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Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
"Leave" Them Alone: Lawn Leaf Management

While we enjoy the beautiful colors associated with fall foliage, we also realize that most of those leaves will soon be on the ground. At this time of year, many turf managers quit managing grass and shift their focus instead to managing leaves. In some situations, leaf removal by way of blowing, raking, or vacuuming is essential because of turf use (e.g. golf course turf where finding a ball in leaves is next to impossible). Another reason to mulch or remove leaves is to improve the turf-growing conditions. A thick layer of leaves blocks sunlight, reducing turf growth because of the shading effect. The leaves also trap and hold moisture in the turf canopy, increasing the potential for turf disease. However, treatment and/or disposal of leaves can be time consuming and costly. In some areas, it is actually illegal to place bagged leaves at curbside for pickup due to restrictions on placing lawn waste in landfills.

Apr 15, 2015 430-521 (CSES-96P)
'Matua' Prairie Grass - Bromus wildenowii May 1, 2009 424-700
2003 Flue-Cured Tobacco Production Guide May 1, 2009 436-048
2005 Peanut Variety and Quality Evaluation Results May 1, 2009 432-301
2007 Virginia On-Farm Corn Test Plots May 1, 2009 424-038-07
2008 Burley Tobacco Production Guide May 1, 2009 436-050-08
2011 Virginia On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots

The demonstration and research plot results discussed in this publication are a cooperative effort by six Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, extension specialists from Virginia Tech, and an assistant professor at the Virginia State University School of Agriculture.  We are proud to present this year’s on-farm small grain plot work to you.  The 2010-11 small grain season resulted in some excellent yields as timely planting, timely rainfall, and a cool, relatively dry grain fill period were all very positive for the wheat and barley crops.  With July 2012 wheat futures prices currently trading over $7.00 per bushel, the outlook for the 2012 crop is good.  We hope the information in this publication will help farmers produce a profitable crop.

Aug 12, 2011 3108-1593
2012 Virginia On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots

The demonstration and research plot results discussed in this publication are a cooperative effort by four Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, extension specialists from Virginia Tech, and an assistant professor at the Virginia State University School of Agriculture. We are proud to present this year’s on-farm small grain plot work to you. The 2011-12 small grain season was challenging. Wet conditions in the fall hampered planting and caused stand losses in some fields. Precipitation was well below normal and temperatures were well above normal for January through mid April. Dry conditions decreased tillering and overall growth of the crop. Widespread rainfall on April 22nd basically saved the crop. Some late season diseases developed in some fields. With July 2013 wheat futures prices currently trading over $8.00 per bushel, the outlook for the 2013 crop is very good. We hope the information in this publication will help farmers produce a profitable crop.

Jul 20, 2012 ANR-19NP
2013 Virginia On-Farm Wheat Test Plots Jul 31, 2013 ANR-78NP
2014 Virginia Bollgard II Xtendflex Variety Trial Apr 29, 2015 CSES-113NP
2016-2017 Virginia Turfgrass Variety Recommendations Oct 11, 2016 CSES-17NP (CSES-170NP)
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Aerating Your Lawn Oct 29, 2012 CSES-38NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Choosing The Right Grass Oct 29, 2012 CSES-41NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Dealing With Lawn Disease Oct 29, 2012 CSES-43NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Dethatching Your Lawn Oct 26, 2012 CSES-36NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Fighting Lawn Pests Oct 29, 2012 CSES-42NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Fighting Weeds Oct 29, 2012 CSES-40NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Lawn Composting Oct 29, 2012 CSES-37NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Mowing Your Lawn Oct 29, 2012 CSES-39NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Soil Testing Oct 25, 2012 CSES-34NP
A Lawn To Dye For - How to Create a Perfect Lawn: Watering The Lawn Oct 26, 2012 CSES-35NP
Aerating Your Lawn

Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Although hand aerators are available, most aeration is done mechanically with a machine having hollow tines or spoons mounted on a disk or drum. Known as a core aerator, it extracts 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-6 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart.

Dec 1, 2012 430-002
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Managing Biosolids for Agricultural Use May 1, 2009 452-303
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Production and Characteristics of Biosolids May 1, 2009 452-301
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Regulations May 1, 2009 452-302
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Risks and Concerns May 1, 2009 452-304
Agricultural Management Practices And Soil Quality: Measuring, assessing, and comparing laboratory and field test kit indicators of soil quality attributes. May 1, 2009 452-400
Agronomy Handbook, 2000 May 1, 2009 424-100
Biochar in Agricultural Systems Aug 20, 2010 442-311
Calibrating Your Lawn Spreader

There are two basic types of fertilizer spreaders for use on the home lawn: the drop and the broadcast.

The drop type spreader (shown at left) "drops" a set rate of fertilizer. This type is best suited for a limited space in order to avoid wide dispersal on sidewalks and driveways. The amount of fertilizer that is spread depends on the opening setting, the type of fertilizer used, and the speed at which the spreader is pushed.

May 1, 2009 430-017
Characterization of Turfgrass Nutrient Management Practices in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, provided a grant to Virginia Cooperative Extension to determine the nutrient management practices of Virginia turfgrass professionals. In May of 1991 a survey was sent to 2,322 professional turfgrass managers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The mailing list was generated from the Virginia Cooperative Extension turfgrass educational list consisting of individuals who have expressed an interest in receiving information about Virginia Tech's turfgrass educational programs. Three hundred and fifty-six surveys were returned and three hundred were deemed usable. 

May 1, 2009 430-401
Closing the Loop: Public-Private Partnerships for On-Farm Composting of Yard Waste May 1, 2009 452-233
Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems Nov 2, 2016 ALCE-155NP
Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Forum Executive Summary

Virginia’s food system directly impacts the survival and viability of farms and farmland; the economic development of rural and urban communities; the care, restoration, and resilience of ecological resources such as local waterways; and critical health issues. We use the language of community, local, and regional food systems to broadly define a complex and interconnected set of systems and pathways that comprise sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management to bring about social, economic, and ecological change that benefits all residents.

Oct 7, 2016 ALCE-157NP
Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Forum Report

Virginia’s food system directly impacts the survival and viability of farms and farmland; the economic development of rural and urban communities; the care, restoration, and resilience of ecological resources such as local waterways; and critical health issues.

