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Browse by Author: Deanna Osmond
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Best Management Practices for Agricultural Nutrients

By: Deanna Osmond, Daniel Line SoilFacts

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.

North Carolina Soybean Production Guide

By: Katherine Drake Stowe, Carl Crozier, Gary Bullen, Jim Dunphy, Wesley Everman, David Hardy, Deanna Osmond, Nick Piggott, Sandeep Rana, Dominic Reisig, Gary Roberson, Brandon Schrage, Lindsey Thiessen, Derek Washburn

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.

Careful Soil Sampling—The Key to Reliable Soil Test Information

By: Carl Crozier, Deanna Osmond, David Hardy SoilFacts

This publication explains how to obtain representative soil samples and to submit them for analysis. Where and when to take samples, proper sampling techniques, and submitting the samples for analysis are all covered.

Soils and Water Quality

By: David Crouse, Jonathan Godfrey, Rich McLaughlin, Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

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.

A Gardener's Guide to Soil Testing

By: Ervin Evans, Deanna Osmond

This publication tells gardeners why they should test their soil, how to obtain a soil test and interpret the results and how to use the soil test to improve their soils.

Agricultural Riparian Buffers

By: Deanna Osmond, Mike Burchell SoilFacts

This publication describes some basic concepts of hydrology and explains how water moves through or over a buffer. Using these concepts, it explains effective natural riparian buffers can be created using the grasses, trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing along streams.

Alternative Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Products for Row Crop Production

By: Deanna Osmond, Carl Crozier, Ron Heiniger SoilFacts

Nitrogen fertilizer products are being developed and marketed as having the potential to increase yields and nutrient use efficiency, and decrease volatilization (gas). How do these products actually perform on different soils and row crops, under various climatic conditions? This publication summarizes findings from recent studies that investigated alternative nitrogen fertilizer products for row crops in four North Carolina regions.

Starter Phosphorus Fertilizer and Additives in North Carolina Soils: Use, Placement, and Plant Response

By: Sheri Cahill, Deanna Osmond, Ronald Gehl, David Hardy, Carl Crozier SoilFacts

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

Nutrient Removal by Crops in North Carolina

By: Deanna Osmond, Jihoon Kang SoilFacts

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.

Nitrogen Management and Water Quality

By: Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

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.

Caring for Your Lawn and the Environment

By: Deanna Osmond, Arthur Bruneau

This factsheet provides information on how to keep a lawn healthy and attractive and how to protect the environment by reducing runoff and trapping pollutants. Fertilizer facts and rates, a mowing guide and watering recommendations are included.

Water Quality of Rooftop Runoff: Implications for Residential Water Harvesting Systems

By: Kathy DeBusk, Bill Hunt, Deanna Osmond, Greg Cope Urban Waterways

This publication discusses the presence of various pollutants in rooftop runoff and establishes some general guidelines regarding the use of collected rainwater in North Carolina.

Modifying Soil for Plant Growth around Your Home

By: Greg Hoyt, Deanna Osmond, Joshua L. Heitman, Al Cooke SoilFacts

This publication addresses the two major soil problems found on residential properties and how to rectify them: lack of the three necessary nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium) and soil pH.

Deep Soil Sampling for Nutrient Management

By: Deanna Osmond, David Hardy, David Crouse SoilFacts

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.

Cultural Practices

By: Jim Dunphy, Deanna Osmond

This publication, chapter 3 of the North Carolina Soybean Production Guide, discusses tillage, crop rotation, and cover crops in soybean production.

Improving Septic Systems

By: Deanna Osmond, Mike Hoover, Wilma Hammett Home*A*Syst

This question and answer worksheet for homeowners focuses on potential problems with drinking water that may be caused by an improperly placed, constructed, or maintained septic system.

Improving Lawn Care and Gardening

By: Deanna Osmond, David Crouse, Rich McLaughlin SoilFacts

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.

The North Carolina Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool (PLAT)

By: Deanna Osmond, David Crouse, David Hardy, Josh Spencer, John Classen SoilFacts

Phosphorus management is an important aspect of the USDA-NCRS nutrient management standard. Anyone applying animal waste or fertilizer in a nutrient-impaired subwatershed must determine potential phosphorus loss from each field. This publication describes the P-Index or Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool that is used in North Carolina for this purpose.

Managing Lawns and Gardens to Protect Water Quality

By: David Crouse, Rich McLaughlin, Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

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.

