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Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings

By: Jeanine Davis, Sue Ellen Johnson, Katie Jennings

Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings to the soil. The symptoms reported include poor seed germination; death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; and reduced yields. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, including diseases, insects, and herbicide drift. Another possibility for the source of these crop injuries should also be considered: the presence of certain herbicides in the manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings applied to the soil.

2024 North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual

By: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

This manual, updated every year, covers pesticide use and safety information, chemical application equipment, fertilizer use, insect control, chemical weed control, plant growth regulators, animal damage control and disease control.

Phorid Flies

By: Sydney Crawley, Matt Bertone

Phorid flies are small flies that breed in moist, decaying organic matter and can be a problem in and around homes. This factsheet covers their identification, biology, habits, management and control.

Septic System Owner's Guide

By: Mike Hoover, Jonathan Godfrey SoilFacts

If you use a septic system or if you are buying a home with a septic system, this owner's guide can help you be sure that your septic system is used and maintained properly. This guide also provides a place to record and keep important information, such as a copy of your permit, a sketch of your system, and maintenance records.

Septic Systems and Their Maintenance

By: Mike Hoover, Tom Konsler, Jonathan Godfrey SoilFacts

This factsheet tells homeowners how to recognize and prevent problems with home septic systems. How septic systems work, where septic systems can be used, and maintenance on septic systems are covered.

Pesticide Applicator Certification and Licensing

By: Wayne Buhler

To apply restricted-use pesticides to agricultural commodities, you must be certified or be supervised by someone who is certified. Anyone who accepts compensation for applying any pesticide on someone else's property must be licensed. This factsheet covers certification and licensing for private and commercial pesticide applicators in North Carolina.

Disease Management and Guidelines for the Honey Bee

By: David Tarpy, Jennifer Keller

It is the goal of every beekeeper to maintain healthy, productive colonies. This can only be accomplished by reducing the frequency and prevalence of disease within beehives. The following is an outline of recommendations for detecting and treating colonies for economically important parasites and pathogens of honey bees so that beekeepers may achieve this goal, and do so in a sustainable way for the long-term health of their colonies.

Why Do Septic Systems Fail?

By: David Lindbo, Jonathan Godfrey, Diana Rashash SoilFacts

This publication describes common causes for septic tank failures and suggests steps you can take to prevent failure of your system.

Best Management Practices for Agricultural Nutrients

By: Ekrem Ozlu, Deanna Osmond, Daniel Line, Luke Gatiboni, Steph Kulesza 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.

Nitrogen Management and Water Quality

By: Luke Gatiboni, 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.

Insect and Disease Control of Fruits

By: Jim Walgenbach, Sara Villani, Steven Frank, Dominic Reisig, Katie Jennings, Bill Cline, Meredith Favre, Dave Ritchie

This publication covers insect and disease control in apples, blueberries, caneberries, grapes, peaches, pecans and strawberries.

Longhorned Tick

By: Wes Watson, Matt Bertone, Michael Waldvogel, Alexis M. Barbarin

The longhorned tick (previously called the 'Asian longhorned tick') is an invasive tick spreading throughout the eastern US. A native of the far east, this tick was introduced to the US mainland in 2010. It has been reported from 17 states including North Carolina. Here we present basic information on the biology of the tick, its distribution, damage caused by the tick and how to protect against the tick.

How to Install a Package of Honey Bees

By: David Tarpy

A step-by-step instruction and description of how to install and maintain a new colony of honey bees.

Lease Considerations for Landowners and Farmers

By: Robert Andrew Branan Farm Law for Operators and Landowners

This publication covers the basics of leasing land for farming operations, from both a landowner and tenant perspective.

Calibrating a Backpack Sprayer

By: Gary Roberson

This brochure goes over calibration guidelines for backpack or knapsack sprayers.

The North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide

By: Barclay Poling, Sara Spayd

The grape and wine industry in North Carolina is now worth in excess of $30 million dollars. To assist North Carolina growers in the production a quality grapes for quality wines, a newly revised 196 page guide has been written for winegrape growers, called the North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide. This publication provides grape growers with practical information about choosing an appropriate site for a vineyard, establishment, and operation of commercial vineyards in North Carolina.

The Last Will and Testament: A Primer

By: Robert Andrew Branan Farm Law for Operators and Landowners

This short article provides a basic overview of wills, their drafting and utility in disposition of property at death.