Oct 7, 2016 ALCE-156NP
Compost: What Is It and What's It To You May 1, 2009 452-231
Control of Common Pasture and Hayfield Weeds in Virginia and West Virginia

Annual and perennial weed control in pastures and hayfields is an important aspect of successful forage management. This publication will discuss control measures for many of the common weeds found in Virginia and West Virginia permanent fescue and mixed fescue / bluegrass / orchardgrass pastures and hayfields.

May 1, 2009 427-002
Controlled Grazing of Virginia's Pastures

One of the keys to profitable livestock production is to minimize the costs of producing a marketable animal or animal product. Feed costs are commonly 70-80 percent of the cost of growing or maintaining an animal. Pastures provide feed at a cost of .01-.02 cents/lb of TDN while hay costs .04-.06 cents/lb TDN. Improved pasture management offers the single greatest opportunity to lower production costs, assuming that animal genetics, health, marketing procedures, and other areas of management have been addressed. A primary goal of livestock producers should be to utilize grazed forage for as many months of the year as possible while minimizing the need for stored feed.

May 1, 2009 418-012
Corn Emergence Evaluation

There is much emphasis placed on the importance of stand uniformity and emergence in producing high yielding corn. Stand uniformity refers to spacing while uniformity of emergence refers to how even emergence is within the field. In 2015, in work supported by check-off funds provided by the Virginia Corn Board, we flagged off two forty foot sections of row in two corn fields that were planted on April 11th.

Feb 25, 2016 CSES-157NP
Corn Fertility Update – Spring 2010 Jun 11, 2010 3006-1448
Corn Planting Dates in the Piedmont and Valley Regions of Virginia: How Early is Early? May 1, 2009 424-032
Corn Planting Dates in the Virginia Coastal Plain: How early is early? May 1, 2009 424-033
Cotton Harvest Aid Cheat Sheet Aug 28, 2013 CSES-65NP
Creating Silvopastures: Some Considerations When Thinning Existing Timber Stands

Silvopastures intentionally integrate trees with forage
and livestock production in a rotational grazing
system. These systems have the potential to improve
animal comfort, increase farm resource use efficiency,
boost income, and mitigate environmental costs.

Sep 30, 2016 CSES-155P
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
Defining Silvopastures: Integrating Tree Production With Forage-Livestock Systems for Economic, Environmental, and Aesthetic Outcomes

To many Virginia landowners, silvopasture is a
somewhat novel term composed of common elements:
“silvo,” a derivation of the Latin “silva,” refers to
woods or forest; “pasture” refers to the plants that
make up grazing lands — the basis for most ruminant
livestock production. While these words are readily
recognized individually, there is some confusion about
the combined term — “silvopasture.” The aim of this
publication is to reduce confusion by clearly defining
silvopasture, explaining why and how trees might
be managed together with forages and livestock, and
describing some of the hurdles and opportunities that
come with managing these agroforestry systems.

May 23, 2016 CSES-146P
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
Environmental Best Management Practices for Virginia's Golf Courses Feb 27, 2013 ANR-48NP
Establishing and Managing Caucasian Bluestem

Profit and size of beef cow herds may be largely determined by the pasture available during the hot summer months. With low forage production from natural pastures and undependable growing conditions, the number of animals that can be grazed on a particular area must be limited in order to minimize risks of having a pasture shortage which would mean selling animals or purchasing additional forage. In Virginia we have primarily cool-season grasses in our natural pastures. 

May 1, 2009 418-014
Fall Lawn Care
The fall season is an important transition period of turfgrass growth and development, and the management of your warm- and cool-season grasses at this time of year means a great deal in terms of anticipated success in your lawn the following spring.
Jul 2, 2015 430-520(CSES-109P)
Fertilización del Césped en Virginia

La fertilización del césped es esencial para la producción de césped de calidad en Virginia. Sin embargo, exceder las tasas recomendadas de aplicación de fertilizante o una frecuencia de aplicación incorrecta puede afectar negativamente la calidad de las aguas superficiales y subterráneas.

Feb 20, 2017 430-011s (CSES-166P)
Fertilizer Types and Calculating Application Rates Aug 4, 2009 424-035
Fertilizing Cool-Season Forages with Poultry Litter versus Commercial Fertilizer

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and some other regions produce more manure nutrients than local crops need. This manure has traditionally been applied to row crops and overapplication has led to soil-test phosphorus (P) being well above agronomic optimum in many cases. In 2008, it was estimated that nutrient-management regulations now require that approximately 85 percent of poultry litter be applied off poultry farms, as they do not have sufficient land to beneficially recycle their manure nutrients. There is a substantial area of nutrient-deficient forage production in the Shenandoah Valley that could benefit from this poultry litter. This publication summarizes two years of field research on fertilizing nutrient-deficient forages with poultry or commercial fertilizer. It also evaluates split versus single annual applications of nutrients and addresses a common misconception that poultry litter contains weed seeds.

Sep 16, 2009 418-142
Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden

The amount of fertilizer to apply to a garden depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the amount of organic matter present, the type of fertilizer used, and the crop being grown. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is to have the soil tested. Soil testing is available through your local Extension agent, through private labs, and with soil test kits which can be purchased from garden shops and catalogs.

Apr 16, 2015 426-323 (HORT-144P)
Forage Establishment: Getting Off to a Good Start

Profitable ruminant livestock production depends on the production of high-quality forages. High yields can only be obtained from a dense, vigorous stand of an adapted forage species. The first step in obtaining such a stand is establishment. The establishment phase of forage production is critical because all other management practices depend upon a healthy sod. Forage establishment begins long before the actual seeding. Successful forage establishment requires careful planning and attention to detail.

May 1, 2009 418-120
Groundwater Quality and the Use of Lawn and Garden Chemicals by Homeowners

The people of Virginia use nearly 400 million gallons of groundwater each day to meet industrial, agricultural, public, and private water demands. One-third of Virginia's citizens rely on groundwater as their primary source of fresh drinking water, and 80 percent of Virginians use groundwater to supply some or all of their daily water needs. Groundwater is an important resource, but it is a hidden one and, therefore, is often forgotten. In fact, until recent incidents of groundwater contamination, little attention was paid to the need to protect Virginia's groundwater.

May 1, 2009 426-059
Growing Bread Wheat in the Mid-Atlantic Region

The more than 55 million people who live in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States want to purchase processed grain foods such as bread and other dough products made from hard, or bread, wheat. 

