Northwest Missouri Regional Director's Office



Find an MU Extension center in northwest Missouri

Northwest Missouri counties


Hundley-Whaley Research Center Twilight Tour 2016

Mark your calendar to attend Hundley-Whaley Research Center Twilight Tour, August 23, 2016.

This year the field day times have changed to evening hours, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., dinner served at 7 p.m.

For more information you may view the Hundley-Whaley Research Center Twilight Tour 2016 flyer (PDF)





Learn how the arts and culture can add to and diversify traditional community and economic development practices.  This conference will show you how the arts can favorably impact your local and regional economy.


To learn more, or to register click here


Corn Pest Update

Northern corn rootworm beetle has been found in Holt County corn fields following soybean rotation. We suspect that these are extended diapause rootworms that a portion of rootworms will hatch when planted to corn two years later. Root feeding was found. Growers in other counties should scout fields.


Also, Japanese beetle continues to move further away from large cities. Japanese beetle damage on soybeans will be leaf feeding; however, they will not feed on large leaf veins of the soybean leaves. We are seeing this pest expanding outward. Economic threshold is 20% defoliation of soybeans when soybeans are in the reproductive stage.


Kansas and Nebraska report Southern leaf rust so we should scout corn fields carefully and determine if the disease is present. Before applying any fungicide treatment, one should consider the different disease ratings of the hybrid. Also, as ear development is moving forward, the yield response to a fungicide will decrease as the plant matures.


For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Kurt Nagel at 816-776-6961, Extension Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.


Job vacancies — apply now

The positions below are 12-month academic positions. Appointment may be made as non-tenure track ranked (NTT), depending on University approval of the academic credentials and qualifications of the successful candidate.

Commercial Horticulture Specialist and County Program Director in Carroll County

MU Extension NW Region has a new job opening in Carroll County/ Carrollton. The position is for a Commercial Horticulture Specialist & CPD. The Commercial Horticulture Specialist will primarily serve Carroll, Livingston, Caldwell, Ray, Lafayette and Saline counties in Northwest Region, with additional coverage as needed.

This position is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating commercial horticulture educational programs. Topics may include, but not limited to, best management practices, pest control, plant diseases, brush and weed control, soils, irrigation, IPM, pesticide certification, marketing of horticultural crops, Master Gardener program, and water quality. In addition, apply knowledge related to home horticulture and general agricultural in the counties served.

For more information and to apply go to Career opportunities with MU Extension, Job ID # 18716.

An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Actions/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer

Family Financial Education Specialist, Andrew County 

This position is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in financial literacy, money management, estate planning, food resource management, debt management and consumer issues for low income audiences.

Human Environmental Sciences Extension programs promote optimal well-being of individuals, families and communities, with special recognition for the needs of vulnerable populations. Family Financial Education Specialists make a positive difference in the financial well-being of Missourians.

To learn more about the Family Financial Education Specialist position and to apply, go to Career opportunities with MU Extension, Regional Family Financial Education Specialist, Andrew County, NW Region, Job Opening ID 15408.

An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Actions/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer

Agricultural Business Specialist in Lafayette

As an ag specialist, this person is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating agricultural business educational programs in the support of crop and forage production, livestock production and overall production agriculture. Topics may include, but not limited to, farm leases, tax management, basic estate planning, alternative crops and livestock, marketing and other emerging issues faced by producers and land owners within the assigned area. In addition, apply knowledge related to general agricultural in the counties served.?

The Lafayette County Position is headquartered in Higginsville and primarily serves Lafayette, Ray, Carroll and Saline counties in the Northwest Region with additional coverage as needed.

For a complete overview of the position, follow this link Regional Agricultural Business Specialist Lafayette County, Job Opening ID #15829 

An Equal Opportunity/Access/affirmative Actions/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer

2016 Missouri State Fair

The Missouri State Fair will be held August 11-21, 2016at the Missouri State Fair Grounds, Sedalia, MO.  For more information contact Missouri State Fair at 660-530-5600 or 800-422-FAIR (3247) or

Tomato Culture

By Tim Baker, NW Region Horticulture Specialist

After you’ve selected your tomato variety and planted it, taking care not to over fertilize it, you now need to think about how you will care for your future bountiful harvest.  Needless to say, if you don’t care for the plants properly, you won’t have a bountiful harvest.

