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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 publication alerts prospective gardeners to some of the most common contaminants in urban soils, such as lead and other toxic metals, solvents, pesticides and total petroleum hydrocarbons. This will help minimize potential risks to gardeners and to those who consume garden produce. The document includes information regarding site characterization, common contaminants, soil testing, interpretation of results and strategies for reducing exposure risks.
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.
This factsheet describes the effect of fertilizer nitrogen on water quality and the environment. It provides guidelines for managing soil fertility on farms to preserve water quality.
Selecting the right tool for a job is essential. When that tool is as important and expensive as a farm implement, the same holds true—you want to buy farm equipment that does what you want; is strong, durable, and reliable; and is generally the best value for your money.
This publication offers a discussion on how to lime Fraser fir Christmas trees. Fraser fir Christmas trees require a lower soil pH than most crops grown in North Carolina. Special management strategies for soil pH, calcium, and magnesium are needed to provide proper nutrition without over-liming.
Adequate sulfur is necessary for crops, but there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for application in North Carolina. Best management practices take sulfur removal and incidental sulfur inputs for the entire crop rotation, soil type and profile depth layers and soil and plant analysis results.
This publication, chapter 7 of the 2020 Cotton Information handbook, provides information about fertilization for cotton crops.
This publication discusses tillage treatments for large-seeded crops like corn and soybeans in the Piedmont region and recommends minimizing tillage based on research at the Upper Piedmont Research Station.
The purposes of this factsheet are to identify several major pollutants that often originate in lawns and gardens, to describe the problems they may cause, and to outline some things that can be done to minimize their adverse effects on water quality. This information should benefit home gardeners, landscape developers, contract lawn care specialists, athletic field managers and others who manage soil to grow plants for food, pleasure, or profit.
This question and answer worksheet will help homeowners focus on potential problems with drinking water or other water resources that may be caused by improper lawn or garden care. Use and storage of fertilizers and pesticides, watering plants, landscape design and soil erosion are discussed.
This publication provides guidance to Extension agents on how to design and conduct trials and demonstrations on alternative products for plant and soil health and pest and disease control purposes. It provides standardized experimental design criteria and best practices for planning and executing trials for these products.
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.