Local highlights

The St. Clair County Extension Center can provide you with research-based information in the areas of agriculture, business and the workforce, children and teens, community development, environmental quality, family life, farm management, financial education, home and garden, horticulture and nutrition and health.


Are you 65 years of age or getting ready to turn 65?  Have you enrolled for Medicare?  Are you confused about the coverage or enrollment periods?  If so, plan on attending one of the Medicare 101 programs offered by Missouri CLAIM State Health Insurance Assistance Program and University of Missouri Extension.

Medicare 101 is being presented by Doug Scotten, University of Missouri Extension Family Financial Education Specialist, on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at the Rivers Crossing Life Center, 5215 Business Highway 13, Osceola, Missouri, from 10:00 a.m., until 11:00 a.m.  To register, please call University of Missouri Extension in St. Clair County at (417) 646- 2419.  Registration is due by Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

The program is open to the public and free.  For questions or further information, contact Doug Scotten at (417) 448-2560.


Understanding Your Health Insurance Options

Do you understand all your options with health insurance policies?  Do you understand what expenses you are responsible for and what expenses the insurance company pays?  Do you understand all of the terms and acronyms on the forms you receive in the mail?  If you have any questions regarding health insurance and the best practices to utilize your benefits, please attend this free program, Understanding Your Health Insurance Options, brought to you by University of Missouri Extension.

The program will be presented by Doug Scotten, University of Missouri Family Financial Education Specialist, on Monday, June 20, 2016, from 6:30 p.m., until 8:00 p.m., at the St. Clair County Library in Osceola, Missouri.  The program is free to the public, but registration is required.  To register, please call (417) 646-2419.


Answers to Common Questions 
About Pond Construction and Management


MARSHFIELD, Mo. - Bob Schultheis is a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Nearly every week he gets questions about pond construction and management.

Q: What are some of the benefits and common problems you see with ponds?

A: "Ponds offer many benefits by providing recreation, helping control soil erosion, and storing water for livestock, irrigation and fire protection. Typical problems are the pond won't hold water, the dam erodes away, there are too many weeds, the water quality is bad, or the fish are dying," said Schultheis.

Q: How does one deal with leaky ponds and dam erosion?

A: "First, size the pond to the watershed by allowing one surface area of water for each 10 to 15 acres of land area that flow into it," said Schultheis. Prevent leaks by building the pond on a suitable site with moist, clay soils compacted in several six-inch lifts, and keep the soil moist after construction. Additives such as bentonite clay or soda ash may need to be mixed with some soils to keep them from leaking.

Q: Are bulldozers a good way to compact the soil?

A: No. While bulldozers are big and heavy, they have a large footprint that spreads out the weight too much. A better choice is a wheel tractor and disk, or a sheepsfoot roller (like the spiked drums the highway department uses when building roadbeds).

Q: What causes the weeds and how do you control them?

A: "Weeds are often caused by too many nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) getting into the pond, or by transfer from wildlife," said Schultheis. Limit runoff from fertilized fields, maintain vegetation around the pond and exclude livestock. Control options include cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical. "Chemicals should be a last resort and should be matched to the weed problem," said Schultheis.

Q: Where can a person get more information on building and maintaining a pond?

A: "Soils information, available free through the federal USDA Service Center serving your county, will help identify good pond building sites and soil properties at depth," said Schultheis. This information is also available online at http://agsite.missouri.edu.

The Missouri Pond Handbook, available from the Missouri Department of Conservation, is an excellent reference for developing and managing both new and old ponds for fishing.


Resources on fixing pond leaks, maintaining dams and controlling aquatic weeds are available through your county University of Missouri Extension Center. Or contact me at the Webster County Extension Center at 417-859-2044, or visit our website athttp://extension.missouri.edu/webster/pondmanagement.aspx.


Source: Bob Schultheis, (417) 859-2044



On March 15, The St. Clair County Jr. leaders joined with our county clubs for a City Park Clean-Up Community Service project! Our Jr. Leaders, as well as several 4-H club members, worked very hard to clean up the Osceola Optimist Park by picking up trash, tree limbs, raking the park area to level the ground for safety and gathered up leaves! They all did an awesome job and thank you to the Osceola Optimist Club for allowing our County Jr. Leaders to participate in making the park a better place! Keep in mind, if you are age 13+ and would like more information about our County Jr. Leader program and how to become a Jr. Leader, contact the Extension Office at 417-646-2419. Our next meeting is April 19, 6:00 p.m. at the Courthouse!


Search for Missouri Century Farms continues

Published: Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. – If your farm has been in your family since Dec. 31, 1916, 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.

“One hundred consecutive years of family ownership of a farm is a milestone to be recognized from a cultural and stewardship perspective,” said Tom Henderson, interim vice provost for University of Missouri Extension.

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 2016 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the local 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 $65 fee covers the cost of a certificate, farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. If the application is received between May 1 and May 16, the cost is $75. Applications must be postmarked by May 16, 2016, to be considered.

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

Sac-Osage Fair Board in Search of New Members!  

The Sac-Osage Youth Fair Board is seeking new members! They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Osceola Church of Brethren at 6:00 p.m. The next meeting is January 12th! We would like to have members from each of the communities in our county. Our youth need your help in retaining our Youth Fair! The Sac -Osage Youth Fair is held in June at the Sac-Osage Youth Fairgrounds at Osceola. If you have any questions or need information about what this might entail, please contact Michelle Parmalee at (660) 492-2996.


 Horticulture and Agriculture Tips

The University of Missouri Extension offers many news articles, publications and newsletters to help beginning or seasoned farmers and gardening enthusiasts get the maximum yield from pastures and gardens.  Some of those include:

Trees add value to your landscape

Trees can provide your home with shade, wind protection and visual appeal. They can reduce energy costs, provide recreation for children and habitat for wildlife.

Newly planted trees need special attention, and not all trees are suitable for all conditions. MU Extension’s horticulture experts have developed a series of publications to help you choose the right tree and get it established:

MU Extension publication G6800, Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees
MU Extension publication G6805, Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees
MU Extension publication G6810, Selecting Landscape Plants: Uncommon Trees for Specimen Plantings
MU Extension publication G6815, Selecting Landscape Plants: Needled Evergreens
MU Extension publication G6820, Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-leaved Evergreens
MU Extension publication G6850, How to Plant a Tree

Popular MU Guides/Extension Publications:

MU Ext. Publication G302, 2012 Custom Rates/Farm Services in MO
MU Ext. Publication G427, 2011 Cash Rental Rates in MO
MU Ext. Publication G810, Fencing Laws of Missouri
MU Ext. Publication G6201. Vegetable Planting Calendar
MU Ext. Publication G6705, Lawn Maintenance Calendar

Don’t guess; soil tests save time, 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 underapplication, 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. Soil testing publications

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