Missouri Rural Survey


The second Missouri Rural Survey is currently underway; its purpose is to solicit input from Missouri residents, business owners, and elected officials on the issues they believe are important in sustaining local communities and building a strong local economy.  The survey is jointly sponsored by the Missouri Rural Development Partners, Missouri Department of Economic Development's Office of Rural Development, MU Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) and MU Extension.  The results will be used by each agency to help guide their programming so they can better address challenges facing Missouri’s rural communities.


Link to the survey:  https://missouri.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01k9LfYMwumdUiN


The 2017 survey report can be found here:  The Missouri Survey 2017


Hitchhiking spotted lanternfly could become problem in Missouri

Source: Kevin Rice, 573-771-7386; Dean Volenberg, 573-882-0476

COLUMBIA, Mo. – An exotic pest that hitchhikes on train cars, trucks and boats could suck the life out Missouri crops.

Spotted lanternfly has the potential to establish populations in Missouri, says University of Missouri Extension field crop entomologist Kevin Rice. It damages soybean, corn and hops, as well as fruit and ornamental trees. According to MU Extension viticulturist Dean Volenberg, it could have damaging effects on Missouri’s 1,700 acres of grapes, its primary host.

Adult lanternflies are active in June and July. Entomologists reported seeing the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania in 2014. It has appeared since then in Virginia, Delaware and New York.

The plant hopper likes to lay its eggs on smooth, metal surfaces such as those found on train cars, boats and tractor-trailers. Its honeydew secretions attract other pests. It leaves weeping wounds as it feeds.

The adult lanternfly’s forewing is gray with black spots. The wingtips are black blocks outlined in gray. It has distinctive bright orange-red and white underwings, but it appears less vibrant and may be difficult to see when its wings are not spread, Volenberg says.

It likes fall feeding on Ailanthus altissima, also known as tree of heaven, a medium-sized invasive tree with stout branches that spread to form an open, wide crown. Its flowers are showy and fragrant and it tolerates drought. The tree also enables the ailanthus webworm moth.

What to do if you spot lanternflies

• Do not kill it. The insect contains cantharidin, the same toxic chemical found in the blister beetle.

• Capture it if you can. Lanternflies are jumpers.

• Take a photograph of it. Email to ricekev@missouri.edu.

• Collect a specimen and put it in a vial filled with alcohol to preserve it.

• Take it to your county extension center and note where you found it. GPS coordinates are helpful. The extension center will send it to Rice, who will track its spread in Missouri.

• Use caution when handling tree of heaven; its sap can cause headaches, nausea and possible heart problems, according to Penn State Extension.

Sign up for free pest alerts from MU Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program at ipm.missouri.edu/pestMonitoring.



Food Preservation Class Offered on-line


Food Preservation Class is now available online. We are running two courses this spring and summer. The one going right now will have an optional hands-on workshop in Neosho on June 5th from 5:30-7:30 at Cross Church 16202 MO 59. Another course will be offered June-July and it’s hands-on component will be in Joplin on Aug 7 from 5:30-7:30. Location TBD, hopefully the new empire market.The online course offers every subject available: harvesting and storing, pickling, sweet spreads, pressure canning, salsas, freezing, and drying. 

The Neosho Class registration

Joplin  registration


Stone County Grazing School

June 20,21 and 22, 2018

A 3-day seminar on Management-intensive Grazing for economic and environmental sustainability. Two farm tours are scheduled along with classroom teaching. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. each day and will end at approximately 4:00 p.m.


2018 Stone County Grazing School Agenda for each day



   Lloyd & David Gunter & families, 1148 State Hwy WW, Conway, MO  65632  

Registration is now open for the Pack Barn Field Day and June Dairy Month Celebration June 8 at Lloyd Gunter's farm.


The MDA Summer Classic is open to all dairy producers and their families and allied industry. 


Free registration!


10 AM  Tours begin with talks on manure handling, pack barn design, and feed inventory/chopping with NRCS and University of Missouri dairy specialists.


Refreshments furnished by DFA and the Midwest Dairy Association.


NOON  Lunch provided by these sponsors:


               Beck's Hybrids

               Case Real Estate

               F&H Food Equipment Company


               Protect the Harvest

               Rogers Feed

               Schaeffer's Specialized Lubricants


1 PM   State of Missouri June Dairy Month Proclamation presentation with introduction of special guests.  MDA has invited Federal and State Officials to join us.


1:30 Adjourn


RSVP needed for lunch reservations by responding to this email or call.


Please let me know if you have questions or need additional information.


Dave Drennan

Executive Director

Missouri Dairy Association

Expo Sales Manager

Heart of America Dairy Expo





Drought tops questions called to MU Extension

Source: Craig Roberts, 573-882-0481; William Wiebold, 573-673-4128 (cell); 573-882-0621

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Extension agronomist talk was calm on the weekly teleconference. Few problems discussed on bugs, weeds, fungus or other pests. Then the weather hit the fan. Reports from across Missouri told of farmers’ concerns about lack of rain.

For corn farmers it’s the threat of rootless corn. Soybean growers worry about low emergence and uneven stands.

Cattle farmers ask “Where’s the grass? What do we do for hay?”

Some farmers cut and baled winter cover crops. Others look at their heading winter wheat for forage instead of grain.

Most all say send more rain soon. The northwestern half of the state seems to have the least subsoil moisture.

Small rains that fall may do more harm than good. A 0.2- or 0.4-inch rain may be enough to germinate seed but not enough to grow roots, said Bill Wiebold, University of Missouri crops specialist. Without adequate soil moisture, there may be rootless corn syndrome this year. That can lead to downed cornstalks.

There’s also concern about temperatures. “We went from March to July, skipping spring,” Wiebold added.

