Northwest Missouri Regional Director's Office


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Northwest Missouri counties


Supervisory Certificate Series sessions will be held in Chillicothe during September 

Check out our Regional Supervisory Training Series page to get full details of the sessions coming up. Online registration is now available!

Japanese Beetles

There are many examples of insects and diseases that are not native to North America which were introduced at some time to our continent.  Some of these pests did not have any natural enemies in North America, and they spread at various rates, totally unopposed.  A classic example of an introduced disease is Chestnut Blight, which essentially eliminated the native chestnut trees from the eastern United States.

There are many introduced insect pests, but one of the most well-known is the Japanese Beetle.  It was first found in New Jersey in 1916. Today, it is found in almost all the states east of the Mississippi River and quite a few states west of the Mississippi, including Missouri.

The first occurrence in Missouri was reported in 1934 in St. Louis. Today it is found in many other locations around Missouri.

Japanese Beetles are not picky eaters, and are known to feed on more than 400 species, including trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, field crops, and turf.  In high numbers, they can skeletonize leaves, resulting in a plant with only a framework of veins where the leaf should be.  They also feed on the roots of plants, including grass in lawns and golf courses.

Japanese Beetles have a complete life cycle, which means they have an egg stage, a larval (grub) stage, a pupal stage, and finally an adult stage.  Feeding damage is made by both grubs and adults.

They overwinter as grubs about six to eight inches below the soil surface.  In the spring they become active, feeding on roots.  After pupating, they emerge as adults in June, and start feeding again.  After mating, the females burrow into the ground to lay eggs.  A single female may lay as many as 60 eggs.

Japanese Beetle adults are metallic green in color, with copper-colored wing sheathes on their backs.  On each side of their abdomen, they have six white tufts.  They are not large, typically measuring about 3/8 inch in length.

Insecticides are available to control Japanese Beetles, but they can be difficult to eliminate because of their potentially large numbers and ability to feed on so many different kinds of plants.  Earlier, attempts were made to quarantine areas, but these proved futile.  Even trapping did not work, as it was found to actually attract more beetles to the area where the traps were located.

While Japanese Beetles have been in our Northwest Extension Region for over 15 years, they continue to move into new areas. In fact, I found one a few weeks ago at my house in Gallatin. That was the first one that I had seen in Daviess County.

For more information, I have included some links to several university resources on my web site.  Check them out at:   
Tim Baker, Regional horticulture Specialist

University of Missouri Extension Can Help People Stay Strong, Stay Healthy

By Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist

Staying strong can mean staying healthy, as well as remaining independent longer. Summer provides lots of opportunities for aerobic activity, but it is also important to build and maintain muscle strength. As they say, ‘use it or lose it.” University of Missouri Extension nutrition and health education specialist, Janet Hackert, will offer the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy class to help people learn how to build up the muscular strength needed to do everyday activities.

The class will be held twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Albany First Presbyterian Church from 9-10 a.m. from August 23 to October 13, 2017. Please pre-register by contacting Janet Hackert by August 15, 2017. August 16 will be a required orientation session at the same location and time as the classes. Class size is limited so sign up soon to get a spot. Weights will be provided for use during classes. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and bring a towel and water. The class is $20 for the full eight-week session.

This class is not about becoming body builders though. It IS about helping adults build up and regain the upper and lower body strength they need to maintain independence. Exercises are designed for older adults and are done either standing or sitting.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has set guidelines for older adults for resistance exercise to maximize the benefits. Benefits to strength training can include arthritis relief, improved balance, strengthened bones, weight control, reduced risk of heart disease, and better maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.

The ACSM recommends, “Performing at least one set of repetitions for 8-10 exercises that train the major muscle groups, 2-3 times per week on nonconsecutive days.” Participants in the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy class learn to do these types of exercises safely, along with some stretches.

The resistance for strength training exercises can be from gravity or created by using hand and ankle weights. Increasing the weight increases the resistance and strengthens the muscles. With stronger muscles, a person may find that the everyday tasks that have become burdensome with age are not as difficult as in the past. An 80+ year old class member said that, “after doing these exercises even getting up out of a chair was easier!”

If you have noticed that getting up from a chair is harder, lifting things off a shelf is not as simple as it used to be or keeping up with grandkids is a formidable task, this class may be for you. To register for the class by August 15, or for more information, contact Janet Hackert, at the MU Extension office in Harrison County at 660.425.6434 or  If you need special accommodation because of a disability, please mention it at registration.

Growers Should Scout for Spider Mites in Soybeans

Areas of northwest Missouri have missed rains and in those areas, we are now seeing spider mite damage in soybean. Damage by spider mites is caused by the mites piercing the cells and sucking out the cell contents. The injury produces yellow or white spots that is heaviest on the underneath side of the leaf.

As spider mites continue to grow, the injury becomes worse. Leaves progress from grayish green to yellow or brown and may even drop off. Damage can be mistaken for drought.

The pest is very hard to see and are greenish to yellow with two dark spots on their abdomen. They have eight legs not six like an insect.

Several fields have oval shaped damage in fields. These are where mites have already fed.  To find live mites, move to the transition area where soybeans are not damaged. Use a hand lens or shake on a white sheet of paper. Spider mites will move further in the field by wind and cause hot spots to appear. Soybeans are moving into full pod and seed fill stages, so it is critical to scout.

There are no economic thresholds for determining when to spray. From experience, if you have damage along the field edge, spray whole field not just the edge.  Chlorpyrifos and dimethoate have performed well in the past against this pest.

Bifenthrin has longer residual and is labeled. It is the only pyrethroid insecticide, which has activity.  Fields may be re-infested as eggs may hatch. Re-scout fields within five days to determine if egg hatch and if populations are rebuilding.

If populations are rebuilding, switch products and mode of action. Also, a hard driving rain may reduce pest population or cause the population to crash.

For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 located in Oregon or Andy Luke at 660-425-6434 located in Bethany, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

Dicamba damaged soybeans

By Andy Luke, Regional Agronomy Specialist

Are you questioning if you have soybean damage from dicamba?  Here is a Q & A's guide and pictures showing dicamba damage, Dicamba damage soybeans: What to know (PDF).


Home food preservation classes available in Savannah, Maryville and St. Joseph


Food preservation classes will be held in Savannah, Savannah United Methodist Church, Maryville, First United Methodist Church of Maryville and St. Joseph, FCS Financial.  There will be four sessions at each location and each session discussing a different topic beginning July 17 until September 7.  Call 816-279-1691 or email Sarah Wood,  to reserve a spot.

Missouri Cash Rental Rates for 2016

The Missouri Cash Rental Rates for 2016 are available from University of Missouri Extension 2016 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri or view the PDF guide.  

Is your family prepared for an emergency disaster?

Now is the time of year to make sure your safe room at home is ready. Update your supply of food, water, personal care items like medicine & glasses, first aid kit, and flashlights with fresh batteries. Also, include a change of clothing for each family member and sturdy shoes. Keep your cell phones charged and use only one at a time in order to have extended texting abilities in case power is lost. Click the link for a complete list of items to include in your Disaster Supplies Kit.


For other information concerning emergencies and disasters, go to MU Extension Emergency management website.

Agronomy News

You can read the latest agronomy news in the Northwest Region by going to Agronomy Newsletter.

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.

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., Ste A
St. Joseph, MO 64507
Phone: 816-279-6064
Fax: 816-279-0096
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