Educational opportunities

Single- and multi-session educational programs cover topics in agriculture, natural resources, lawn and garden, home and consumer life, nutrition and health, families, community and leadership development, business and careers, and emergency management. Fees vary by program. Customized training is available.

Small business development assistance: Transforming Missouri businesses

MoSBTDCMU Extension business specialists provide assistance to those wanting to start, maintain or expand a business through the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), and via Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC), which guide firms interested in doing contract business with federal, state and local governments. MO SBTDC specialized services include assistance with technology and product commercialization, international trade, market research and energy and environmental issues.

Chris Shoemaker is the business development specialist serving Scotland County. His office is in Macon County, phone 660-385-2173.

Private pesticide applicator training

MU Extension provides private pesticide applicator training for producers as required for Missouri Department of Agriculture certification. Individuals must purchase or bring a copy of MU Extension publication M87, Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual, to the training. Manuals may be purchased at the extension center.

There is no charge for this certification, other than for the manual. In order to purchase and spray some chemicals, you must have a private applicator license. Certification is valid for five years. To renew your certification you must view the video or attend a group training. Training takes approximately 2.5 hours.

Soil testing

Basic soil testing analyzes nutrient content and fertility status. Results include fertilizer and lime recommendations. Additional tests are available for nutrient management plans, environmental issues, potting mixes, compost, manure and water usage. Each sample should contain about 1½ cups of dry soil from 6 to 7 inches deep. Consult our soil testing publications for specific instructions. Results are typically provided within two weeks.

Fee: $15 per sample. Tests for nitrate, boron, zinc, sulfur, iron, maganese and copper also are available at additional costs.

Plant and insect identification

Plant and insect samples may be brought to the extension office for identification or disease diagnosis. Recommendations for managing pests, weeds and diseases are provided.

Bring the insect or a sample of the plant to the office in a container. If we can not identify the type or problem locally, we will send it to the University of Missouri for identification. There is a small fee for this service. For plant diseases, bring as much of the plant as possible (roots, too). We will ask for some information such as how long the disease has been happening, location of the plant, etc.

Canner gauge tests

Testing for dial-type pressure canner lids is available. Dial-type gauges should be tested annually to ensure accuracy and prevent bacterial contamination of preserved foods. (Testing is not necessary for weighted gauges.)

Fee: $1 per gauge. We need the whole lid to perform this test, and it will take a few minutes.

Nematode analysis

Tests to examine soil and plants for the presence of parasitic nematodes are available. Results include management recommendations. Before submitting samples, contact the extension office for instructions on proper collection methods.

The cost ranges from $10 to $25. Nematodes are very damaging to soybeans, some vegetable and fruit crops and other plants. Samples need to be taken and handled in very specific ways. Contact our office for help.

Veterinary lab services

MU Extension accepts test samples for the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab. Fees vary by test.

Animals can be sent or taken to the lab when sick or after death to determine the problem. You should contact your local veterinarian first.

Plant disease diagnosis

Plant disease, insect and weed diagnosis is available for field crops, ornamentals, vegetables, fruits and turfs.