Upcoming Events:

"Getting that Register to Ring" - Using Basic Influencers to Increase Sales

This seminar will be offered May 2, 8:30 to 10:30 am at the Columbia College Auditorium in Rolla. Flyer (PDF)

Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs

This is a FREE workshop for beginning farmers and ranchers will be May 10, 9 am - 4:30 pm at the Phelps County Courthouse. Through an introductory plain language presentation USDA personnel and MU Extension specialists will share basic information about USDA programs, AgrAbility and Veterans Resources. Flyer (PDF)

Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Plant Sale

potted basil plantThe Phelps County Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists will host their annual plant sale on Saturday, May 13, 7 am to 1 pm at the Down Town Rolla Farmers' Market. Plants include but are not limited to: spring and summer annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, fruit, Missouri natives, seeds and bulbs. Flyer (PDF)

Advanced QuickBooks

This is a hands on workshop to learn advanced topics about QuickBooks will be offered May 19, 9 am - 4 pm at the Rolla Technical Institute. This class targets businesses that have experience using QuickBooks. Learn how to get useable information out of the QuickBooks data. Flyer (PDF)

Missouri Master Naturalist Core Course

The Meramec Hills Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalists is offering their ninth initial training course on Wednesday evenings beginning with an orientation evening June 14 from 6 to 8 pm at the Department of Naturalist Resources in Rolla. The orientation is an overview at which you determine whether this program is a fit for you. If you decide to join, classes begin July 26 and run from 6 to 9 pm for 12 weeks. Four Saturday field sessions are included. Flyer (PDF) | Application (PDF)

Search for Missouri Century Farms Continues

If your farm has been in your family since Dec. 31, 1917, you can apply to have it recognized as a Missouri Century Farm.

To qualify, farms must meet the following guidelines. The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

University of Missouri Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart said, “Family farms have been among our most vital partners since the founding of extension more than 100 years ago. The century farm program is one way we express our gratitude to those who have contributed so much to Missouri agriculture.”

In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau joined MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as a program sponsor.

“Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms,” said Blake Hurst, president. “We applaud the hard-working farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation for the bounty Americans enjoy every day.”

Applicants certified as owners of a 2017 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the MU Extension center in the county where the farm is located. Applicants are presented with a sign and a certificate.

Since Missouri began the program in 1976, more than 8,000 century farms have been recognized.

For applications received by May 1, a $55 fee covers the cost of a certificate, farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. If the application is received between May 1 and May 15, the cost is $65. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2017, to be considered.

For application forms and information, call Extension Publications toll-free at 1-800-292-0969, contact your local MU Extension center, or visit the program website at extension.missouri.edu/centuryfarm.

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 http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/hesguide/foodnut. 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)

Resources for Your Flooded Home

Cleaning up after a flood takes special care. To help with your flood response and recovery, download MU Extension Publication MP904,  Resources for Your Flooded Home (PDF). This guide covers a variety of flood cleanup topics. Other flood related resources can be found here.

What is an Extension Center? Brochure (PDF)

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