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Your community classroom
MU Extension is the University of Missouri’s classroom in Randolph County. We connect people to research-based education to enrich the quality of life and enhance the economic well-being of our communities. MU Extension in Randolph County is your one-stop source for practical education and information on almost anything.
MU Extension partners with the Randolph County Commission and other local organizations to provide education, information and services that meet people’s needs. The elected and appointed members of the Randolph County Extension Council provide guidance in identifying those needs to ensure that our educational programs are relevant, reliable and responsive. 4-H, Excel, Master Gardeners, and FCE all work with Extension.
Whether it’s resources for yourself or your family, farm, business or community, we invite you to explore our website, call or email to learn how we can help you.
Here's what Extension can do for you!
- Soil Testing for lawns, food production, farms
- Plant and Forage Diagnosis Clinic Services
- Positive Youth Development Programs such as 4-H
- Career and Distance Education for High School and College
- Gardening and Lawn Information and Master Gardener Training
- Agriculture and Natural Resources Information and Services
- Parenting and Family Support
- Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Classes and Information
- Focus on Kids....parenting class for divorcing parents required by Missouri Law
- Pesticide Applicator License Training
- Value Added Agriculture Programs
- Missouri Business Development Program, Small Business Start Up
- Food Circles...Connecting Farmers, Consumers and Communities
- Exceed...Community Economic & Entrepreneurial Development
And MUCH MORE...
Missouri Small Business Development Program
Federal, state and local governments spend billions of dollars annually on various products and services and a large percentage is spent with small business. Government buyers are looking for responsible suppliers offering quality products and services at competitive prices. Are you ready to be one of those companies?
MO PTAC's mission is to increase the number of government contracts awarded to Missouri firms. Extra revenue from government contracts means more stability and potential growth for your firm. MO PTAC provides no cost, confidential, one on one technical assistance in all aspects of selling to federal, state and local government.
Once you identify the specific agencies that buy your product and how they buy it, determining the best way to communicate with government buyers will save you time and money and lead to quicker success in the market. To learn more go to http://missouribusiness.net/ptac/ or call Chris Shoemaker, Extension Procurement Specialist, Macon, MO at 660-385-2173
Thanks to all of our Fair board, 4H/FFA members and volunteers who helped make this fair great! Hope to see you in 2016!
2015 Wheat yields good in MU variety tests
Despite heavy rainfall and widespread reports of disease, wheat yields were good at most test sites in the University of Missouri Variety Testing Program. Take a look at the MU Variety Testing website and see how wheat varieties fared in your area. Be sure to bookmark the page and get the latest test results on corn and soybeans yields this fall.
Missouri Steer Feedout
The Missouri Steer Feedout is an educational program for cattle producers. The purpose is to give cattlemen the opportunity to evaluate the genetics and management of their calves as they influence feedlot performance and carcass characteristics, see if your cattle hit the 70-70-0 target (70% low Choice or better; 70% Yield Grade 1 & 2; 0% Outs), gain experience feeding cattle and retaining ownership without the investment and risk of feeding an entire pen of cattle, improve the reputation of Missouri cattle while exploring market alternatives. Entry deadline October 10. Get the brochure (PDF) and entry form (PDF).
The 2016 Youth Excel Class is now taking applications. To receive an application you can call the Randolph County Extension Office at 660-269-9656, or click Application. Applications are due by November 9th, 2015. Cost per student is $50.00. The program is open to all students ages 16 to 18.
Sign Up for 4-H
The new 4-H year starts October 1. 4-H is open to youth ages 8-18 as of January 1. Check out the September issue of the 4-H newsletter to see what our members are up to. To learn more about 4H or to sign up, please call us at 660-269-9656.
The Randolph County Extension office offers Private Pesticide Training for no cost to anyone interested. Call 660-269-9656 to set up a time for this 2 hour training.
Sunlight powers agriculture and, fortunately, is free to all farmers. The challenge is to harvest as much sunlight as possible. Because commodity crops might be in the field for only four to five months, fields receive untapped sunlight for several months each year. To tap this free resource the rest of the year, consider planting cover crops. Cover crops protect the soil while improving soil health and providing living roots to feed the soil microbial community.
A multipurpose tool on a farm, cover crops can help you accomplish several goals:
- Keep soil from washing away.
- Keep expensive fertilizers in the field and out of the water supply.
- Produce nitrogen (with a legume cover).
- Farmers are finding that cover crops also offer several other benefits:
- Reduce soil compaction.
- Improve soil moisture management.
- Allow more rain to soak into the soil.
- Control challenging weeds.
- Improve commodity yields over time.
To learn more go to http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g4161
Lots of Hay this Year, but How Good is it?
