Publications, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dairy Pipeline, October 2022
    Petersson-Wolfe, Christina S.; Galyon, Hailey (Virginia Tech Dairy Science Extension, 2022-10)
    Articles include "Understanding your milk culture reports" by Christina Petersson-Wolfe and "The influence of climate change-induced nutritional stress on dairy cattle" by Hailey Galyon.
  • Buzz, Body & Bites Newsletter - December 2022
    Wynn, Crystal (2022-12)
    Healthy eating over the holidays.
  • Buzz, Body and Bites Newsletter - August 2022
    Hardee, Abraham B. (2022-08)
    This issue of Buzz, Body, & Bites discusses shingles and vaccination for the prevention of the disease.
  • Buzz, Body and Bites Newsletter - October 2022
    Salazaar, Aisha (2022-10)
    This issue of Buzz, Body, & Bites talks about the importance of dental health to overall health as we age.
  • Buzz, Body and Bites Newsletter - November 2022
    Mize, Kayleigh (2022-11)
    Learn about the history of the turkey as part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal in this issue of the Buzz, Body, & Bites Newslette. Get a chuckle out of our Thanksgiving jokes and check out the delicious Holiday Root Vegetable Roast recipe.
  • A characterization of large-scale swine production and manure generation in Virginia counties and cities located within or outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
    Estienne, Mark J. (2022)
    Economies of communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed depend on commercial and recreational fishing, but various pollutants threaten plants and animals native to the region. Agriculture is the largest source of nutrients and sediment entering the Bay. Mathematical models employed to predict the quantity and fate of nutrients entering the Bay from the various land uses determine success in reducing pollutants. Sources of accurate livestock production data allows development of valid decision support tools including models. Livestock populations used in models reflect census data collected every five years by the USDA. The USDA cannot disclose information allowing a reader to determine information for individual farms. Thus, data for some counties within the Bay watershed often are not reported skewing results. The objective of this study was to characterize swine numbers and manure nutrient generation in Virginia and to begin building a database that can facilitate creating mathematical models used by various groups as decision-making tools.
  • Home Grounds and Animals: 2022 Pest Management Guide
    Acimov, Srdjan; Askew, Shawn D.; Bergh, J. Christopher; Bush, Elizabeth A.; Day, Eric R.; Del-Pozo, Alejandro; Derr, Jeffery F.; Frank, Daniel; Hansen, Mary Ann; Hong, Chuan X.; McCall, David S.; Miller, Dini M.; Nita, Mizuho; Parkhurst, James A.; Paulson, Sally L.; Pfeiffer, Douglas G.; Rideout, Steven L.; Schultz, Peter B.; Wilson, James M.; Wycoff, Stephanie Blevins (2022-02-11)
  • Field Crops: 2022 Pest Management Guide
    Besancon, Thierry E.; Cahoon, Charlie; Chandran, Rakesh; Currin, John F.; Day, Eric R.; Flessner, Michael; Frame, William Hunter; Frank, Daniel; Hines, Tommy; Johnson, Quintin; Jordan, David; Koehler, Alyssa; Langston, David; Lingenfelter, Dwight; Reed, T. David; Singh, Vijay; Taylor, Sally V.; VanGessel, Mark; Vollmer, Kurt; Wallace, John M.; Wilson, James M. (2022-02-03)
  • 2022 Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers: Virginia, West Virginia, and University of Maryland Extension
    Pfeiffer, D. G.; Bergh, J. Christopher; Wilson, James M.; Quesada, C.; Hooks, C. R. R.; Sherif, Sherif; Acimovic, S.; Rahman, Mahfuz; Kotcon, J. B.; Derr, J. F.; Chandran, R. S.; Frank, Daniel L.; Parkhurst, J. (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2022-03-07)
  • Horticultural and Forest Crops: 2022 Pest Management Guide
    Askew, Shawn D.; Baudoin, Antonius B.; Bergh, J. Christopher; Chamberlin, Lori; Day, Eric R.; Del-Pozo, Alejandro; Derr, Jeffrey F.; Frank, Daniel; Hansen, Mary Ann; Hong, Chuan; Johnson, Charles S.; McCall, David S.; Nita, Mizuho; Parson, Rachel; Peer, Kyle; Pfeiffer, Douglas G.; Richardson, Robert J.; Salom, Scott M.; Wilson, James (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2022-02-11)
  • 2022-2023 Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations
    Reiter, Mark; Samtani, Jayesh; Torres Quezada, Emmanuel; Singh, Vijay; Doughty, H.; Kuhar, Thomas P.; Sutton, Kemper; Wilson, James; Langston, David; Rideout, Steven; Parkhurst, James; Strawn, Laura K. (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2022-11-30)
    This copy of the 2022/2023 Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations replaces all previous editions of the Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations published individually for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Information presented in this publication is based on research results from the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, The Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, West Virginia University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, combined with industry and grower knowledge and experience. This publication will be revised biennially. In January 2023, a Critical Update with important updates for this publication will be communicated through local Extension Agents and Vegetable Specialists. The editors welcome constructive criticism and suggestions from growers and industry personnel who may wish to help improve future editions of this publication. These recommendations are intended for the commercial vegetable grower who has to make numerous managerial decisions. Although the proper choices of variety, pesticides, equipment, irrigation, fertilizer, and cultural practices are the individual vegetable grower’s responsibility, it is intended that these recommendations will facilitate decision-making. Recommended planting dates will vary across the six-state region. Local weather conditions, grower experience, and variety may facilitate successful harvest on crops planted outside the planting dates listed in this guide. This can be evaluated in consultation with the local agents and state specialists. Government agencies and other organizations administrating crop insurance programs or other support programs should contact local Extension agents and/or vegetable specialists for guidance. Not to be used by home gardeners.
  • To Clear or Not To Clear -- That Is the Question
    Downing, Adam K.; Childs, Corey; Poor, C. A. Shea (2022-03-27)
    This extension publication covers considerations before clearing land, including economic, ecologic, personal, and legal.
  • Options for Clearing Land: Pasture Establishment
    Poor, C. A. Shea; Childs, Corey; Downing, Adam K. (2022-03-02)
    This extension publication covers methods for clearing land and for establishing pasture.
  • New VCE Onboarding - Professional Development Survey
    Vines, Karen A.; Johnson, Lonnie; Bishop, Hannah; Paulette, Morgan; Pearson, Jocelyn; Spencer, Janet; Thompson, John (Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications, 2022-11-08)
    This survey was developed in 2021 to provide insight into onboarding and professional development needs for Virginia Cooperative Extension. The survey was used as a census survey across the various roles and program areas represented in the VCE organization. The survey collects data associated with time in VCE and other Extension organizations, as well as self-perceived data of the Extension professional related to their career stage (Rennekamp & Nall, 1994). While the purpose was determining onboarding needs, the survey also provides insight into training needs across career stages as well as training preferences. Data collected for VCE using this survey is available at