers and transportation fleets use considerable amounts of diesel fuel in their operations. Biodiesel is an excellent alternative fuel for the diesel engines. Biodiesel can be produced from crops commonly grown in Virginia, such as soybean and canola, and has almost the same performance as petrodiesel. The purpose of this publication is to introduce the basics of biodiesel fuel and address some myths and answer some questions about biodiesel fuel before farmers and fleet owners use this type of fuel.

May 1, 2009 442-880
Biomethane Technology

This publication provides a general overview of anaerobic digestion and the current status of biomethane technology on livestock farms in the United States. It is part of the Bioenergy Engineering Education Program (BEEP) of the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Most of the discussion uses dairy manure as an example of feedstock for an anaerobic digester. Resources which provide more detailed information on anaerobic digesters are listed.

May 1, 2009 442-881
Climate Change Adaptation for Agriculture: Mitigating Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Climate on Crop Production

Climate change and climate variability pose a great risk to agricultural production and farm livelihoods, and producers will need to adapt to a changing climate that is expected to be significantly more variable in order to meet these challenges. Agricultural producers have a long record of successful adaptation to a host of internal and external pressures and have made remarkable strides in the face of these pressures. 

Sep 24, 2014 BSE-109P
Common Ground: Why Should University Faculty Partner with Virginia Cooperative Extension? Feb 21, 2014 BSE-94NP
Composting Dead Poultry

An acceptable system of disposal for dead birds is essential to any well run poultry farm operation. Moreover, Virginia law requires that poultry producers have an approved means for disposing of dead birds. There are generally two categories of disposal problems: (1) Normal mortality, which is typically about 0.1 percent per day, but fluctuations up to 0.25 percent per day are not uncommon, and (2) Whole flock disposal.

May 1, 2009 442-037
Composting Your Organic Kitchen Wastes with Worms

Every home kitchen generates food scraps for disposal. Throwing these scraps in the garbage can create odor problems and adds to the volume of waste going to the landfill. Disposing of kitchen scraps in a garbage disposal is convenient, but it adds to the burden of the waste-treatment system and throws away a potentially valuable resource. Furthermore, garbage disposals are not recommended for homes that rely on a septic system for waste disposal. A viable alternative to disposing of food scraps in the landfill or the sewer system is to compost them. The resulting material is a useful addition to gardens and potted plants.

May 1, 2009 442-005
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
Deep Tillage Prior to No-Till Corn: Research and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-053
Denitrification Management Mar 27, 2013 BSE-54P
Denitrifying Bioreaders: An Emerging Best Management Practice to Improve Water Quality Apr 12, 2013 BSE-55P
Determining Forage Moisture Concentration

Fires that damage or destroy hay and barns cost farmers thousands of dollars in building and feed replacement costs and in lost revenues. Many of these fires are caused by the spontaneous combustion of hay that usually occurs within six weeks after baling. This publication discusses the cause and prevention of hay fires and provides guidelines to follow when a hay fire is detected.

May 1, 2009 442-106
Driving Safely in Plain Communities

Slow and high speed vehicles do not mix well on highways unless precautionary measures are taken by the operators of these vehicles. Automobiles running into slow moving vehicles on roadways are very common. Statistics show that the majority of the traffic deaths from such accidents occur in rural areas and approximately 50% of those deaths occur on country roads.

Feb 22, 2011 3102-1533
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)
ENERGY SERIES: Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

If you're trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or if you'd like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9014 (BSE-137NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What About Using Ceiling Fans?

Can Ceiling Fans Lower My Utility Bill?

Ceiling fans create a breeze, so room occupants feel cooler and more comfortable. With a ceiling fan running, you can raise the thermostat setting by 2 to 4 degrees during the cooling season with no reduction in comfort. Increasing the room temperature by even two degrees can cut your cooling costs 4 to 6%.

Jun 9, 2014 2901-9002 (BSE-117NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What About the Ductwork?

Air distribution or duct systems are designed to supply rooms with air that is “conditioned”—that is, heated or cooled by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment—and to recirculate or return the same volume of air back to the HVAC equipment. Your duct system has two main air transfer systems: 1) supply, and 2) return. The supply side delivers the conditioned air to the home through individual room registers. The return side picks up inside air and delivers it to the air handler of your central system where heat and moisture are either removed or added and then delivered to the supply side. All of the air drawn into the return duct(s) is conditioned and should be delivered back through the supply registers.

Jun 9, 2014 2901-9003 (BSE-118NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What Are the Differences Between Mobile and Modular Homes?

Mobile and modular homes are factory-built and generally differ in how much of the construction occurs at the factory. The greater the work at the factory, the less labor is needed where the home will be located.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9011 (BSE-125NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What Can Builders Do to Help Prevent Moisture Problems in New Construction?

Buildings should be designed and built to provide comfortable and healthy levels of relative humidity. They should also prevent both liquid water from migrating through building components and water vapor from being trapped in building assemblies, like walls.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9012 (BSE-126NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What Does the Shape of the House Have to Do With Energy Efficiency?

