Resources for Soils

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
Organic Matter Application--Can You Apply Too Much? Jul 22, 2009 2906-1316
Organic Production - Some Thoughts and Considerations Jul 22, 2009 2906-1317
A Powerful New Insecticide for the Organic Grower Jul 27, 2009 2906-1340
The Organic Way - Selecting Green Manure Crops for Soil Fertility Aug 10, 2009 2906-1374
Building Soil Organic Matter with Cover Crops Aug 11, 2009 2906-1381
Virginia No-Till Fact Sheet Series Number Five - Understanding Ammonia Volatilization from Fertilizers
Loss of nitrogen (N) as ammonia gas (NH3) is known as volatilization. While volatilization directly from soil can occur, such loss is generally relatively small compared to the amount that can be lost from fertilizers. Volatilization losses can be significant with granular urea and urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) sources, but the amount of loss varies greatly depending on placement of the fertilizer, soil pH, soil texture, and climatic conditions after application.
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
The Minute Pirate Bug (Orius) Mar 8, 2010 3002-1437
Pop-up and/or Starter Fertilizers for Corn Mar 8, 2010 3002-1438
A Decision Tool to Compare the Profitability of Utilizing Poultry Litter or Commercial Fertilizer to Meet Soil Test Recommendations Mar 17, 2010 3003-1439
Nitrogen Soil Testing For Corn in Virginia May 1, 2009 418-016
Phosphorus, Agriculture & The Environment May 1, 2009 424-029
Agronomy Handbook, 2000 May 1, 2009 424-100
Soil Preparation
The ideal soil for a vegetable garden is deep, friable, and well-drained with a high organic matter content. Proper soil preparation provides the basis for good seed germination and the subsequent growth of garden crops. Careful use of various soil amendments can improve garden soil and provide the best possible starting ground for your crops.
Aug 12, 2015 426-313 (HORT-191P)
Urban Nutrient Management Handbook Apr 28, 2011 430-350
Soil Testing for the Lawn and Landscape May 1, 2009 430-540
Impact of Changing From Nitrogen- to Phosphorus-Based Manure Nutrient Management Plans Sep 16, 2009 442-310
Biochar in Agricultural Systems Aug 20, 2010 442-311
Precision Farming Tools: Soil Electrical Conductivity May 1, 2009 442-508
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Commercial Crop Production Apr 27, 2016 452-124 (CSES-159NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Home Lawns, Gardens, Fruits, and Ornamentals Mar 6, 2017 452-125(CSES-138NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production Sep 24, 2015 452-126(CSES-136NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Surface-Mined Areas Sep 24, 2015 452-127 (CSES-140NP)
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Golf Courses and Industrial Lawns Sep 24, 2015 452-128(CSES-139NP)
Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener
This publication explains how to obtain representative soil samples and to submit them for analysis to the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory.
May 1, 2009 452-129
Compost: What Is It and What's It To You May 1, 2009 452-231
On-Farm Composting - A Guide to Principles, Planning & Operations May 1, 2009 452-232
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Production and Characteristics of Biosolids
Biosolids are solid, semi-solid or liquid materials, resulting from treatment of domestic sewage, that have been sufficiently processed to permit these materials to be safely land-applied.
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: Managing Biosolids for Agricultural Use
The general approach for determining biosolid application rates on agricultural land can be summarized in this publication.
May 1, 2009 452-303
Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia: Risks and Concerns
The benefits of recycling biosolids onto agricultural land include providing essential nutrients for crop needs.
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
Sources of Lime for Acid Soils in Virginia
Acid soil limits crop yields on many Virginia farms. This soil acidity can be directly toxic to plants, but more often it reduces the plants' efficiency at nutrient utilization.
May 1, 2009 452-510
Soil Test Note #1 - Explanation of Soil Tests
The accompanying Soil Test Report will help you assess your plant's need for fertilizer and lime.
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 No.3 - Liming and Fertilization of Cool-Season Forage Crops Aug 28, 2012 452-703 (CSES-16P)
Soil Test Note #4 - Trace Elements May 1, 2009 452-704
Soil Test Note 5: Fertilizing With Manures Aug 19, 2009 452-705
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
Laboratory Procedures: Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory
The procedures for soil analysis used in the Soil Testing Laboratory were established in the early 1950s A routine test, consisting of eleven separate analyses, is performed on all samples.