May 1, 2009 424-024
Growing Hulless Barley in the Mid-Atlantic May 1, 2009 424-022
Growing Small Grains for Forage in Virginia

Cereal crops are used throughout the world for livestock feed. When they are managed properly they provide excellent grazing and high-quality silage or hay.

May 1, 2009 424-006
Guidelines for In-House Composting Poultry Mortality as a Rapid Response to Avian Influenza

Composting is a biological heating process that results in the natural degradation of organic resources (such as poultry carcasses) by microorganisms. Composting has been successfully used throughout the United States for nearly two decades to control outbreaks of avian influenza. Composting can be effective with most bird types and poultry house designs.

Sep 24, 2015 CSES-142NP
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
Herbage Quality, Biomass, and Animal Performance of Cattle Grazing. Part I: Forage Biomass, Botanical Composition, and Nutritive Values Nov 19, 2009 418-151
Herbage Quality, Biomass, and Animal Performance of Cattle Grazing. Part II: Animal Performance Nov 19, 2009 418-152
Home Lawn Fertilization in Virginia: Frequently asked Questions

The best way to determine if your lawn requires certain plant nutrients is to get the soil tested. This test is available through your local Extension Agent. It is easy to do and inexpensive. The results returned to you will include recommendations on the amounts of plant nutrients and lime that would be beneficial to your lawn. Soil tests are not used to determine nitrogen needs. Nitrogen is applied based upon established requirements by grass species, seasons of growth and intended use.

May 1, 2009 430-003
Identification and Control of Honeyvine Milkweed (Ampelamus albidus (Nutt.) Britt.) in Virginia May 1, 2009 450-139
Impact of Changing From Nitrogen- to Phosphorus-Based Manure Nutrient Management Plans

Animal manures are a good source of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) for agricultural crops, but they have an imbalance in their N to P ratio, so that if they are applied to meet crop N needs, then P is overapplied. For many years, manures have been applied to meet crop N needs, which has resulted in some soils containing more P than crops require, leading to environmental concerns. Regulations have been developed to limit P losses from manures and soils high in P by moving manure nutrient management from an N basis to a P basis.

Sep 16, 2009 442-310
Importance of Farm Phosphorus Mass Balance and Management Options

Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element that is one of 16 elements essential for plant growth and animal health. Research has documented that applying phosphorus in fertilizers or manure increases crop growth and yield on soils that are below critical agronomic levels, as measured during routine soil testing. Although the economic benefits of phosphorus fertilization on crop production are well-documented, too much of a good thing can be detrimental to the environment. Excessive soil phosphorus is a potential threat to water quality.

Dec 19, 2014 CSES-98P
Intensive Soft Red Winter Wheat Production

New and successful techniques have been developed for intensive soft red winter wheat management by a multidisciplinary research and Extension team at Virginia Tech. Research was started in the early 1980's and continues today. The guidelines presented in this manual and the accompanying videotape are based on that research.

May 1, 2009 424-803
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
Laboratory Procedures: Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory May 1, 2009 452-881
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)
Lawn Fertilization in Virginia

Fertilization of lawns is essential for the production of quality turf in Virginia. However, exceeding recommended fertilizer application rates or improper application timing can negatively impact surface water and groundwater quality. 

Dec 11, 2015 CSES-135P
Lawn Moss: Friend or Foe?

There are thousands of species of moss worldwide. These very simple plants lack the typical leaf, shoot, root, and seed-forming systems of most higher plants; however, they are some of the hardiest living organisms on the planet (Figure 1). Lawn moss can reproduce sexually (spores, etc.) or asexually (breaking off into smaller pieces that divide and multiply), and their numbers can increase rapidly under the right conditions. They are tolerant of extremely low mowing, so regular clipping of the grass will not remove them. It would seem that these plants would not offer much resistance to our efforts to manage or control them, but as Mother Nature often shows, their simplicity in design and function correlates well with their ability to colonize and persist in some of the most inhospitable growing conditions around your property: sidewalks, driveways, and yes – the lawn.

May 1, 2009 430-536
Low-Maintenance Turfgrass Evaluation, 2008 Report

Low-maintenance vegetative evaluations are conducted for, and in cooperation with, the Virginia Department of Transportation. The primary purpose is to identify seeded species and/or cultivars that will perform under the harsh and varied environmental conditions found alongside roadsides in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic geographic region.

The minimal input management practices utilized in these trials differ traditional fine turf evaluation trials. Moisture is exclusively dependent upon rainfall events, with no supplemental irrigation available. Seeding rates are reduced, mowing occurs two to three times yearly, and other than an establishment application, fertility does not occur. The management parameters utilized make these tests unique in evaluating establishment and persistence performance.

May 1, 2009 2901-1080
Maintenance Calendar for Cool-Season Turfgrasses in Virginia Feb 3, 2016 430-523 (CSES-153NP)
Maintenance Calendar for Warm-Season Lawns in Virginia Feb 25, 2016 430-522 (CSES-152P)
Making the Most of Tall Fescue in Virginia May 1, 2009 418-050
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)
Managing Fusarium Head Blight in Virginia Small Grains

Fusarium head blight (FHB), or scab, continues to impact small grain crops grown in Virginia. Caused primarily by the fungus Fusarium graminearum (also known as Gibberella zeae), this disease can negatively impact yield and grain quality. Grain may also contain toxins (mycotoxins) produced by the fungus and reduce the price received for grain at local mills and elevators. Corn and small grain residues remaining in the field prior to small grain planting are known to provide a place for the fungus
to overwinter and proliferate during favorable environmental conditions.

Mar 4, 2011 3102-1535
Managing Shrub-Infested, Postmined Pasturelands With Goats and Cattle Part II. Effects on Forage Biomass, Nutritive Values, and Animal Performance Jan 9, 2012 CSES-3
Managing Shrub-Infested, Postmined Pasturelands With Goats and Cattle. Part I: Effect on Botanical Composition and Browse Species Jan 18, 2012 CSES-4
Managing Virginia's Steep Pastures

Virginia has about 1.5 million acres of steep pastures. Simply turning livestock onto these pastures to graze requires little management. However, managing these pastures so that they provide year-round grazing in the quantity and of the quality needed requires sound planning, excellent judgment, and an understanding of how to handle the plant-animal relationship so both will benefit.