In a home, heat energy is transferred among all materials and substances that are of different temperatures—within the building materials, inside the building itself, and outside the building envelope. The term “building envelope” refers to all of the external building materials, windows, and walls that enclose the internal space. Heat moves only when there is a difference in temperature, and it always moves from the warm side to the cool side. Heat will continue to “flow” until any touching materials reach the same temperature. However, we usually want the inside of a home to have a different temperature from the outside.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9013 (BSE-127NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Appliances? Jun 26, 2014 2908-9015 (BSE-128NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Caulking and Weather-Stripping? Jul 1, 2014 2908-9017 (BSE-130NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Dishwashers? Jul 1, 2014 2908-9018 (BSE-131NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Insulation?

Insulation is rated in terms of thermal resistance, called R-value, which indicates the resistance to heat flow. Although insulation can slow heat flow—conduction, convection and radiation—its greatest impact is on conduction.

Jun 10, 2014 2901-9006 (BSE-120NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Landscaping and Energy Efficiency? Jul 7, 2014 BSE-145NP
ENERGY SERIES: What about Mold?

Mold has received a lot of attention of late because of high profile lawsuits and television news broadcasts that have highlighted the potential hazards and liabilities associated with indoor mold. What is mold? Molds, along with mildews, yeasts, and mushrooms, all belong to the kingdom fungi. Fungi are unicellular or multicellular organisms that primarily use absorption as a means to obtain energy from their environment, unlike green plants, which use chlorophyll to obtain energy from sunlight. The term “mold” describes unwanted visible fungal growth. “Mildew” is fungi that grows on fabrics or that causes plant disease. The term “yeast” is fungi that are unicellular when cultured.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9008 (BSE-122NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Radiant Barriers? Jul 7, 2014 2908-9021 (BSE-138NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Refrigerators and Freezers? Jul 2, 2014 2908-9022 (BSE-143NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Ventilation? Jul 7, 2014 2908-9024 (BSE-135NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about Windows? Jun 30, 2014 2901-9010 (BSE-124NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Air Conditioning System?

As you begin the process of selecting the most efficient air conditioning system for your home, investigate the critical issues of system size, placement, installation, and contractor experience.  Your goal is to obtain an efficient system by:  sizing the system for the specific cooling load of your home; selecting and properly installing the thermostats or controls; designing a ductwork system to deliver the correct amount of conditioned air to each space; and sealing and insulating all ductwork.

Jun 9, 2014 2901-9001 (BSE-142NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Bathroom? Jul 1, 2014 2908-9016 (BSE-129NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Heating System?

The efficiency of a gas (natural or propane) or oil furnace is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which describes the heat produced from the energy used. This rating takes into consideration losses from pilot lights, start-up, and stopping. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80 converts 80% of the fuel it burns into usable heat. New furnaces usually rate in the mid-70s to low 80s, whereas older furnaces will be in the 50s or 60s. ENERGY STAR® qualified oil and gas furnaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 83% and 90%, or higher, making them up to 15% more efficient than standard models. Unlike the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings, the AFUE does not consider the unit’s electricity use for fans and blowers.

Jun 9, 2014 2901-9005 (BSE-119NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Laundry Area?
The laundry room can be a big consumer of energy—more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year—and water—and a big producer of unwanted heat and humidity in the summer. It makes good sense to think about both the location and the appliances in it if you want to run an energy-efficient laundry. And there are new washers and dryers on the market now that make it easier than ever to do so.
Jun 9, 2014 2901-9007 (BSE-121NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Roof? Jul 2, 2014 2908-9023 (BSE-134NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What about the Water Heater?

Heating water is the third largest energy expense in your home, after heating and cooling the entire space; and, it can account for 15-25% of your utility bill. It’s not hard to see why a family of four, each taking a 5-minute shower a day under inefficient showerheads, can use 700 gallons of water in a week representing a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person! There are several ways to cut down the amount you spend on heating water: a) insulate your water heater and pipes; b) reduce the amount of hot water you use; and c) turn down the thermostat on your water heater.

