Publications, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)

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  • The VT Plant Disease Clinic (PDC) Annual Report 2023
    (Virginia Tech, 2024)
    This is the 2023 annual report for the Plant Disease Clinic at Virginia Tech. The clinic provides plant disease diagnostic services to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and a variety of clientele.
  • Insect Identification Laboratory Annual Report 2023
    Day, Eric R.; Dellinger, Theresa A. (Virginia Tech, 2024)
    This report summarizes the activity of the Insect Identification Laboratory at Virginia Tech for 2023.
  • 2023 Fall edition of the Clover News
    Morgan, Erin (2023-09-25)
    The fall edition of the Northampton 4-H newsletter
  • 2023 - Buzz, Body, & Bites - June
    Payne, April; Salazar, Aisha; Booker, Kimberly; Prillaman, Susan; Henderson, Jane (2023-06-30)
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Agronomy Handbook 2023
    Abaye, Azenegashe; Bendfeldt, Eric; Brann, Daniel; Evanylo, Gregory; Fike, John; Flessner, Michael; Ferreira, Gonzalo; Galbraith, John; Goatley, James; Hardiman, Thomas; Maguire, Rory; Payne, Kathryn; Reiter, Mark; Singh, Vijay; Thomason, Wade (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2011-12-11)
    Agronomy is a diverse science that focuses on the production of field crops and turfgrass. Specific disciplines that contribute to the successful production of crops include (but are not limited to) crop and variety or cultivar selection, seed science, soil management, nutrient management, soil ecology, pesticide usage, and postharvest handling of crops. This publication is intended to serve as a source of agronomic information to assist farmers and producers as well as students pursuing basic knowledge of agronomic practices. Pesticide and varietal recommendations change frequently and are, therefore, not included. This type of information is published annually in the Virginia Tech Pest Management Guides and commodity specific publications such as the Virginia Corn Hybrid and Management Trials. Contact your local Extension agent for a copy of the latest publication or visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension web page at For specific updates on crop production in Virginia, contact your local Extension agent for the latest information from the Virginia Agricultural Statistics Bulletin or contact the Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service in Richmond, Virginia, directly at (800) 928-5277, or at their website
  • Agronomy Handbook 2023: Part VII. Soil Health Management
    Bendfeldt, Eric (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2023-12-18)
    Farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, and land managers must constantly assess and know their operation, values, and resource concerns in order to balance and achieve their overall objectives. For many people, soil is a starting point and basis for viability, profitability, sustainability, and regenerative agriculture. Soil is a foundational resource to farming, conservation, and health in the 21st century. Interest in the health of a soil and its quality and function as a holistic system has continued to grow among farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and land managers the past 30 years. Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem with integrated chemical, physical, biological, and ecological properties, processes, and boundaries, that sustains plants, animals, and humans (USDA-NRCS 2018; Doran et al. 1994). This publication reviews and discusses why soil health is critical, the characteristics of influence and consideration, the key soil management priorities, and four core soil health principles that should guide and inform different farm and land management practices as within a system.
  • 2023 Beef Producer Update Flyer and Program
    Sponaugle, Kari (2023-04-03)
    I produced the flyer and program agenda for the April Beef Producer Update held in Monterey
  • Apple Blotch Disease
    Borba, Matheus; Aćimović, Srđan G. (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2023-06-14)
  • Full STEAM Ahead
    Alstat, Kathryn (2023-10-11)
    Add some STEAM to your 4-H Programming and achieve a high level of energy and enthusiasm for STEM projects by adding the "A" for Arts and creating STEAM. As youth reach middle school, their enthusiasm in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) decreases, especially with girls by age 15. Over 50% of Americans do not pursue STEM careers because they perceive it to be too difficult. Adding the Art element can add creativity to existing STEM programs, encourage creativity, self expression, and confidence to explore and gain skills while thinking "outside of the box." STEAM programs can engage less confident learners across a variety of venues, economic levels and back grounds—in schools, home school groups and low income afterschool groups. Youth who feel intimidated by science, technology and math can gain new mastery of skills and above all, have fun while learning. These approaches can start with Cloverbuds (ages 5-8) and engage older youth through and beyond middle school
  • Predators for Free-Ranging Poultry
    Jacobs, Leonie (2023-09-28)
  • What Does Citizenship Really Mean Anyway? Extension Leadership Programs that Connect Youth to their Communities
    Bowen, Jennifer; Wallace, Ruth (2023-09-26)
    Citizen leadership enables individuals to advance their communities in positive, meaningful ways. NIFA and National 4-H Council identified citizenship as a 4-H mission mandate area. It is essential for youth to have a sense of connection to their communities and an understanding of their current and future roles in the decision making process. National 4-H Council identifies four core areas of citizenship: civic engagement, service, civic education, and leadership. In a partnership between Community Viability and 4-H, several localities have created innovative youth cohort programs using research based curricula through which young people identify and grow their leadership strengths. Although these programs were tailored for a youth audience, the materials are easily adapted to fit any group interested in learning about citizen leadership. This need for responsible citizenship and all that it encompasses spans all segments of every community.
