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- YOUR University FOR Missouri


How dry is your farm?

Click this link to let your voice be heard!

New data collected through Tuesday morning.
Then complied and reviewed – yielding results which are published on Thursday each week at 8AM

You can also report conditions at: 
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
Click: Condition monitoring report.

Drought Survival Meetings on August 17
in Springfield and Mt. Vernon








Drought stays as beef farmers plan on fall rains to make winter pasture

Source: Craig Roberts, 573-882-0481

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Stunted, stemmy pastures unable to support grazing cattle have potential. Depend on fall rains to bring fall regrowth, says University of Missouri Extension forage agronomist Craig Roberts.

Cool-season grass growth always slumps in summer. Fescue goes dormant. This year, the slump dives deep with lack of rain and too much heat. In spite of that, Missouri farmers should prepare for fall regrowth for winter grazing.

For more information click the link below.



USDA Authorizes Emergency Haying and Grazing of Conservation Reserve Program Acres for 45 Missouri Counties
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director Kim Viers today announced that 45 Missouri counties are authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for fiscal year 2018. FSA's fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
More information in this link
For more information and to request approval for emergency haying or grazing use of CRP acres, contact your local FSA office. To find your local office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.


Baling Drought-stressed Corn for silage

The lack of rain has cattleman around the county, and state, wondering what forage they are going to feed. Maybe baling your drought-stressed, earless corn could be the best option from a bad situation to capture some nutrients for your herd.
Considerations before chopping:
1. Did you side-dress N or apply poultry liter? Be sure to test for Nitrates. Recall, nitrates accumulate in the bottom portion of the stalk, be sure to raise your cutter to limit nitrates. 
2. Check your dry matter/moisture. You can do this at home in your microwave. The ideal moisture in the bale will encourage proper fermentation and prevent spoilage. Click here for step by step instructions
3. Once your plant begins to tassel, the total tonnage doesn't change greatly. Waiting to bale for silage will increase fiber levels and decrease overall nutritional value of the corn for our herd.
4. Talk to your insurance agent before chopping.
5. Allow forage to ferment 4-6 weeks before beginning to feed. Drought-stressed corn silage will not feed like normal corn silage. Consult with a MU Extension livestock specialist or your nutritionist to ensure that your herd's nutritional needs are met.
Click here for the press release for more information.

See Below for common Q/A for baling corn:
Q: Is short/stunted corn worth baling?
A: Absolutely! Lush leafy corn growth will commonly test around 13% protein and provide fiber to support rumen function. 

Q: What if my corn has rust?
A. This should not limit the feeding value of your crop, however be aware that it will dry down much faster. If the crop is too dry going into the bale, the fermentation profile will be altered encouraging mold growth.


Cattlemen's Bus Tour

MU Extension Cattlemen’s Bus Tour will be held from August 6th to the 9th.  Bus tour is geared towards cattle producers and will be touring cattle operations, agricultural businesses and university research/extension facilities located in Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma.  The tour itinerary is as follows:

August 6th

  • Neosho Valley Feeders in Parsons, KS
  • Kansas State University Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons, KS
  • Southeast Kansas Genetics in Galesburg, KS

August 7th

  • AGCO mfg in Hesston, KS
  • Mushrush Red Angus in Strong City, KS

August 8th

  • The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK
  • Langford Herefords in Okmulgee, OK
  • Dismukes Ranch in Checotah, OK

August 9th

  • Thorne Land and Cattle Inc. in Adair, OK

Spur Ranch in Vinita, OK 


Registration  http://extension.missouri.edu/barry/documents/Hickory%20Cattlemens%20Bus%20Tour%20Brochure%202018%20new.pdf



Grazing School

A 3-day seminar on Management-intensive Grazing for economic and environmental sustainability

Lamar - September 10,11,12, 2018 (daytime)

Contact: Barton County Extension 417-682-3579 or scheidtjk@Missouri.edu

Marshfield - September 18,19,20, 2018 (daytime)

Contact: Webster County SWCD 417-468-4176 Ext. 3 or Jody.Lawson@swcd.mo.gov

Fair Grove - October 16,17,18, 2018 (daytime)

Contact: Greene County SWCD 417-831-5246 Ext. 3 or Mark.Green@mo.usda.gov OR Eric.Morris@swcd.mo.gov




Got Unused Pesticides?  What Can You Do with Them?

Many farms, ranches and homeowners have excess pesticides laying around that may never get used again.  If that describes your place, there is a solution that doesn’t happen very often.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is offering a free pesticide collection on July 21, 8 a.m. to noon, in Nevada this year.  This will be the closest offering this year to us.  If you had to pay for proper disposal of pesticides through incineration, the cost would be very expensive.  This is a free service only offered occasionally by the department.  This allows you to rid your farm or home of a potentially harmful chemical threat that would need to be dealt with at some time.  See the attached flyer for details.


2018 Missouri Cash Rental Rate Survey

Whether you are a landowner or a tenant, your response to this survey provides valuable information to Missouri farmers. Farmers seek and use the University of Missouri cash rental rate survey results to make business decisions. This survey seeks information about cash rental rates for cropland, pastureland, grain bins, and hunting leases.

Survey results will be summarized and reported online. You can see past cash rental rate survey results at https://extension2.missouri.edu/G427.

This survey is anonymous and should take about 5 minutes to complete. You only need to complete the sections of the survey that apply to you.

Click on the link to take the survey: 2018 Cash Rental Rate Survey




If you prefer to fill out a paper copy of the survey it is attached.






Management During Shortage of Forage and Feed

MU Extension and MU Veterinary Medicine



In 2018, Missouri has seen the 2nd coldest April on record, followed by the hottest May on record.  As one person said, “We went from March to June with nothing in between.”  Also, it was dry through the entire winter.

These weather conditions have slowed the growth of cool-season grasses.  April temperatures were too low for optimum growth.  May temperatures were much warmer, but when they arrived, the cool-season grasses immediately entered early stages of reproduction.  So, we had hardly any grass in April.  When we finally got it in May, it produced stems.

One last point. Another reason for the shortage of 2018 pasture is the fall-winter drought.  As pasture was limited, cows grazed harder, especially between November and March.  As they grazed harder, they removed the stubble height, which contains carbohydrates necessary for green-up in the Spring.

Our adverse weather and heavy grazing pressure has produced pastures that are low in quantity and low in quality.  We don’t have much pasture.  And what we do have is stemmy and even toxic.

  1. Cow herd management during drought: selective culling
  2. Heat stress and other animal considerations
  3. Emergency summer annuals 
  4. Fescue Hay
  5. Fescue Silage
  6. Cow herd management during drought: supplemental feeding
  7. Ammoniation of low quality hay










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




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