May 1, 2009 418-005
Manure Injection in No-Till and Pasture Systems Feb 27, 2013 CSES-22P
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
Measuring Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity in Soil

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on measuring water movement through in situ saturated soil (saturated hydraulic conductivity, or Ksat) as it relates to dispersal and treatment of on-site sewage (wastewater) through an on-site wastewater dispersal area.

Mar 22, 2016 CSES-141-P (CSES-164P)
Mid-Atlantic Composting Directory Jan 6, 2015 452-230 (CSES-99P)
Mowing To Recycle Grass Clippings: Let the Clips Fall Where They May!

Lawn turfgrasses provide many benefits to our immediate environment. Soil erosion control, improved protection of groundwater, improvement of the quality of life through noise and dust abatement, improvements of air quality, and aesthetic and recreational contributions are some of the assets provided by turfgrasses. However, disposal of grass clippings is an ongoing issue that requires the attention of homeowners in order to be a good land steward!

May 1, 2009 430-402
Nitrogen Fertilization of Winter Barley: Principles and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-801
Nitrogen Management for White Potato Production

One of the challenges of white potato production, as with any crop, is the efficient management of nitrogen
(N) fertilizer. Excessive N fertilizer applied at or before tuberization can extend the vegetative growth period and delay tuber development, resulting in a lower tuber yield. However, too much N applied later in the season can delay maturity of the tubers, reducing
yield and adversely affecting tuber quality and skin set. Conversely, under-application of N at any point in the season can result in lower tuber yields and reduced profits. Environmental considerations must also be taken into account in N fertilizer management. Nitrogen
is a mobile nutrient in the soil and any excess N has the potential to move off-site via leaching or surface runoff. This is particularly true on the coarse-textured, low-organic matter soils common to the Eastern Shore, the premier potato-producing region in Virginia. These factors make the appropriate N rate and N application timing critical for successful white potato production.

Sep 28, 2009 438-012
Nitrogen Management for Winter Wheat: Principles and Recommendations May 1, 2009 424-026
Nitrogen Soil Testing For Corn in Virginia

An adequate supply of plant-available nitrogen (N) is crucial for efficient corn production, and corn N requirements are greater than any other nutrient. For example, a corn crop yielding 150 bushels per acre typically contains about 165 lbs N in the grain and stover, or approximately 1.1 lbs N/bu grain. These calculations are based on actual N uptake, and allowances must be made for actual fertilizer use efficiency and soil N availability.

May 1, 2009 418-016
Nitrogen and Phosphorous Fertilization of Corn May 1, 2009 424-027
Nitrogen and Sulfur Leaching Potential in Virginia Jun 19, 2015 CSES-125NP
No-Till Seeding of Forage Grasses and Legumes

No-till seeding of forage grasses and legumes can be successful and has become an accepted practice for a number of reasons. One of the primary concerns in establishing new forage stands in a well-tilled seedbed is the threat of soil erosion during the establishment period. Not only is valuable topsoil lost, but resulting ruts and gullies damage equipment and are dangerous to equipment operators. In addition to reducing soil erosion, no-till seedings conserve moisture already present in the seedbed. Moisture conservation, along with a dramatic reduction in water run-off, improves the water supply for the new seedlings. No-till seeding methods also require less time and fuel than traditional methods because rocks remain below the soil surface.

May 1, 2009 418-007
No-Tillage Small Grain Production in Virginia May 1, 2009 424-005
Nutrient Management for Golf Courses

Golf courses have traditionally been thought of as environmentally sound landscapes, preserving green spaces that otherwise could have been developed and providing a recreational opportunity for nearby residents. In recent years, however as the public has become increasingly alarmed and concerned with chemical use and groundwater quality, the idea of a golf course being a chemically pristine expanse has been challenged.

May 1, 2009 430-399
Nutrient Management for Lawn Service Companies

The public's interest in having high quality lawns has been the driving factor in the development of the lawn service industry. The idea of having someone else responsible for fertilization and pest control of the home lawn appeals to many of today's busy, two- job families.

Water quality, recycling, composting and nutrient/pesticide concerns are on the minds of consumers. These concerns are very real because many of our landfills are at capacity, our groundwater is at risk from chemical pollution and the need to utilize our yardwastes by backyard and municipal composting and recycling lawn clippings is becoming apparent.

May 1, 2009 430-400
Nutrient Management for Small Farms Oct 8, 2010 442-305
On Farm Mortality Disposal Options for Livestock Producers Jul 31, 2013 2909-1412 (ANR-77NP)
On-Farm Composting - A Guide to Principles, Planning & Operations May 1, 2009 452-232
On-Site Sewage Treatment Alternatives

The purpose of this publication is to describe on-site technologies for treating domestic sewage where conventional systems (septic tank with drainfield) are not an option (U.S. EPA 2002). These technologies are described as alternatives in this publication. Our goal is to provide information that can be used by property owners and residents to initiate action to rectify sewage disposal problems, especially where current wastewater treatment is inadequate. This document is intended to provide information on alternative wastewater treatment options that will help the reader make informed decisions when dealing with oversight agencies and contractors; it is not intended to serve as a stand-alone reference for design or construction.

Sep 21, 2015 448-407 (CSES-116P)
On-Site Treatment and Disposal of Residential Wastewaters on Mined Lands Jul 27, 2015 460-142(CSES-115P)
Pest Monitoring Calendar for Home Lawns in Virginia May 1, 2009 430-524
Phosphorus, Agriculture & The Environment

Phosphorus (P) is a naturally occurring element that can be found in the earth's crust, water, and all living organisms. Phosphorus (P) is one of 16 elements that are essential for plant growth. Soils in Virginia are naturally low in phosphorus, and most cropping systems on these soils require supplemental phosphorus to maximize their yield potential.

May 1, 2009 424-029
Planning Fencing Systems For Controlled Grazing

Controlled grazing can be an economical way to provide forage to grazing animals. Utilizing pasture as a major portion of the forage plan can significantly reduce feed costs during the grazing season. Virginia's soils and climate are especially favorable for the growth of a wide range of productive, high-quality grasses and legumes suitable for grazing. However, optimizing a controlled grazing system requires careful planning and good management of a fencing system.

