Southern Regional Water Program

Research, Extension & Education Water Quality Programs through the Land Grant University System

South Carolina Nutrient & Pesticide Management

Nutrient management has been an important issue with South Carolina farmers for literally hundreds of years. From the first stages of nutrient management in the State - including application of animal manures and usage of cover crops to retain nutrients between agronomic crop plantings - to today's management practices including split applications of commercial fertilizers and/or animal manures and manure nutrient analysis, the nutrient management focus has been the same - apply only what the crop needs and apply it as the crop requires it.

Commercial pesticide management has followed a similar theme over the past 50 years scnpm1.jpg- determine the economic threshold where the financial loss due to reduced yields or production will exceed the application costs of a pesticide, and when this threshold is met apply only the labeled pesticide at labeled rates to control the pest or weed.

Conditions in Your Watershed

Information concerning the relative health or impairment of State waters is available through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control(SCDHEC) and through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This information is periodically updated to reflect changes in the watershed that result in changes in the water body condition.

Resources and Programs

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, Research, and Education Centers offer a number of programs that help farmers, homeowners, and the "green" industry properly manage and utilize fertilizers, animal manures, and pesticides.

Extension Outreach

The Certified Animal Manure Managers Program provides information concerning animal manure production, storage, and proper application and utilization to Confined Animal Feeding Operations. Upon completion of the course and an examination, farmers and growers are Certified Animal Manure Managers with the reference material, tools, and records to help them manage animal manures correctly.

The Pesticide Information Program offers training in the proper use and application of herbicides and pesticides. Several categories of training are offered to license applicators as a private applicator or one (or more) of several categories of commercial applicator. Continuing education credits are required to maintain a license.

The Agricultural Services Laboratory offers nutrient analysis of forages and feedstuffs, nutrient analysis of soils, irrigation water testing, manure nutrient analysis, weed and pest identification and a number of other services. The information provided by this laboratory is critical to the proper management of nutrients and pesticides in agricultural, commercial and residential systems.

The Clemson Farm-A-Syst program provides materials to help farmers and growers assess their present environmental impact and risk levels, and provides information about best management practices (BMPs) to help lower these impacts and risk levels. Likewise, the Home-A-Syst program provides materials to help homeowners assess their impacts and risk levels, and provides BMPs to lower these impacts and risk levels.

The Clemson Regulatory and Public Service Program provides regulation regarding the safe use of fertilizers, limes, and pesticides as well as nursery inspections, quarantined pests, and seed quality.

The Clemson Grasslands Watershed Management Website provides sound management practices for grazing livestock and forage producers in South Carolina.

The Clemson Home and Garden Information Center offers a wide variety of publications concerning the proper installation and care of many horticultural and vegetable plants as well as guides assisting with problem determination and correction.

The Clemson Bulletin Room maintains Clemson University Water Quality Publications, which provides a variety of water quality and waste management publications written specifically for South Carolina's environment and climate.

The Clemson Extension Water Quality Website offers a brief view of various Extension water resource programs and volunteer opportunities in South Carolina.

Clemson's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics provides budget information for a variety of agricultural enterprises to help farmers and growers make sound financial decisions when considering new management practices or adding a new crop or enterprise to their current operation.

The South Carolina Master Gardener Program teaches homeowners and commercial horticulturalists sound management practices regarding the installation and maintenance of commercial and residential yards and residential vegetable gardens. Persons completing the Master Gardener Program volunteer 40 hours of service to the local community to promote these sound practices in the neighborhood.

The Clemson Consumer Horticulture Website offers a number of ideas and management practices to assist homeowners with residential yard management and maintenance.

Additional Resources and Programs

The Natural Resources Conservation Service offers a variety of technical assistance programs to farmers and growers in South Carolina.

The Farm Services Agency provides a number of cost sharing opportunities to help farmers improve management systems and lesson possible environmental impacts.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for environmental regulation and enforcement capacities in the State.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provides a number of services related to wildlife and environmental considerations in the State.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture offers many testing, marketing and promotional services.

Scientific Research

Researchers at Clemson University, investigate and develop new technologies to eliminate adverse impacts of nutrients and crop protection chemicals. There are a variety of Departments and Colleges throughout the University that are involved in various aspects of environmental research. Some examples of major research efforts in South Carolina include:

Clemson’s Department of Environmental Engineering and Science conducts research on a variety of areas related to nutrient and pesticide management, including environmental chemistry, hydrogeology, soil physics, and mathematical modeling.

The Department of Environmental Toxicology uses research to develop methods for assessing chemical exposure and impact in the field. Researchers examine variability in sensitivities of species and the mechanisms through which chemicals exert their toxicities.

Topics investigated by researchers in the Department of Plant Pathology & Physiology include herbicide resistance, mode of action of herbicides, and environmental fate of pesticides.

College and University Education

Youth and continuing adult education are critical to develop new talent and human resources to address the water quality issues of the future. Educational curricula in nutrient and pesticide management are available within several departments at Clemson University. Graduate and undergraduate programs in key departments include:

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