First of all, you will need to stake your plants.  Now perhaps you have seen tomatoes grown without stakes.  That is ok, but these plants usually don’t produce well.  You need to keep the plants up off the ground, where air can flow around and through the plant.  This will help keep diseases at bay and produce cleaner fruit.

There are several ways to accomplish this.  You may prefer to stake each plant, carefully tying them with a material that will not damage the vine against the stake.  Don’t tie the vine right up against the stake, but allow for freedom of movement and growth.

Another way of staking is by setting a row of stakes, with tomatoes between the stakes, and then weaving twine between the stakes and plants.  This method is used frequently by commercial growers, and works well.  Simply tie a piece of twine to one stake, and brush up against your tomato plants on one side.  Then go to the next stake, weave a circle around it, and on to the next stake, taking care to brush up against the tomatoes planted between each stake.  When you get to the last stake, turn around and head back to the original stake, catching the plants this time on the opposite side. You start this process when the plants are smaller, and then add levels of twine as the plants grow taller.

Another way of “staking” your plants is to use tomato cages, or something similar.  This works well for determinate plants, but indeterminate plants may eventually outgrow their cages, and a better method of support is usually recommended for them.

Some people like to prune their tomato plants.  There are a lot of opinions on whether this is really necessary. Some folks say this will produce earlier and larger fruit.  Let’s just say it’s optional.  Pruning refers to the removal of side shoots or suckers which develop.  If you are interested in doing this, please give me a call and I’ll send you a guide sheet with photos that show you how to do it.

One of the most important aspects of tomato culture is proper watering.  Tomatoes are subject to a problem called Blossom End Rot.  I’ll talk more about this in a future article, but for now, the easiest remedy is to water the proper amount, as evenly as possible.  You don’t want your tomatoes to dry out excessively, but you don’t want too much water either.

Generally, tomatoes will need about one inch of water per week.  Keep a rain gauge near your garden so you know how much you are getting, so you will know how much water you will need to add.  It’s best to water your tomatoes at ground level, using a soaker hose or similar arrangement.  Watering methods that wet the leaves are less desirable, since wet leaves become diseased more quickly.

Be sure to mulch and keep the weeds down.  You may also want to consider side dressing with fertilizer, applied when the fruits are about one third grown. 


Missouri Reverse Transfer

Do you have some college credits from 2- year and 4- year Missouri colleges but still no degree? Would you like to use your college credits from a Missouri 4- year university to complete an Associate degree at a Missouri community college? ?  If so, now is the time to think about completing that degree through Missouri’s hottest education initiative, Reverse Transfer.  Go to  to learn about Reverse Transfer and then contact the 4-year college Reverse Transfer Coordinator to see if and how you can earn your Associate degree.  

Fencing and boundary laws

MU Extension publication G810, Missouri Fencing and Boundary Laws provides general information for landowners. 

Websites offer free climate data

Farmers have a new set of free tools to help them make crop decisions.

Ray Massey, MU Extension agricultural economist, and Pat Guinan, climatologist for MU Extension Commercial Agriculture, are collaborating with participants across the nation to make information easily available.

The websites are important because access to historical climate data helps farm operations that depend on favorable temperatures and precipitation patterns, Massey says. He and Guinan recently presented the information at MU’s Crop Management Conference in Columbia. Find addresses and explore details on more than a dozen climate-oriented websites.

Community emergency management resources

MU Extension has resources available for emergency management. The resources cover a wide range of disasters. There is information available on how to prepare for a disaster, what to do in a disaster and the recovery.  Do you have a family disaster plan in place? Make sure you and your family have a supply of safe drinking water after a disaster.

St. Joseph Weather Station — Real time

MU Extension in the Northwest Region is on Facebook. Look at what's going on and programs that are offered.

Northwest region Regional Office
706 S. Woodbine Rd., Suite A
St. Joseph, MO 64507
Phone: 816-279-6064
Fax: 816-279-0096
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