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NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
CONSERVATION PRACTICE STANDARD
DEFINITION Do not plant noxious weeds to control
erosion. The State of Georgia does not
Establishing and maintaining permanent
have a list of noxious weeds; however,
the state has adopted the federal list.
Information about these species is
PURPOSE available through the NRCS PLANTS
This practice may be applied to Database
accomplish one or more of the following (http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxiousDrive
Reduce soil erosion and Species shall be adapted to soil,
sedimentation ecological sites, and climatic conditions.
Inoculate legume seed with the proper
Improve water quality Rhizobium bacteria, unless legumes of
Improve air quality (carbon the same cross-inoculation group have
sequestration) been planted previously on the site.
Enhance wildlife habitat Species planted shall be suitable for the
planned purpose and site conditions.
Improve soil quality
Seeding rates and methods shall be
Manage plant pests adequate to accomplish the planned
purpose. Certified seed shall be used.
CONDITION WHERE PRACTICE
Planting dates, planting methods and
care in handling and planting of the seed
This practice applies on all lands or planting stock shall ensure that
needing permanent vegetative cover. planted materials have an acceptable
This practice does not apply to plantings rate of survival. Vegetative planting
for forage production or to critical area material (e.g. sprigs, rhizomes, bulbs)
plantings. shall be from a reliable supplier.
Site preparation shall be sufficiently
CRITERA adequate to eliminate weeds for
establishment and growth of selected
General Criteria Applicable to All species.
Conservation practice standards are reviewed periodically and updated if needed. To obtain the
current version of this standard, contact your Natural Resources Conservation Service State
Office or visit the electronic Field Office Technical Guide. September 2009
Manage the vegetation by biological, (Code 645) or Wetland (Code 644)
chemical or mechanical methods. Wildlife Habitat Management for more
Timing and use of equipment shall be information regarding the establishment
appropriate for the site and soil of vegetation, especially native plants, for
conditions. Manage vegetation by fire providing cover in perennial systems that
according to the Georgia Prescribed fix carbon and improve air quality.
Burning Standard, Code 338. Information about planting large plant
species is found in the Georgia Tree and
All nutrients shall be applied following
Shrub Establishment Standard (Code
the nutrient management requirements
612). Also, see the Georgia Cover
in the Georgia Nutrient Management
Crop (Code 340) and Pasture and Hay
Standard (Code 590).
Planting (Code 512) Standards for
Additional Criteria to Reduce Soil information regarding the establishment
Erosion Due to Sheet and Rill of non-native vegetation. The Soil
Erosion and Sedimentation Conditioning Index (SCI) value of the
RUSLE2 software should be positive for
The amount of plant biomass and cover
vegetation that increases the soil organic
needed to reduce wind and water
matter content as a result of carbon
erosion to the planned soil loss objective
shall be determined using the current
approved wind and/or water erosion (the Additional Criteria for Enhancing
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation Wildlife Habitat
Version 2 (RUSLE2) software) Plant a mixture of grasses, forbs, shrubs
prediction technology. As mentioned in and/or legumes in order to meet the
the introduction, it is not the intention of diverse needs of wildlife including food,
this standard to prevent erosion on cover and locations for nesting and
critical sites (Georgia Critical Area resting. See the Georgia Upland (Code
Planting Standard, Code 342). See the 645) or Wetland (Code 644) Wildlife
Georgia Tree and Shrub Establishment Habitat Management for more
Standard (Code 612) and the Georgia information regarding the establishment
Upland (Code 645) or Wetland (Code of vegetation, especially native plants, for
644) Wildlife Habitat Management for enhancing wildlife habitat. Crop and
more information regarding the native plant species for pollinators may
establishment of vegetation, especially be found in the Cover Crop (Code 340)
native plants, for reducing soil loss as a and Early Successional Habitat (Code
result of sheet and rill erosion. 647) Standards, respectively.
Additional Criteria for Improving Air Additional Criteria to Improve Soil
Quality (carbon sequestration) Quality
In perennial crop systems such as Plants will be selected on the basis of
orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery producing high volumes of organic
stock, vegetation established shall material to maintain or improve soil
provide full ground coverage in the organic matter. The amount of biomass
alleyway during mowing and harvest needed will be determined using the
operations. See the Georgia Upland current SCI. See the Georgia Cover
Crop (Code 340) and Pasture and Hay
Planting (Code 512) Standards for more year) throughout the managed area to
information regarding the establishment maximize spatial and temporal diversity
of vegetation for improving soil quality. for wildlife.
Where wildlife management is an
Additional Criteria to Manage Plant
objective, the food and cover value of the
planting can be enhanced by using a
In perennial crop systems such as habitat evaluation procedure to aid in
orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery selecting plant species and providing or
stock, permanent vegetative cover shall managing for other habitat requirements
be established and managed according necessary to achieve the objective.
to The University of Georgia Integrated
Pest Management (IPM) Consider trying to re-establish the native
recommendations for the target pest plant community for the site. Use native
species. See Appendices 1 and 2 for species that are appropriate for the
information regarding the establishment identified resource concern and
of clover (for controlling weeds and management objective.
attracting pollinators) in pecan orchards If a native cover (other than what was
and row crop fields, respectively. planted) establishes, and this cover
meets the intended purpose and the
CONSIDERATIONS landowner's objectives, the cover should
be considered adequate.
This practice may be used to promote
the conservation of wildlife species in
general, including threatened and PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS
endangered species. Specifications for this practice shall be
Certified seed and planting stock that is prepared for each site. They shall
adapted to the site should be used when include, but are not limited to:
it is available. Recommended species
Mowing may be needed during the Seeding rates and dates
establishment period to reduce
competition from broadleaf annual Establishment procedures
weeds. Other management actions
On sites where annual grasses are an needed to insure and adequate
expected weed problem it may be stand
necessary to postpone nitrogen fertilizer Specifications shall be recorded using
application until the planted species are approved specifications sheets, job
well established. sheets, narrative statements in the
Where applicable this practice may be conservation plan, or other acceptable
used to conserve and stabilize documentation.
archeological and historic sites.
Consider rotating management and OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
maintenance activities (e.g. mow only Mowing and harvest operations in
one-fourth or one-third of the area each perennial crop systems such as
orchards, vineyards, berries and nursery http://fargo.nserl.purdue.edu/rusle2_data
stock shall be done in a manner which web/RUSLE2_Index.htm
minimizes the generation of particulate
If wildlife habitat enhancement is a
purpose, maintenance practices and
activities shall not disturb the grass
cover during the reproductive period of
grass-nesting birds (1 April - 1 August)
throughout the state (Georgia
Department of Natural Resources,
Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame-
Endangered Wildlife Program, 1996).
Maintenance measures must be
adequate to control noxious weeds and
other invasive species.
To benefit insect food sources for
grassland nesting birds, spraying or
other control of noxious weeds shall be
done on a “spot” basis to protect forbs
and legumes that benefit native
pollinators and other wildlife.
REFERENCES IN ADDITION TO
NRCS, NHCP JUNE 2007
Georgia Department of Natural
Resources, Wildlife Resources Division,
Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program.
1996. Georgia breeding bird atlas
handbook. Georgia Department of
Natural Resources, Forsyth, Georgia. p.
K. G. Renard, G. R. Foster, G. A.
Weesies, K. D. K. McCool and D. C.
Yoder. 1997. Predicting Soil Erosion by
Water: A Guide to Conservation
Planning with the Revised Universal Soil
Loss Equation (RUSLE), Agricultural
Handbook Number 703.
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation
Version 2 (RUSLE2) website (checked