Watch an informative YouTube with information about hay testing at

Hickory County Cattlemen's Bus Tour

MU Extension offers cattlemen a bus tour of cattle operations in Kansas and Oklahoma on August 6 through 9, 2018.

MU Extension livestock specialist Patrick Davis said the tour offers an opportunity to see several cattle operations to help them manage herds better, avoid disease conditions and make herds more profitable.  Registration deadline is July 15, Davis said.

The offerings include:

  • Neosho Valley Feeders.  This is a small feedlot operation based in Parsons, Kansas.
  • Kansas State Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons, Kansas.  Jaymeylynn Farney assistant professor and beef systems extension specialist with Kansas State University will lead a discussion around K-State's research and extension on beef cattle and forage management.
  • Southeast Kansas Genetics, Galesburg, Kansas.  Tour goers will learn about the cattle reproductive technologies business.  SEK is home to one of the largest and most diverse semen inventories for beef cattle.  Other topics include embryo transfer, pregnancy blood testing and disease testing.
  • AGCO Manufacturing.  This Hesston, Kansas, manufacturer offers Challenger, FENDT, GSI, Massey Ferguson combines, Valtra, Fella, Fuse, Gleaner, Sunflower and White planters.  The six plants are located on 345 acres and feature robot welding.  Much of the equipment is dedicated to hay equipment.
  • Mushrush Red Angus Cattle's main enterprise consists of 750 registered Red Angus Cows split evenly between spring and fall calving herds.  Located in the heart of Kansas Flint Hills near Elmdale, the operation freatures about 8,000 acres of native tallgrass prairie.  Four generations of the same family live and work on the farm.
  • Pioneer Woman Mercantile in the heart of Osage County, Oklahoma, offers shopping, a bakery and a restaurant.
  • Langford Hereford, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, has raised and sld registered Hereford cattle for 80 years.  The ranch offers more than 600 bulls and 450 females for sale yearly.
  • Dismukes Ranch, Checotah, Oklahoma, is a seedstoclk breeder of registered Angus and Charolais cattle.  Based on their website the cattle they raise are designed to meet the needs of the real world cattlemen.  They say that they select cattle for their physical and phenotype traits primarily.  To that extent when selecting coes and heifers, they pput the highest value on udder quality, feet and fertility.  Furthermore there website mentioned, "That if the cow doesn't breed, milk and raise a heavy calf they are culled from the heard."
  • Thorne Land an Cattle, Inc., Adair, Oklahoma, offers Simmental/Angus, Maine-Anjou and a few Braunvieh cattle.
  • Spur Angus Ranch, Finita, Oklahoma, is a registered seedstock Angus operation that began in the 1930's and converted its herd to Angus breed in the late 1050's.  The ranch covers 15,000 acres and annually holds one of the Unites States' top sales for Angus bulls and commercial femailes.

Registration for the tour is $375 per person and includes bus transportation and double occupancy hotel rooms.  Meals during the trip are paid by the participants.  Payment is payable by July 15 to MU Extension, Hickory County, 203 Cedar Street, Hermitage, MO  65668.  For more information, contact MU Extension agronomy specialist Terry Haleran at 417-745-6767, livestock specialist Gene Schmitz at 660-438-5012 or Patrick Davis at 417-276-3313.

Hickory County Cattlemen's Bus Tour flyer and registration form (PDF)

Hitchhiking spotted lanternfly could become problem in Missouri

An exotic pest that hitchhikes on train cars, trucks and boats could suck the life of 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 spead 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
  • 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 Kevin 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

Caption:  Spotted lanternfly.
Credit:  Photo courtesy Penn State Extension

Caption:  When its wings are not spread, the spotted lanternfly is fairly unremarkable in its appearance.
Credit:  Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture