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.

The University of Missouri will welcome visitors to a family-friendly open house, Show Me Mizzou Day, on Saturday, April 13. Everyone is invited to this day of discovery and fun to explore our state’s flagship university and learn the meaning of Tiger pride. The campus will be open, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering more than 100 events for people of all ages.

Families will be able to attend presentations, tour campus and see research in action. In the afternoon, guests will be able to experience the excitement of Mizzou Athletics by attending the Mizzou Football spring game and Mizzou Baseball game. Visitors will find everything from the MU Health helicopter to a presentation by MU’s own George P. Smith, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Visit missouri.edu/showmemizzou for complete details. Registration is optional, but the first 1,000 people to register will receive a free T-shirt! Those who register also will receive a link to download the Show Me Mizzou Day app, packed with information, maps and interactive features to make the most of your day on campus.

Online Food Preservation Course

Sign up for our online food preservation course today!

This course is filled with everything you need to know to get started in canning and preserving your own foods.

For more information or to register visit extension.missouri.edu and click on the "Online courses" tab.

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High nitrate in hay causes cow deaths

  • Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2019

COLUMBIA, Mo. – On top of dealing with harsh winter weather in feeding cows, cattle farmers must guard against too much nitrate in poor-quality hay.

“Just from cases we’ve confirmed, I know of 150 cows dying in the last month,” says Tim Evans, head toxicologist at the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Follow this link to learn more about the dangers of high nitrates.


2018 Cash Rental Rates Now Available!
220 Missourians responded to in a survey in the summer of 2018 about cash rental rates for farm property.  The summary of their rates for Missouri cropland, pasture, farm buildings and fee hunting is shown in the tables provided at this link: 2018 Cash Rental Rates in Missouri.

Health benefits of tai chi exercise

Nina Chen, former Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension


Tai chi is a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful, gentle postures and movements. The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. Tai chi is an especially suitable therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements. Here are some of the benefits...

To learn more about tai chi, including the many benefits it can offer, see the full article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/healtharticles/health116.htm

Showcasing the Importance of Agriculture, St. Clair County Attains Agri-Ready County Designation

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO.) – With interest in growing additional opportunities in the local agricultural economy, St. Clair County has applied for and achieved Agri-Ready County Designation by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a coalition of 44 leading Missouri agricultural groups. This designation identifies counties that create an environment conducive to agricultural opportunity and growth which are willing to actively support Missouri’s largest industry.

“We are very proud to receive this designation from Missouri Farmers Care and we hope that it will spur more investment in the value added products in our county,” said Bob Salmon, St. Clair County Presiding Commissioner.

In 2016, St. Clair County’s 728 farm and ranch families sold over $76.3 million in agricultural products. Agriculture, forestry and other related industries provided 935 local jobs, according to the recently released Missouri Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry Study. The county’s agricultural strength is anchored in the value of beef cattle farming and ranching, oilseed farming, and all other crop farming. The beef cattle industry alone contributes over $36 million in sales to the St. Clair County economy.

To read more about the importance of agriculture, you can find the full release at this link: http://mofarmerscare.com/showcasing-the-importance-of-agriculture-st-clair-county-attains-agri-ready-county-designation/

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.

MORE INFORMATION

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

 

 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 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 $20 per sample. 

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