Ag Lender’s Seminar December 8 in Rolla

The University of Missouri Extension will offer Missouri agriculture lenders insight into Ag Lender issues during a December 8th seminar at the Phelps County Courthouse in Rolla, Missouri.

The MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics sponsors a statewide series of Ag lender seminars in cooperation with regional MU Extension specialists.

Dr. Scott Brown, MU Ag Economist, will discuss the 2015-2016 livestock and grain outlook. USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Phelps County Executive Director Gregg Barrows will cover crops and livestock coverage under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA FSA District Seven Farm Loan Director Dennis Johnson will discuss the Farm Loan Program in Missouri. Patricia Barrett, Regional Ag Business Specialist, will share the current land and rental outlook for the surrounding counties.

The program runs from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm with registration at 9:30 am. The program fee of $40 includes a hot catered meal and a copy of the 2015 Missouri Farm Financial Outlook book.

Please contact the Phelps County University of Missouri office at (573) 458-6260 for registration materials.  Patricia Barrett will answer any questions via telephone at (573) 369-2394 or email –

2015 Phelps County Master Gardener Core Course Graduation

Phelps County 4-H Recognition Ceremony

The 4-H clubs of Phelps County held their annual Recognition Ceremony Sunday afternoon, October 11, at Mark Twain Elementary in Rolla. This event recognizes 4-H members and volunteers who have done outstanding work during the past year.

Joyce Williams of Little Piney 4-H Club welcomed guests and presided over the award program.

4-H club leaders presented completion pins to their 4-H members and recognized 4-H project leaders who spent much time helping the youth.

4-H members who received ribbons and medals for outstanding project work, leadership, citizenship, and community service were Level 1 (ages 8-10): Braxtyn Crider, Elise Jeffers, Hallie Terrill and Caroline Volner; Level 2 (ages 11-13): Riley Williams and Addyson Volmer and Level 3 (ages 14 and older) Jalyn Alford, Joey Williams, and Matthew Bippes.

The Outstanding Club Secretary Award was won by Caitriona Townley. Riley Williams received the Outstanding Club Treasurer Award, and Braxtyn Crider won the Outstanding Club Reporter Award. The Outstanding Scrapbook Award was awarded to the Young Riders 4-H Club. The Service to Community Award was presented to the Young Riders 4-H Club.

4-H members were also recognized for their selection to participate in State 4-H Contests. They were chosen to represent Phelps County in the following areas: Shooting Sports - Jacob Lenox; Public Speaking - David Bippes, Matthew Bippes and Mackenzie Townley; and Fashion Revue - Elise Jeffers and Mallory Hancock.

The 4-H recognition program is held annually in Phelps County as part of the University Extension youth program and is sponsored by the Phelps County 4-H Council. 

2015 Phelps County Extension Annual Family Picnic & Honors Night

The Phelps County Farm Family was introduced and two Century Farms were announced on Monday, September 14, 2015 at the University of Missouri Extension Picnic held at Rolla Lions Club Park.

Adam and Kelly Housewright and their children, Brody, 8; Brooke, 6; Cooper, 3; and Parker, 2; were introduced as the Farm Family of the Year.

Announced as Century Farms were the Bacon farm, across the river from the Sugar Tree Resort, and the Hunt farm, Vida.

Extension County Program Director Chantae Alfred introduced the Extension staff, advisory council members and county and state officials, including state Rep. Dr. Keith Frederick, who attended.

2015 Phelps County Extension Council Banquet - outgoing, new & current council members

L-R: Payton Varner, Sara Farmer, Laura Lackey, Windle Lloyd , Fred Mussig, Michael Collins, Jon Hartley, Bill Lindgren, Sheri Senne, Larry Stratman, and Leah Isakson - not pictured are Josh Meyer, Josh Ratliff and Barry White.

Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked

When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.

The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.

Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1.

If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.  

Soil testing

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. The cost is $15 per sample and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications

Soil Sampling Questions and Answers (PDF)

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