Earlier updates indicated warm weather and high winds increase evaporation from the surface soil. Also, rain fronts pass through quickly. Spotty showers replace daylong rains.

MU climatologist Pat Guinan had said earlier that the dry subsoil holds few reserves. “This year, crop water must come from the sky, not deep roots.”

Questions about when to cut hay drew a cautious response from Craig Roberts, MU Extension forage specialist.

A dry winter with short hay supply led to overgrazing winter pastures. In spring, grass regrowth slowed in low temperatures.

A long, cold spring put grasses into survival mode. Grass didn’t grow leaves but shot up seed stalks. Plants make seed to go into the soil bank for survival of the species.

If seed stems on most fescue are grazed, cattle get toxicosis. In spring, toxic ergovaline concentrates in the seeds.

A secondhand report told of a veterinarian called to a beef herd that had grazed toxic seeds. Several cows died.

The only hope for renewed forage growth is to clip the seed heads, Roberts said. Seed stem clipping triggers growth of tillers for the plants trying to put out leaves.

But seed clipping won’t help if normal rain doesn’t return. Plants will need rain to regrow.

“If I knew what rains will do in the next two weeks, I could give better answers,” Roberts told regional agronomists online. The weekly MU Extension call-in session answers questions county specialists get from farmers.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Wayne Flanary, agronomist in northwestern Missouri.

Ben Puttler, an entomologist who monitors alfalfa fields in central Missouri, said alfalfa weevil arrived late. But the forage outgrew the leaf-eating pests.

Now most alfalfa is tall enough for the first cutting for haylage or bales. That controls the weevil.


For more than 100 years, University of Missouri Extension has extended university-based knowledge beyond the campus into all counties of the state. In doing so, extension has strengthened families, businesses and communities.

MU Extension news: extension.missouri.edu/news | News feed: extension.missouri.edu/news/feed



2017 Farm Labor Guide is now available


Farm Labor Guide

MU Extension Guide Offers help on hiring and keeping employees

Source: Joe Horner, 573-882-9339

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension recently released its 2017 Farm Labor Guide.

Finding and keeping dependable workers is one of the largest challenges today for farm owners and managers, says MU Extension agricultural economist Joe Horner. “As farms grow in size, learning to recruit, manage and retain high-quality employees becomes even more critical.”

The free online publication is MU Extension’s response to farmers’ requests for a simple, Missouri-specific guide to navigating the complexities of human resources management, Horner says.

The guide is available as a downloadable PDF file at agebb.missouri.edu/commag/farmlabor.

Horner, MU Extension agricultural economist Ryan Milhollin and agribusiness consultant Alice Roach created the guide to help employers make decisions that lead to a quality workforce and satisfied employees.

The guide divides the employment process into six segments: recruitment; hiring; onboarding, training and mentoring; operations; retention; and termination.

Horner says the guide gives a systematic list to identify and hire suitable employees. The guide covers safety, employee compensation and other human resources protocols.

Horner says it is important to decide on the needs of the operation before the employee search begins. Does the farm or business need full-time or part-time help? What are the hours that the employee is needed? Is the work seasonal or year-round?

After the employer makes these decisions, Horner recommends creating a formal job description. This helps job seekers decide if they qualify for a job or have an interest. It also helps the employer track whether applicants qualify, need training and if goals are met after the hire. It sets expectations of the employee’s role and relationships with coworkers, vendors and others.

The guide outlines six steps to writing a job description and tells where to publicize job postings for best results. It also offers advice on interviewing, including a list of acceptable and unacceptable questions, and general work rules such as overtime.

The guide discusses subjects such as background, drug and reference checks, as well as needed paperwork, taxes and employment laws. It follows through with options for training and mentoring.

The guide lists numerous free online resources to recruitment and hiring from extension specialists across the country.


Fifth-generation rancher becomes MU Extension beef nutrition specialist

Source: Eric Bailey, 573-884-7873

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Fifth-generation rancher Eric Bailey joins University of Missouri Extension as state beef nutrition specialist.

He came to Mizzou for “its desire to innovate and be leaders in the next generation of beef producers.” He will work with specialists on beef cattle nutrition. He plans to meet beef farmers and leaders across the state.

A native of Santa Rosa, N.M., Bailey grew up about 7 miles from where his great-great-grandfather homesteaded. The family ranched on 65,000 acres that get 12 inches of rain per year. Cows graze 365 days, and each cow needs 55 acres.

His father recently retired as foreman of Singleton Ranches, one of the country’s top ranches in size and cows. It covers more than a million acres in New Mexico and California.

Before 2000, his grandfather was Singleton’s general manager.

“I don’t know anything but agriculture and beef cattle,” Bailey said.

He received a bachelor’s in animal science from West Texas A&M in 2007. We went to graduate school at Kansas State University, where he was named Larry H. Corah Outstanding Ph.D. student in 2013. His emphasis was beef cattle nutrition.

After earning his doctorate, Bailey returned to his alma mater, joining the West Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Sciences in 2013 as Endowed Chair of Cow-Calf Nutrition.

He belongs to the American Society of Animal Science and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

At Mizzou, Bailey intends to research strategies to reduce input costs for cow-calf operations through improved grazing management and use of purchased and raised feedstuffs.

In his spare time, Bailey trains quarter horses and plays golf. He plans to be an ardent supporter of Mizzou football and basketball.

He lives in Columbia with two horses, a stock dog and a companion dog.

Reach Bailey at baileyeric@missouri.edu or 573-884-7873.

Photos available for this release:

Link: http://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/people/eric_bailey.jpg
Cutline: Eric Bailey, state beef nutrition specialist.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Rob Kallenbach