Become a Master Gardener

The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program of the University of Missouri Extension that requires training. Level 1 training is the first step to become a Master Gardener. In addition to completing the Level 1 training, you will be asked to volunteer 30 hours on gardening projects.

Policies and procedures for the program can be viewed at:

You can begin volunteering at the start of training. After completing 30 volunteer hours, you will be recognized as a Master Gardener with a certificate and Master Gardener name badge. You have one year from the completion of training to complete your initial volunteer commitment. In each subsequent year, you must give 20 volunteer hours and six continuing education hours to maintain your status as a Master Gardener. There are a variety of opportunities to complete the requirements each year.

Level I training is offered annually and meets weekly for twelve weeks. It is important for you to attend all of the classes. The training and volunteer requirement is a substantial time commitment, both in and out of class. Please be sure this volunteer activity fits your schedule. If in doubt, you can always apply in future years. 


The training for 2015 is scheduled to begin on February 19th, 2015. Call 573 369 2394.

Location – Orientation Meeting
Feb. 19th           MU Miller County Extension Center
134 Second Street (Old Courthouse Annex) Lower Level. Tuscumbia, MO 65082 

Subsequent meetings starting on February 26th will be conducted at the meeting room of

Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks
3848 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065

Enrollment is limited and registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please complete, sign and return the registration form .

Registration flyer

Registration brochure

Tricia Barrett

Ag Business Specialist

MU Extension – Miller County

573 369 2394


Farm Bill Crop Provisions

You’ve been hearing about it for months. Now is the time to think seriously about the crop provisions of the new farm bill and how they may impact your farm(s). Both landowners and operators have important decisions to make for each FSA farm unit. These decisions are made once and will stay with the farm for the life of the bill, 2014-18.

Sign up dates have been announced as follows:

Sep 29, 2014 to

 Feb 27, 2015

Nov. 17, 2014 to

 Mar 31, 2015

Mid-April through Summer 2015

Land owners make base reallocation/yield updates

Producers make election between ARC and PLC

Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years


Basically, there are three new programs to consider: Agriculture Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO), Agriculture Risk Coverage-Individual (ARC-IC), and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) which includes the option to purchase supplemental crop insurance (SCO). No previous farm bill has given producers as many choices.

This farm bill also allows land owners the choice to redistribute base acres among crops and update program payment yields. Base acres and yields are used to calculate potential program payments.  Generally, higher program yields are going to give more risk protection.

The ARC programs are triggered by crop revenue per acre. A farm receives a payment if crop revenue falls below a benchmark level. The benchmark is a calculation of a moving average of revenues in previous years.

PLC payments are triggered by low crop prices. The reference prices for PLC are set in law as follows: Corn $3.70; Soybeans $8.40; Grain sorghum $3.95, Wheat $5.50. As of this writing, projected prices for corn and grain sorghum will trigger PLC payments for the 2014 crop.

The level of risk protection from either ARC or PLC depends on what happens with future crop prices which is unknowable. However, there is excellent educational assistance available to help make an informed business decision.

We strongly recommend that producers use at least one of the two online calculators to evaluate the programs for each of their farms. Find the tools and program details at Many MU Extension Ag Business Specialists are prepared to help you understand these decisions.

Tricia Barrett

Ag Business Specialist

MU Extension – Miller County

573 369 2394

Tree Order Forms, Farm Tax Guides, Crop Performance Reports


Missouri Department of Conservation tree seedling order forms are now available at the University Extension Center in the Courthouse Annex building in Tuscumbia and at the Miller County Soil and Water Conservation District offices at 101 Industrial Park Road in Eldon. Seedlings should be ordered early for spring planting while the selection is good.  Information about tree planting is available through the Extension office, the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and through the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Cost sharing or incentives for some planting practices may be available through the SWCD.  Ask for Agricultural Guide “Before You Order Tree Seedlings” available by calling the Extension office at (573) 369-2394.

The 2014 Farmer’s IRS Publication Tax Guide is now available at Extension offices throughout the state.  Come in for your copy.

For those interested in how new corn hybrids and other crops performed at five University locations around the state, call (573) 369-2394 and request a copy of the 2014 Missouri Crop Performance reports.   

Century Farm Applications will be available after February 1, 2015. The application is available at the following web site;

Other University of Missouri Extension information is available on the Internet at The local Miller County website is


Joining 4-H is easy

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is young people making new friends and memories while preparing to be leaders of today and tomorrow. We are a volunteer-led organization that reaches boys and girls through small groups called clubs. 4-H members choose from over 40 projects in which to participate. Most projects use hands-on learning experiences to teach subject matter and life-skills such as cooperation, leadership and decision making — skills that can be applied over and over for a lifetime. Contact Miller County Extension at or at 573-369-2394.

Read more about 4-H programs

Don’t guess; soil tests save time, 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. Soil tests cost $15 per sample during the first full week of the month and are $16.50 per sample otherwise. Six or more tests are $12.50 per sample. Make sure your soil is dry when you bring it in. A soil probe and a auger that can be checked out from the extension office. There is a $50 deposit on the soil probe. Soil testing publications

Private pesticide training

If you need to be certified or recertified, call the extension office to schedule a time to view the video. There is a minimal fee. Individuals are required to have a Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual. Bring your copy for verification or purchase one for $12 at the extension office.