Tobacco - Nitrogen (N) Deficiency

By: Matthew Vann, Josh Henry, Paul Cockson, Brian Whipker Tobacco Nutrient Information

By far, nitrogen (N) is the most widely applied nutrient for plant growth. It should come as no surprise, that symptoms of nitrogen deficiency readily develop with tobacco plants.

Riparian Buffers and Controlled Drainage to Reduce Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution

By: Deanna Osmond

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.

Sludge Survey Methods for Anaerobic Lagoons

By: Mahmoud Sharara

This publication for lagoon managers and operators describes how to carry out a sludge survey and discusses sludge depth measurement, volume determination, and nutrient sampling. It draws upon and supplements the information in another publication on sludge management in anaerobic lagoons: Sludge Management and Closure Procedures for Anaerobic Lagoons (AG-604).

Liability for Injury from Livestock

By: Robert Andrew Branan Farm Law for Operators and Landowners

This publication provides farmers or landowners with an overview of rules of liability for any injuries or property damage caused by livestock, whether on the farm or loose outside the property. It covers North Carolina fence law, impoundment of loose livestock, off-farm injury from loose livestock, injury by livestock on the farm, "visitor liability defense” statutes, and animal injury to trespassers.

Let’s Work Together in Addressing Environmental and Societal Issues: Guide to Engaging Stakeholders and Communities

By: Khara Grieger, Madison Horgan, Ashton Merck

This publication is a guide for researchers, scholars, extension agents, government officials, and others interested in engaging stakeholders and community members to identify and address potential environmental and societal issues.

Let’s Talk About Risk: A Guide to Identifying, Assessing, Managing, and Communicating Risk

By: Khara Grieger, Madison Horgan, Christopher Cummings

This publication outlines and describes core concepts of risk that are used in various environmental, health, and societal circumstances. It covers the following topics: defining risks, identifying and assessing risks, managing risks, and communicating risks.

Ethanol and Two-Stroke Cycle Engines: Impacts of an Alternative Fuel in Small Engines

By: Matthew Veal

Because ethanol has different combustion characteristics than gasoline, some people suggest it will cause harm to two-stroke engines found in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), lawn and garden equipment, and marine engines. Two-stroke engines require an oil and gas mixture for a fuel source, and the oil and gas are mixed in a ratio specified by the engine manufacturer. Fortunately, the concern with ethanol blended fuels is primarily associated with older engines. The majority of engine manufacturers have now designed their engines to run on E-10 blends (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline), but some precautions still remain. This bulletin will discuss the reasoning behind these precautions and why owners of some equipment powered by two-stroke engines may have concerns.

Handling and Cleaning Up Damaged Pesticide Containers at Home

By: Michael Waldvogel, Sarah Kirby Disaster Recovery

This publication offers guidelines if a recent storm results in water damage to pesticide containers or application equipment in your home or on your property.

Liability Defenses for Injury of Farm Visitors

By: Robert Andrew Branan Farm Law for Operators and Landowners

This factsheet provides an overview of a farmer or landowner’s obligations to visitors — invited and otherwise — to the property, including a description of each of the visitor liability defense statutes.

Good Soil Management Helps Protect Groundwater

By: Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

This publication discusses best practices management to prevent agricultural activities from contaminating groundwater. It covers the role of soil on the quality of groundwater, soil characteristics, characteristics of potential pollutants and management practices such as nitrogen and pesticide management.

Health and Safety Impacts of Solar Photovoltaics

By: George Flowers, Tommy Cleveland

This paper addresses the potential health and safety impacts of solar photovoltaic development in North Carolina, organized into the following four categories: (1) Hazardous Materials; (2) Electromagnetic Fields (EMF); (3) Electric Shock and Arc Flash; (4) Fire Safety.

Improving Storage and Handling of Pesticides

By: Rich McLaughlin Farm*A*Syst

This question and answer worksheet for farmers explains best management practices for pesticide storage and containment. Topics covered include proper storage techniques, pesticide mobility, pesticide mixing sites, following pesticide label instructions, disposal of pesticide containers and how to handle an accidental pesticide spill.

Pesticide Use and Safety Information

By: Wayne Buhler

This publication describes restricted-use pesticides, the safe use of pesticides and evaluating the potential for groundwater contamination.

