Environment

Commitment to
safeguarding Missouri's vital natural resources

Photo of Kevin Bradley standing in front of a soybean field

MU Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley presents the latest research and best practices at the annual Pest Management Field Day at the Bradford Research Center.

With agriculture accounting for a significant part of the state’s economy, MU Extension is committed to safeguarding aspects of the environment that can have far-reaching and lasting consequences if ignored. Take, for example, the unintended consequences of agricultural runoff into the water table. Bob Broz, an extension water quality specialist, continues his work educating farmers on how they can prevent such runoff, but that’s just one aspect of MU Extension’s stewardship of the environment.

photo of a beekeeper handling a honeycomb from a hive

Honey bee populations play an important role in pollinating crops.

Pesticides are crucial to the day-to-day function of agriculture in Missouri. However, like herbicides, their applications can have unintended consequences. Pollinators are a crucial part of the ecosystem, and their decline can have severe and far-reaching consequences for many agricultural endeavors across the state. Like agricultural runoff into the water table, pesticides affecting bees and other pollinators can have a significant economic impact.

That’s why MU Extension specialists started improving communication between pesticide applicators, growers and beekeepers with a set of online tools available through organizations like FieldWatch. Through voluntary participation, they have significantly increased the numbers of individuals registering and using the reporting tools. This approach — giving people the tools to make improvements to their community — is extension’s strength.

The Missouri Master Naturalist Program is another example of how MU Extension gives people tools to make improvements. By partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), MU Extension empowers local chapters to educate those in their community with advice and counsel from specialists with the MDC and MU Extension. Created in 2004, this program certifies volunteers as Master Naturalists after training and annual service. A broad sample of MU Extension programs shows the benefits of educating people around the state on the merits of conservation activities.

photo of Bob Broz  writing on a presentation board

Bob Broz, MU Extension water quality specialist.

Bob Broz, who last year also was working to educate the next generation of farmers about the dangers of agricultural runoff, this year turned to educating the people of Missouri about energy efficiency.

Broz is just one example of how MU Extension adapts to the changing needs of the people of Missouri. He shifted focus from one program to another based on the needs of different communities across the state.

 MU Extension’s free ID Weeds app helps people easily identify more than 430 weed species found in crop fields, pastures, lawns, gardens and aquatic areas in Missouri and surrounding states. Proper identification of weeds is important to help choose the appropriate and cost-effective method of control.

To download:

MU Extension experts like agricultural economist Scott Brown offer up-to-date research and information to help Missouri farmers make decisions.