Winter is time to plan to beat summer slump

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Winter is the time for livestock producers to prepare pastures for drought, says University of Missouri Extension state forage specialist Harley Naumann. Drought is now the rule rather than the exception in Missouri, Naumann says. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, somewhere in the state experienced drought every year but one since…

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Fescue foot reported in Missouri cattle

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension specialists recently received several reports of Missouri cattle dying due to fescue foot, says MU Extension state forage specialist Craig Roberts. These significant losses show why beef producers should check herds for warning signs of fescue foot in early January, when it most often occurs, Roberts says. Cows…

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Four tips on selling your timber

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — There are important steps to take when considering selling timber, says University of Missouri Extension forester Hank Stelzer. In addition to providing additional revenue, harvesting timber can improve the health and vigor of woods and wildlife. Most landowners don’t know the value of their woodlands, Stelzer says. Too often, landowners make uneducated…

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2023 could be the year of the sparkling amaryllis

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nothing brightens a windowsill in winter like amaryllis, the National Garden Bureau’s bulb plant of the year, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. The name “amaryllis” comes from a Greek word that means “to sparkle.” And sparkle it does, said Trinklein. There are more than 600 varieties of this native…

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Ring in the new year with black-eyed peas

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition said to bring wealth and good fortune in the new year, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund. This custom dates to around A.D. 500 when people ate black-eyed peas for luck during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new…

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Online Master Gardener training begins Jan. 15

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Gardening is an activity with many rewards, says David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. In a press release, Trinklein said, “One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others. The Master Gardener program was initiated to do just that. Its motto-helping others learn to…

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Producers need to ensure their cattle are kept safe in frigid temperatures

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Extremely cold weather is forecast for the days before Christmas, putting cattle at risk. Temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit are predicted, with the wind chill factor much lower in parts of Missouri. As temperatures drop, producers need to ensure their cattle are kept safe in the harsh weather, said University of Missouri…

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Frankincense and myrrh: Ancient scents of the season

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Two of the three gifts of the Wise Men – frankincense and myrrh – remain in high demand more than 5,000 years after gaining popularity in religious rituals, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund. Ancient Egyptians used myrrh to embalm corpses and Romans burned it as a type of incense…

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Reduce losses, costs when feeding hay

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Livestock producers have options for reducing hay waste and feeding costs while improving animal behavior and performance, says University of Missouri Extension specialist Charlie Ellis. Farmers can choose from several methods to reduce waste based on their preferences, labor availability and climate, says Ellis. Here are four basics from Ellis: Ellis calls…

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Ho-ho-hold the holiday decorations when bringing greenery into the home

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Procrastinators win the prize in the “Safest Holiday Decorations” category. In a press release, David Trinklein, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist, said “In days of old, people rarely brought holiday greenery into the home before Christmas Eve. Doing so was considered bad luck for the coming year.” Today, the holiday season begins…

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MU Extension offers tips to reduce hay loss

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Good-quality hay bales are like precious gems. They’re valuable and worthy of your safest storage, says Charles Ellis, University of Missouri Extension field specialist in agricultural engineering. Proper storage is one way producers can reduce hay waste. Ellis offers a few steps to consider when deciding what hay to store: High moisture…

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Wind, drought contribute to fires at harvest

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Roadway accidents and combine fires make harvest the most dangerous time of the year for those who work in America’s most dangerous occupation – farming, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch. In a press release, John Worden, interim coordinator of MU Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute,…

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Take poinsettia off Santa’s ‘naughty’ list

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A century ago, poinsettia was added to Santa’s “naughty” list, but the plant’s reputation for being poisonous is unfortunate, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Its pretty bracts and leaves pose no danger to people and pets, other than possible allergic reactions. The myth that poinsettia is toxic can be…

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Giving thanks for the beautiful, bitter cranberry

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Made famous by the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving, cranberries have long been a favorite at holiday dinners despite their sharp, bitter taste. Americans gobble up about 400 million pounds of the bitter berry annually, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. About 20% of its consumption comes during the Thanksgiving season. Pilgrims…

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Celebrate Thanksgiving with a ‘turkey foot’ hike