Jun 26, 2014 2901-9009 (BSE-123NP)
ENERGY SERIES: What is the Whole-House Systems Approach to Energy Efficiency? Jul 7, 2014 2908-9025 (BSE-136NP)
ENERGY SERIES:What about House Design and Room Location? Jul 1, 2014 2908-9019 (BSE-132NP)
ENERGY SERIES:What about Moisture? Jul 2, 2014 2908-9020 (BSE-133NP)
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Fluvanna and Louisa Counties, Virginia. October 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-10
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Suffolk, Virginia May 1, 2009 442-202
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Albemarle County, Virginia, April 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-62NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties, Virginia, March-May 2009 Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1502
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Amherst County, Virginia, June - July 2009, Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1503
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Appomattox and Campbell Counties, Virginia May - June 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1504
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Augusta County, Virginia, September - November 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1505
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Bath and Highland Counties, Virginia, October-November 2009, Virginia Household water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1506
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Bedford County, Virginia, June-July 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1507
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Botetourt County, Virginia. July 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-7
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Buckingham County, Virginia. September 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-28
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Caroline County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1508
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Clarke and Frederick Counties, Virginia. March 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-29
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Culpeper County, Virginia, November-December 2008, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1509
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, February-March 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1510
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Floyd County, Virginia. April 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-9
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Frederick County, Virginia, May 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-67NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Frederick County, Virginia. May 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-8
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Greene County, Virginia, April-May 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 23, 2010 3010-1511
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, June 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-30
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in King George County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 23, 2010 3010-1512
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Lee and Scott Counties March 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-31
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia, May 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-66NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia. June 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-14
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia. May 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-32
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Lunenburg and Nottoway Counties 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-34
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Madison and Orange Counties, Virginia. November 2010. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-13
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Montgomery County, Virginia. March 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-11
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Nelson County, Virginia. November 2010. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-12
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Page and Shenandoah Counties, Virginia, June 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-70NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Prince George County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 24, 2010 3010-1513
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Prince William County, Virginia, November 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-65NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Rockbridge County, Virginia, September-November 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 29, 2010 3010-1514
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Rockingham County, Virginia, August-September 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 29, 2010 3010-1515
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Russell and Tazewell Counties 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-33
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Smyth County, Virginia February 2011. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-35
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Southside, Virginia (Halifax, Mecklenburg, Charlotte, Lunenburg, and Brunswick Counties), September 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-69NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Southwest Virginia (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties), Spring and Fall 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 21, 2013 BSE-64NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, Virginia, August 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-63NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, Virginia. October 2011. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-36
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Warren County, Virginia, June 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-68NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in the Northern Neck, Virginia (Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, Westmoreland, and Essex Counties), March and September 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-61NP
Farmer's Lung: Causes and Symptoms of Mold and Dust Induced Respiratory Illness

Farmers account for more than 30 percent of adults disabled by respiratory illness. Yet, a large percentage of farmers are nonsmokers. If smoking is not to blame for these ailments, then what is? The answer is farmer's lung.

Aug 18, 2014 442-602 (BSE-141P)
Fencing Materials For Livestock Systems

Good fencing protects and confines valuable livestock by presenting barriers to restrict animal movement. Barriers may be physical, psychological, or a combination of both. Physical barriers consist of enough materials of sufficient strength to prevent or discourage animals from going over, under, or through the fence. Psychological barriers depend upon inflicting pain to discourage animals from challenging a physical barrier of inferior strength.

Traditional livestock fencing materials have included barbed, woven, mesh, and electrified wire, and combinations of these materials. Board fences have also been popular. These conventional materials are still widely used and make excellent fences if properly constructed. However, new materials such as high tensile wire should also be considered when selecting fencing types.

May 1, 2009 442-131
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)
Fuel Ethanol

As energy prices reach historic highs, there is a broad interest across the state in utilizing and producing renewable bioenergy from domestic agricultural products. Nationwide, it is expected that a 20 percent replacement of petroleum usage will happen over the next ten years. This is equivalent to 35 billion gallons of alternative fuel use by 2017, with fuel ethanol playing an important role in this transition. Fuel ethanol can be blended with gasoline (from 10 percent to 85 percent), and thus reduce the amount of gasoline used. In the United States, corn kernels are commonly used for producing fuel ethanol, and thus reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oils. The purpose of this publication is to introduce the basics of fuel ethanol and answer questions regarding fuel ethanol.

May 1, 2009 442-884
Greywater Reuse Apr 30, 2014 BSE-114NP
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)
Hay Fire Prevention and Control

Fires that damage or destroy hay and barns cost farmers thousands of dollars in building and feed replacement costs and in lost revenues. Many of these fires are caused by the spontaneous combustion of hay that usually occurs within six weeks after baling. This publication discusses the cause and prevention of hay fires and provides guidelines to follow when a hay fire is detected.

May 1, 2009 442-105
Household Water Quality in Albemarle County, Virginia Aug 14, 2014 BSE-151NP
Household Water Quality in Caroline County, Virginia

 In October 2013, residents from Caroline County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and how to address potential issues. According to survey data, 41 samples were tested, serving 94 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead and sodium, as well as the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. Figure 1, found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Aug 19, 2014 BSE-152NP
Household Water Quality in Clarke County, Virginia

In June 2013, residents from Clarke County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 51samples were tested, serving 120 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were hardness, sodium, and lead as well as the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options.

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-166NP
Household Water Quality in Floyd County, Virginia

 In March 2013, residents from Floyd County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 78 samples were tested, serving 172 individuals. 

Aug 29, 2014 BSE-153NP
Household Water Quality in Franklin County, Virginia

 In October 2013, residents from Franklin County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings, where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 49 samples were tested, serving 113 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead, copper, and the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 2, 2014 BSE-154NP
Household Water Quality in Frederick County, Virginia

In June 2013, residents from Frederick County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension(VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 78 samples were tested, serving 189 individuals.The most common household water quality issues identified were hardness, manganese, lead and sodium, as well as the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options.

Sep 9, 2014 BSE-170NP
Household Water Quality in Goochland and Powhatan Counties, Virginia

 In February 2013, residents from Goochland and Powhatan Counties participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings, where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 24 samples were tested, serving 55 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of copper, lead, and the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. 

