Access to researched-based information and education

Lafayette County Extension provides county residents with acces to a wealth of ag-related information and educational services.  Headquartered in the Lafayette County Extension Center and surrounding counties, MU Extension Agricultural Specialists assist farmers and other agricultural businesses by addressing their research and educational needs in the areas of agronomy, livestock, horticulture, and agricultural business.  Extension delivers unbiased, research-based information and services through seminars, workshops, field days, news articles, publications, and consultations. To learn more about the information, programs, and services provided by Extension in Lafayette County, see the Lafayette County Extension calendar of events or contact an Extension Agricultural Specialist who serves Lafayette County.

MU Extension Show-Me Market Showdown — July 14 to Sept. 19, 2014

This summer MU Extension will coordinate the Show-Me Market Showdown, an educational online grain marketing game for farmers, ag professionals and other interested people. The simulation will enable participants to enhance their knowledge and skills related to grain marketing by providing a platform through which participants can experiment with different grain marketing tools and strategies.

The premise of the game is for each participant to sell/hedge predetermined quantities of corn, soybeans, and wheat, utilizing real-time cash bids, futures prices, and options quotes. The game employs the use of a website called to link real-time market information with players’ ability to execute virtual marketing transactions. The website monitors players’ market positions, executes their trades, and summarizes players’ virtual marketing account balances.

Players compete with one another based on the outcome of their sales and trades relative to other players’ marketing transactions. Although the game is competitive, the main focus of the game is for players to learn the risks and rewards of alternative marketing strategies and to learn the mechanics of various marketing tools, such as futures contracts, options on futures, and forward contracts. To this end, in addition to the game, the coordinators will offer players guidance and marketing instruction through weekly educational e-mails and a game blog. The emails and blog will provide a valuable means of discussion and instruction among the game coordinators and participants.

In addition to being fun and educational, participation in the Show-Me Market Showdown is extremely flexible and risk-free. Since the game is hosted online, players can access the game whenever and wherever they have the time and access to the Internet. There are no formal meeting times or locations for game participants, which is advantageous for busy farmers and ag professionals. Furthermore, while all trades in the game utilize real market quotes and life-like brokerage execution, players have no risk of financial loss through participation in the game. The risk-free nature of the game is a major advantage to learning about marketing tools and strategies through the game rather than in the real world where experimentation with various marketing tools and strategies poses enormous financial risk.  

Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. As a result, participation in the game is completely free.

More information for the game can be found on the Show-Me Market Showdown page. You can register for the game using the online registration form or by contacting Whitney Wiegel, MU Extension agricultural business specialist, at 660-584-3658 or  

Projected tenant and landowner returns to corn and soybean production under various rental arrangements

Lease Comparisons Slideshow (PDF)

Lease Comparisons Spreadsheet (XLSX)

Cover crop decision support tools

Cover Crop Selection Tool (XLSX)

Cover Crop Seed Cost Calculator (XLSX)

Tweedie agribusiness forum presentation: Pros and cons of flexible cash farm leases

Pros and Cons of Flexible Cash Farm Leases presentation by Whitney Wiegel (PDF)

Farm Recordkeeping Tools

Whitney Wiegel, MU Extension agricultural business specialist, has developed a couple of basic spreadsheet-based recordkeeping tools that farmers can use to track their income and expenses. "Farm Record Book Version 2.4" is designed for traditional row-crop & livestock farmers while "Farm Record Book Veggie Version 2.1" is designed for specialty crop & small livestock producers. Basic instructions for using each tool are included in each file.

Farm Record Book 2.4 (XLSX)

Farm Record Book Veggie 2.1 (XLSX)