COLUMBIA, Mo. — If you gobble until you wobble at Thanksgiving dinner, take your flock of family and friends for a trek across a tallgrass prairie for a memorable Thanksgiving holiday outing, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund. Along the hike, look for the tall, reddish-brown seed stalk of big bluestem grass (Andropogon…

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How you feed hay this winter is more important than ever

GALENA, Mo — With a shortage of standing forage for cattle and the low availability of hay, it is more important than ever this winter to reduce waste when feeding hay. Hay waste is normal, but University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Tim Schnakenberg says it can be controlled and minimized. There can be considerable…

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MU Extension to be host of ag lender seminars in Kirksville, Mexico

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension will host eight regional seminars Nov. 4 through Dec. 8 to update agricultural lenders on four factors that will affect lending decisions and client success in 2023 Commodity price outlook. Current and proposed government policies. International trade. Farmland values and rental rates. In a press release, Ben Brown,…

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Volatility in farm input costs here to stay, MU researcher says

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Increased volatility in prices of farm inputs such as fertilizer is likely here to stay well into 2023, says Ben Brown, University of Missouri senior research associate for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. U.S. prices for fertilizer stabilized in June and then declined in July and August, but Brown says it…

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Spring flowers shine from bulbs planted in fall

COLUMBIA, Mo. — If you think autumn is the time to put away your gardening tools for the year, think again. It’s bulb-planting time. In a press release, David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension, said “Daffodils, tulips and hyacinths won’t greet you in the spring if they’re not planted in the fall.…

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Apple bobbing: British game of sweet, sour or rotten courting

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to some traditions, apple bobbing can foretell love and heartbreak. University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund says bobbing for apples was central to courting in Great Britain in days gone by. Each floating apple represented a potential husband. With one successful try, a young woman was destined to marry her…

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Ounce of prevention in fall is best medicine for garden success in spring

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Ben Franklin’s adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could be gardeners’ theme song for November. Gardeners should close the curtain on this season and begin looking forward to the next, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Next year’s success is influenced greatly by this…

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MU videos share cattle management practices in drought

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Drought continues to plague growers and livestock producers in parts of Missouri, especially in the southwest corner of the state, raising concerns about feed availability. “It’s a perfect storm of high fertilizer prices, reduced fertilization of pastures lending to lower hay yields and drought in the southern half of Missouri,” Eric Bailey,…

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Demand for houseplants is thriving

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Spending on houseplants and office plants has flourished in recent years, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Robert Balek. The act of giving houseplants as get-well gifts surged in 2019, and the increase has continued since then, Balek says. According to a 2021 survey by the National Gardening Association, spending on houseplants…

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Order apple trees in fall for spring planting

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Fall is prime time for harvesting juicy, crunchy fresh apples at their peak of perfection. “While munching on those tasty fall treats, make sure to peruse the nursery catalogs and place an order for apple trees to plant in your own yard,” Michele Warmund, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist, said in a…

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Plant bulbs now for spring beauty

JACKSON, Mo. – Nothing spells spring like blooms peeking out from the depths of winter. Planning and planting in fall will reward gardeners with blooms in spring, says Donna Aufdenberg, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist. During a recent MU Extension Integrated Pest Management Town Hall, Aufdenberg gave tips on how gardeners can buy and plant…

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Let the gourd times roll

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Fall is the time to harvest, cure and store ornamental gourds, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. “Gourds are thought to be among the first domesticated plant species, dating back to as early as 13,000 B.C,” Trinklein said in a press release. “Through the years, dried gourds served many purposes…

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Pumpkin ushers in fall decorations, foods

STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. – It is pumpkin time, when people celebrate the versatile vegetable that marks seasons, holidays and traditions. This member of the squash family has been grown in North America for thousands of years, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Katie Kammler. Some pumpkins are kitchen workhorses, lending color, fiber and flavor to…

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Time to test fields for soybean cyst nematode

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Right after soybean harvest is the time to test fields for soybean cyst nematode, the No. 1 pathogen of soybean in the United States. Sampling in soybean stubble in 2022 can help with 2023 planting decisions, says Mandy Bish, University of Missouri Extension specialist and interim director of the SCN Diagnostics clinic, which can…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: MU Extension offers mental health resources for farmers, ranchers