The H-2A Visa Program in North Carolina

By: Alejandro Gutierrez-Li, Ph.D.

This factsheet shares some statistics about the H-2A visa program in North Carolina.

Soil Fertility on Organic Farms

By: Keith Baldwin CEFS

Throughout this manual we have discussed how organic farmers strive to build healthy soil in order to create the best possible environment for plant growth. A healthy soil is primarily defined by its fertility, which in turn depends largely on the interactions of its physical, chemical, and biological properties.

Stationary Sprinkler Irrigation System

By: Robert Evans, Ronald E. Sneed, Ron E. Sheffield, Jonathan Smith Irrigated Acreage Determination Procedures for Wastewater Application Equipment

This publication contains step-by-step guidelines for determining irrigated acreage of stationary sprinkler irrigation systems.

North Carolina Women’s Success in Agritourism: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

By: Mirza Farzana Halim, Carla Barbieri, Susan Jakes, Duarte Morais

This publication presents the results of interviews with women in agritourism across North Carolina. It discusses the successes, challenges, and opportunities these women face in the agritourism industry and offers conclusions on strategies to overcome challenges and improve success.

Improving Lawn Care and Gardening

By: Luke Gatiboni, Deanna Osmond, 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.

Avoiding Tobacco Curing Losses Due to Electrical Failures

Disaster Recovery

This publication for tobacco growers describes steps that can be taken to avoid or minimize tobacco curing losses due to an electrical outage.

How to Send Specimens for Disease, Insect, and Weed Identification

By: Matt Bertone

This publication explains how and where to send specimens for disease, insect and weed identification.

Working Safely: Ergonomic Issues in Christmas Tree Harvest

By: Jeff Owen Christmas Tree Notes

This publication discusses ergonomic practices that can be implemented during Christmas tree harvests to reduce and avoid typical injuries.

Fire-Resistant Landscaping in North Carolina

By: Laurel Kays, Jennifer Fawcett, Justin Query, Hannah Thompson-Welch, Robert Bardon

If you live in a home or community that may be vulnerable to wildfires, this publication will teach you how to create and maintain a fire-resistant landscape and reduce your risk of damage from a wildfire while achieving other landscape objectives.

Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Production

By: Matthew Veal, Mari S. Chinn, Larry Stikeleather, Matthew B. Whitfield

This factsheet describes how to process mature sweet sorghum into ethanol and how this process could be implemented on a farm or private residence in the southeastern United States.

Chemical Application Equipment

By: Gary Roberson, Jason Ward

This publication covers cleaning and calibrating chemical application equipment, such as dusters, spreaders and sprayers.

Animal Damage Control

By: C.S. DePerno

This publication explains control measures that can be taken due to animal damage of crops.

Freehand (dimethenamid-p + pendimethalin)

Herbicide Information Factsheets

This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Freehand (dimethenamid-p + pendimethalin).

Cover Crops for Organic Farms

By: Keith Baldwin CEFS

Cover crops are pivotal parts of every organic farmer’s management scheme. They are crucial to the main goals of building soil health and preventing soil erosion. Cover crops are also important tools for increasing fertility and controlling weeds, pathogens, and insects in organic crops. In this publication, we will discuss planting, growing, and incorporating cover crops as amendments into the soil.

Precision Agriculture Technology: How to Become a Commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Pilot

By: Gary Roberson

This publication discusses flying unmanned aerial vehicles (drones, model aircraft) for commercial purposes. You'll learn about the requirements becoming a commercial UAV pilot and how to obtain a remote pilot certificate.

Soil Quality Considerations for Organic Farmers

By: Keith Baldwin CEFS

In our drive to meet the food and fiber needs of ever-increasing populations, we are taxing the resilience of the planet’s natural resources. This fevered quest to pursue ever-increasing crop yields has had devastating impacts: widespread soil erosion, atmospheric pollution, over- grazed forage areas, over-cultivated fields, salinated water supplies, cleared land that is unsuitable for crops, and desertification —the loss of agricultural land to desert. The serious degradation of our soil resources has motivated some researchers and farmers to investigate management systems that are less input-intensive and generally more sustainable.

Controlling Damage in Pesticide Storage Facilities on the Farm

By: Sarah Kirby, Michael Waldvogel Disaster Recovery

This publication for farmers covers the guidelines to deal with pesticide storage facilities that may have been damaged by a flood or other disaster.