May 1, 2009 442-130
Planting and Managing Switchgrass for Forage, Wildlife, and Conservation

Switchgrass is a tall-growing, warm-season, perennial grass that is native to much of the United States including Virginia. Switchgrass (SG) was widespread in open areas before settlers populated an area and remained in one place year after year. Their livestock were free roaming and would graze the new switchgrass growth in the spring before the new plants were tall enough to withstand defoliation. This mismanagement weakened the stands and eventually led to their demise. They were replaced by cool-season grasses introduced from other countries such as bluegrass, tall fescue, and orchardgrass. These cool-season grasses began growth much earlier in the spring so they could tolerate the early season grazing by cattle. As a result, the native warm-season grasses such as SG were destroyed and can now only be found growing wild in abandoned sites such as old cemeteries or roadways.

May 1, 2009 418-013
Pop-up and/or Starter Fertilizers for Corn Mar 8, 2010 3002-1438
Potassium Fertilization of Cotton May 1, 2009 418-025
Powell River Project - Coal-resource Contracting Terms for Productive Postmining Forests Feb 26, 2010 460-143
Powell River Project - Conversion of Sericea Lespedeza-dominant Vegetation to Quality Forages for Livestock Use

The purpose of this publication is to describe recommended strategies for converting the sericea-dominant vegetation typically found on older surface-mined benches to more favorable forages that can be more effectively utilized by livestock. Techniques for suppressing the growth of sericea lespedeza in order to establish quality forage species and for managing the resultant pasture or hayland area were developed from research conducted at the Powell River Project Research and Education Center site.

Oct 1, 2009 460-119
Powell River Project - Creation and Management of Productive Minesoils Aug 27, 2010 460-121
Powell River Project - Enhancing Wildlife Habitat on Reclaimed Mine Lands

We monitored wildlife use of reclaimed mine land areas of varying ages and vegetation types at two locations in southwestern Virginia in May through July of 2007 and 2008. Bird, salamander, and frog communities were studied to gain an understanding of how site use and species composition were affected by postmining vegetation characteristics. Mined-land communities were compared with wildlife communities in nearby nonmined forests to better understand how mining and reclamation practices affect wildlife. Here, as an outcome of that study and considering prior research, we provide recommendations for reclamation practices to enhance use of mined land by wildlife.

Mar 30, 2011 460-145
Powell River Project - Establishing Groundcover for Forested Postmining Land Uses Feb 19, 2010 460-124
Powell River Project - Establishment and Maintenance of Quality Turfgrass on Surface-mined Land Feb 12, 2010 460-127
Powell River Project - Foundations for Housing on Reclaimed Mined Lands Sep 30, 2009 460-115
Powell River Project - Growing Christmas Trees on Reclaimed Surface-mined Land Sep 2, 2009 460-116
Powell River Project - How to Restore Forests on Surface-mined Land

Most coal-bearing lands in the Appalachian region were forested prior to mining. The region’s forests are predominantly upland oak-hickory and Appalachian mixed hardwoods. These forests provide many benefits to landowners and the public. Solid wood and paper products are perhaps the most tangible benefits, but a predictable flow of high-quality water from forested watersheds into regional streams is another vital benefit provided by the region’s forests. Forests also fix carbon from the atmosphere, provide wildlife food and cover, and provide recreational opportunities and an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Mar 30, 2011 460-123
Powell River Project - Management of Cow-Calf Production on Reclaimed Surface-Mined Land Feb 12, 2010 460-128
Powell River Project - Mine Permitting to Establish Productive Forests as Post-Mining Land Uses Sep 29, 2009 460-141
Powell River Project - Passive Treatment of Acid-Mine Drainage

Acidic mine drainage (AMD; also called “acid rock drainage” or “acid drainage”) is an environmental pollutant that impairs water resources in mining regions throughout the world. Where such treatment is required legally, treatment must be efficient and continual. Treatment methods are commonly divided into either “active,” meaning reliance on the addition of alkaline chemicals to neutralize the acidity, or “passive.” The term “passive treatment” means reliance on biological, geochemical, and gravitational processes. Passive treatment does not require constant care or the chemical reagents that characterize “active” AMD treatment.

Mar 30, 2011 460-133
Powell River Project - Reclaiming Mined Lands as Industrial Sites

With the decline of coal-mining jobs in Virginia’s coalfields, availability of local employment in high-wage industries is a major concern. One factor that hinders high-wage manufacturing industries from locating in the coalfield region is a shortage of suitable industrial sites. In some cases, coal surface mines can create sites suitable for industry as a post-mining land use while meeting all Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) requirements.

Dec 2, 2009 460-132
Powell River Project - Reclamation of Coal Refuse Disposal Areas Oct 21, 2010 460-131
Powell River Project - Recovery of Native Plant Communities After Mining

This publication summarizes research on the impacts of reclamation practices on re-establishment of native Appalachian forest ecosystems and describes practices
that may be used during reclamation to encourage re-establishment of native hardwood-forest plant communities.

Feb 25, 2010 460-140
Powell River Project - Reforestation Guidelines for Unused Surface Mined Lands in the Eastern United States

More than a million acres in the Appalachian region were surface mined for coal under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) (US OSM 2008). Much of this land was reclaimed using practices intended to stabilize the surface, prevent erosion, and establish herbaceous vegetation suitable for grazing livestock, but most is not used for grazing. Other areas were reclaimed to post-mining uses such as wildlife habitat or unmanaged forest using similar techniques, but with shrubs and trees able to survive heavy grass cover and compacted mine soils.

Mar 24, 2011 460-144
Powell River Project - Restoring the Value of Forests on Reclaimed Mined Land Dec 4, 2009 460-138
Powell River Project - Revegetation Species and Practices Jul 28, 2010 460-122
Powell River Project - Stabilizing Reclaimed Mines to Support Buildings and Development

Land-use constraints hinder economic activity in the Virginia coalfield region; the lack of flat land hinders infrastructure construction, industrial recruitment, and business development. Reclaimed coal mines are widely discussed as potential development sites, but modern reclamation rarely prepares mined areas for building-support purposes. This publication describes mine-stabilization procedures that can be employed for developing reclaimed mine areas for building construction.

This publication outlines general concepts and guidelines. Parties seeking to construct buildings on any mined area should engage the services of a professional engineer.

