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NC State Extension

Water

Water used for irrigation needs to be plentiful year round, clean and free of sediment, and be high quality in terms of nutrients and pathogens present.

Resources

Smart Farms Website SCRI-Minds – Managing Irrigation and Nutrition via Distributed Sensing. A tremendous collaboration of research and extension faculty, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders that focuses on sensing water in the nursery production system and using that information for decision making.Green Industry Knowledge Center Contains separate training modules for many facets of nursery production and best management practices. It is a must-visit for new county extension agents

Water Education Alliance and Cleanwater3 have teamed up to bring a comprehensive site that contains education, webinars, reading, and references for water used during production of ornamental crops.

Source Water Quantity

Technical Publications

  • Fulcher et al. 2016. The Next Ten Years: Strategic Vision of Water Resources for Nursery Producers. HortTechnology. The Next Ten Years: Strategic Vision of Water Resources for Nursery Producers. A collaboration between Amy Fulcher, Anthony V. LeBude, James S. Owen, Jr., Sarah A. White, and Richard C. Beeson to predict water use, quantity, quality, and policy legislation for nursery crops for the next ten years.
  • Beeson et al. 2004. Strategic vision of container nursery irrigation in the next ten years. A collaboration between water scientists and growers to predict future water use and define strategies to improve its use efficiency. Beeson, R.C., M.A. Arnold, T.E. Bilderback, B. Bolusky, S. Chandler, H.M. Gramling, J.D. Lea-Cox, J.R. Harris, P.J. Klinger, H.M. Mathers, J.M. Ruter, and T.H. Yeager. J. Environ. Hort. 22(2): 113-1 15. June 2004.
  • North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. North Carolina Agriculture Water Use 2014. Great resource to learn data about Ag-specific use of water in North Carolina.
  • Maupin et al. 2010. Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2010. Great information that compares where water is withdrawn from (surface or ground) and from which section of the country. By Molly A. Maupin, Joan F. Kenny, Susan S. Hutson, John K. Lovelace, Nancy L. Barber, and Kristin S. Linsey, 2010, Estimated use of water in the United States in 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1405, 64 p.

Extension Publications

General References

  • Fulcher et al. 2016. Are we learning from the past? Nursery Management.
    Predicts water use, quantity and quality for nursery production in the next 10 years. Published in Nursery Management 2016. Written by Fulcher, Lebude, Owen, White and Beeson.
  • Myszewski et al. 2005. A comparison of groundwater laws and regulations from southeastern [U.S.] states. Easily grasps the complexity of laws across the southeast US and highlights permitting in some states. Myszewski, M., D.R. Christy, and J.E. Kundell. Carl Vinson Institute of Government U. Georgia (2005).
  • NC Drought Bill (2008). Current information about the state of drought in North Carolina, as well as how provisions from the 2008 NC Drought Bill (SL 2008-143) are being implemented by NCDENR’s Division of Water Resources. Go to http://www.ncwater.org/drought/
  • NC General Statutes for use of Reclaimed Water. Provides the primary uses and guidelines for RCW use in NC, If legalese is your game, the language in this document will surely keep you interested. Otherwise read some of the other references about reclaimed water use,

Water level low in late summer Water level low in late summer
Water level low Water level low
Surface water levels slightly low Surface water levels slightly low
Runoff and retention ponds used for irrigation Runoff and retention ponds used for irrigation
Utilizing natural bodies of water for irrigation Utilizing natural bodies of water for irrigation

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Source Water Quality

Technical Publications

  • 2014 NC Water Quality Assessment for 305(b)Everything you need to know about how the state assesses water quality and where impaired waterways are located. Contains information about the state’s water pollution control program, water quality assessment, and ground water protection program. NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality.
  • NCDNR. 2007. Redbook of surface water and wetland standardsA dense thicket of regulations that provides actual maximum values allowed for most pollutants in effluent. Required reading for insomniacs. NC DENR – DIVISION OF WATER QUALITY “REDBOOK” SURFACE WATERS AND WETLANDS STANDARDS NC ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 15A NCAC 02B .0100, .0200 & .0300.

Extension Publications

  • Bailey et al 1999. Water Considerations for Container Production of Plants. Water quality and quantity issues are extremely important in container production of plants. The following article addresses both quality and quantity issues for greenhouse and nursery production from a best management practices view.
  • Bilderback. Water quality problems and solutions. Dr. Bilderback offers examples of challenges along with their solutions in this annotated power point as pdf.
  • Bilderback. Water you thinking? Dr. Bilderback reprises some concepts from his articles and lectures about the main challenges to water quality in nursery production in this annotated power point as pdf. NCCES.