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Take care of the farm and the farm will take care of you. That’s common advice handed down from one generation to the next. But farmers often face stress that the farm can’t take care of, says Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist. Farmers tend to put their…

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New resources available to Missouri farmers; September is Suicide Prevention Month

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension safety and health specialist Karen Funkenbusch reminds Missouri farmers and their families during Suicide Prevention Month that MU Extension has resources for farmers and ranchers. Suicide Prevention Month, observed in September, is a good time to talk with rural family and community members about increased risks of suicide,…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: New AgriStress Helpline available to Missouri farmers

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri farmers and rural families seeking mental health support can turn to the new AgriStress Helpline. Farmers and ranchers take pride in their ability to handle challenges and are often reluctant to seek help, particularly for mental health issues, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch. The goal of…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: Missouri farmers seeking rollover protection devices for tractors

COLUMBIA, Mo. — More than 70 Missouri farmers since 2016 asked for help to install tractor rollover protection devices from a national program that provides rebates, but the waiting list is long, and only one Missouri farmer has received assistance so far. University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch says this is…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: Make your mowing habits a cut above

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mowing is a leading cause of farm tractor rollover accidents, which, in turn, are a leading cause of farm fatalities. Smaller utility or garden-type tractors equipped with deck or belly mowers are also susceptible to rollovers and tip overs on hilly terrain. A dreaded chore for some, a joy for others, mowing…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: Review safety practices on farm with children

COLUMBIA, Mo.— Many consider the farm an ideal place to raise children, but with its idyllic charm comes dangers, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch. About three children die from an agriculture-related incident each day, according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. National Farm…

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National Farm Safety and Health Week: Farming is the most dangerous job in U.S.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — More people die while farming each year than while serving as police officers, firefighters or other emergency responders. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a rate of 23 work-related deaths per 100,000 workers in the agricultural industry. That is seven times higher than the national average for workers. Fall harvest –…

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Consider lawn needs in fall

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For home lawns, Missouri weather is like Goldilocks’ porridge. For some types of grass it’s too hot and for others it’s too cold. In Missouri, the hard part is finding a grass for which the weather is “just right.” There is no one-size-fits-all grass for Missouri lawns, say University of Missouri Extension…

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Sunflower: Story of this summer goddess begins with search for love

COLUMBIA, Mo — The sunflower’s story begins with a tale of unrequited love. According to Greek mythology, the water nymph Clytie fell in love with the god of the sun, Apollo, who dazzled the earth as he drove his golden chariot across the sky each day. When he rejected Clytie’s affection, it nearly drove her…

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Fall flowers usher out summer in a blaze of color

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Fall is time for the changing of the guard in flower beds and containers. As some summer flowers shout their last hurrah, others gradually fade into the background. To fill in holes in the landscape, many nurseries and garden centers offer replacement plants such as mums, asters and pansies that will spruce…

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Lasagna gardening: Layers and layers of goodness

JACKSON, Mo. — As traditional gardening season takes a bow, lasagna gardening makes a grand entrance. Lasagna gardening is no-till, no-dig gardening that uses materials typically thrown away such as kitchen and yard waste, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Donna Aufdenberg. Aufdenberg says lasagna gardening is environmentally friendly and frees the gardener from tilling,…

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Regional drought calls for winter feed strategies

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Drought in southwestern Missouri calls for long-term and short-term feed plans for beef and dairy herds. University of Missouri Extension state dairy specialist Stacey Hamilton urges producers not to panic as local feed supplies dwindle. There are options to carry herds through winter until spring pastures green. Hamilton and extension specialist…

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Webinars in September explore business of growing specialty crops

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The final segment of University of Missouri Extension’s Specialty Crop Business Management Series begins in September. The webinar series helps new and established farmers learn how to make informed business decisions to become successful, says Juan Cabrera-Garcia, MU Extension state horticulture specialist. “Successful farmers have a better quality of life that creates…

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Golden rule for dorm room plants: Keep it simple

COLUMBIA, Mo. — One way to spruce up a college dormitory room is to add plants, according to University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund. Dorm rooms can appear a bit bare and dreary, Warmund says, but plants can add color and provide a pleasant atmosphere. “After spending the day in lecture halls, a plant-filled…

