Educational opportunities

Single- and multi-session educational programs cover topics in agriculture, natural resources, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families, community and leadership development, business and careers, and emergency management. Fees vary by program. Customized training is available.

Soil testing

Basic soil testing analyzes nutrient content and fertility status. Results include fertilizer and lime recommendations. Additional tests are available for nutrient management plans, environmental issues, potting mixes, compost, manure and water usage. Each sample should contain about 1½ cups of dry soil from 6 to 7 inches deep. Consult our soil testing publications for specific instructions. Results are typically provided within two weeks.

Basic soil tests cost $13 per sample. Tests are submitted in a timely manner and results are usually received in seven to ten days.

Hay testing

Mailing materials and probes, or hay samplers, for forage testing by commercial labs are available as a convenience to our clients. Probes/samplers are recommended to get a proper sample.

Producers need to bring their samples to the office. Staff will assist them in determining which test(s) are necessary and which lab to use. Some producers find it useful to have help interpreting the results. Our office can help you with that as well.

Plant and insect identification

Plant and insect samples may be brought to the extension office for identification or disease diagnosis. Recommendations for managing pests, weeds and diseases are provided.

Plant disease diagnosis

Plant disease, insect and weed diagnosis is available for field crops, ornamentals, vegetables, fruits and turfs.

Private pesticide applicator training

MU Extension provides private pesticide applicator training for producers as required for Missouri Department of Agriculture certification. Individuals must purchase or bring a copy of MU Extension publication M87, Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual, to the training. Manuals may be purchased at the extension center.

Additional testing services

Other services include chemical analyses of foods, feeds, fertilizers and water.

Canner gauge tests

Testing for dial-type pressure canner lids is available. Dial-type gauges should be tested annually to ensure accuracy and prevent bacterial contamination of preserved foods. (Testing is not necessary for weighted gauges.)

Meeting room rental

Meeting space at the MU Extension office is available to local community groups.

The Gentry County MU Extension Office is located on the MU Hundley-Whaley Center. The Learning Discovery Center, where the office is housed, has a large auditorium, full kitchen, and two small meeting rooms that may be rented. For more information on renting the building, contact Bruce Burdick at 660.726.3698.


MU Extension has publications on agriculture, natural resources, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families, community and leadership development, business and careers, emergency management and other topics. Prices vary by publication. 

Nematode analysis

Tests to examine soil and plants for the presence of parasitic nematodes are available. Results include management recommendations. Before submitting samples, contact the extension office for instructions on proper collection methods.

Distance education test proctoring

MU Extension proctors tests for students enrolled in Mizzou Online courses.

Those who are interested in having a test proctored need to call the office at 660.726.5610 beforehand. Also, tests will not be administered after 3:00 p.m.