Agricultural Updates

Soybean Sprouting in Pods

Rains throughout the region over the past two weeks have provided relief from the drought we endured throughout the summer. While ponds and pastures were able to benefit from the moisture, soybeans in the field were past the point of benefitting from the rain, and may suffer yield losses as a result. Full article>

Cercospora Leaf Blight

Producers may be surprised this fall when they look in their hoppers and see soybeans with large purple spots. This is the result of a fungus called Cercospora kikuchii, which can infect soybean seeds, pods stems and leaves. It is commonly referred to as Cercospora leaf blight or purple seed stain. Learn more>

Spiny Amaranth

Spiny amaranth, or spiny pigweed, is a weed that has been showing up in greater numbers in Missouri pastures recently. As its name suggests, the weed has two spines at each node, making cattle and other livestock avoid the plant while grazing. If allowed to become established in a pasture, it is extremely difficult to eliminate this weed. To learn more>


Several farmers in the area have been concerned about aflatoxin levels in their corn this year. While I have not heard reports of aflatoxins being present yet, weather conditions this summer do increase the possibility that this could be an issue during harvest. Full article>

Herbicide Carryover

As we near the end of August we are getting to the time of year when many producers begin to plant cover crops on their farms. Cover crops can prevent soil erosion, supply nutrients to the following crop, suppress weeds and reduce soil compaction at a time when most fields are fallow. If you are going to plant cover crops on your farm, be aware that some herbicides used during the previous crop cycle may still be present in the field and may prevent your cover crops from becoming established. Read full article>

Baling Soybeans-Fall Fertilizer

The prolonged drought in Northwest Missouri has forced many farmers to consider baling their soybeans as a forage crop this year. While soybeans are an excellent feed source for cattle, producers need to take into consideration the herbicides that were sprayed on the soybeans throughout the growing season. Some herbicides such as Roundup and Sencor have pre-harvest application intervals of less than 30 days, allowing the soybeans to be cut or grazed after this time period. Most herbicides though, such as Liberty, dicamba products and most residual herbicides are not allowed to be grazed or harvested for forage or hay. Be sure to read and follow all label directions before harvesting soybeans that have been treated with herbicides. More

Nitrates and Silage

Many questions have come into the office recently about cutting drought-stressed corn for silage. These questions usually deal with nitrate levels in corn as well as the right moisture content to make silage.

Nitrates accumulate in the stalks of drought-stressed corn. Higher levels of nitrate are found primarily in the lower portion of the stalk, while corn leaves will not accumulate any nitrates. Following a rainfall event, nitrate levels in the corn plant will spike as the plant takes up more nitrogen from the soil. Fields where higher levels of nitrogen fertilizer was added will be more at risk for higher nitrate levels in the plant.

If you are planning to cut drought-stressed corn for silage, contact Andy Luke, regional agronomy specialist, at 660-425-6434 or your local University of Missouri Extension center to have your corn spot tested for nitrates. To learn more>

Japanese Beetles

Recent trappings of Japanese beetles indicate that numbers are extremely high in the region and across the state. High Japanese beetle captures do not mean that treatment is necessary, but do indicate that fields should be scouted for damage.

Japanese beetles are a metallic green beetle with bronze-colored wing covers often found in crop fields. Approximately one half inch in length, they will have 5 tufts of white hair on each side of the abdomen.

To learn more about scouting your fields for Japanese Beetles, contact Andy Luke, regional agronomy specialist, at 660-425-6434 or

Early Soybean Flowering

Soybeans are a photoperiod sensitive crop that begin flowering once day length becomes shorter. In most years, this means that shortly after summer begins on June 21st, the soybeans sense the day length becoming shorter and enter in to the reproductive growth stage by setting blooms. Generally, the soybeans will be in the V7 to V10 growth stage when this occurs. However, with high temperatures and dry conditions like we have had this year, soybeans are beginning to flower much earlier than normal, with some fields flowering while only in the V4 growth stage. The indeterminate soybean varieties we plant in northern Missouri will continue to get taller and set nodes during this growth stage, but early flowering may have an impact on POST applied herbicide applications.

Growers who planted Roundup Ready, Xtend or Liberty Link soybeans need to scout their soybeans and determine their growth stage before applying any of these herbicides. Applications of approved glyphosate and dicamba containing products can be made on Roundup Ready and Xtend soybeans respectively, up until the R2 growth stage, or when soybeans are in full bloom. The herbicide label for Liberty states that it can be sprayed up until the R1 growth stage, which many soybeans are now in. For growers who were not able to make POST applications with these herbicides in time, many traditional herbicides are available and can be sprayed later in the growing season.

If you desire further information on this or any other topic contact Andy Luke, Agronomy Specialist with MU Extension at (660)-425-6434. 

2016 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri

The rates reported in this guide are based on a statewide survey conducted by mail in the winter of 2017. Farmers, agribusiness firms, aerial applicators and land improvement contractors responded to questions on the rates they were charging or paying in 2016 for custom services, excluding the cost of materials being applied.

2016 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri G302.

Private Pesticide Applicators Training

Individuals needing to obtain or renew their Private Pesticide Applicator certification for the purchase of restricted use pesticides may come into the Harrison County University of Missouri Extension office and watch a 2 1/2 hour training video. The training is free, except for $12 for the Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual, if you already have the manual, then you must  bring it to the training. Family members can share one manual. Private Pesticide Applicator certification is valid for 5 years. To schedule a time to view the video contact the office at 660-425-6434 or

Ag business

MU Extension publication G810, Missouri Fencing and Boundary Laws
MU Extension publication G427, 2015 Cash Rental Rates 
MU Extension publication G302, 2016 Custom Rates for Farm Services


New Herbicide Products (PDF) (2/2017)
Trees  MP3 | Text (PDF)  (8-16-14)