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Natural Resources & Environmental Quality

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
A Summary of Agricultural Air Quality Perceptions in Virginia Apr 20, 2010 3004-1442
Communicating Climate Change to Agricultural Audiences

The objectives of this publication are (1) to outline
some climate-related challenges facing agriculture,
(2) to address challenges in communicating climate
change issues, and (3) to propose best practices when
attempting to communicate climate change issues to
agricultural stakeholders. Extension educators and
agricultural service providers can use the information
presented here to develop outreach and educational
programs focused on the impacts of climate change,
the effects of climate change on agricultural
production, and the best ways to motivate behavior

Nov 15, 2016 BSE-203P
Decentralized Small Community Wastewater Collection Systems Jul 10, 2014 BSE-77P
Denitrification Management Mar 27, 2013 BSE-54P
Effectiveness of Temporary Stream Crossing Closure Techniques Forest Operations Research Highlights Aug 8, 2014 ANR-110NP
Factors When Considering an Agricultural Drainage System

Drainage of excess soil water is essential to
sustainable agronomic production on many soils in
the Mid-Atlantic region. Drainage can improve crop
yields, reduce year-to-year yield variability, and
provide trafficable conditions for field operations at
critical times of planting or harvest. Drainage system
design and management can impact crop production
and have environmental consequences. This fact
sheet presents the benefits and potential consequences
of artificially draining agricultural land, the steps
to follow when considering a drainage system, and
some aspects of proper drainage system operation and

Feb 23, 2017 BSE-208P
Guide to Threatened and Endangered Species on Private Lands In Virginia Oct 5, 2010 420-039
Household Water Quality in Floyd County, Virginia

 In March 2013, residents from Floyd County participated in a drinking water testing clinic sponsored by the local Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office and the Virginia Household Water Quality Program. Clinic participants received a confidential water sample analysis and attended educational meetings where they learned how to interpret their water test results and address potential issues. According to survey data collected, 78 samples were tested, serving 172 individuals. 

Aug 29, 2014 BSE-153NP
IMPACT: Virginia Household Water Quality Program

One in five Virginians, or nearly 1.7 million people, rely on private water supplies such as wells, springs, and cisterns for their household water. In the U.S., municipal systems are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which requires routine water testing and treatment. However, people with private water supplies are responsible for all aspects of system management, including water testing, interpreting test results, and addressing problems. 

Jul 23, 2015 BSE-187NP
Manure Management and Environmental Stewardship Apr 1, 2010 442-309
Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture Apr 2, 2014 BSE-105P
Nitrogen and Sulfur Leaching Potential in Virginia Jun 19, 2015 CSES-125NP
Nutrient Management for Small Farms Oct 8, 2010 442-305
On-Site Sewage Treatment Alternatives

The purpose of this publication is to describe on-site technologies for treating domestic sewage where conventional systems (septic tank with drainfield) are not an option (U.S. EPA 2002). These technologies are described as alternatives in this publication. Our goal is to provide information that can be used by property owners and residents to initiate action to rectify sewage disposal problems, especially where current wastewater treatment is inadequate. This document is intended to provide information on alternative wastewater treatment options that will help the reader make informed decisions when dealing with oversight agencies and contractors; it is not intended to serve as a stand-alone reference for design or construction.

Sep 21, 2015 448-407 (CSES-116P)
Poultry and Livestock Manure Storage: Management and Safety Nov 19, 2009 442-308
Powell River Project - Passive Treatment of Acid-Mine Drainage

Acidic mine drainage (AMD; also called “acid rock drainage” or “acid drainage”) is an environmental pollutant that impairs water resources in mining regions throughout the world. Where such treatment is required legally, treatment must be efficient and continual. Treatment methods are commonly divided into either “active,” meaning reliance on the addition of alkaline chemicals to neutralize the acidity, or “passive.” The term “passive treatment” means reliance on biological, geochemical, and gravitational processes. Passive treatment does not require constant care or the chemical reagents that characterize “active” AMD treatment.

Mar 30, 2011 460-133
Powell River Project - Reclamation of Coal Refuse Disposal Areas Oct 21, 2010 460-131
Selection and Location of Poultry and Livestock Manure Storage

If you raise dairy cows, broilers, layers, turkeys, horses, beef cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, or swine for income or a hobby, you will have to deal with the manure they produce. The amount of manure produced by the birds or animals you keep depends on their type, age, size, and diet.