Dec 2, 2009 460-130
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
Putting the Punch Back in Your Pastures: Pasture Renovation

Pasture renovation can be defined as a series of practices that will result in long-term improvement in the health, productivity, and botanical composition of pastures. These practices may include interseeding legumes and grasses, fertilizing, liming, controlling weeds, and improving grazing management. Successful renovation requires planning, time lines, and attention to detail. It is important to determine why the previous stand did not persist before reseeding pastures. It is essential that these problems be addressed in a long-term pasture management plan.

May 1, 2009 418-134
Rotary Mowers Safety: Lawncare Training Guide Aug 12, 2014 BSE-47P (BSE-110P)
Sensor-Based, Variable-Rate Nitrogen Applications in Virginia

Variable-rate applications (VRA) of nitrogen (N) fertilizers are a new option to assist producers with real-time fertilizer rate decisions. Two commercially available systems that allow variable-rate nitrogen applications are GreenSeeker (Trimble Navigation Limited; www. ntechindustries.com/greenseeker-home.html) and the OptRx Crop Sensor (Ag Leader Technology; www. agleader.com/products/directcommand/optrx/). A discussion of the science behind these systems, potential economic benefits, and other methodologies to make VRA is discussed in Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 442-505, “Precision Farming Tools: Variable-Rate Application” (Grisso et al. 2011). 

Aug 8, 2014 CSES-90P
Small Grain Forage Variety Testing, 2015 Jun 24, 2015 CSES-127NP
Small Grain Forage Variety Testing, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 CSES-165NP
Small Grains In 2011

The following tables present results from barley and wheat varietal tests conducted in Virginia in
2009-2011. Small-grain cultivar performance tests are conducted each year in Virginia by the
Virginia Tech Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and the Virginia
Agricultural Experiment Station. The tests provide information to assist Virginia Cooperative
Extension Service agents in formulating cultivar recommendations for small grain producers and
to companies developing cultivars and/or marketing seed within the state. Yield data are given
for individual locations and across locations and years; yield and other performance
characteristics are averaged over the number of locations indicated in parenthesis near the
column heading. Performance of a given variety often varies widely over locations and years
which makes multiple location-year averages a more reliable indication of expected performance
than data from a single year or location. Details about management practices for barley and
wheat are listed for each experimental location.

Jul 21, 2011 3007-1456
Small Grains in 1998 May 1, 2009 424-001
Small Grains in 2012 Jul 27, 2012 CSES-18NP
Small Grains in 2013 Aug 7, 2013 CSES-62NP
Small Grains in 2014 Aug 1, 2014 CSES-97NP
Small Grains in 2015 Jul 29, 2015 CSES-129NP
Small Grains in 2016 Jul 27, 2016 CSES-167NP
Sod Source Selection, Installation, Maintenance, and Producers in Virginia

While high-quality sod is available outside of the VCIA-certified sod program, the consumer is encouraged to be aware of factors that are important in determining sod quality. Quality sod contains excellent turf varieties with good sod strength (i.e., easy to handle for both harvest and installation) and has no serious insect, weed, or disease problems. 

Feb 19, 2016 418-040 (CSES-151P)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Commercial Crop Production Apr 27, 2016 452-124 (CSES-159NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production Sep 24, 2015 452-126(CSES-136NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Golf Courses and Industrial Lawns Sep 24, 2015 452-128(CSES-139NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Home Lawns, Gardens, Fruits, and Ornamentals Sep 24, 2015 452-125(CSES-138NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Surface-Mined Areas Sep 24, 2015 452-127 (CSES-140NP)
Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener May 1, 2009 452-129
Soil Test Note #1 - Explanation of Soil Tests May 1, 2009 452-701
Soil Test Note #2 - Field Crops

Most Virginia soils are acidic and require lime applications at three- to five-year intervals. Maintaining the correct soil pH has several benefits, such as encouraging healthy root development and making sure nutrients in the soil are available to the plant. For example, low pH can cause aluminum toxicity and can decrease phosphorus availability. 

Sep 25, 2014 452-702 (CSES-100P)
Soil Test Note #4 - Trace Elements May 1, 2009 452-704
Soil Test Note 17: Lawn Fertilization for Cool Season Grasses May 1, 2009 452-717
Soil Test Note 18: Lawn Fertilization for Warm Season Grasses May 1, 2009 452-718
Soil Test Note 19: Vegetable and Flower Gardens (Supplement to Soil Test Report) May 1, 2009 452-719
Soil Test Note 20: Home Shrubs and Trees May 1, 2009 452-720
Soil Test Note 23: Christmas Tree Crops

Christmas trees, like any other crop, require balanced nutrition for best health and growth. Christmas trees are unique among most crops, though, since their value is based on their aesthetic quality and not their biomass yield. In order to assure balanced nutrition, it is necessary to insure that the soil contains enough available nutrients to satisfy the trees’ demands. Routine soil tests can provide this information for unplanted fields or plantations that have not been fertilized recently. Christmas tree fertilization is generally considered at the time a new crop is planted (Establishment) or periodically during the course of the rotation (Maintenance).

Jul 14, 2009 452-723
Soil Test Note 5: Fertilizing With Manures Aug 19, 2009 452-705
Soil Test Note No.3 - Liming and Fertilization of Cool-Season Forage Crops Aug 28, 2012 452-703 (CSES-16P)
Soil Testing for the Lawn and Landscape

This publication is available in a Breeze Presentation. To view the presentation you will need to download the Macromedia Flash Player.

Soil Testing for the Lawn and Landscape, Publication #430-540

May 1, 2009 430-540
Sources of Lime for Acid Soils in Virginia May 1, 2009 452-510
Soybean Growth and Development

Proper management of the soybean crop requires knowledge of how environmental conditions and pests affect growth during vegetative and reproductive stages. For example, too little or too much soil moisture at certain stages may hinder growth and lower yield, and insect pests may damage the crop at one stage but not another. The information below can help you determine the proper timing of various management practices.

Nov 13, 2015 CSES-134NP
Spring and Summer Lawn Management Considerations for Cool-Season Turfgrasses

There is no time of year that generates as much excitement in the management of lawns and landscapes as spring. Sales of all lawn and garden products soar as many homeowners strive for the best looking lawn possible. However, your enthusiasm for returning the lawn to tip-top shape should be tempered enough so that you make sound agronomic and environmental management decisions. Smart choices now will result in a healthy, dense turf canopy that will better withstand the environmental extremes of the summer months.

