MU Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency Farm Bill Meeting

The 2014 Farm Bill contains several provisions that enable farmers and landowners to make decisions regarding their involvement in federal farm programs.  Landowners will have the opportunity to reallocate base acres on individual farms as well as update yield information that is used to determine some farm program payments.  Additionally, farmers will have the opportunity to elect to participate in the new commodity programs—Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage.  To provide information on the new farm bill and assist landowners and farmers in making program decisions, University of Missouri Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host an educational meeting on Tuesday, December 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Laclede Electric Coop office in Lebanon (1400 E Route 66).  Registration is required to attend the meeting.  Individuals who are interested in participating should register by December 15 by calling the Miller County Extension Center to register, 573-369-2394 or the USDA-FSA office in Lebanon (417) 532-5741.  Extension and FSA will host many other Farm Bill meetings across the state.  To obtain more information about these meetings, visit or contact your local MU Extension or USDA-FSA office.

Building It from the Ground Up Program

This program is designed to address the needs of land owners looking to improve on their property as well as their outputs and profitability over the long run of the operation. Realizing finances may be limited and/or restricted we will be working with those individuals trying to make sound economic decisions about their operations.  Targeting both new and old land owners/operators looking to run up to 25-75 cows, 50-100 stockers, 25-75 breeding goats and/or sheep, or a small registered livestock operation on farms less than 150-250 acres operated as a part time and/or hobby farm. This would not be their sole source of income, but a part time occupation. This is not about making a living on the farm, but about living on the farm, raising children on the farm, and having the rural way of life. The farm just needs to pay for itself and if it makes a little money along the way….. Great!

Each program will consist of three session areas, running for 30 to 45 minutes, allowing for questions at the end of each session.  Sessions will start at 6:00 pm and end around 9:00 pm.   Individuals may attend any of the programs for $15 a night or sign up for all five programs for $60.  If you sign up for all five nights and pre-pay at least one week in advance you will receive a three ring binder to place all handout materials made available during each session. Scheduled programs will commence on February 3 and meet for five consecutive weeks, on the assigned nights, ending the evening of March 3. We will be located at the Laclede County Extension Office, Courthouse Annex, 186-D North Adams Avenue, Lebanon MO 65536.  Refreshments will be provided during each session. Please make checks payable to Laclede County MU Extension and mail to the above address.

For additional information contact:  Sam Lower @ Laclede County MU Extension Office at 417-532-7126 or  Terry Halleran @ Hickory County MU Extension Office at 417-745-6767

Building It from the Ground Up Program Registration Form (pdf)

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. Regional specialists can give you additional informational recommendations. The cost is $15 per sample. See additional MU publications on soil testing.

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