Sep 3, 2014 BSE-155NP
Household Water Quality in Halifax County, Virginia

 In August 2013, residents from Halifax County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 101 samples were tested, serving 213 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead and copper, as well as the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 3, 2014 BSE-156NP
Household Water Quality in Hanover County, Virginia

 In April 2013, residents from Hanover County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 74 samples were tested, serving 151 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead and copper, as well as the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 3, 2014 BSE-157NP
Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia Sep 5, 2014 BSE-158NP
Household Water Quality in Montgomery County, Virginia

 In March 2013, residents from Montgomery County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 60 samples were tested, serving 150 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of hardness, sodium and the presence of total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 5, 2014 BSE-159NP
Household Water Quality in New Kent and Charles City Counties, Virginia

 In July 2013, residents from New Kent and Charles City Counties participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to data collected, 33 samples were tested, serving 81 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of sodium and the presence of total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 5, 2014 BSE-160NP
Household Water Quality in Nottoway County, Virginia

In September 2013, residents from Nottoway County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 44 samples were tested, serving 99 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of copper, lead, as well as the presence of acidic water and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 5, 2014 BSE-161NP
Household Water Quality in Page County, Virginia

In June 2013, residents from Page County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected,70 samples were tested, serving 113 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were low pH, hardness and sodium, as well as the presence of total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options.

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-169NP
Household Water Quality in Pittsylvania County, Virginia Sep 5, 2014 BSE-162NP
Household Water Quality in Pulaski and Wythe Counties Virginia

 In May 2013, residents from Pulaski and Wythe Counties participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 105 samples were tested, serving 206 individuals, according to survey data collected. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead, hardness, sodium and the presence of pathogen indicator bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-163NP
Household Water Quality in Roanoke County, Virginia

 In May 2013, residents from Roanoke County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 71 samples were tested, serving 146 individuals, according to survey data collected. The most common household water quality issues identified were high levels of lead, copper and the presence of total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options. 

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-164NP
Household Water Quality in Shenandoah County, Virginia

In June 2013, residents from Shenandoah County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 81 samples were tested, serving 174 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were total dissolved solids, hardness, lead and sodium, as well as the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria. The figure found a the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards causes and treatment options.

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-167NP
Household Water Quality in Warren County, Virginia

In June 2013, residents from Warren County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 72samples were tested, serving 134 individuals. The most common household water quality issues identified were hardness, low pH/acidic water, sodium and total coliform bacteria. The figure found at the end of this report shows these common water quality issues along with basic information on standards, causes, and treatment options.

Sep 8, 2014 BSE-168NP
Household Water Quality: Emergency Supplies of Water for Drinking and Food Preparation

When preparing for a disaster, it is important to provide for an adequate supply of water for drinking and cooking. In natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes, the municipal water supply is likely to be disrupted. Ice storms and other emergencies can cause a loss of electrical power, leaving well pumps unable to function.

May 1, 2009 356-479
Household Water Quality: Household Water Testing

Concerns about personal and family health may lead you to question the safety of the water used in your household.

May 1, 2009 356-485
Household Water Quality: Water Quality Problems - Causes and Treatments

Many areas have water containing impurities from natural or artificial sources. These impurities may cause health problems, damage equipment or plumbing, or make the water undesirable due to taste, odor, appearance or staining.

May 1, 2009 356-482
How Do Stream Buffers Reduce the Offsite Impact of Pollution? Jul 30, 2012 BSE-38P
Implementation: What Happens after the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is Developed?

A TMDL, or total maximum daily load defines the total pollutant loading a water body can receive and still meet applicable water quality standards. (Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.) A TMDL equation is developed from a study that identifies the sources of a particular pollutant in a watershed, the pollutant contribution from each source, and the pollutant reduction required to attain and maintain water quality standards. In TMDL calculations, all identified sources of the particular pollutant are quantified, including both point and nonpoint sources of pollution. Because some TMDL calculations involve assumptions and professional judgment, TMDLs also include a margin of safety to account for uncertainty. (See TMDLs [Total Maximum Daily Loads]: Terms and Definitions, Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 442-550, http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/442-550/.)

May 1, 2009 442-559
Innovative Best Management Fact Sheet No. 1: Floating Treatment Wetlands Aug 28, 2013 BSE-76P
Interpreting Yield Maps - "I gotta yield map - now what?"

Yield monitors are the first step many producers take into the age of precision farming. While their cost is reasonable, the commitment of time and resources required to effectively use this technology is significant. A yield monitor, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, is simply an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given year. The monitor measures and records information such as crop mass, moisture, area covered, and location. Yield data are automatically calculated from these variables.

May 1, 2009 442-509
Interpreting Your Water Test Report May 1, 2009 356-489
Investing in GPS Guidance Systems?

The price of GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) guidance system technology continues to decline as its capabilities increase. Many farmers question if or when they should invest in this technology. The major advantage of using GPS is input savings from more precise field application of seed, fertilizers, chemicals, fuel, and labor, as well as increased benefits to the farm production process (extended working time, reduced fatigue, etc.).

May 26, 2009 448-076
Land Application of Broiler and Turkey Litter for Farming Operations Without a DEQ Permit

Poultry litter (poultry manure and a bedding material such as sawdust, pine bark, or peanut hulls) is a good source of nutrients and organic matter for growing crops. Land application of poultry litter on farms has been the mainstay of effective and safe usage for years. Unfortunately, improper management of litter applications may cause nutrient enrichment and/or contamination of surface and ground water resources. The key to proper management is an understanding of the nutrients available in the litter, the nutrient requirements of the crops to be produced, and the potential for the litter and/or nutrients to reach surface or ground waters.

May 1, 2009 442-052
Large Round Bale Safety

This Extension publication covers the safety aspects of equipment used in large round bale packages such as: balers, front-end loaders, bale handling and transport devices. The key to safe and efficient systems for handling large round bales is an operator who knows the hazards involved and who follows safety practices that can prevent accidents. Operators must be constantly alert for situations that may cause injuries to themselves or others. Besides pain and suffering, accidents contribute to higher costs in terms of unnecessary downtime or costly machine repairs. Alertness and safety consciousness can result in more efficient and profitable baling and handling.

Oct 13, 2014 442-455 (BSE-172P)
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)
Lighting and Marking Recommendations for Animal-Drawn Carriages, Buggies and Wagons Jun 16, 2010 3006-1454
Machinery Safety on the Farm

Machines; no farm or ranch can function without them. They save valuable time and are essential to agricultural productivity. They also represent an ever-present danger to the people who operate them. There are a host of hazards that makes agricultural machinery the leading cause of injury and death on American farms and ranches.

This fact sheet summarizes the hazards associated with operating farm machines and presents information about how farmers and farm workers can protect themselves from injury or death when working around agricultural machinery.

May 1, 2009 442-092
Management Tips for Round Bale Hay Harvesting, Moving, and Storage

Hay production and feeding is one of the most expensive components of forage-livestock systems. Specific management practices are necessary to maintain hay quality and minimize hay loss during harvest, transportation and storage of large round bales.

Large round bale packaging systems allow one person to harvest, store and feed large quantities of hay for small as well as large acreages. Proper management is required to maximize effectiveness because losses during baling, transport and storage of large round bales can far exceed the losses with rectangular bale systems.

Oct 9, 2014 442-454 (BSE-173P)
Manure Management and Environmental Stewardship Apr 1, 2010 442-309
Manure Spreader Calibration for Rear-discharge Equipment -- Handling Solid and Semi-solid Manures and Poultry Litter

To maximize crop productivity and minimize adverse environmental effects, it is critical that land applications of manures meet, but not exceed, crop nutrient requirements. To assure that the actual manure application rate matches the desired application rate, manure-spreading equipment must be calibrated. The goal of manure spreader calibration is to determine the amount of manure, on a weight per unit area basis, that is being applied to a field. This publication describes three methods for manure spreader calibration for spreaders handling solid and semi-solid manures.

May 1, 2009 442-004
Microalgae as a Feedstock for Biofuel Production Feb 9, 2011 442-886
Microalgae as a Feedstock for Biofuel Production

With energy prices reaching historical highs, biodiesel as an alternative fuel is increasingly attracting attention. Currently, biodiesel is made from a variety of feedstocks, including pure vegetable oils, waste cooking oils, and animal fat; however, the limited supply of these feedstocks impedes the further expansion of biodiesel production. Microalgae have long been recognized as potentially good sources for biofuel production because of their high oil content and rapid biomass production. 

May 28, 2009 442-886
Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture Apr 2, 2014 BSE-105P
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)
Nutrient Management for Small Farms Oct 8, 2010 442-305
Parkinson’s Disease - Life Experiences

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a part of your life whether you have it or if someone you love has it. In either case, it has already changed certain parts of your life whether you know it or not and the changes will continue to happen in varying degrees over time. Two things are certain with PD, you will progress and it will be at your own pace. Everything else is up for grabs!

Oct 17, 2014 BSE-181NP
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: GPS Navigation

For a review of the principles of GPS to locate specific field points, refer to this GPS Tutorial (Trimble Navigation Limited, 2008). GPS and associated navigation systems are used in many types of agricultural operations. These systems are useful particularly in applying pesticides, lime, and fertilizers and in tracking wide planters/drills or large grain-harvesting platforms. GPS navigation tools can replace foam for sprayers and planter/drill-disk markers for making parallel swaths across a field. Navigation systems help operators reduce skips and overlaps, especially when using methods that rely on visual estimation of swath distance and/or counting rows. This technology reduces the chance of misapplication of agrochemicals and has the potential to safeguard water quality. Also, GPS navigation can be used to keep implements in the same traffic pattern year-to-year (controlled traffic), thus minimizing adverse effects of implement traffic.

May 1, 2009 442-501
Precision Farming Tools: Global Positioning System (GPS)

Precision Farming. Modern agricultural management practices are changing from assuming homogenous fields to attempting to address field variability by dividing the field into smaller zones and managing these zones separately. Precision farming can be defined as the gathering of information dealing with spatial and temporal variation within a field and then using that information to manage inputs and practices (Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 442-500). Precision farming is made possible by linking computers, on-the-go sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and other devices. This publication discusses GPS principles and the technology that makes it possible.