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Farm lease programs for landowners, renters offered Aug. 24 around Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Landowners and renters can learn about farm leases from University of Missouri Extension specialists from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at seven locations across the state. Participants can also attend via Zoom, says Joe Koenen, MU Extension county engagement specialist in agriculture and natural resources and longtime presenter on farm…

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Learn about tractor rollover protection at the Missouri State Fair 

SEDALIA, Mo. — Fairgoers can learn how to prevent one of the leading causes of farm deaths and disabilities – tractor rollovers. University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Department of Agriculture will showcase tractor rollover protection at the Missouri State Fair, which runs through Aug. 21. Fairgoers can see interactive demonstrations and videos on rollover…

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Short forage supplies require producers to make tough decisions

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Dry weather and short pastures have reduced forage supplies, prompting livestock producers to ponder “could have, would have, should have” scenarios, says University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Eric Meusch. Producers should try to match their herd needs to anticipated forage supplies, Meusch says. This requires planning before a drought. Many factors…

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Drought requires feed efficiency in cattle

WEST PLAINS, Mo. — Low supplies of hay make feeding cattle a challenge. Elizabeth Picking, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist in southwestern Missouri, sees the effects of severe drought in her area – dwindling hay supplies, poor-quality hay, high prices and ponds going dry. Under these conditions, cattle producers need to be more…

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Nitrate, prussic acid poisoning follow drought

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nitrates and prussic acid build up in forages to levels dangerous to livestock during drought. Livestock face severe illness and even death after eating affected forages, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Jamie Gundel. Nitrates tend to concentrate in the bottom third of the plant. It shows in the plant’s stem and…

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Blister beetles reported in large numbers in Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Farmers, livestock owners and gardeners across the state report that blister beetles are appearing in large numbers this summer, says Pat Miller, University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist. Blister beetles produce a toxin that can harm livestock. The toxin, called cantharidin, can cause animals to become sick and even die. Cantharidin is…

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MU guide looks at reconsidering silage pricing

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Drought throughout much of Missouri has renewed interest in how to price silage. An updated University of Missouri Extension publication looks at silage costs and revenues. Given current corn and input prices, MU Extension economists Ray Massey and Joe Horner say farmers should reconsider long-standing rules of thumb for pricing. Massey and…

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Missouri dairy producers have their eyes on drought

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Northern Missouri has received plenty of rain, and dairy producers there are hopeful about making a silage pile, while those in the state’s southern counties are looking at options as drought conditions and oppressive heat have taken hold. “There’s a lot to consider as a dairy farmer during times of high heat…

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Managing pond stress in drought

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Continued drought combined with high temperatures can have devastating effects on fish ponds. During a drought, pond waters can drop to dangerous levels, increasing aquatic plant growth, decreasing water quality and stressing fish, making them more vulnerable to disease and death, says Bob Pierce, University of Missouri Extension fisheries and wildlife state…

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Time to transplant irises: They do best when transplanted August to October

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Now is the time to transplant one of America’s most popular flowers, the iris. Although irises can be transplanted at any time, they do best when established in the landscape from August to mid-October, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Irises are relatively easy to grow. They need at least…

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Plants respond to heat differently than humans

COLUMBIA, Mo — Extreme heat affects plants differently than humans. With triple-digit temperatures this summer, grain crop growers should understand how heat affects plants, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold. First, human concepts such as “heat index” or “feels like” do not apply to plants, Wiebold says. People and plants feel and react…

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University of Missouri Extension to be host of free strip trial scouting school Aug. 4 in Palmyra

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension will host free strip trial scouting schools throughout the state from late July through mid-August. Mandy Bish, MU Extension Integrated pest management coordinator, will lead the four schools, which she says will vary slightly by region. Topics include an overview of the Missouri Strip Trial program and 2018-21 foliar fungicide…

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Lack of rainfall during R1 stage spells trouble for corn crop in much of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — One and one quarter inch. That’s how much rain corn plants need each week in July and August to maintain rapid growth and produce the best possible yields. Mother Nature has not been kind to Missouri’s corn crop this year, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold. One indication is the…

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How to buy meat directly from the farm

