June is National Healthy Homes Month!

What is a Healthy Home?? Test your knowledge-download the Healthy Homes Basics App! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/healthy-homes-basics/id1092367352?mt=8

Did you know that your indoor home environment is closely linked to your health??  Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health.  You can create a healthy home just by changing some of your everyday habits.  A working smoke alarm can cut the chance of someone dying in a fire by HALF. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US. You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home!  Is your home healthy?  Learn about Healthy Homes, asthma, lead and more.  Get the facts: www.hud.gov/healthyhomes


SBA Assistance for Flood Victims

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Missouri businesses and residents as a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced.

The declaration covers Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney and Texas counties as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred April 28 – May 11, 2017.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Missouri with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help Missouri businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.215 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.938 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.


Cleaning Mold from Hard Surfaces

To prevent mold from returning, you must first eliminate the moisture sources that caused the mold.  For personal protection, especially if the mold growth is extensive, wear a respirator with an N-95 or P-100 rating (to avoid breathing airborne mold spores), goggles without ventilation holes, and gloves made of natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC.

Clean the surface with a solution of 1/3 cup low-suds household cleanser or laundry detergent (no ammonia) per 1 gallon of water, using a brush or sponge. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per 1 gallon of water. Scrub with a brush. Rinse again with clean water and let dry. You can use a fan to speed drying.

As a preventative step to keep the mold from growing back after cleaning it off, mix a solution of 2 cups of borax laundry booster in 5 gallons of hot water.  Stir until the borax dissolves and then add 1 pint of isopropyl "rubbing" alcohol.

Apply this solution with a sponge, pump sprayer or pressure washer. There is no need to worry about toxicity or what it will do to nearby plants and building materials.  The benefits are that you don't have to rinse, and the residual borax left behind is a potent fungicide that will not harm pets or children.  The alcohol smell after applying should dissipate quickly, especially when outdoors. The alcohol is a necessary antiseptic and drying agent.


Flood Resources

MU Extension Flood Resources    

MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home    

Rehabbing Flooded Houses: A Guide for Builders and Contractors

MU Extension publication GH5928, How to Prevent and Remove Mildew

Humidity gauge source list (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mold removal from hard surfaces (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Odor neutralizers (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mildew removal from siding (PDF) — University of Missouri Extension

Mold control resources  

Understanding the Effects of Flooding on Trees

Flooding Q & A (while not all of these questions are germane to spring-time flooding, there are several good bits of advice that apply to the current situation)

Design Storm Alert System (tracks accumulated precipitation and helps with managing stored manure or domestic wastewater)

MoDOT road travel conditions   

Extension Flood Resources

Flood Recovery for Cropland

Frequently Asked Questions About Handling Flooded Produce

Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-affected Food Crops for Human Consumption

Twilight tours

Experience Horticulture in Southeast Missouri.  Twilight tours will offer an opportunity to visit diverse horticulture enterprises and practices. Growers/farmers will be available to answer questions and provide hands-on learning experiences.  Tours are open to all.  Tours are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. on the date noted for each event, see flyer (PDF).  Tours are $5 unless otherwise noted, Pre-registration is required.

Pesticide Applicator Training

A grower can currently obtain a Private Applicator License by scheduling training through the Butler County Extension Center 573-686-8064.  Training is done from 9:00 am to noon or 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and requires three hours.

Horticulture Educational Opportunities

Continuing Education and Advanced Level Training Opportunities for Master Gardeners.  Classes are open to the public.  Click here for 2017 options (PDF).


Regional newsletters

Missouri Ag News (PDF)

The Garden Spade (PDF)

Find Butler County University of Missouri Extension on Facebook Butler County Facebook