May 1, 2009 442-503
Precision Farming Tools: Soil Electrical Conductivity

Soil electrical conductivity (EC) is a measurement that correlates with soil properties that affect crop productivity, including soil texture, cation exchange capacity (CEC), drainage conditions, organic matter level, salinity, and subsoil characteristics. This publication discusses: 1) How, with field verification, soil EC can be related to specific soil properties that affect crop yield, such as topsoil depth, pH, salt concentrations, and available water-holding capacity; 2) Soil EC maps often visually correspond to patterns on yield maps and can help explain yield variation; and 3) Other uses of soil EC maps (Table 1), including developing management zones, guiding directed soil sampling, assigning variable rates of crop inputs, fine tuning NRCS soil maps, improving the placement and interpretation of on-farm tests, salinity diagnosis, and planning drainage remediation.

May 1, 2009 442-508
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
Precision Farming Tools: Yield Monitor

Using yield monitors is the first step many producers take in precision farming (Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 442-500). A yield monitor, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, is an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given year. The yield monitor for grain measures and records information such as grain flow, grain moisture, area covered, and location. Yields are automatically calculated. Yield monitors also are available for commodities such as peanuts, cotton, forage silage, and sugar beets. These monitors have some elements in common with grain-yield monitors. While the cost of a yield monitor is reasonable, the commitment of time and resources required to effectively use this technology can be significant.

May 1, 2009 442-502
Precision Farming: A Comprehensive Approach

Precision Farming (PF), also referred to as precision agriculture or variable rate technology, is the process used to vary management of crop production across a field. Midwestern farmers have been using PF technologies for several years and it is now becoming popular in Virginia. This publication introduces the principles and terminology used in PF. Crop producers can use this information to gain a working knowledge of PF and develop the ability to implement PF technologies in traditional crop production.

May 1, 2009 442-500
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)
Preparing for an Emergency: The Smart Thing to Do

Preparing for emergencies is not new.  Your grandparents probably have extra supplies, such as: soap and shampoo in the bathroom closets, onions and potatoes stored in the basement, and canned goods on pantry shelves in their home.  They understood the value of having a little extra on hand in case of emergencies.

Oct 1, 2014 3104-1590 (VCE-467NP/VCE-468NP)
Preventing Falls In and Around Homes

Most people experience falls that sometimes result in potential life altering consequences. Falls occur in all types of settings including playgrounds, in and around the homes, and at work places. Irrespective of where they happen, it is generally recognized that falls are the leading cause of injury, treatment at emergency rooms, and a primary cause of accidental deaths among persons over the age of 65 years. Irrespective of sex, race, and ethnicity, the mortality from falls increases dramatically with age. More than 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls. The cost of hospitalization for injuries resulting from all types of falls was estimated to be in excess of $10B dollars annually in the U.S.

Jul 29, 2011 3307-1592
Preventing Secondary Injuries in Agricultural Workplaces Aug 8, 2014 442-085 (BSE-150P)
Preventing Work Place Falls

Most people experience falls that sometimes result in potential life altering consequences. Falls occur in all types of settings including playgrounds, in and around the homes, and at work places. Irrespective of where they happen, it is generally recognized that falls are the leading cause of injury, treatment at emergency rooms, and a primary cause of accidental deaths among persons over the age of 65 years. Irrespective of sex, race, and ethnicity, the mortality from falls increases dramatically with age. More than 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls. The cost of hospitalization for injuries resulting from all types of falls was estimated to be in excess of $10B dollars annually in the U.S.

Jul 29, 2011 3307-1593
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
Questions to Ask When Purchasing Water Treatment Equipment

Until recently, the point‑of‑use water treatment industry focused on improving the aesthetic quality of drinking water. The industry has lately been thrust into the forefront of treatment of contaminated drinking waters that pose a serious health hazard. The response has been a plethora of companies and products promising to render the consumer’s drinking water safe and contaminant free.

May 1, 2009 356-480
Rainwater Harvesting Systems May 9, 2014 BSE-116NP
Respiratory Protection in Agriculture

Farm workers can encounter a variety of respiratory problems ranging from temporary discomfort caused by allergic reactions to fatal asphyxiation. However, the risk of contracting serious lung diseases or death can be significantly decreased by using respiratory protection (fig. 1). See the sidebar for a list of farm work that requires respiratory protection.

Jul 1, 2014 442-601 (BSE-140P)
Rotary Mowers Safety: Lawncare Training Guide Aug 12, 2014 BSE-47P (BSE-110P)
Safe Operation of Compact Tractors

Follow these safety tips and maintenance procedures for checking, servicing, and operating compact tractors to extend their life and reduce breakdowns and accidents.

Lawn and turf maintenance is easier because of modern compact tractors, but carelessness can cause trouble. Most tractors used for grounds care can be classified into three size groups: 1) riding lawn mowers (3 to 8 horsepower), which are fitted with a mower; these usually have no attachments, 2) lawn and garden or compact tractors (7 to 40 horsepower) to which a variety of tools and equipment can be mounted, and 3) large tractors (40 to 80 horsepower), which have a low center of gravity for working slopes and can be equipped with a variety of attachments.

Regardless of size, all power units are potentially hazardous if improperly maintained or operated. Observing all safety precautions before, during, and after tractor operation is essential to operator safety.