Rain, rain, and more rain, that is what Missourians saw during the summer of 2015. All one has to do is drive past the unplanted soybean fields to understand what kind of summer it has been. The abundance of rain has delayed hay harvest which has increased tonnage but has decreased forage quality so adding a supplement this winter may be necessary.
Now is the time to test hay to determine what the winter feed needs will be, especially for producers with a fall calving herd since peak lactation will occur in the middle of winter. Winter is only a few months away, so now is the time to prepare. Booking supplements now will help producers save money.
Most extension offices have access to a hay probe and can send samples to an accredited laboratory in Missouri or to other surrounding states and get a snapshot of the quality of hay. MU Extension livestock specialists can help producers balance rations utilizing by-products potentially reducing costs and maintaining productivity. Producers need to be wary of the hay supply this winter. The most economical method to determine forage quality is utilizing a hay test.
If you would like to have your hay tested, bring samples to the Randolph County Extension Office at 423 East Logan Street. 660-269-9656. Prices vary according to the test you'd like performed.
Increasing Beneficial Insects in Row Crops and Gardens
Beneficial insects can be useful in integrated pest management of row crops and gardens. They are a form of biological control in that their activity reduces the activity of certain pest species. For many pest insects, the most important check on their populations is the activity of beneficial insects. If populations of beneficial insects are allowed to increase throughout the growing season, they can reduce pest populations of moths, aphids, mites and bugs by 20 to 40 percent. The more diverse the habitat surrounding a field or the more diverse the plants — especially flowering plants — in a garden, the greater the number of beneficial insects that will be present. Mixed plantings attract a larger variety of beneficial insects because many of these insects use nectar and pollen as supplemental food. To learn more click on http://extension.missouri.edu/p/IPM1028.
Instead of salt, try using spices and herbs for flavor in recipes or at the table. Start slow with spices until you decide how your family likes them. Click here for a list of spices and how to use them.
The purpose of the AgrAbility Project is to help increase the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and farm family members who are limited by any type of disability or chronic health condition employed in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations become more successful. It’s about cultivating success in agriculture, employment, and rural life for people with disabilities and their families. The AgrAbility mission is to enhance and protect quality of life and preserve livelihoods. The AgrAbility philosophy represents the very ideals that define American agriculture. It’s about supporting and promoting growth and independence. It’s about no-limit thinking and the can-do spirit. Ultimately, AgrAbility is all about hope! AgrAbility links the Extension service at a land-grant university with a nonprofit disability service organization to provide practical education and direct assistance that promotes rural independence. Our staff offers practical solutions to individuals who work on small or large operations as well as services to hobby, part-time, farm workers, or seasonal operators. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers the AgrAbility Project.
Missouri Cash Rental Rates for 2014
The Missouri Cash Rental Rates for 2014 are available now at http://agebb.missouri.edu/mgt/cashrent/index.htm or view the PDF guide.
Ergot, caused by the fungus Claviceps puprurea, is a disease of cereal crops and grasses. The disease causes reduced yield and quality of grains and hay and also causes a livestock disease called ergotism, if infected grains or hay are fed. The most common sign of ergot is the dark purple to black sclerotia (ergot bodies) found replacing the grain in the heads of cereals and grasses just prior to harvest. Ergot is toxic to animals.
Plant a Native butterfly garden or Monarch Waystation and create your own moments to remember. Click to view a brochure of what to plant for Monarchs in your garden. (PDF)
Reduced-cost farm energy audits available through MU Extension
Are you thinking about replacing your grain dryer with a more energy-efficient model? Or installing an alternative-energy system? Have an energy audit before making a big investment in energy efficiency on your farm, says University of Missouri Extension specialist Don Day.Farms and rural small businesses can receive energy audits at a reduced rate through MU Extension. Ordinarily, audits cost $450, but a grant from USDA Rural Development will cover 75 percent, lowering the price to $112.50.An energy audit can help determine what upgrades will bring the biggest cost savings, Day said.An energy audit is also required if you intend to apply for incentives through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).Grants are available for up to 25 percent of the cost of a renewable energy or energy efficiency project. REAP also provides loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of a project’s cost.Eligible energy systems include solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digesters and renewable biomass. Energy efficiency improvements include grain drying and handling, lighting, refrigeration, heating and cooling upgrades, and motor replacements.Missouri has almost $2 million in grant funding available for REAP. To be eligible, at least 50 percent of a farm’s gross income must come from agricultural operations, and small businesses must be in an area with a population under 50,000.
For more information about MU Extension energy audits, contact your local extension office at 660-269-9656. To learn more about REAP, go to http://1.usa.gov/1FDLl1W.
Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program
The Show Me Select Replacement Heifer Program is focused entirely on Missouri's farmers and is dependent upon active participation from regional extension livestock specialists and local veterinarians, each of which are critical components of the agricultural sector of this state. This program is unique in that it is first and foremost, an educational program targeted at improving production efficiency through increased use of existing technology, coupled with the marketing component. To find more information about this program visit the Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program website.
Fruit plantings can be a source of beauty as well as fresh produce. However, for the inexperienced grower, they also can be a source of frustration and expense. Nursery catalogs are full of brightly colored advertisements depicting bountiful harvests of unblemished fruit. Harvests like these are possible, but only with careful selection of the fruit cultivar (cultivated variety) and diligent pest management. Weather conditions in Missouri , such as high humidity, abundant rainfall and warm temperatures, increase disease and insect populations. With few exceptions, home fruit plantings require treatment with pesticides to control a variety of serious diseases and insect pests. Pesticides needed and frequency of application depend on the cultivars planted, location of the planting, weather conditions and cultural practices.
Fire blight is a bacterial disease affecting apple, crabapple, pear, hawthorn, pyracantha (firethorn) and related species. The bacteria commonly overwinter in cankers (sunken diseased areas) on the tree, which produce a sticky exudate in early spring.The bacteria are usually spread from the cankers by insects and by wind-blown rain. Careless pruning practices may also spread the bacteria. Click here to learn what you can do to stop this disease.
Missouri Century Farm Program
If your farm has been in your family since Dec.31,1915, you can apply to have it recognized as a Missouri Century Farm. To qualify, farms must meet certain guidelines. Get those guidelines and more information at http://extension.missouri.edu/centuryfarm/home.aspx
Get Your Soil Tested by the University of Missouri Extension
Why should you have your soil tested?
- Soil conditions have a big effect on plant health
- pH and nutrient levels can change over time
- You may be over-fertilizing your lawn or garden
- Testing is the only way to tell which nutrients might be missing
For more information please contact our office at 660-269-9656
Journal Your Garden
The most challenging aspect of successful gardening just might be the difficulty recalling what worked and what didn't from year to year. Many gardeners believe the keys to successful gardening are getting your plans on paper first and keeping good records. MU Extension publication MP928, From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar, gives you an easy way to record your garden plans, observations and ideas.
Written by MU Extension horticulture specialists who teach Master Gardeners, this publication brings you reliable and relevant information. It also includes year-round resources to guide gardeners at all experience levels.
Order today at http;//extension.missouri.edu/mp928.
Emerald Ash Borer Beetle
Are your Ash trees dying? A small green beetle could be the culprit. The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle is a small metallic green beetle, 1/2 inch long. It is native to Asia and attacks only ash trees. The beetles leave small, D-shaped holes on the trunk. The larvae feed under bark, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients to the tree. They travel in infested firewood and nursery stock. If you believe your Ash Tree is infested with the EAB, call a certified arborist or forester for help. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation Web site for tips on how to hire a qualified professional in your area. For more information about EAB and other tree pests, visit the following cooperative Web site: www.eab.missouri.edu
Canning guides in MU Extension publications
- GH1451, Quality for Keeps: Before You Start to Can, Learn the Basics
- GH1452, Quality for Keeps: Steps to Success in Home Canning
- GH1454, Quality for Keeps: Preserve Your Garden Delights-How to Can Fresh Vegetables
- GH1455, Quality for Keeps: Food Preservation-Fruitful Canning
- GH1456, Quality for Keeps: Tantalizing Tomatoes-How to Can Fresh Tomato Products
- GH1457, Quality for Keeps: Food Preservation-In a Pickle
- GH1459, Quality for Keeps: Pack a Pickled Product
- GH1461, Quality for Keeps: Jam and Jelly Basics-Tempt Your Tastebuds With Natural Sweets
- GH1490, Quality for Keeps: Canning Meat, Fish and Poultry
- GH1501, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Basics
- GH1502, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Fruits
- GH1503, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Vegetables
- GH1504, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs and Dairy Products
- GH1505, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Home-Prepared Foods
- GH1506, Quality for Keeps: Freezer Problem Solver
- GH1507, Quality for Keeps: Freezing Unusual Fruits and Vegetables
- GH1562, Quality for Keeps: Drying Foods
- GH1563, Quality for Keeps: How to Dry Foods at Home
- GH1564, Quality for Keeps: Food Preservation-How to Use Dried Foods
Other Popular MU Extension Publications
2015 Pest Management Guide (PDF)
Pasture Weed and Brush Control Guide (PDF)
2012 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri (PDF)
Vegetable Planting Calendar (PDF)