  • The VT Plant Disease Clinic (PDC) Annual Report 2022
    (Virginia Tech, 2022)
    This is the 2022 annual report for the Plant Disease Clinic at Virginia Tech. The clinic provides plant disease diagnostic services to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and a variety of clientele.
  • Insect Identification Laboratory Annual Report 2022
    (Virginia Tech, 2022)
    This report summarizes the activity of the Insect Identification Laboratory at Virginia Tech for 2022.
  • Virginia Vegetable Specialist Team
    Reiter, Mark; Kuhar, Thomas P.; Lopez, Lorena; Mullins, Chris; Nartea, Theresa; Rideout, Steve; Singh, Vijay; South, Kaylee; Strawn, Laura; Torres Quezada, Emmanuel; Vallotton, Amber; Githinji, Leonard; Higgins, Doug; Zeng, Yuan; Rashed, Arash; Mersha, Zalalem; Gu, Sanjun (2023-03-15)
    Specialists on the Virginia Vegetable Team are committed to assisting growers, regardless of business size, with obtaining the freshest, highest quality, and most efficiently produced vegetables with the idea of safety and economic viability in mind. Please reach out to your local Cooperative Extension agent and/or vegetable team specialist to answer any vegetable related questions important to Virginia growers. Please click on the specialist’s name to be directed to their university’s webpage. The team routinely conducts applied research, presents information to growers and industry, publishes farmer friendly fact sheets, and works towards training Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Extension agents and governmental employees through in-service trainings to ensure information is disseminated to the masses.
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook
    (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2023-03-13)

    Virginia Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook is a guide for all gardeners in Virginia. It covers a variety of topics important for beginning and experienced gardeners, including soil health, native plants, and integrated pest management. This manual provides an understanding of the basics of gardening in Virginia and helps to build a strong foundation of gardening knowledge. Resources for additional reading can be found at the end of each chapter. We encourage readers to take a deeper dive into the topics that interest them and continue their learning journey. How to access this book
    This text is available in multiple formats including PDF, a low-resolution PDF which is faster to download, and ePub. These are linked on the left side of your screen. The book is also available in HTML (Pressbooks).
    Softcover print versions with color interior are now available for purchase.
    Click here to order a print copy. The main landing page for this book is ISBNs
    ISBN (HTML/Pressbooks): 978-1-957213-47-7
    ISBN (PDF): 978-1-957213-48-4
    ISBN (print - color): 978-1-957213-42-2
    Order a print copy
    ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-957213-49-1 Table of contents 1. Botany 2. Soils and Nutrient Management 3. Entomology 4. Plant Pathology 5. Abiotic Stress Effects on Plant Growth and Development 6. Diagnosing Plant Damage 7. Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety 8. Plant Propagation 9. The Vegetable Garden 10. Fruits in the Home Garden 11. Lawns 12. Indoor Plants 13. Woody Landscape Plants 14. Pruning 15. Herbaceous Landscape Plants 16. Landscape Design 17. Water Quality and Conservation 18. Habitat Gardening for Wildlife 19. Virginia Native Plants About Virginia Cooperative Extension
    Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) is the outreach and engagement branch of Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, Virginia’s land-grant universities. Through VCE, Extension agents, specialists, and volunteers work to share knowledge and advance the wellbeing of all Virginians. This handbook serves as the main training text for new Extension Master Gardener volunteers. If you are passionate about horticulture, environmental conservation, or gardening education, we invite you to join us by becoming an Extension Master Gardener. Are you a professor reviewing or adopting this book for a course?