Aug 8, 2014 442-093 (BSE-148P)
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
Site Selection for Dairy Housing Systems

Good site selection is essential for a successful dairy operation. Site selection requires careful planning to ensure that your investments allow you to build towards the future rather than continuing the past. A few essential factors are important to ensure that you have a site suitable for the present and for 20 to 30 years in the future. This publication provides guidelines to make the site-selection process easier.

May 1, 2009 442-096
Small-Scale Biodiesel Production: Safety, Fuel Quality, and Waste Disposal Considerations

Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, renewable fuel that is a feasible alternative to fossil-based diesel fuel. Largely due to historically high energy prices, concerns over the environmental impact of fossil fuel, and a desire for energy independence, citizens of Virginia have become increasingly interested in renewable alternative fuels, including biodiesel fuel. A previous Virginia Cooperative Extension publication (see Biodiesel Fuel under References) discusses the basics of biodiesel fuel, including terminology, engine compatibility, engine warranty, biodiesel storage, fuel performance, cold temperature concerns, and emissions. This publication addresses producing one’s own biodiesel fuel from waste oil, fats, and oilseed crops. Currently, there are many small-scale biodiesel producers (ranging in size from several gallons to several hundred gallons per batch). There are significant safety considerations when operating small-scale processors. In addition, the fuel quality and the by-product disposal need to be closely monitored to assure engines are not damaged and regulations are met. The purpose of this document is to address safety, fuel quality, and waste disposal related to small-scale production. We present a general discussion of these issues based on a case study of four small-scale biodiesel processors conducted cooperatively by James Madison University (JMU), Virginia Tech (VT), the Virginia Clean Cities Collation, and Blue Ridge Clean Fuels Inc.

May 1, 2009 442-885
Standby Electric Generators for Emergency Farm Use

An emergency source of power is essential for any farm with mechanically ventilated production facilities, bulk milk-handling equipment, automated feeding systems, or facilities requiring constant and consistent heat or refrigeration. A standby power generator is an excellent investment to prevent costly losses during local power failures. This publication provides guidelines to make the selection, sizing, and operation of standby generators easier.

May 1, 2009 442-067
Storing and Handling Poultry Litter

In recent years, large concentrations of poultry on small parcels of land have made the manure disposal problem more critical. When nutrients from manure or commercial fertilizers exceed the ability of crops to utilize them, surface runoff and groundwater pollution problems develop. This fact sheet outlines management steps to take advantage of the fertilizer value of poultry litter while minimizing potential damage to Virginia’s water resources.

May 1, 2009 442-054
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
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) - Terms and Definitions

The definitions of TMDL-related terms presented here are intended to provide the reader with a working knowledge of terms that apply to Virginia's TMDL program. This is the first in a series of Virginia Cooperative Extension publications that deal specifically with TMDLs. The federal Clean Water Act requires States to develop TMDLs for streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries that do not or are not expected to meet applicable water quality standards. This glossary is designed to assist the reader in understanding and interpreting TMDL related information that may come from sources as varied as governmental agencies, environmental groups, consulting firms, or the news media.

May 1, 2009 442-550
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) for Bacteria Impairments

A water-quality "impairment" exists if a body of water is unable to support its designated uses. (Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.) Virginia's water-quality standards specify that surface waters are either designated for "recreational use" (e.g., swimming, fishing, and boating) or "aquatic life use" (e.g., viable fishing populations). To support the "recreational use," the state sets numeric waterquality criteria for the maximum amount of bacteria in surface waters (Escherichia coli (E. coli)) for fresh water and enterococci for marine waters). When the concentration of bacteria exceeds the state-specified water-quality criteria, the water does not support the designated recreational use and is deemed to have a bacteria or pathogen impairment. E. coli and enterococci bacteria are found in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals, including humans. High counts of these bacteria indicate the presence of fecal contamination in water.

May 1, 2009 442-555
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) for Benthic Impairments
"Benthic" refers to the aquatic organisms living in or on the bottom of a body of water. Benthic organisms include crayfish, aquatic snails, clams, leeches, aquatic worms, certain insect larvae and nymphs (e.g., mayflies, dragonflies), and adult aquatic insects (e.g., riffle beetles). Changes in water quality generally result in changes in the types, numbers, or diversity of the benthic community.

In general, a water quality "impairment" exists if a body of water does not support its designated uses. Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.

May 1, 2009 442-556
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
Troubleshooting Poultry Mortality Composters
Composting of poultry carcasses has become the method of choice for disposal of normal mortality losses on many Virginia poultry farms. Principles of dead poultry composters are presented in VCE Publication 442-037, available from your local VCE Office. There are several different versions of composters available, but they must all meet the following requirements:
  • Must be practically odorless.
  • Must operate at temperatures high enough to destroy pathogenic bacteria (150° F).
  • Must provide for complete decomposition of carcasses-only minimal amounts of feathers and bones remaining.
  • Must be adequately protected from flies so that larvae are not a problem.
  • Must keep out vermin, wild, or domesticated animals
  • Must reduce risk of disease spread
May 1, 2009 442-038
Urban Stormwater: Terms and Definitions Sep 5, 2013 426-119 (BSE-78P)
Using Reclaimed Water Apr 30, 2014 BSE-115NP
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)
Virginia Agriculture - Relating to Farmers

"This is a review of the agrciulture facts within Virginia.  There are more than 47,000 farms in Virginia.  The number of farms in the state has been steadily decreasing and in five decades the number has declined over 50%.   Average size of farms in the commonwealth is 181 acres and it covers approximately 8.1 million acres or about 32% of Virginia’s total land area. ."