Nov 19, 2009 442-307
The Nutrient Value of Straw Jun 19, 2015 CSES-126NP
Trees and Water Jul 30, 2012 ANR-18NP
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Household Wastewater Treatment and Septic Systems

Household wastewater contains some contaminants that degrade water quality for such uses as drinking, stock watering, food preparation and cleaning. Potential contaminants in household wastewater include disease-causing bacteria, infectious viruses, household chemicals, and nutrients, such as nitrate. Viruses can infect the liver, causing hepatitis or infect the lining of the intestine, causing gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea). If coliform organisms (a group of indicator bacteria) are found in well water, they show that the water is potentially dangerous for drinking and food preparation. Virtually all farmsteads use a septic system or similar on-site wastewater treatment system.

May 1, 2009 442-903
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Livestock Manure Storage and Treatment Facilities

Storage of livestock wastes involves accumulating manure and wastewater in an environmentally sound manner until they can be applied to land or otherwise utilized. Manure storage facilities allow farmers to spread manure when conditions are right for nutrient use by crops. Storing manure in a concentrated area, however, increases risk to the environment and to human and animal health. Fecal bacteria in livestock waste can contaminate groundwater, causing such infectious diseases as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis.

May 1, 2009 442-909
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Livestock and Poultry Yard Management
Livestock and poultry yards, such as barnyards, holding areas and feedlots, and areas around production buildings are areas of concentrated animal wastes. They can be a source of nitrate and bacteria contamination of groundwater. This is especially true if there is no system to 1) divert clean water flow from the livestock/poultry yard, 2) drain surface water away from wells or springs, or 3) collect polluted runoff from the yard for diversion to an area where its effect on surface water or groundwater is minimal. The potential for livestock and poultry operations to affect groundwater is greatest if the facility or area of animal concentration is located on karst terrain or over sandy-textured permeable soils, or when the water table is at or near the surface, bedrock is within a few feet of the surface, or polluted runoff is discharged to permeable soils and bedrock.
May 1, 2009 442-908
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Management of Irrigation Systems

More than 40% of Virginia's population depends on wells or springs as a source of drinking water and this dependence is close to 100% in rural areas. Furthermore, approximately one-fourth of all Virginia households rely on an individual water supply system, such as a backyard well or spring Figure 1. Wells and springs should be designed and managed to provide clean water. If improperly constructed or maintained, however, they can allow bacteria, pesticides, fertilizers or petroleum products to contaminate groundwater. These contaminants can put human and animal health at risk.

May 1, 2009 442-902
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Milking Center Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater from the dairy milking center includes wastes from the milking parlor (manure, feed solids, hoof dirt) and milk house (bulk tank rinse water and detergent used in cleaning). The amount of wastewater generated varies with milking preparation, equipment use, and the number of cows. A milking center for a 100-cow free-stall operation may use anywhere from 100 to 1000 gallons of water per day, and sometimes more.

May 1, 2009 442-911
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Poultry Litter Management and Carcass Disposal

Nearly all broiler, pullet, and breeder operations grow the birds on concrete, wooden, or earthen floors. A 2-to 6-inch layer of wood shavings, peanut hulls, or other bedding material is used as an absorptive base. The manure and bedding mixture is commonly called litter, and it is removed one or more times a year and replaced with fresh bedding material. Most broiler operations produce 1.1 to 1.4 tons of litter per 1,000 birds. For a flock of 18,000 to 20,000 birds, this amounts to between 22 and 34 tons of litter per flock.

May 1, 2009 442-910
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Silage Storage and Management

Silage can be made from corn, grain, or alfalfa, or from canning wastes, such as those resulting from sweet corn processing. The amount of leachate (silage juices) produced varies with the material stored, its moisture and nitrogen content, and handling and storage conditions. Of these, moisture content is the most crucial.

May 1, 2009 442-912
Virginia Farmstead Assessment System: Site Evaluation: Groundwater, Soils, & Geology

In Virginia, groundwater is an important source of private and public water supplies. In fact, in 60 of Virginia's 95 counties, the majority of households obtain water from private wells and springs (see Figure 1). For 38 counties, groundwater is the sole source for public water supplies, and another 16 counties depend on groundwater to obtain more than 50 percent of their water for public supplies. Overall, more than one-third of Virginia's almost 6.4 million residents depend on groundwater. Agriculture, an important part of Virginia's economy, maintains its high productivity, partially by using groundwater. According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates for the year 1990, almost 22 percent of the 36 million gallons of fresh water source used per day for crop irrigation in Virginia was derived from groundwater.

May 1, 2009 442-901
Virginia Master Naturalist, American Naturalists Jun 19, 2015 465-312(ANR-20NP)