May 1, 2009 430-532
Spring and Summer Lawn Management Considerations for Warm-Season Turfgrasses

Soil testing. Sampling the soil to determine pH and nutrient levels is always a prudent choice in developing a management program for a lawn, especially if a soil test has not been done within the past three years (Figure 1). Any time of year is appropriate for sampling. A majority of Virginia soils are acidic and need to be amended with periodic applications of lime. For information on how to properly sample your soil, consult Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener, Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 452-129, at http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/452-129/. For additional soil testing information, see the presentation "Soil Testing for the Lawn and Landscape," at http://breeze.ag.vt.edu/p36588349/.

May 1, 2009 430-533
Successful No-Tillage Corn Production Jul 29, 2009 424-030
Summer Lawn Management: Watering the Lawn

Water composes from 75 percent to 85 percent of the weight of a healthy grass plant. It is essential for seed germination, tissue formation, plant cooling, food manufacture, and nutrient absorption and transport. A grass plant loses the most water under conditions of high light intensity, high temperature, low relative humidity, and windy conditions. Without adequate water, the grass plant can't cool itself and becomes susceptible to wilting, desiccation, and death.

Mar 31, 2014 430-010 (CSES-79P)
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
The Mid-Atlantic Nutrient Management Handbook Jun 9, 2015 CSES-122P
The Nutrient Value of Straw Jun 19, 2015 CSES-126NP
The Nutritive Value of Common Pasture Weeds and Their Relation to Livestock Nutrient Requirements

Weeds constantly invade crop fields and pastures; therefore, it is important to know the potential quality of individual weed species in making management decisions concerning weed control. It is frequently assumed that weeds have low nutritive value and livestock will not eat weeds, so expensive and time-consuming measures are often used for their control.12 Some weeds are toxic or poisonous to livestock, and certain weeds are unpalatable – causing a reduction in total intake.9 Several weed species have thorns or spines that can injure the grazing animal’s mouth and/or irritate its eyes, which may lead to pinkeye.9 Other weeds can cause the milk and meat of livestock to have a negative taste or odor. Weeds also compete with cultivated crops and forages for moisture, light, and nutrients, but many weeds are nutrient-rich and digestible.9 The objective of this review paper is to recognize the nutritional values of weeds commonly found in pastures.2

Aug 6, 2009 418-150
The Soil and Me: A Perspective on Soil Health

Soil is the foundation upon which our natural living world depends; it is otherwise known as the dynamic material that civilization is built on (Lindbo, Kozlowski, and Robinson 2012). Soil serves diverse functions that are critical to the survival of humanity; without the soil, life on earth is inconceivable. It represents the critical zone of the earth where life, water, minerals, and air intersect and interact (fig. 1) because the soil constantly relates with other parts of nature. The soil is considered a living, dynamic resource at the earth’s surface and has been defined as “the unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants” (SSSA 2015). The thickness or depth of this surface or layer varies with the type and environment of the soil.

Nov 5, 2015 CSES-132NP
The Virginia Alfalfa Variety Report: A Five-year Summary (1999 - 2003) May 1, 2009 418-018
The Virginia Perennial Cool-Season Grass Forage Variety Report: A 3-Year Summary (2002-2004)

Perennial cool-season forage grasses are the foundation of ruminant livestock production systems in Virginia. Sound management of these grasses begins with proper species and variety selection. This report is a summary of forage variety trials performed with perennial cool-season grasses at Virginia Tech Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs) from 2002 through 2004. It includes trials seeded at the Southern Piedmont AREC (SPAREC) at Blackstone and at the Tidewater AREC, Suffolk, September 2001 and harvested for three years (2002 through 2004) 

May 1, 2009 418-200
The Virginia Yard Waste Management Manual May 1, 2009 452-055
Tips for Profitable Variety Selection: How to Use Data From Different Types of Variety Trials

Selecting an appropriate, high-yielding variety is one of the most important management decisions that producers make. Yield potential is clearly important, but the decision is complicated by such factors as the cropping system, the need for disease resistance, end-use quality goals, year-to-year climatic variation, and the need to select multiple varieties in order to reduce risk by spreading out flowering and maturity dates.

Jul 29, 2011 424-040
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)
Trees and Shrubs for Acid Soils

The trees and shrubs on your new home site are growing poorly, so you take samples to the Extension office and the agent suggests a soil test. Test results show that your soil has a pH of 4.5, which is rated as strongly acid. The agent suggests you either take corrective action to raise the pH or grow different plants.

Apr 8, 2015 430-027 (HORT-115P)
Turf and Garden Tips: What can be done about crayfish in lawns? Aug 16, 2013 CSES-64NP
Understanding Pre-harvest Sprouting of Wheat May 11, 2009 424-060
Understanding the Texture of Your Soil for Agricultural Productivity

Have you ever been to a field- or farm-related event, seen the soil and subsequent produce, and wished you had that kind of soil? If you have, you are most likely not alone! However, many people who work and use their land for private gardening, community farming, or other commercial agricultural production activities have an incomplete idea of what healthy and productive soil should look like. Texture, density, structure, nutrients, and organic matter are some of the most common parameters of healthy, productive soils. This paper explains the textural qualities of soils and allows readers to assess the qualities of the soil they manage.

Jul 20, 2016 CSES-162P
Urban Nutrient Management Handbook Apr 28, 2011 430-350
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Better Manage and Predict Wheat Development

Wheat development is affected by nutrients, water, light, and other factors; but temperature consistently determines how quickly or slowly plants move ahead in forming leaves, roots, tillers, and grain heads. The plant's development stage at any point during the season is affected very predictably by how warm or cool the season has been up to that point. This knowledge, combined with educated guesses about how the rest of the growing season will progress, can be extremely valuable information to the grower, who can then make more informed management decisions to include predicting the maturity/harvest schedule.

May 1, 2009 424-004
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Develop a Corn Planting Strategy

With adequate soil moisture, early-planted corn generally out yields late-planted corn due to its better use of sunlight during June and July. The goal for most producers is to plant as early as possible and still achieve rapid emergence and a good crop stand.

May 1, 2009 424-003
Using the Virginia Cooperative Extension Climate Analysis Web Tool to Monitor, Predict, and Manage Corn Development

How a corn crop develops is affected by many factors: fertilization, rainfall, sunny or cloudy weather, hybrid or maturity group, etc. But these factors generally play second fiddle to temperature in determining when a corn crop tassels or is ready to harvest. Many years of observation have shown that plant development at any point during the season is affected very predictably by how warm or cool the season has been to that point. This knowledge, combined with projections about the remainder of the growing season, can sometimes be used to make mid-season adjustments in management and to predict harvest schedules.

