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North Carolina has an abundant supply of clean water, a resource vital to our high quality of life. Rivers, lakes, groundwater aquifers, and coastal estuaries are crucial to public health, economic development, and recreational opportunities. However, our water sources are constantly threatened with degradation by such activities as imprudent development, improperly managed agricultural and industrial activities, and unsound waste disposal practices. The soil exerts an important influence on water quality. How we manage the soil and what we put on it determine, in part, the level of treatment required to make our water supplies safe and enjoyable. This fact sheet explains how soils influence water quality and why efficient soil management helps protect water quality.
This factsheet for farmers describes ways to control the harmful effects of excess nutrients while maintaining healthy, productive farm crops. Steps covered include testing your soil and following the soil testing recommendations, setting realistic yield goals, choosing the most suitable nitrogen sources, applying nitrogen correctly, using manure as a nutrient source, controlling erosion, managing water flow and fencing animals away from water flow.
This factsheet explains the three factors of proper swine manure management: the nutrient content of the manure, the percentages of those nutrients that are available to the plant and the nutrient requirements of the plant.
This publication provides information to growers about soybean production in North Carolina. It discusses economic trends and forecasts, cultural practices, variety selection, planting decisions, nutrient management, diseases and pests, and other production practices.
This publication discusses nutrient removal by crops, which is useful in comparing the nutrient demands of different crops in conjunction with soil testing. The publication also includes a table of the estimated nutrient removal rates of various crops.
This publication offers fertilizer suggestions for a variety of crops, including field, pasture and hay crops, tree fruit, small fruit, ornamental plants and vegetable crops.
Phosphorus (P) is the second most important nutrient in crop production but is often found in relatively low amounts in native soils. Decades of fertilizer application have led to P enrichment of most North Carolina agricultural soils. Excess soil P that leaves agricultural fields via runoff and drainage can cause algal blooms in water resources that lead to impaired drinking water quality and can limit recreational activities. Maintaining adequate soil P levels for crop growth can reduce P runoff, save money, and protect the environment
This factsheet explains how to use dairy manure as a fertilizer source. Included are descriptions of nutrient content, application rates and application methods to ensure optimum benefit from the manure. A worksheet is provided for calculating application rates.
This factsheet describes the nutrient composition of poultry manure and land application techniques based on matching the nutritional requirements of the crop with the nutrients available in manure. This publication also includes a worksheet to determine the nutrient needs of your crop.
A summary of North Carolina rules and regulations governing the purchasing, handling, application and reporting of poultry litter by commercial haulers. This publication also includes a sample agreement between growers and haulers regarding who has responsibility for the various stages of litter handling.
Soil samples that determine lime and fertilizer needs of crops routinely come from the top 4 to 8 inches of soil. However, deep soil samples will be needed for the Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool (PLAT), and this publication describes how to take these 28- to 32-inch deep samples.
This publication, chapter 6 of the North Carolina Soybean Production Guide, covers fertilization and nutrient management in soybean production.
This factsheet clarifies the importance of waste analysis and describes the procedures for taking reliable samples and submitting them to the Agronomic Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS).
This publication addresses nutrient management concerns as they relate to land application of animal wastes, municipal biosolids, industrial residuals and agricultural by-products, with a focus on phosphorus application and its impact on the environment. Methods for reducing phosphorus loss from land application sites are presented as general guidance for managers of land application systems, who must be knowledgeable of regulatory issues and permit restrictions as they relate to phosphorus and nutrient management.
This publication discusses the Realistic Yield Expectations database as a resource for nitrogen fertilization rate decisionmaking. Topics include recent research and the resulting updates to the database for improved nitrogen fertilizer rates based on new yield data.
This publication addresses application techniques that affect drift and odor problems associated with wastewater application, so that managers and designers of land application systems can make wise decisions on how to apply wastewater with minimal impact on neighbors and the environment.
Changes in the interpretation of North Carolina water quality rules and technical standards allow for the use of on-farm records in the development of waste management plans. This publication describes the use of such records, citing examples. The use of on-farm records can work to an animal producer’s benefit by providing more site-specific information about how an animal waste management system should be operated, particularly with respect to the number of acres of crops necessary to properly utilize the nutrients (mainly nitrogen) in the wastewater.
This publication provides recommendations for managing essential nutrient concentrations when growing organic tobacco in the field.
This publication provides information on using surplus milk for land application, as a waste product or fertilizer, or as animal feed. Topics include practical and nutrient management considerations, safety, and nutrient information for feeding.
This publication provides guidance on applying nutrients from animal wastes on cover crops. It provides guidance on cover crop management, nitrogen credits, and application windows.
This publication discusses using poultry waste as a nutrient treatment for field crops. It provides practical information that can be used to calibrate spinner spreaders for the most effective land-application of poultry litter. A spreader calibration worksheet is included.
This publication provides recommendations for managing essential nutrient concentrations when growing organic tobacco in greenhouses using a float system.
This training program is designed to provide operators of animal waste management systems with the basic understanding needed to operate and maintain these systems in an efficient and environmentally sound manner. This manual is not intended to provide all of the technical details for the complete design of a waste management system or an approved animal waste management plan.