May 31, 2011 3104-1591
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Livestock Manure Storage and Treatment Facilities

Storage of livestock wastes involves accumulating manure and wastewater in an environmentally sound manner until they can be applied to land or otherwise utilized. Manure storage facilities allow farmers to spread manure when conditions are right for nutrient use by crops. Storing manure in a concentrated area, however, increases risk to the environment and to human and animal health. Fecal bacteria in livestock waste can contaminate groundwater, causing such infectious diseases as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis.

May 1, 2009 442-909
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Livestock and Poultry Yard Management
Livestock and poultry yards, such as barnyards, holding areas and feedlots, and areas around production buildings are areas of concentrated animal wastes. They can be a source of nitrate and bacteria contamination of groundwater. This is especially true if there is no system to 1) divert clean water flow from the livestock/poultry yard, 2) drain surface water away from wells or springs, or 3) collect polluted runoff from the yard for diversion to an area where its effect on surface water or groundwater is minimal. The potential for livestock and poultry operations to affect groundwater is greatest if the facility or area of animal concentration is located on karst terrain or over sandy-textured permeable soils, or when the water table is at or near the surface, bedrock is within a few feet of the surface, or polluted runoff is discharged to permeable soils and bedrock.
May 1, 2009 442-908
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Milking Center Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater from the dairy milking center includes wastes from the milking parlor (manure, feed solids, hoof dirt) and milk house (bulk tank rinse water and detergent used in cleaning). The amount of wastewater generated varies with milking preparation, equipment use, and the number of cows. A milking center for a 100-cow free-stall operation may use anywhere from 100 to 1000 gallons of water per day, and sometimes more.

May 1, 2009 442-911
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Poultry Litter Management and Carcass Disposal

Nearly all broiler, pullet, and breeder operations grow the birds on concrete, wooden, or earthen floors. A 2-to 6-inch layer of wood shavings, peanut hulls, or other bedding material is used as an absorptive base. The manure and bedding mixture is commonly called litter, and it is removed one or more times a year and replaced with fresh bedding material. Most broiler operations produce 1.1 to 1.4 tons of litter per 1,000 birds. For a flock of 18,000 to 20,000 birds, this amounts to between 22 and 34 tons of litter per flock.

May 1, 2009 442-910
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Silage Storage and Management

Silage can be made from corn, grain, or alfalfa, or from canning wastes, such as those resulting from sweet corn processing. The amount of leachate (silage juices) produced varies with the material stored, its moisture and nitrogen content, and handling and storage conditions. Of these, moisture content is the most crucial.

May 1, 2009 442-912
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Site Evaluation: Groundwater, Soils, & Geology

In Virginia, groundwater is an important source of private and public water supplies. In fact, in 60 of Virginia's 95 counties, the majority of households obtain water from private wells and springs (see Figure 1). For 38 counties, groundwater is the sole source for public water supplies, and another 16 counties depend on groundwater to obtain more than 50 percent of their water for public supplies. Overall, more than one-third of Virginia's almost 6.4 million residents depend on groundwater. Agriculture, an important part of Virginia's economy, maintains its high productivity, partially by using groundwater. According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates for the year 1990, almost 22 percent of the 36 million gallons of fresh water source used per day for crop irrigation in Virginia was derived from groundwater.

May 1, 2009 442-901
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Well and Spring Management

More than 40% of Virginia's population depends on wells or springs as a source of drinking water and this dependence is close to 100% in rural areas. Furthermore, approximately one-fourth of all Virginia households rely on an individual water supply system, such as a backyard well or spring Figure 1. Wells and springs should be designed and managed to provide clean water. If improperly constructed or maintained, however, they can allow bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers or petroleum products to contaminate groundwater. These contaminants can put human and animal health at risk.

May 1, 2009 442-902
Virginia Household Water Quality Program, Water Sample Sep 16, 2013 BSE-95NP
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Bacteria and Other Microorganisms in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-662
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Corrosive Household Water May 17, 2011 442-665
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Fluoride in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-660
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Hardness in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-664
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Heavy Metals in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-657
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Household Water Treatment Aug 22, 2013 442-670 (BSE-75P)
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Iron and Manganese in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-656
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Nitrate in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-659
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Shock Chlorination: Disinfecting Private Household Water Supply Systems May 17, 2011 442-663
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Sodium and Chloride in Household Drinking Water Dec 2, 2011 442-661
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Sulfate and Hydrogen Sulfide in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-658
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-666
Virginia Landowner’s Guide to the Carbon Market May 28, 2009 442-138
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
“Gear Up and Throttle Down” to Save Fuel
“Gear-up and throttle-down” (GUTD) is a fuel-saving practice that can be used for saving fuel when drawbar loads are lighter (<75 percent of rated power) and PTO (power takeoff) speed can be reduced.
Oct 9, 2014 442-450 (BSE-177P)