    Instructors adopting or reviewing this text are encouraged to record their use by filling out this form. This helps the book's sponsors to understand this open textbook's impact. Suggested citation
    Virginia Cooperative Extension (2023). Virginia Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook. Blacksburg: Virginia Cooperative Extension. Licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Accessibility statement
    Virginia Tech Publishing is committed to making its publications accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Pressbooks (HTML) and ePub versions of this text are tagged structurally and include alternative text, which allows for machine readability. Report an error
    View errata Acknowledgments
    This version of the Virginia Extension Gardener Handbook was made possible in part by financial and technical support from the Open Education Initiative at the University Libraries. Additional financial support was provided by the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Thank you to contributors and editors of this handbook: - Kathleen Reed (2022 project advisor, editor, and contributor) - Devon Johnson (2022 project manager and image author) - Kindred Grey (2022 image author and Pressbooks formatter) - Stacey Morgan Smith (2022 handbook editor) - Emma Freeborn (2022 alt text and editorial assistance) - Anita Walz and the Virginia Tech Publishing team (2022) - The 2021/22 Handbook Review Team: Barb Wilson, Beth Kirby, Carol King, Courtney Soria, Doug Levin, Elaine Mills, Elizabeth Brown, Fern Campbell, JC Gardner , Jim Revell, Khosro Aminpour, Maraea Harris, Margaret Brown, Meagan Shelley, Melanie Thompson, Michael Cole, Mimi Rosenthal, Nancy Brooks, Nancy Butler, Patricia Lust, Ralph Morini, Sabrina Morelli, Shawn Jadrnicek, Sherry Kern, Stacey Morgan Smith, Susan Dudley, Susan Perry, Wendy Silverman and all other volunteers who contributed. Previous versions: - Dave Close, State Coordinator, VCE Master Gardener Program & Consumer Horticulture Specialist (2015 project advisor) - John Freeborn, Assistant State Coordinator, VCE-MG Program (2015 editor) - Sue Edwards (2015 editorial assistant) - Diane Relf, Retired Extension Specialist, Environmental Horticulture (original compilation, revision, and editing) - Judith Schwab (original compilation, revision, and editing) - Elissa Steeves (original compilation, revision, and editing) - R. Peter Madsen (original compilation, revision, and editing) - Virginia Nathan (original compilation, revision, and editing) Thank you to the many Extension Master Gardener volunteers and agents who have contributed feedback or made suggestions for this handbook over the years. Thanks also to the original contributors, including the Northern Virginia Master Gardeners, the Utah Cooperative Extension Service, and the Georgia Cooperative Service for use of their handbook material and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and N.C. State for the use of their revised and expanded versions of this handbook (circa 2009). According to the 2009 version of this handbook, “material was taken from many Extension publications written in Virginia and other states.” We have worked to identify, rewrite, and attribute this content. The original edition of the Virginia Master Gardener Handbook was printed January 1985. The handbook was revised January 1986, January 1987, July 1990, November 1994, December 1999, July 2009, and December 2015. Disclaimer
    This work may contain components (e.g., illustrations or quotations) not covered by the license. Every effort has been made to clearly identify these components but ultimately it is your responsibility to independently evaluate the copyright status of any work or component part of a work you use, in light of your intended use. Please check the references at the end of each chapter before redistributing.
  • Dairy Pipeline, April 2022
    Swartz, Turner; Petersson-Wolfe, Christina S.; Daubert, Jeremy (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2022-04-30)
    The April 2022 issue includes the articles "Can mastitis during pregnancy affect the next generation?" by Turner Swartz and Christina Petersson-Wolfe, and "Biosecurity on your dairy farm -- Revisted" by Jeremy Daubert.