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Guide for Organic Processors By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Organic processing requires knowledge of the Federal, State, and local regulations that apply to processing and labeling foods. The specifics of food-processing regulations will not be cov ered here... More > because the regulations can vary depending on the State and county jurisdictions. This guide will explain the regulations that are relevant to farmers who wish to process their organic crops and label or sell the product as organic. It will answer many questions relevant to all processors and handlers of organic commodities: • What are the benefits of organic processing? • How do I get certified as an organic processor? • What ingredients are allowed in organic foods? • How do I prepare for my organic inspection? • Where can I find more information? Due to their complexity, the specific regulations for the sale of organic dairy products and the slaughter and sale of organic meat are not covered in this publication.< Less
FIRE WEATHER : A Guide for Application of Meteorological Information to Forest Fire Control Operations - Agriculture Handbook 360 By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Weather is never static. It is always dynamic. Its interpretation is an art. The art of applying complex information about weather to the equally complex task of wildland fire control cannot be... More > acquired easily especially not by the mere reading of a book. The environment is in control in wildland firefighting. Free-burning fires are literally nourished by weather elements, atmospheric components, and atmospheric motion. Outguessing Mother Nature in order to win control is an extremely difficult task. We need to soothe her with understanding. We have attempted to present information in such a way that your daily and seasonal awareness of fire weather can begin with reliable basic knowledge. We have kept the use of technical terms to a minimum, but where it was necessary for clear and accurate presentation, we have introduced and defined the proper terms. Growing awareness of fire weather, when combined with related experience on fires, can develop into increasingly intuitive, rapid, and accurate applications.< Less
Keys to Soil Taxonomy - Twelfth Edition, 2014 By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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This publication, Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Twelfth Edition, 2014, coincides with the 20th World Congress of Soil Science, to be held on Jeju Island, Korea in June 2014. The Keys to Soil Taxonomy serves... More > two purposes. It provides the taxonomic keys necessary for the classification of soils in a form that can be used easily in the field. It also acquaints users of soil taxonomy with recent changes in the classification system. The twelfth edition of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy incorporates all changes approved since the publication in 1999 of the second edition of Soil Taxonomy: A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys. The authors of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy are identified as the “Soil Survey Staff.” This term is meant to include all of the soil classifiers in the National Cooperative Soil Survey program and in the international community who have made significant contributions to the improvement of the taxonomic system.< Less
Soil Quality Card Design Guide - A Guide To Develop Locally Adapted Conservation Tools By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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This Guide provides assistance to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff and its conservation partners to collaboratively develop Soil Quality Cards with local farmers. Partners such as... More > Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Cooperative Extension Service, state conservation agencies, and local groups assist in producing Cards that farmers and other land managers can use to assess soil quality on their land and implement management practices that ensure long-term soil productivity. To develop a process that enables NRCS and its conservation partners to design locally adapted Soil Quality Cards, the Soil Quality Institute worked with several university extension and research departments and enlisted the expertise of NRCS state and field staff across the country. The outcome is a participatory process through which farmers and conservationists learn together about soil quality and collaboratively develop assessment tools customized to local needs.< Less
Guidelines for Soil Quality Assessment in Conservation Planning By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Soil quality is the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries to: • sustain plant and animal productivity • maintain or enhance water... More > and air quality • support human health and habitation Soil function describes what the soil does. Soil functions are: (1) sustaining biological activity, diversity, and productivity; (2) regulating and partitioning water and solute flow; (3) filtering and buffering, degrading, immobilizing, and detoxifying organic and inorganic materials, including industrial and municipal by-products and atmospheric deposition; (4) storing and cycling nutrients and other elements within the earth’s biosphere; and (5) providing support of socioeconomic structures and protection for archeological treasures associated with human habitation. (Seybold et al, 1998).< Less
Installing Monitoring Wells in Soils - Version 1.0 By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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This technical note provides general guidance on how to install and use piezometers and water-table wells to investigate soil water regimes under conditions commonly encountered in Soil Survey and... More > hydropedology studies. Piezometers and water-table wells installed using these procedures act as lined and unlined bore holes, respectively (Soil Survey Division Staff 1993, page 93), usually at depths that desaturate seasonally. Standard guidelines (Sections 3 and 5) are presented for use in soils where hand augering is practical and saturated hydraulic conductivities are moderate or higher. Alternative methods (Section 6) are provided for problem soils where the standard procedures are impractical or problematic. Limitations: Procedures described here are appropriate only to monitor changes in water level and hydraulic head. They are not intended for water quality sampling, water supply, or determination of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat).< Less
A Guide to Hydric Soils in the Mid-Atlantic Region - Version 2.0 By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Identification of soils as “hydric” is critical to the protection of wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA) (Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 2008). According to the “Corps of... More > Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual” (hereafter referred to as the “Delineation Manual”) (Environmental Laboratory, 1987), the presence of a hydric soil is one of three factors that must be met in order for an area to meet the definition of a jurisdictional wetland. The other two are the presence of hydrophytic vegetation and wetland hydrology. The use of the Delineation Manual and Regional Supplements (U.S. Army, COE, 2010) is required for all Federal agencies involved in identification of wetlands that may be jurisdictional, as well as most states that have environmental programs to protect wetlands. The Delineation Manual generally is used on all lands not classified as agricultural lands. The National Food Security Act Manual (USDA, NRCS, 2008) is used on agricultural lands.< Less
Soil Change Guide: Procedures for Soil Survey and Resource Inventory By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Many soil properties have changed and can change as a result of management, historical land use, or even natural factors, such as drought, interacting with land use. National soil survey databases... More > currently include soil property information for the relatively static soil properties, such as texture, and also for properties affected by management, such as soil organic matter. The databases do not, however, distinguish the values of dynamic soil properties (e.g., organic matter, bulk density, infiltration rate) according to their land use, management system, ecological state, or plant community. “Dynamic soil properties” as defined in this Guide are soil properties that change within the human time scale. Differences that may exist in these properties can affect the performance of the soil. Furthermore, some dynamic soil properties change very little in response to management and disturbances.< Less
Soil Survey Manual (U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook No. 18) By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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The Soil Survey Manual, USDA Handbook No. 18, provides the major principles and practices needed for making and using soil surveys and for assembling and using related data. The term “soil... More > survey” is used here to encompass the process of mapping, describing, classifying, and interpreting natural three-dimensional bodies of soil on the landscape. This work is performed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey in the United States and by other similar organizations worldwide. The Manual provides guidance, methodology, and terminology for conducting a soil survey but does not necessarily convey policies and protocols required to administer soil survey operations. The soil bodies contain a sequence of identifiable horizons and layers that occur in repeating patterns in the landscape as a result of the factors of soil formation as described by Dokuchaev (1883) and Jenny (1941).< Less
Riparian Research and Management: Past, Present, Future: Volume 1 By U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Fifty years ago, riparian habitats were not recognized for their extensive and critical contributions to wildlife and the ecosystem function of watersheds. This changed as riparian values were... More > identified and documented, and the science of riparian ecology developed steadily. Papers in this volume range from the more mesic northwestern United States to the arid Southwest and Mexico. More than two dozen authors—most with decades of experience—review the origins of riparian science in the western United States, document what is currently known about riparian ecosystems, and project future needs. Topics are widespread and include: interactions with fire, climate change, and declining water; impacts from exotic species; unintended consequences of biological control; the role of small mammals; watershed response to beavers; watershed and riparian changes; changes below large dams; water birds of the Colorado River Delta; and terrestrial vertebrates of mesquite bosques.< Less