Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 50. Virginia Soil And Water Conservation Board
Chapter 85. Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations

4VAC50-85-10. Definitions.

The words and terms used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Application rate" or "nutrient rate" means the quantity of major nutrients, nitrogen as N, phosphorus as P2O5, and potassium as K2O on a per acre basis to supply crop or plant nutrient needs, and to achieve realistic expected crop yields.

"Banding" or "sideband" means the placement of fertilizer approximately two inches to the side and two inches below the seed.

"Best management practice" means a conservation or pollution control practice that manages soil, nutrient losses, or other potential pollutant sources to minimize pollution of water resources, such as split applications of nitrogen, or use of cereal grain cover crops to trap available nitrogen and reduce soil erosion.

"Biosolids" means a sewage sludge that has received an established treatment for required pathogen control and is treated or managed to reduce vector attraction to a satisfactory level and contains acceptable levels of pollutants, such that it is acceptable for use for land application, marketing, or distribution in accordance with 9VAC25-31, Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit Regulation, and 9VAC25-32, Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Permit Regulation, of the State Water Control Board.

"Broadcast" means the uniform application of a material over a field.

"Calibration" means the systematic determination of the operational parameters, such as speed and quantity delivered, of application equipment.

"Cereal crop" or "small grain" means barley, rye, triticale, or wheat.

"Certified nutrient management planner" or "nutrient management planner" or "planner" means a person who holds a current Virginia nutrient management certificate of competence.

"Cool season grass" means grass species of temperate zone origin which exhibit the greatest rates of dry matter production in the day/night temperature range of 60°/50°F to 80°/70°F. Examples of cool season grasses include fescue, bluegrass, and ryegrass.

"Commonwealth" means the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Composted organic nutrient source" means the relatively stable, humus-like product resulting from the controlled aerobic, thermophilic biological decomposition of organic material that bears little physical resemblance to the raw materials from which it originated.

"Cover crop" means a crop including, but not limited to, cereal grains, which is planted following the harvest of the preceding crop for the purpose of:

1. Seasonal protection of soil, or

2. Assimilation of residual soil nitrogen left from a previous crop or from continued mineralization of nitrogen.

"Crop" means cultivated plants or agricultural produce such as grain, silage, forages, oilseeds, vegetables, fruit, nursery stock, or turfgrass.

"Cropland" means land used for the production of grain, oilseeds, silage, industrial crops, and any other category of crop not defined as specialty crop, hay, or pasture.

"Crop nutrient needs" means the primary nutrient requirements of a crop determined as pounds per acre or pounds per 1,000 square feet of nitrogen as N, phosphorus as P2O5, and potassium as K2O required to support crop growth for production of an expected crop yield based upon soil analysis results as specified in Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria, revised July 2014, or Virginia Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations for 2005.

"Crop nutrient removal" means the amount of nutrients per acre expected to be taken up by a plant and removed from the site in the harvested portion at the expected yield level, generally expressed as tons per acre or bushels per acre, at rates specified in Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria, revised July 2014.

"Crop rotation" means one complete sequence of one or more crops grown in succession that may assist in minimizing disease, insects and weeds. For permanent hay, pasture, or a single crop planted continuously, the crop rotation is defined as the life of the nutrient management plan.

"Department" means the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"Double crop" means the production and harvesting of two crops in succession within a consecutive 12-month growing season.

"Dry manure" or "semisolid manure" means manure containing less than 85.5% moisture.

"Environmentally sensitive site" means any field which is particularly susceptible to nutrient loss to groundwater or surface water since it contains or drains to areas which contain sinkholes, or where at least 33% of the area in a specific field contains one or any combination of the following features:

1. Soils with high potential for leaching based on soil texture or excessive drainage;

2. Shallow soils less than 41 inches deep likely to be located over fractured or limestone bedrock;

3. Subsurface tile drains;

4. Soils with high potential for subsurface lateral flow based on soil texture and poor drainage;

5. Floodplains as identified by soils prone to frequent flooding in county soil surveys; or

6. Lands with slopes greater than 15%.

"Expected crop yield" means a realistic crop yield for a given farm field determined by using yield records or soil productivity information.

"Fertilizer" means any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply certain nutrients essential to plant growth.

"Field" means a unit of contiguous nonwooded land generally used for crop production that is separated by permanent boundaries, such as fences, permanent waterways, woodlands, croplines not subject to change because of farming practices, and other similar features or as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

"Field identification number" means a number used by a farmer (or the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency) to distinguish or identify the location of a field on a farm.

"Grid soil sampling" means a process whereby farm fields or other areas are subdivided into smaller areas or squares for the purpose of obtaining more detailed soil analysis results.