COLUMBIA, Mo. — One option for consumers buying meat is to purchase directly from the producer. A new University of Missouri Extension publication offers guidelines for buying all or part of animal from a livestock producer and having the meat processed and packaged. In a press release, MU Extension agricultural business specialist Jennifer Lutes, who wrote the…

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New online Master Gardener training begins Aug. 14

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Gardening has many rewards, says David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. In a press release, Trinklein said, “One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others. The MU Extension Master Gardener program is designed to do just that. Its motto, ‘Helping others learn to…

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Rose rosette continues to plague garden roses

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Rose rosette is a devastating disease of roses. There is no cure. Infected rose bushes should be removed from the landscape and destroyed, said David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. The disease first appeared on wild multiflora roses, which are considered a noxious weed in many states, including Missouri.…

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Waterlily: Easier to grow than you might think

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Some gardeners consider waterlilies to be the ultimate challenge. Many admire them but few grow them, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Though waterlilies may appear exotic and fragile, they are tough and durable, Trinklein said. “Once established, waterlilies flower well into late summer and provide an exotic addition to…

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Firecracker penstemon adds burst of patriotic color to landscapes in summer

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Flowering stems of firecracker penstemon pop with color and add a burst of red flowers to landscapes in summer. Firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii) is just one of about 270 species of penstemon, also known as beardtongue. “Its showy stamens protrude from the flower and resemble a hairy tongue,” said Michele Warmund, University…

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MU Extension guide, spreadsheet help estimate farmland values

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Buyers and sellers who need an estimate of the value of a piece of farmland may not always find it feasible to get an appraisal, particularly one that reflects the land’s historical value needed to calculate taxes and settle estates. University of Missouri Extension offers a publication and spreadsheet that give estimated…

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Don’t let food safety mistakes spoil fun at summer picnics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Summer is a time for enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables and outdoor picnics. Don’t let food safety mistakes spoil the fun. Food safety doesn’t begin in the kitchen, or even the market, says Londa Nwadike, extension food safety specialist for the University of Missouri and Kansas State University. In a press…

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MU Extension urges farmers to sign up for the USDA Census of Agriculture 

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension economists urge farmers to sign up for the USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture. The deadline to sign up to receive a census form is June 30. Sign up at nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. MU Extension economist Ryan Milhollin says federal, state and local governments as well as agribusinesses, researchers, trade associations and others use…

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Highly toxic poison hemlock in full bloom throughout Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri roadsides, hillsides and pastures are decorated with white spring flowers, but those flowers are poison hemlock. This weed is highly toxic to humans and animals, according to University of Missouri Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley. Poison hemlock is one of the first weeds to green up in spring and grows six…

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Sweet peppers: The Easter eggs of the vegetable garden

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bearing fruit ranging in color from red, orange and yellow to purple, white and chocolate-black, sweet peppers are the Easter eggs of the vegetable garden, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Like potato and tomato, sweet pepper is a member of the nightshade family. Sweet peppers are easy to establish…

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Gladden a late-summer garden with gladiolas

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Few flowers bring more late-summer gladness than gladiolas, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Their colorful flowers are known botanically as spikes. Individual flowers on the spike are called florets. “Glads are somewhat unique in that the florets on the spikes all point in the same direction,” Trinklein said in…

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Big, beautiful blooms make peonies a Memorial Day tradition

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  In the 1800s, peonies were one of the few flowers in bloom in late May. After the Civil War, mourners used peonies to adorn the graves of fallen soldiers on Decoration Day, which we now call Memorial Day. The huge, lavish blooms emit a luscious floral perfume that continues to make them…

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Great landscapes begin with quality topsoil

Quality landscapes begin with quality topsoil. Topsoil is the top 3-10 inches of the soil. Most surface soils have higher organic matter content than subsoil, but not all surface soil is ideal for gardens or lawns, says Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory.