May 1, 2009 424-055
Utility Type Vehicles: UTV Maintenance and Safe Use Lawn Care Training Guide Jun 6, 2014 BSE-49NP (BSE-108P)
VCE Model of Community, Local, Regional Food Systems Oct 7, 2016 ALCE-154NP
Virginia Corn Hybrid and Management Trials in 2015 Nov 12, 2015 CSES-149NP
Virginia Corn Hybrid and Management Trials in 2016 Nov 11, 2016 CSES-174NP
Virginia Cover Crops Fact Sheet Series No. 1: Beneficial Uses of Cover Crops May 5, 2015 CSES-120NP
Virginia Cover Crops Fact Sheet Series No. 2: Cover Crop Performance Evaluation in Field and Controlled Studies May 5, 2015 CSES-121NP
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Household Wastewater Treatment and Septic Systems

Household wastewater contains some contaminants that degrade water quality for such uses as drinking, stock watering, food preparation and cleaning. Potential contaminants in household wastewater include disease-causing bacteria, infectious viruses, household chemicals, and nutrients, such as nitrate. Viruses can infect the liver, causing hepatitis or infect the lining of the intestine, causing gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea). If coliform organisms (a group of indicator bacteria) are found in well water, they show that the water is potentially dangerous for drinking and food preparation. Virtually all farmsteads use a septic system or similar on-site wastewater treatment system.

May 1, 2009 442-903
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Corrosive Household Water May 17, 2011 442-665
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Hardness in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-664
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-666
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Five - Understanding Ammonia Volatilization from Fertilizers Sep 25, 2015 2908-1404(CSES-130NP)
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Six - Nitrogen Fertilizer Sources and Properties Aug 27, 2009 2908-1405
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Three: Manure Injection Nov 16, 2010 3011-1517
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Two: Nitrogen Fertilizer Injection in No-Till Systems Sep 25, 2015 3011-1516(CSES-131NP)
Virginia On-Farm Corn Test Plots 2006 May 1, 2009 424-038-06
Virginia On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots, 2005 May 1, 2009 424-050
Virginia On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots, 2006 May 1, 2009 424-050-06
Virginia On-Farm Wheat Test Plots, 2007 May 1, 2009 424-050-07
Virginia Tech Corn Silage Testing 2015

Annual corn silage hybrid testing in Virginia. This report contains the results for performance trials from commercial corn hybrids produced for silage at four locations in Virginia in 2015 as well as two and three year average performance, when available.

Nov 6, 2015 CSES-148NP
Virginia Tech Corn Silage Testing 2016

Annual corn silage hybrid testing in Virginia. This report contains the results for performance trials from commercial corn hybrids produced for silage at four locations in Virginia in 2016 as well as two and three year average performance, when available.

Oct 21, 2016 CSES-173NP
Virginia Tech On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots - Eastern Virginia, August 2009

The demonstration and research plot results discussed in this publication are a cooperative effort by seven Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, several extension specialists from Virginia Tech, area
producers, and agribusinesses. We are proud to present this year’s on-farm wheat plot work to you. The 2008-09 wheat season was a tough one for producers. Below normal temperatures in the fall and winter
reduced tillering, and wet conditions in the spring delayed harvest and resulted in low quality and yields in many areas. With wheat prices down considerably and input costs relatively high, wheat producers
will need to really focus on maximum economic yields during 2009-10 to produce profitable wheat.

Aug 28, 2009 2908-1409
Virginia Tech On-Farm Small Grain Test Plots, Eastern Virginia, August 2010 Aug 19, 2010 3008-1457
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Forage Establishment

Well-managed pastures can provide a relatively inexpensive and high-quality feed source for horses in Virginia. In contrast, poorly managed pastures are less adequate nutritionally and can reduce environmental quality. Proper pasture management starts with forage establishment. The establishment phase of forage production is critical since all other management practices depend on a healthy sod. Forage establishment begins long before the actual seeding. Successful forage establishment requires a great deal of planning and attention to detail.

May 1, 2009 418-103
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Renovating Old Pastures

Pasture renovation can be defined as a series of practices that result in long-term improvement in the health, productivity, and botanical composition of pastures. These practices include interseeding legumes and grasses, fertilization, liming, weed control, and improved grazing management. Successful renovation requires planning, timelines, and attention to detail. Before reseeding pastures it is important to determine why the previous stand did not persist. It is essential that these problems be addressed in the long-term pasture management plan.

May 1, 2009 418-104
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
Wheat Planted Without Fertilizer: Fall 2008

There is apparently a significant acreage of winter wheat that was planted without any fertilizer applied at planting. The “plan” for this wheat may be to see if wheat prices increase and/or fertilizer prices decrease through the winter to levels that enable growers to make a profit. While this type of plan is very understandable with the wheat crop economics that have existed from September through the first of December, careful evaluation of the crop and selective use of fertilizers and weed control can increase potential yields and profits. The following discussion offers some ideas for advisers and growers to consider.

May 1, 2009 2812-1023
Winter Management and Recovery Tips to Optimize Athletic Field Safety and Performance for Spring Sports

Every spring, turf managers are faced with the dilemma of having to provide safe and aesthetically pleasing athletic fields while turfgrasses are not actively growing. Sports field managers must wait for consistently warm weather before grasses resume active growth. Although Mother Nature dictates most aspects of field recovery potential, several steps can be taken to optimize the chances of providing the best and safest playing conditions possible once the fall playing season is complete.

Nov 2, 2009 430-408
Winter Seeding Methods to Establish Clover in Permanent Pasture Jun 10, 2010 418-022
Yellow Corn in Virginia – Spring 2016

Many of the corn fields on the Eastern Shore and in Eastern Virginia are “yellow” and stunted due to the weather this Spring  and is similar to conditions that Virginia farmers experienced in Spring 2010. There are many reasons for the corn to be yellow that range from nutrient deficiencies to abiotic factors.

Oct 10, 2016 CSES-171NP
Yield Potential of Native Warm-Season Grasses Grown in Mixture Jul 19, 2013 CSES-55P