May 1, 2009 452-881
Powell River Project - Creation and Management of Productive Minesoils Aug 27, 2010 460-121
Powell River Project - Revegetation Species and Practices Jul 28, 2010 460-122
Powell River Project - How to Restore Forests on Surface-mined Land Mar 30, 2011 460-123
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 - Recovery of Native Plant Communities After Mining Feb 25, 2010 460-140
Powell River Project - Coal-resource Contracting Terms for Productive Postmining Forests Feb 26, 2010 460-143
IMPACT: Virginia Potato Disease Advisory Impact
Potatoes are a major food crop on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, with average annual cash receipts of $14 million (2011-13).
Nov 13, 2014 ANR-105P
IMPACT: Virginia Winter Fruit School Impact
Tree fruits are important to the agricultural economy in Virginia. The commonwealth ranks sixth in the nation in apple production, with a crop valued at more than $68 million, and 20th in peach production, with a crop valued at $4.5 million. Although smaller in acreage, cherries, pears, and plums also play an important role in some areas of Virginia. These fruit crops are susceptible to an everchanging array of insects, plant diseases, and weeds, and pest management programs are complex and knowledge-intensive.
May 13, 2015 AREC-135NP
Soil and Soil Water Relationships
This publication presents and discusses concepts that are fundamental to understanding soil, water, and plant relationships and the soil water balance. Knowledge about soil water relationships can inform the decision-making process in agricultural operations or natural resource management, such as determining what crops to plant, when to plant them, and when various management practices should be scheduled. Understanding these concepts is useful for addressing both agronomic and policy issues related to agricultural water management.Zachary M. Easton, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech Emily Bock, Graduate Research Assistant, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech
Mar 22, 2016 BSE-194P
Factors When Considering an Agricultural Drainage System Feb 23, 2017 BSE-208P
Virginia Cover Crops Fact Sheet Series No. 1: Beneficial Uses of Cover Crops
The general purpose of a cover crop is to improve the soil, the broader environment, or other crops in rotation, not for direct harvest. Cover crops, depending on which are selected, are capable of providing many diverse assets. This publication provides a short description of these main benefits.
May 5, 2015 CSES-120NP
Virginia Cover Crops Fact Sheet Series No. 2: Cover Crop Performance Evaluation in Field and Controlled Studies
Cover crops increase soil organic matter, reduce erosion, suppress weeds, forage for nutrients, and reduce fertilizer costs (Clark, 2007). Cover crop species vary greatly and provide varied benefits. Performance evaluation of cover crop species and mixtures is needed in Virginia.
May 5, 2015 CSES-121NP
The Mid-Atlantic Nutrient Management Handbook
Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, and Virginia, the five states in the Mid-Atlantic region, all require Certified Nutrient Management Plans to be completed for certain agricultural programs.
Jun 9, 2015 CSES-122P
Nitrogen and Sulfur Leaching Potential in Virginia
Early summer often means locally heavy and sporadic rainfall as thunderstorms deliver intense rains, and 2015 appears to be no different with many areas in eastern Virginia receiving 3+ inches of rain in a few days (Figure 1). These storms also often coincide with the timing of sidedress nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) applications on corn. While some rainfall after sidedress is very beneficial to facilitate N movement into soil, heavy rain (2+ inches) often leaves us wondering how much, if any, of that recently-applied N remains and if additional N is needed.
Jun 19, 2015 CSES-125NP
The Nutrient Value of Straw
The mature and dried stem, leaves, and chaff remaining after barley and wheat are harvested is known as straw. Many farmers around Virginia harvest straw by baling in small bales, large round bales, or large square bales that range in weight from 40 to 1,000 lbs. plus per bale.
Jun 19, 2015 CSES-126NP
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
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
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)
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 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.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
Understanding the Texture of Your Soil for Agricultural Productivity Jul 20, 2016 CSES-162P
Manure Injection in No-Till and Pasture Systems Feb 27, 2013 CSES-22P
Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer Materials: Nitrogen Stabilizers
The recent increase in fertilizer costs, especially nitrogen fertilizers, has resulted in technologies that may improve nitrogen use efficiencies in agronomic cropping systems. Many of these technologies are designed as fertilizer additives to increase fertilizer use efficiencies by increasing plant fertilizer uptake and crop yields. The resulting fertilizer formulations include some type of extra additive within the formulation or applied as a coating and are often referred to as “enhanced efficiency fertilizers” (EEFs).
Aug 22, 2013 CSES-52P
Cotton Harvest Aid Cheat Sheet Aug 28, 2013 CSES-65NP
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
Pesticide Applicator Manuals Nov 17, 2011 VTTP-2