A Gardener's Guide to Protecting Water Quality

By: Ervin Evans, Deanna Osmond

This publication discusses ways that gardeners can protect water quality and avoid runoff and soil erosion.

Phosphorus Management for Land Application of Biosolids and Animal Waste

By: Karl Shaffer, Deanna Osmond, Sanjay Shah SoilFacts

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.

The North Carolina Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool (PLAT): A Guide for Technical Specialists

By: Deanna Osmond, David Crouse, David Hardy, Josh Spencer SoilFacts

Phosphorus management is an important aspect of the USDA-NCRS nutrient management standard. Anyone applying animal waste or fertilizer in a nutrient-impaired subwatershed must determine potential phosphorus loss from each field. This publication describes in great detail the P-Index or Phosphorus Loss Assessment Tool that is used in North Carolina for this purpose.

Water Quality Monitoring for the Assessment of Watershed Projects

By: Donald Meals, Deanna Osmond Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural watershed projects were funded jointly by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of cropland and pastureland conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. In some projects, participants also investigated how social and economic factors influence implementation and maintenance of practices. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about the selection, timing, and location of conservation practices and relationships among them relative to any effects on water quality.

Riparian Buffers and Controlled Drainage to Reduce Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution

By: Deanna Osmond, J. Wendell Gilliam, Robert Evans

This technical bulletin discusses riparian buffers and controlled drainage as best practices to reduce nonpoint (diffuse runoff) water pollution in North Carolina's basins. The article covers in-depth explanations of riparian buffers and controlled drainage; designs, how they work to protect stream health and reduce nitrogen and pesticides. Recommendations for best practices are provided for the coastal plain, lower coastal plain and Tidewater, middle and upper coastal plain, Piedmont and mountain regions. A glossary of terms is included.

Monty's Liquid Carbon Impact on Wheat Yield: Summary of Tests Conducted Between 2010 and 2014

By: Ron Heiniger, Randy Weisz, Deanna Osmond SmartGrains

This factsheet reports the results from two different types of experiments that were conducted to determine the impact of Monty’s Liquid Carbon (MLC) on winter wheat yield in North Carolina.

Delineating Agriculture in the Lake Jordan River Basin

By: Deanna Osmond, Kathy Neas

Under the proposed Lake Jordan Rules, the Basin Oversight Committee (BOC) is tasked with submitting agricultural information on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, some of this information, such as fertilizer rates, is based on best professional judgment; there are no fertilizer-use statistics that are reliable. In addition, best management practices (BMPs) are only captured if they are cost shared. To obtain a better estimate of agricultural practices, this one-time statistically valid area sampling frame was applied to agricultural fields in the Lake Jordan River Basin in order to collect an agricultural baseline of cropping systems, soil types and currently used best management practices, livestock types and numbers, and producer information. In summary, when all the data are combined, it appears that producers in the Lake Jordan River Basin are minimizing environmental impact of nutrient and soil losses from agricultural fields due to the types of cropping systems used and under fertilization of most crops. Nutrient inputs generally are below recommended levels. Best management practices, primarily buffers are being used, as well as cover crops and conservation tillage; however, more could be installed. Cattle numbers could be reduced.

How Farmers and Ranchers Make Decisions on Conservation Practices

By: Dana Hoag, A.E. Luloff, Deanna Osmond Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural watershed projects were funded jointly by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of cropland and pastureland conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about the social and economic factors within the watersheds that either facilitated or impeded implementation and proper maintenance of conservation practices.

Grazing Practices: A Review of the Literature

By: Deanna Osmond, David Michael Butler, Noah Ranells, Matt Poore, Ada Wossink, Jim Green

This technical bulletin reviews earlier research that evaluates the influence of grazing livestock, primarily beef cattle, on water quality. This publication will help producers make informed choices and consider strategies to protect water quality and maintain productive pasture-based livestock operations.

Conservation Practice Implementation and Adoption to Protect Water Quality

By: Deanna Osmond, Donald Meals, Andrew Sharpley, Mark McFarland, Daniel Line Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural watershed projects were funded jointly by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of cropland and pastureland conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. In some projects, participants also investigated how social and economic factors influence implementation and maintenance of practices. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about the selection, timing, location, and relationships among conservation practices relative to how well they protect water quality.