General References

  • Bailey et al. Substrate pH and water quality. Provides a greenhouse approach to water quality but covers many relevant concepts about water quality for nursery production in containers. DA Bailey, PV Nelson, and WC Fonteno. NC State University.
  • Barlow. 2003. Groundwater in fresh water-salt water environments along the Atlantic seaboard. Learn where there might be saltwater intrusion on the east coast and how that might affect nursery production water quality (nurseries not mentioned specifically). Barlow, Paul M. Ground water in fresh water-salt water environments of the Atlantic Coast (Circular ; 1262) (2003).
Desiccation of foliage on river birch from high salts in irrigation water Desiccation of foliage on river birch from high salts in irrigation water
Iron deposits on irrigation heads from water Iron deposits on irrigation heads from water
Iron deposits on foliage of plants Iron deposits on foliage of plants

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Irrigation System Design and Management

Design

Efficiency

Resources

  • Smart Farms Website. SCRI-Minds – Managing Irrigation and Nutrition via Distributed Sensing. A tremendous collaboration of research and extension faculty, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders that focuses on sensing water in the nursery production system and using that information for decision making.
  • Green Industry Knowledge Center. Contains separate training modules for many facets of nursery production and best management practices. It is a must-visit for new county extension agents
Tucor control system and pressure tank Tucor control system and pressure tank
Irrigation from hanging system in overwintering structure Irrigation from hanging system in overwintering structure
Irrigation stake in pots Irrigation stake in pots
Irrigation risers and irrigation lines that can be mobile. Irrigation risers and irrigation lines that can be mobile.
Spray stakes for larger container sizes Spray stakes for larger container sizes
Irrigation head (wobbler 360 degree) Irrigation head (wobbler 360 degree)
Hose reel for field crops Hose reel for field crops
Hose and gun for field crops Hose and gun for field crops

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Filtration and Treatment

Technical Publications

  • Ufer et al. 2008. Filtration to eliminate Phytophthora spp. from recirculating water systems in commercial nurseries. A practical and visionary idea about installing slow sand filters in nurseries to achieve the volume necessary to irrigate overhead. Ufer, T., Werres, S. K., Posner, M., and Wessels, H.-P. 2008. Filtration to eliminate Phytophthora spp. from recirculating water systems in commercial nurseries. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2008-0314-01-RS.
  • Steineninger and Apreja. 1996. ORP sensor response in chlorinated water. Everything you needed to know and which stoichiochemistry created it about using chlorine in water. Compares various Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) sensors and compares various methods to measure chlorine in water.

Extension Publications

  • Zinati, G and Shuai 2005. Management of iron in irrigation water. Comprehensive and nursery focused extension publication from Rutgers about iron in water. Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension, (NJAES), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey FS 516.

General References

Irrigation station Irrigation station that filters water and injects acid for use in drip system irrigation
Injector barrel Injector barrel for injecting acid or other compounds into irrigation water.
Flow Guard drip irrigation mobile sand filter rig Flow Guard drip irrigation mobile sand filter rig
Water meter Water meter
Drip irrigation sand filter priming pump Drip irrigation sand filter priming pump for use with surface water.
Drip irrigation mobile sand filter rig Drip irrigation mobile sand filter rig
Mobile Accutab chlorintation system Mobile Accutab chlorintation system for use with pond water and overhead irrigation
Mobile Accutab chlorintation system Mobile Accutab chlorintation system used for overhead irrigation
Sediment filter and chlorinator on high volume overhead irrigation system Sediment filter and chlorinator on high volume overhead irrigation system
System used to inject nutrients into irrigation system System used to inject nutrients into irrigation system
Series of filters for overhead irrigation Series of filters for overhead irrigation
Sediment filter for overhead irrigation system. Sediment filter for overhead irrigation system.

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Managing Runoff

Technical Publications

Extension Publications

General References

  • Oki and White 2012 Constructed Wetlands. Learn how to remediate pesticides from recycled water and runoff. Two leaders in constructed wetlands highlight the benefits of using the concept on nurseries. NurseryManagementonline.com. 2012. pp. 24-28.
  • Bracmort et al. 2004. Estimating the long-term benefits and costs of BMPs in an agricultural watershed. A cost-benefit analysis was performed on a large watershed management project that installed hundreds of BMPs in the mid-1970s. Water quality improvement for sediment and total phosphorus reduction due to BMP implementation was estimated using off-site benefit estimates, fertilizer nutrient costs and water quality trading values. A great practical paper to introduce cost benefit analysis for BMPs. This is a critical issue in the water management. Bracmort, KS, JG Lee , BA Engel, JR Frankenberger. Paper No: 042174 An ASAE Meeting Presentation.
  • Doll et al. Stream restoration: a natural channel design handbook. Excellent reference on the topic for North Carolina. Provides great review of practices, pictures, efficacy data, and examples.
  • Streambank Soil Bioengineering. Another excellent reference about plant material, decreasing erosion, and stabilizing stream banks. Combined with the stream restoration reference, these references provide a great primer on the subject. Excerpt from the national engineering handbook. Chapter 11 Tech Supp 141.
Two-row production with grass strips between rows Two-row production with grass strips between rows
Swale to capture and filter water before it runs into adjacent stream Swale to capture and filter water before it runs into adjacent (picture right) stream (not shown).
Riparian strip (left of drive) Riparian strip (left of drive) that is 30 feet grass and 20 feet trees (most of strip not shown)
Grassed runoff strips (nursery on right) Grassed runoff strips (nursery on right) that allow water to run broadly over grassed area and not in a ditch.
Nutrients laden runoff from container pad after spring fertilization is captured by grassed strips (light green) Nutrients laden runoff from container pad after spring fertilization is captured by grassed strips (light green)

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