Candidates sought for Phelps County Extension Council

Nominations are being accepted for the January 22– 25, 2019 election to the University of Missouri Extension Council of Phelps County, says Council Chair Michael Collins.

The University of Missouri Extension Council of Phelps County is the local link between county residents and the University of Missouri. Council members assist in planning and carrying out Extension educational programs to improve people’s lives. As public officials, council members administer a local budget to support education that meets people’s highest priorities.

"The Phelps County Extension council is seeking people from all walks of life who are interested in education and the progress of our community,” says Chris Beaugard, Extension Council Chairman. “Serving on the extension council is a great way to help make our community a better place for people to live.”

Extension council members represent the broad educational needs and backgrounds of the people of Phelps County. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, reside in Phelps County, and be willing to attend monthly meetings. Nominations for the Phelps County Extension Council must be made by Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

Individuals interested in serving on the council may contact the County Extension Center at 573-458-6260.

The Phelps County Extension council meets on the second Monday of each month in the evening.

Local programing in Phelps County include: parenting classes, youth development, family life, budgeting, financial literacy, 4-H, Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs, child care provider classes, starting a business: the first steps, chronic disease management classes, and the Food Nutrition Education Program held in the schools.

Information about Phelps County Extension can be found on the web at or by calling or visiting the Extension Center located in the Phelps County Courthouse at 200 North Main, Rolla, MO 65401, 573-458-6260.

This is your opportunity to help us make a difference in Phelps County!

Upcoming Events:

Phelps County Quarterly Calendar of Events:

2019 Master Naturalist Core Training - Coming Soon!

Gardening Calendar

Drought Resources

In Missouri during years when precipitation comes in a fairly normal manner, moisture is stored in the top layers of the soil during the winter and early spring, when evaporation and transpiration are low. During the summer months the loss of water by evaporation and transpiration is high, and if rainfall fails to occur at frequent intervals, drought will result. Nearly every year some areas have short periods of drought in Missouri. There have been occasional years when the soil moisture has been depleted, arid when rains have failed to replace the water lost by evaporation and transpiration for prolonged periods. These conditions have caused widespread distress. With increasing population and more competition for the use of water, wise water management is becoming more important in the Show Me state.

The drought monitor map (opens in new window) is updated weekly to show which areas of the state fall into a category of drought. The map changes based on reports from landowners and residents, so the accuracy of the map is dependent on your reports. Report drought conditions in your area by clicking the link on the left-hand side of the page. Each drought category is defined by certain criteria from the United States Drought Monitor.

Resources for Your Flooded Home

Cleaning up after a flood takes special care. To help with your flood response and recovery, download MU Extension Publication MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home (PDF). This guide covers a variety of flood cleanup topics. Other flood related resources can be found here.

Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked

When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.

The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.

Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1.

If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.  

Soil Testing

Don’t guess. Soil tests save time and money.

Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.

Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.

“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.

“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or under application, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.” 

Soil testing can be done through the extension office. The cost is $15 per sample and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications

Soil Sampling Questions and Answers

Lawn Maintenance Questions?

What is an Extension Center?

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