Identifying Critical Source Areas

By: Donald Meals, Andrew Sharpley, Deanna Osmond Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural projects were funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of agricultural conservation practices on spatial patterns and trends in water quality at the watershed scale. In some projects, participants also investigated how social and economic factors influence implementation and maintenance of practices. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about identifying a watershed’s critical source areas in order to prioritize conservation practice implementation for better protection of water quality and lower costs.

Effective Education to Promote Conservation Practice Adoption

By: Greg Jennings, Dana Hoag, Mark McFarland, Deanna Osmond Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural watershed projects were funded jointly by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of cropland and pastureland conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. In some projects, participants also investigated how social and economic factors influence implementation and maintenance of practices. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about the outreach techniques that were most effective for communicating information to different audiences, achieving adoption of practices and improving management and/or maintenance of practices in different geographic settings.

Insights for Developing Successful Agricultural Watershed Products

By: Donald Meals, Deanna Osmond, Dana Hoag, Mazdak Arabi, A.E. Luloff, Greg Jennings, Mark McFarland, Jean Spooner, Andrew Sharpley, Daniel Line Watershed Assessment Series

Thirteen agricultural watershed projects were funded jointly by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to evaluate the effects of cropland and pastureland conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. In some projects, participants also investigated how social and economic factors influence implementation and maintenance of practices. The 13 projects were conducted from 2004 to 2011 as part of the overall Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). By synthesizing the results of all these NIFA-CEAP projects, this publication explores lessons learned about developing agricultural watershed projects to investigate conservation practices in relationship to water quality changes.

Accounting Method for Tracking Relative Changes in Agricultural Phosphorus Loading to the Tar-Pamlico River

By: Amy Johnson, Deanna Osmond

The Tar-Pamlico Agricultural Rule requires the development of a methodology that accounts for phosphorus losses and gains from agricultural activities in the basin. The Rule recognizes potential challenges associated with this objective, and calls for the Basin Oversight Committee (BOC) to form a phosphorus technical advisory committee (PTAC) to evaluate this issue and provide recommendations to the BOC. This report compiles the findings of the PTAC and conveys its recommendations to the BOC.

Delineating Agriculture in the High Rock Lake Watershed

By: Deanna Osmond

Under the proposed High Rock Lake Rules, the Basin Oversight Committee (BOC) is tasked with submitting agricultural information on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, some of this information, such as fertilizer rates, is based on best professional judgment; there are no fertilizer-use statistics that are reliable. In addition, best management practices (BMPs) are only captured if they are cost shared. To obtain a better estimate of agricultural practices, this onetime statistically valid area sampling frame was applied to agricultural fields in the High Rock Lake Watershed in order to collect an agricultural baseline of cropping systems, soil types and currently used best management practices, livestock types and numbers, and producer information.

Delineating Agriculture in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin

By: Deanna Osmond, Donald Cassel, Kathy Neas

Under the Tar-Pam Rules, the Basin Oversight Committee (BOC) is tasked with submitting agricultural information on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, some of this information, such as fertilizer rates, is based on best professional judgment; there are no fertilizer-use statistics that are reliable. In addition, best management practices (BMPs) are only captured if they are cost shared. To obtain a better estimate of agricultural practices, this one-time statistically valid area sampling frame was applied to agricultural fields in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin in order to collect an agricultural baseline of cropping systems, soil types and currently used best management practices. In summary, when all the data are combined, it appears that producers in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin are minimizing environmental impact of nutrient and soil losses from agricultural fields. Best management practices are being used, including buffers, water control structures, cover crops, and conservation tillage. Nutrient inputs generally are below recommended levels. The only area where we believe producers could improve management is by following soil test reports and reducing phosphorus fertilization.

Delineating Agriculture in the Neuse River Basin

By: Deanna Osmond, Kathy Neas

In 2000 an agricultural survey of the Neuse River Basin was undertaken to obtain data that would help inform the Division of Water Quality and the Neuse Basin Oversight Committee (BOC), which was charged with determining a baseline for nitrogen (N) losses from 1991-1995. In summary, when all the data are combined, it appears that producers in the Neuse River Basin are minimizing environmental impact of nutrient and soil losses from agricultural fields. Best management practices are being used, including buffers, water control structures, cover crops, and conservation tillage. Erosion is low and nutrient inputs generally are below recommended levels. The only area where we believe producers could improve management is by following soil test reports and reducing phosphorus fertilization.