"Groundwater" means any water beneath the land surface in a water saturated layer of soil or rock.

"Hay" means a grass, legume, or other plants, such as clover or alfalfa, which is cut and dried for feed, bedding, or mulch.

"Hydrologic soil group" means a classification of soils into one of four groups, A, B, C, or D, according to their hydrologic properties, ranging from low runoff potential (high infiltration potential) in group A to high runoff potential (low infiltration potential) in group D.

"Incorporation" means the process whereby materials are mixed into soils and not exposed on the soil surface, such as would be achieved by disking one time to a depth of six inches.

"Industrial waste" means liquid or other waste resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade or business, or from the development of any natural resources.

"Irrigation" means the application of water to land to assist in crop growth.

"Irrigation scheduling" means the time and amount of irrigation water to be applied to an area for optimum crop growth and to minimize leaching and runoff.

"Leaching" means the movement of soluble material, such as nitrate, in solution through the soil profile by means of percolation.

"Legume" means a plant capable of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere such as peas, soybeans, peanuts, clovers, and alfalfas.

"Legume nitrogen credit" means the amount of nitrogen a legume is expected to supply to a succeeding crop.

"Liming" means the application of materials containing the carbonates, oxides, or hydroxides of calcium or magnesium in a condition and in a quantity suitable for neutralizing soil acidity.

"Liquid manure" means manure containing at least 85.5% moisture or which can be applied through subsurface injection or surface application with liquid application equipment.

"Livestock" means domesticated animals such as cattle, chickens, turkeys, hogs, and horses raised for home use or for profit.

"Manure" or "animal waste" means animal fecal and urinary excretions and waste byproducts, which may include spilled feed, bedding litter, soil, lactase, process wastewater, and runoff water from animal confinement areas.

"Mehlich I" means the North Carolina Double-Acid soil analysis procedure to determine extractable levels of certain nutrients in soils as described in Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3, Chemical Methods, 1996.

"Mehlich III" or "Mehlich 3" means a modified version of the Mehlich I method used to determine extractable levels of certain nutrients in soils as described in Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3, Chemical Methods, 1996 and in Reference Soil and Media Diagnostic Procedures for the Southern Region of the United States, Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 374.

"Micronutrient" means a nutrient necessary only in extremely small amounts for plant growth.

"Mineralization" means the process when plant unavailable organic forms of nutrients are converted to a plant available inorganic state as a result of soil microbial decomposition.

"No-till" means the soil is left undisturbed from the time of harvest or the killing of the preceding crop or cover crop until and including the time of planting of the current crop except for strips up to 1/3 of the row width that are disturbed by coulters or disk openers during the planting operation.

"NRCS" means the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, formerly the Soil Conservation Service (SCS).

"Nutrient" means an element or compound essential as raw materials for plant growth and development such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

"Nutrient content" means the percentage of any primary nutrients such as nitrogen as N, phosphorus as P2O5, and potassium as K2O contained in any type or source of plant nutrients.

"Nutrient management plan" or "plan" means a plan prepared by a Virginia certified nutrient management planner to manage the amount, placement, timing, and application of manure, fertilizer, biosolids, or other materials containing plant nutrients in order to reduce nutrient loss to the environment and to produce crops.

"Nutrient Management Training and Certification Fund" means the fund established by § 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia to support the department's Nutrient Management Training and Certification Program.

"Organic nutrient source" or "organic source" means manure, biosolids, sludge, industrial waste, green manure, compost, or other plant or animal residues which contain plant nutrients.

"Organic residuals" means nutrients released over time from manure, biosolids, industrial wastes, legumes, or other organic sources of nutrients.

"Pasture" means land which supports the grazing of animals for forages.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, a governmental body and its subordinate units, a municipal corporation or any other legal entity.

"Phosphorus index" means the Virginia Phosphorus Index Version 2.0 Technical Guide, revised October 2005.

"Phosphorus saturation level" means the ratio of phosphorus to aluminum plus iron (P/(Al+Fe)) in a soil using the Acid Ammonium Oxalate in Darkness method described in Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3, Chemical Methods, 1996 (pp. 649-650) or estimated with another extraction procedure correlated to the Acid Ammonium Oxalate in Darkness method and approved by the department.

"Plant available nutrients" means the portion of nutrients contained in nutrient sources which is expected to be available for potential use by plants during the growing season or the crop rotation.

"Pre-sidedress nitrate test" or "PSNT" means a procedure used to determine soil nitrate-nitrogen levels at a specific time during a corn crop growing season.

"Primary nutrients" means nitrogen as N, phosphorus as P2O5, and potassium as K2O.

"Residual nutrients" means the level of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium remaining or available in the soil from previously applied nutrient sources, or unharvested plants or plant parts, or naturally occurring nutrient levels in the soil.

"Runoff" means that part of precipitation, snow melt, or irrigation water that runs off the land into streams or other surface water which can carry pollutants from the land.

"RUSLE2" means the USDA—NRCS Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation Version 2 software package.

"Secondary nutrient" means calcium, magnesium, or sulfur.

"Sewage sludge" or "sludge" means any solid, semisolid, or liquid residues which contain materials removed from municipal or domestic wastewater during treatment including primary and secondary residues. Other residuals or solid wastes consisting of materials collected and removed by sewage treatment, septage, and portable toilet wastes are also included in this definition. Liquid sludge contains less than 15% dry residue by weight or can be applied through subsurface injection or surface application with liquid application equipment. Dewatered sludge contains 15% or more dry residue by weight.

"Shall" means a mandatory requirement.

"Should" means a recommendation.

"Sidedress" means the placement of fertilizer beside or between the rows of a crop after crop emergence.

"Sinkhole" means a depression in the earth's surface caused by dissolving of underlying limestone, salt, or gypsum having drainage patterns through underground channels.

"Slope" means the degree of deviation of a surface from horizontal, measured as a percentage, as a numerical ratio, or in degrees.

"Slowly available nitrogen" means nitrogen sources that have delayed plant availability involving compounds which dissolve slowly, materials that must be microbially decomposed, or soluble compounds coated with substances highly impermeable to water such as polymer coated products, methylene urea, isobutylidene diurea (IBDU), urea formaldehyde based (UF), sulfur coated urea, and natural organics.

"Soil erosion" or "erosion" or "soil loss" means the wearing away of the land surface by water, wind, or waves.

"Soil management group" means a grouping of soils based on their similarity in profile characteristics which affect crop production and require specific soil and crop management practices.

"Soil pH level" means the negative logarithm of the hydrogen-ion activity of a soil which measures the relative acidity or alkalinity of the soil. The pH level affects the availability and plant utilization of nutrients.

"Soil productivity group" means a grouping of soils based upon expected yield levels for a given crop type.

"Soil series" means a classification of a specific soil type by name based on the morphological, chemical and physical properties of the soil.

"Soil survey" means a published or electronically available document developed by a governmental entity using the standards and protocols of the National Cooperative Soil Survey that includes detailed descriptions and classifications of soils, mapping of various soil series, and the interpretation of soils according to their adaptability for various crops and trees.

"Specialty crop" means vegetables, tree crops, perennial vine crops, ornamentals, horticultural crops, and other similar crops.

"Split application" means utilizing a sequence of two or more nutrient applications, separated by approximately three weeks or more, to a single crop in order to improve nutrient uptake efficiency.

"Surface water" means all water whose surface is exposed to the atmosphere.

"Tilled" means soil is disturbed between the time of harvest of the preceding crop through the time of planting of the current crop in that greater than 1/3 of the row width is disturbed by tillage implements such as moldboard plows, chisel plows, subsoilers, disks, field cultivators, roto-tillers, coulters or disk openers.

"Tillering" means the formation of lateral shoots from the axillary buds of small grains and grasses.

"Tissue test" means an analysis of crop tissue for the percentage of nitrogen at key growth stages, and used as an intensive nutrient management technique with small grain crops.

"Topdress" means broadcast applications of fertilizer on crops such as small grains or forage after crop emergence has occurred.

"Trap crop" means a timely planted cereal crop for the purposes of capturing residual soil nitrogen and nitrogen that is released during the decomposition of manure or biosolids in order to manage limited manure or sewage sludge storage availability.

"Turfgrass" means selected grass species planted or sodded and managed for such uses as home lawns, golf courses, office parks and rights-of-way.

"Volatilization" means a process by which nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere as ammonia gas.

"Warm season grass" means a grass species of tropical origin that exhibits the highest rate of dry matter production in the day/night temperature range of 90°/79°F at a minimum to a maximum of 97°/88°F. Examples of warm season grasses include zoysia and bermuda grasses.

"Water insoluble nitrogen" or "WIN" means the amount of a type of slowly available nitrogen listed on fertilizer bags and reported as a percentage.

"Watershed" means a drainage area or basin in which all land and water areas drain or flow toward a central collector such as a stream, river, or lake at a lower elevation.

"Watershed code" means the letter and number used by the department to identify a watershed or hydrologic unit area.

"Zadoks' growth stage" means the numerical scale ranging from 0-93 which assigns values to small grain growth stages, e.g. Growth Stage 30 is just prior to the stem elongation phase in wheat growth.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC5-15-10, derived from VR217-03-00 § 1, eff. January 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 7, eff. January 11, 2006; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. February 26, 2014; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 3, eff. November 20, 2014.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.