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Munching a bunch of edible flowers can add nutrition, texture, color to your plate

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Edible blooms give flower power to spring meals, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Michele Warmund.  Edible flowers add nutrition, texture and color to your plate, Warmund says. They can be candied, stir-fried, added to butters, steeped for teas and added to breads, soups, sauces, desserts or salads. Some of the culinary…

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On patrol for critter control: Deer, rabbits, squirrels cab inflict damage in your garden

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Pest control in the garden might conjure images of a season-long battle with bugs, weeds and diseases. But sometimes four-legged “friends” such as deer, rabbits and squirrels can inflict far more damage, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Protecting the garden against famished fauna can be a challenge. “Hunger is…

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Rain, heat increase risk of ponding for corn, soybean crops

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Temperatures in the low 90s the week of May 8 combined with intense or recurrent rainfall could result in damage to corn and soybean crops from ponding, saturated soils and flooding, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold. Survival of submerged corn and soybean seedlings depends on seed quality, flood duration,…

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Forage: Mission possible?

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Interested in an impossible task? Try making dry hay in Missouri in early spring. But baleage can turn spring forage harvest in Missouri into “Mission: Possible.” Baleage is the ensilage of large bales of high-moisture forage, says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist. Producers make large round or square bales…

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Missouri grazing schools teach cost-saving practices

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Producers can ease the burden of rising fertilizer prices by making good use of “free fertilizer” on pastures through management-intensive grazing. “When cattle rotate through small paddocks, they distribute their manure. This manure is ‘free fertilizer,’” said John Lory, University of Missouri Extension nutrient management specialist, in a press release. “Cattle can…

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Mosquitoes can take bite out of outdoor fun; here is what you can do to avoid them

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — April showers bring May flowers and mosquitoes. With mosquitoes come not just itchy bites but the risk of diseases such as West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, Zika virus and yellow fever, among others, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist and entomologist Tamra Reall. Prevention The best way to avoid…

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Killing annual weeds in winter wheat may not be good financial decision

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Killing common annual weeds in winter wheat may not be a good financial decision, especially when input costs are high, says University of Missouri Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley. Winter wheat is one of the most competitive crops planted, Bradley says. He offers these guidelines based on research from MU and other…

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Diversification could boost farm profits

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ever considered diversifying production on the farm? Producing beef cattle and meat goats on the same farm may improve your financials, says University of Missouri Extension agricultural business specialist Jennifer Lutes. Lutes developed a model that looks at the economics of co-grazing – a diversification strategy involving production of more than one…

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Evaluating costs and benefits of renovating endophyte-infected pastures

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nearly 98 percent of Missouri’s pastureland is tall fescue infected with an endophyte that can cause fescue toxicosis in grazing livestock. Fescue toxicosis lowers reproduction rates, milk production, gain and weaning weights. It also causes health problems, including lameness and heat stress. By replacing toxic fescue with other forages, producers eliminate animal…

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New partnership makes it easier to access information about local and regional food systems

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new partnership between the University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security and MU Extension will make it easier to access information about local and regional food systems and food security. In a press release, Bill McKelvey, senior project coordinator, said, “The goal of the partnership, currently called the Community Food Network,…

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Guarding against emerging tick-borne disease in Missouri

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — As temperatures rise, humans and animals become meal tickets for ticks. Heartland disease, an emerging infectious disease first found in northwestern Missouri in 2009, is another reason to take precautions against ticks, says University of Missouri horticulture specialist and entomologist Tamra Reall. Heartland disease symptoms include fever, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of…

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Easter lily can see new life after the bloom fades

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Easter lily used for spring decorations can provide beauty and fragrance for another season. After blooming ends, plant Easter lilies outside as soon as the ground can be worked.. The following year, they will bloom in June and have a sweet fragrance. Select a sunny site with well-drained soil. Plant the…

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Study shows more Missourians commuting outside their counties for work

COLUMBIA, Mo. — While the past two years have fueled growth in remote work, most workers in Missouri still commute to their jobs. Some are opting for longer commutes. A new report from University of Missouri Extension shows that more workers in the state are commuting to jobs outside their home counties compared to 20 years ago.…

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Adding value to farm commodities can ease supply chain strain

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For two years, shoppers have seen how supply chain problems can shock the food system. Initially triggered by the pandemic, these problems have persisted due to labor shortages, transportation bottlenecks and now international conflict. “Supply chain issues have really hit home for consumers,” said Mallory Rahe, University of Missouri Extension agricultural business…

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Free DIY lawn care class set for April 6

BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — You can have a thriving lawn without hiring an expensive service. “Managing your lawn doesn’t have to be complicated,” University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Justin Keay said. “If you understand some of the basic principles and don’t mind putting in a little sweat equity, you can have a beautiful lawn.” A…

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University of Missouri Extension releases schedule for Annie’s Project courses

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Women in agriculture can improve their risk management skills and network with peers during Annie’s Project courses scheduled for spring 2022. Hosted by University of Missouri Extension, the Annie’s Project courses feature 18 hours of risk management education. “The courses focus on how to manage five types of farm risk – production, market, financial,…

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MU Extension offers business webinars for specialty crop growers beginning Feb. 8

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Extension is offering a webinar series to help specialty crop growers improve their business skills. During the Specialty Crop Business Management Series, new and established farmers will learn how to make informed business decisions to become successful, says Juan Cabrera-Garcia, MU Extension state horticulture specialist. “Successful farmers have a better…

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With high fertilizer prices, are you better off buying fertilizer or supplemental hay?

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Increases in fertilizer prices add to the cost of growing forage for grazing. This leads farmers to ask if they should buy hay or fertilizer, says University of Missouri Extension nutrient management specialist John Lory. Comparing the benefits of buying hay vs. applying fertilizer for better yields is complicated, but it is…

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Carbon credits focus of MU Extension ‘Inspired by Annie’s Project’ free online course

EDINA, Mo. – Women in agriculture can learn the latest about carbon credits and carbon sequestration during a free “Inspired by Annie’s Project” two-hour interactive online course set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 8 via Zoom. University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist Ray Massey will define agricultural carbon credits and answer questions about how to measure…

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‘Selling at the Farmers Market’ webinar series set for Feb. 7-11

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Producers selling local foods at farmers markets can learn about best practices, marketing tips, state regulations and available resources in a five-part webinar series presented in February by University of Missouri Extension. “This series will help farmers and other food producers gain knowledge to help them sell more of their food products at farmers…

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Get ‘nearly free’ fertilizer by frost seeding legumes

COLUMBIA, Mo. – High nitrogen prices make especially important to consider frost seeding legumes this winter, says University of Missouri Extension state forage specialist Craig Roberts. “2022 is different because fertilizer costs have tripled,” Roberts says. “Consider legumes as nearly free fertilizer.” (See the Farm Progress article “Seasonal Fertilizer Prices” at bit.ly/33h4YD5.) Frost seeding, a method…

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Plan to kill toxic perilla mint this spring or summer

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Eldon Cole said he received a report recently of cows in southwestern Missouri being killed by perilla mint, a toxic plant.  Cole urges producers to plan to destroy the annual plant in pastures next spring or summer. Broadleaf pasture herbicides, applied April through June before…

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MU Extension agronomist offers tips to offset high nitrogen prices

GALENA, Mo. – If there was ever a time to do a soil test, this is it, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Tim Schnakenberg. Rising fertilizer prices make it too expensive to guess on how to apply nutrients, says Schnakenberg. Soil tests can prevent buying and applying fertilizer where not needed. See the MU…

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As temperatures drop, watch for fescue foot

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – When temperatures fall, beef producers should watch for signs of fescue foot in their beef herds. “As the cold weather moves in, you are likely to notice some cows or yearlings on fescue pastures may be slow-moving early in the day,” says University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Eldon Cole. This…

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New online Master Gardener training begins Jan. 19

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Gardening is an activity with many rewards, said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. “One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others. The Master Gardener program was initiated to do just that,” Trinklein said. Its motto, “helping others learn to grow,” emphasizes service…

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Reduce holiday stress with these tips

COLUMBIA, Mo. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. Picture-perfect families with perfectly coiffed hair and pearly white smiles appear in matching holiday attire in countless holiday television commercials. Perfectly wrapped gifts wait under perfectly decorated trees. How merry and bright! And then there’s the rest of us, says…

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MU Extension offers free produce safety class for gardeners

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension will hold a free online class on produce safety for gardeners from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 26. MU Extension horticulturists Patrick Byers and Justin Keay will offer tips on growing, harvesting, processing and storing produce safely. Participants will learn best practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from…

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