The Irrigator

— Written By and last updated by


“A Waste Management and Forages Newsletter for Duplin County”


Summer 2015
It’s July – prime time for armyworms

Amanda Hatcher, CED & Livestock Agent

This is the time of year when we begin to see fall armyworms coming into forages. Here are a few tips:

  1. Check for obvious signs of feeding on leaves – fall armyworms will go after bermuda but if fescue is available and they’re near a fescue field, they will feed on fescue too. Check at least 10 areas – scout tillers and soil surface.
  2. Usually, armyworms start at the outside of the field or from a treeline or row of hay bales in the field and work their way into the field to feed. Check areas near trees and obstructions in the field such as fence posts or hay bales, since they may start from these areas.
  3. Pull back grass clippings, or thatch, and check for armyworms there. If they aren’t presently feeding, they may rest against the soil.
  4. If you do have armyworms and you are just getting ready to cut hay, you can mow and bale hay. The mowing process will leave very little leaf on the field for feeding.
  5. If chemical control is needed, options will greatly depend on the size of the armyworms, the crop, and what harvest restrictions you are comfortable with. In grass crops, three larvae noted per three row feet is the threshold for treatment. Some products are restricted use products and require a pesticide license, while others don’t. Read labels carefully and keep records on use. Call the Extension office for chemical options.

Steps to Preparing for DWR Inspection (formerly “DWQ”)

Amanda Hatcher, CED & Livestock Agent

To help you prepare for an upcoming inspection, here are a few reminders about items of importance in an inspection:

Sludge surveys: complete once a year (unless you have an extension from NC Division of Water Resources (DWR).

Irrigation calibrations: complete once every other year.

Soil samples: complete once every three years on fields receiving animal waste (including poultry litter and sludge). Peak season generally runs from the end of November through the end of March and during peak season, samples cost $4 each through NCDA &CS.

Waste samples: complete within 60 days before or after a waste application.

Waste utilization plan: be sure the current plan is accurate and up-to-date and includes maps of fields.

Records: keep current and easy to read and follow. Required records include all waste application records (including weather code), rainfall, freeboard (weekly readings), sludge surveys, calibrations, waste and soil reports, waste utilization plan (including maps), lagoon design (kept on file), crop yields, past inspection reports, animal stocking records, plus application of additional nutrients applied and waste transferred. Be sure all areas requiring a signature or initial are complete as well. For example, the inspection of application equipment at least once every 120 minutes on irrigation forms must be initialed.

In addition to completed records, inspectors will look at fields for crop evaluation and at lagoons for structural evaluation. It’s helpful to have a copy of your animal waste operator card easily accessible.

Inspectors will check for maintenance needed, for example, if mowing is needed on lagoon banks. They will check to see if irrigation equipment is properly operating and if mortality is properly handled. They will check for odor or air quality concerns.

Notify DWR of changes (change ownership, operator-in-charge, address, etc). For forms, see the following website for copies , call DWR at 919-807-6464, or contact your local extension agent for assistance.

Upcoming classes related to animal waste in our area:

Continuing education:

July 22, 2-5 p.m., Kenansville

Credit: 3 hours animal waste

Topics: Solid set calibration, animal waste games/trivia, safety, rainfall simulation

To sign up: Call Amanda Hatcher or Wanda Hargrove at 910-296-2143 (no cost to attend)

*This program will be repeated in Wayne County on July 21 and in Onslow County on August 11 – choose only one site/date option.

Initial training:

August 6 & 7, Kinston (Lenoir County Cooperative Extension Office)

10-Hour Initial Animal Waste Operator Class – Contact Eve Honeycutt at 252-527-2191 to sign up.

*Exam date is September 10

If you have any questions about any of the information in this article or any upcoming events contact information is enclosed.

Thank you,

Amanda Hatcher

Extension Agent-Agriculture-Forages, Swine and Nutrient Management

Duplin County Center


910-296-2191 fax

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.