Load-Area Method Spreader System

By: Robert Evans, J.C. Barker, David Crouse Field Calibration Procedures for Semi-Solid Animal Waste Application Equipment

This publication explains the load-area method, one of the two methods in which semi-solid animal waste applicators can be calibrated. Proper calibration is required by law.

Should You Have Your Water Tested?

By: Greg Jennings, Ronald E. Sneed

Most water in North Carolina is suitable for drinking and other home uses. There are, however, circumstances which can lead to contamination of water supplies. The question of whether or not to test your water is a serious one which concerns the health of you and your family. The purpose of this factsheet is to give you general guidelines to follow when deciding to test your home water quality.


This publication lists abbreviations used in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.

Hard Hose Traveler Irrigation System

By: Robert Evans, Ronald E. Sneed, Jonathan Smith, Ron Sheffield Irrigated Acreage Determination Procedures for Wastewater Application Equipment

This publication contains step-by-step guidelines for determining irrigated acreage for hard hose traveler irrigation systems are presented. Proper calibration helps protect the environment and is required by law.

Purchasing a Back-Up Generator for the Farm

By: Grant Ellington Disaster Preparedness

This publication contains important information and safety tips regarding gasoline-powered generators to be used in an emergency or disaster.

Recordkeeping Form for the USDA Restricted-Use Pesticides Regulation and the Worker Protection Standard

By: Wayne Buhler, Issac Lewis

Use this form to maintain records of pesticide applications in compliance with the USDA Restricted-Use Pesticides Regulations and the Worker Protection Standard. Records of all pesticide applications must be maintained for at least 2 years. This form is available online in three versions: Adobe PDF, RTF (for word processing programs), and Microsoft Excel.

Maintenance and Off-Season Storage of Irrigation Equipment

By: Ron Sheffield

This publication offers information on how to perform maintenance on irrigation equipment and store it during the off-season. Prepared by: Ron Sheffield Animal Waste Extension Specialist Bio. & Ag. Engineering please contact Garry Grabow

Protecting People and the Environment When Using Pesticides

By: Catherine LePrevost, Clyde Sorenson

This publication, chapter 11 of the 2024 Flue-Cured Tobacco Information handbook, describes some measures that tobacco producers and professional applicators can take to minimize the threat to people and water quality and reduce pesticide exposure to humans and wildlife.

Poultry Farm Biosecurity Field Manual / Manual de campo para la bioseguridad de granjas avícolas

By: Abel Gernat

This pocket-size bilingual field manual in English and Spanish summarizes recommended practices to prevent disease organisms from entering a poultry farm. Covered topics include limiting visitors, recommended sanitary practices, disinfectants and training for employees. The guide also includes a bilingual dictionary of words and phrases used often on poultry farms.

Road Map to the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

By: Wayne Buhler, Carmina Hanson, Tom Bowman, Gwen Minton

This publication provides a simplified tool that can quickly guide farm managers, handlers, workers, and family farmers in understanding compliance with the Worker Protection Standard.

Questions to Ask When Purchasing Water Treatment Equipment

By: Greg Jennings, Ronald E. Sneed

The home water treatment industry has expanded tremendously in recent years. New products are constantly being introduced which claim to solve a variety of water quality problems. Consumers often make costly decisions about water treatment equipment without being well-informed. Many people simply do not know what questions to ask to ensure wise investments. This fact sheet offers the 12 questions consumers should ask of water treatment manufacturers or distributors.

Weight-Area Method Spreader System

By: Robert Evans, J.C. Barker, David Crouse Field Calibration Procedures for Solid and Semi-Solid Animal Waste Application Equipment

This publication explains the weight-area method, one of the two methods in which solid or semi-solid applicators can be calibrated. Proper calibration is required by law.

Using Planted Habitat on Farms To Increase Insect Biological Control

By: David Orr, Michael Linker, Lisa Forehand CEFS Field Notes for Farmers

This special topic has three components: Part 1. Using Beneficial Insect Habitat on the Farm: An Introduction; Part 2. Evaluating the Quality of Commercial Beneficial Insect Habitat; Part 3. Beneficial Insects Attracted to Planted Habitat: Do They Contribute to Pest Insect Control?

Your Water Supply: Well Construction and Protection

By: R. L. Huffman, Dorothy Miner

This guide describes common types of well construction in North Carolina and offers advice for safely constructing and caring for a well.

