The Irrigator

— Written By and last updated by Adrian Gaskins


“A Waste Management and Forages Newsletter for Duplin and Sampson County”


Spring 2013

4-H Livestock Club Starts in Pinhook


The Barnyard Bunch 4-H Club started meeting recently at the Church at Pinhook Family Life Center. 4-H covers youth ages 5-19. Their focus is livestock but they are also planning activities in other areas. They meet the 3rd Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center at the corner of Angola Bay Road and Deep Bottom Road in Pinhook. Club leaders are Stacey Haste and Nicole Walker. For more information, call Stacey at 910-285-1173 or Nicole at 910-289-1933.


Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Regulation for Aboveground Storage Tanks – May 10 Deadline

Amanda Hatcher, NCCES, Source: EPA


Some farms may store oil or oil products such as diesel in large above ground storage tanks. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a rule that farms that meet specific storage thresholds must have a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan by May 10, 2013. The purpose of the plan is to help prevent spills that could enter a water body.

If your farm can store oil (including diesel, gasoline, lube oil, etc.) in above ground quantities of more than 1,320 gallons or in below ground quantities of 42,000 gallons and an oil spill from your farm could reach water, you need an SPCC Plan. Your farm does not need a plan if you store less than 1,320 gallons of oil above ground or less than 42,000 gallons below ground. Count only containers of oil that have a storage capacity of 55 US gallons and above.

             Some information you will need for the plan includes a list of the capacities for the containers, a description of procedures you use to prevent spills, prevent spills reaching water, and clean up spills, plus a list of emergency contacts.

            Additionally, use containers that are suitable for the product stored. If you have a containment berm around a tank, for example, that will be helpful to add to the plan. It may be helpful to add that containers and equipment are periodically inspected for signs of leaks.

            For more information and for document templates, go to

            For assistance in writing a plan, you can contact an engineer, consultant, NRCS/Soil & Water, or Extension, or other agencies with technical expertise.



Notice of Public Comment for NC Nutrient Criteria Development Plan

Courtesy of the North Carolina Pork Council

The North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ), on behalf of the Environmental Management Commission (EMC), announces a comment period for the draft North Carolina Nutrient Criteria Development Plan (NC NCDP). Comments on the draft plan may be submitted in writing by mail or email anytime through May 24, 2013 using the contact information provided below. A copy of the draft NC NCDP at: Further information on the current draft NC NCDP, as well as information related to previous NC nutrient criteria plans, is located at this link as well.

            The draft NC NCDP provides an overview of nutrient criteria related activities within the state since 2001 and describes actions that the state will take to develop additional nutrient control criteria. The NC NCDP directs a series of prioritized tasks (or studies), each of which will be targeted at development of nutrient criteria and includes questions to be answered, methods to be used and timelines and milestones to be met. The US Environmental Protection Agency has requested the development of this plan. Upon approval by the EMC, the NC NCDP will be submitted to the Agency for mutual agreement.

            The EMC is interested in all comments pertaining to the draft NC NCDP. It is important that all interested and potentially affected persons or parties voice their views for consideration in the commission’s review of the draft plan. Comments may be submitted in writing to the Planning Section of the Division of Water Quality by May 24 to:


Nikki Schimizzi
NC DENR/DWQ Planning Section
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1617

Phone: (919)807-6413

Frequently Asked Questions…

I didn’t get my animal waste operator’s license renewed but I’ve had a license before. What do I need to do to get re-certified?

If you’ve been certified as an animal waste operator before, you do not have to take the 10-hour initial animal waste class again. You can sit through it as a review but it’s not a requirement. You do need to apply to take the exam and re-test. The application can be downloaded at Scroll down and click on “Animal Waste” under “Application for Exam”. Complete the application and mail with the $25 exam fee to the address listed on the application. You must have it postmarked by the dates on the above website for the exam date you choose. The exam dates are listed on the above website as well. For the June 13 exam, your application must be postmarked by May 14. Books and resources are available through your local extension office. Call your extension agent if you have questions or need assistance.

Forage To-Do List for Spring

            Here are a few things to think about this spring to optimize the forages on your farm:

  • This is a good time to control most warm season weeds such as crabgrass, pigweed, and sandspur. Generally, control when weeds are small, preferably shorter than 4 inches high.
  • Proper fertilization on warm season forages such as Bermuda and pearl millet are important now.
  • Summer annuals such as pearl millet and seeded Bermuda can be planted successfully in May.
  • Remove winter overseed from Bermuda early enough to give Bermuda a head start in competing with warm season weeds. Bermuda responds to sunlight and proper fertilization.
  • Watch out for grass tetany by providing magnesium mineral to grazing animals.
  • In the event that we have dry weather later in the spring, take action to prevent nitrate toxicity, overgrazing and other problems. Devote a sacrifice pasture that will be an area for supplemental feeding, allowing other pastures to have extra rest and recovery time. Forages can be tested for nitrates through state and other labs.


Upcoming Classes

Continuing Education:


May 29, 3:00-5:20 p.m. – Updates for Animal Waste Operators – Duplin County Center – 2 hours AWO credit.


July 15, 3:00-4:30 p.m. – Weather Spotting: Be Prepared – Duplin County Center – 1 ½ hours AWO credit.


Look in the next newsletter for classes scheduled later this year.

Initial Certification Classes:


July 30-31 – Greene or Lenoir County – Contact: Eve Honeycutt at 252-527-2191.


October 1-2 – Duplin County – Contact: Amanda Hatcher at 910-296-2143.


If you have questions about the information in this article or any upcoming events with Extension please contact the Duplin County Cooperative Extension Office at 910-296-2143.


Thank you,



Amanda Hatcher

Extension Agent-Agriculture-Forages, Swine and Nutrient Management


The use of brand names in this publication does not imply endorsement of the products or services named or criticism of similar ones not mentioned.