Hard Hose and Cable Tow Traveler Irrigation Systems

By: Robert Evans, J.C. Barker, Jonathan Smith, R.E. Sheffield Field Calibration Procedures for Animal Wastewater Irrigation Equipment

This publication contains step-by-step guidelines for field calibration of hard hose and cable tow irrigation systems. Proper calibration is required by law.

Stormwater Management for Coastal Homeowners

By: Bill Hunt, Gloria Putnam, Lin Xu, Grace R. Lawrence Coast*A*Syst

This question and answer worksheet will help coastal homeowners focus on potential problems with the pollution and health risks of water protection practices and the effects on water sources from stormwater management. Car/truck wastes, yard/garden wastes, animal wastes, rain gardens and rainwater runoff are covered.

Hose-Drag Wastewater Equipment

By: Garry Grabow, Karl Shaffer, Sanjay Shah Field Calibration Procedures for Animal Wastewater Irrigation Equipment

Hose-drag-type equipment has gained popularity in recent years for land application of wastewater in North Carolina. It offers several advantages over traditional irrigation systems including odor reduction, nitrogen conservation, and a relatively high flow rate that cuts the application time. This publication explains calibration procedures for the “low-profile-type” discharge system and a “boom-type” system.

Stationary and Traveling Irrigation Systems

By: Garry Grabow, Robert Evans Calibration and Uniformity Assessment for Animal Wastewater Application Equipment

This publication explains calibration procedures for stationary and hard-hose traveler irrigation systems and how to determine acceptable application uniformity for the systems as established by the ninth and latest edition of the SB 1217 document (North Carolina 1217 Interagency Group, 2009). It does not invalidate the procedures (commonly referred to as the “catch can” method) described in AG-553-1 and AG-553-2 if operators want to use those for uniformity assessment. However, AG 553-1 and AG 553-2 do not fulfill the flow measurement calibration requirements currently established by the ninth edition of the SB 1217 document.

Center Pivot and Linear Move Irrigation System

By: Robert Evans, J.C. Barker, Jonathan Smith, R.E. Sheffield Field Calibration Procedures for Animal Wastewater Irrigation Equipment

This publication contains step-by-step guidelines for field calibration of center pivot and linear move irrigation systems. Proper calibration is required by law.

Nitrate in Drinking Water

By: Greg Jennings, Ronald E. Sneed

This factsheet explains the problems related to nitrate in drinking water and how to prevent it from affecting your water supply.

Good Agricultural Practices Fresh Produce Safety Plan for Field Practices

By: Diane Ducharme

This document was developed in workshops with North Carolina growers to provide a framework for them to develop their own food safety plans. Each grower's conditions are different. Some may find that th eplan does not adequately address their specific conditions. In those cases, the plan will need to be supplemented.

Agricultural Machinery Maintenance

By: Gary Roberson

This publication describes the major systems used in farm equipment and outlines basic maintenance procedures that equipment operators can use to enhance performance and efficiency.

Wildland Fire Programming for Extension and Outreach Professionals

By: Laurel Kays, Jennifer Fawcett

This publication serves as a resource for Extension and other outreach professionals who plan wildland fire programs in their communities. It provides practical information and considerations for program formats and resources for program planning.

Stationary Sprinkler Irrigation System

By: Robert Evans, J.C. Barker, Jonathan Smith, R.E. Sheffield Field Calibration Procedures for Animal Wastewater Irrigation Equipment

This publication contains step-by-step guidelines for field calibration of stationary sprinkler irrigation systems. Proper calibration is required by law.

Mapa de la Ley de Protección al Trabajador para Pesticidias Agrícolas

By: Wayne Buhler, Carmina Hanson, Tom Bowman, Gwen Minton

Este mapa presenta la ruta más rápida para satisfacer la Ley de Protección al Trabajador sin complicaciones. Esta es una herramienta de descripción general simplificada para orientar rápidamente a los ger-entes de fincas, manipuladores, trabajadores y agricultores familiares en la dirección correcta.

Reconditioning Flood-Damaged Farm Equipment

By: Gary Roberson Disaster Recovery

This publication offers information how to recondition farm equipment that has been submerged in floodwaters.

Reconditioning Flood-Damaged Tractors

By: Gary Roberson Disaster Recovery

This publication offers information on how to clean and recondition tractors that have been submerged in floodwaters.