Gourds: The Swiss army knife of the plant world

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Our ancestors couldn’t go to the hardware store or shopping mall to buy utensils and other household essentials. Instead, they improvised with items found in nature. The dried fruit of several members of the cucumber family proved useful for many purposes, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. We call these plants gourds, and they may be among the first domesticated plant species, dating…

MU Extension resources for specialty ag producers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri’s urban and specialty agriculture producers—and those considering starting an agricultural enterprise—have new business planning resources at their fingertips.

MU Wurdack Center to host free grass-fed beef production, marketing school

The University of Missouri Wurdack Extension and Education Center, in Cook Station, will host a free Beginners Grass-Fed Beef Production and Marketing School on May 31. “This is an introductory course for small-scale producers interested in switching to grass-fed beef to sell directly to consumers,” said Gatlin Bunton, director of Wurdack Center.

MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic offers free services to Amish, Mennonite farmers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic has received a grant to help Amish and Mennonite farmers in several Missouri counties identify and manage plant pest problems through early next year. The grant is from the Regional Integrated Pest Management Center in support of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Show-Me Strong Farm Families

Breaking down barriers to mental health services for Missouri farmers and their families is a goal of University of Missouri Extension through the newly revised Show-Me Strong Farm Families website at http://muext.us/SMSFF.

Missouri 4-H Foundation celebrates 75 years of empowering youth

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri 4-H Foundation marks its 75th anniversary this year with plans to highlight impacts from decades of dedication to nurturing young leaders and fostering community development across the state. Celebrations will include recognition of individuals and programs supported by the foundation, as well as opportunities for friends of 4-H to come together, said Rachel Augustine, director of the Missouri 4-H…

In thymes of old, Rosemary used lavender to freshen the air

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Long before plug-in air fresheners and scented candles, people used plants to make their homes more livable by masking unpleasant odors.

Sunn hemp can boost summer pastures

Frequent droughts in Missouri have livestock producers discussing more adaptable summer pasture options. “With tall fescue as the dominant Missouri forage, there are few options to enhance those fescue fields to graze through a long, hot, dry spell,” said Tim Schnakenberg, University of Missouri Extension agronomy field specialist.

Story Map explores broadband across Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. – High-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Most of us access the internet daily for health care, education, employment and social connection. However, more than 409,000 households and businesses in Missouri are underserved or completely unserved by broadband, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Care of spring bulbs after flowering

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Right after daffodils, tulips and hyacinths have spent their last flowers, many homeowners mow the plants down. That’s a bad idea if you want them to keep flowering year after year. Spring-flowering bulbs need to photosynthesize and produce food in order for the bulbs to enlarge and set the stage for the following year. For that, leaves are needed.

MU Graves-Chapple Center compares corn, soybean tillage systems over decades

ROCK PORT, Mo. – Decades-long research on corn and soybean plots at the University of Missouri Graves-Chapple Extension and Education Center in northwestern Missouri shows how tillage systems have affected yields. Four of the most common tillage systems were compared at Graves-Chapple in Rock Port: fall and spring disk; spring disk; no-till; and fall chisel and spring disk.

Free webinar series on starting your own small dairy herd

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension is hosting a free webinar series on starting a small dairy herd. The eight-session series runs May 28-Dec. 2. “In a time of people wanting to know more about where their food comes from, we’re also seeing an increase in folks becoming more self-sustainable,” said MU Extension dairy field specialist Chloe Collins. One way the dairy industry is a part of this trend is a growing…

Strong market results in strong bull sale in Springfield

STOCKTON, Mo. – There was a strong showing at the Southwest Missouri All Breeds Performance Test Bull Sale on March 25 at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center in Springfield, says Patrick Davis, University of Missouri Extension livestock field specialist.

Celebrating afterschool professionals

As we mark Afterschool Professional Appreciation Week, it’s time to turn our attention to the unsung heroes who are the driving force behind afterschool programs. While the Missouri AfterSchool Network has raised awareness of the week, the local celebrations taking place in communities across the state provide the direct recognition and appreciation to the afterschool staff.

Truman gardens still bloom with beauty thanks to Master Gardeners

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – It’s only fitting that the peonies at the President Harry S Truman National Historic Site in Independence should be in full bud on his May 8 birthday. Peonies still line fragrant walkways to the carriage house at the home of the 33rd president of the United States, just as they did when Harry and Bess Truman lived there.

Missouri Master Gardeners volunteer to teach others their passion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During this National Volunteer Week, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Tamra Reall notes that volunteers across the state are the backbone of the Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program. “They are such an important part of our extension mission and are ambassadors for sharing research-based information with our communities,” Reall says.

MU Extension offers spring lambing guidance

OSCEOLA, Mo. – The benefits of spring lambing and management tips are part of a new University of Missouri Extension publication for sheep producers.

Missouri 4-H, MU Extension to host 4-H crop event

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri 4-H and University of Missouri Extension will host a Crops Field Day on Wednesday, July 10, at MU Bradford Farm near Columbia. Youths and volunteers will be able to learn about common Missouri crops, insects, diseases, disorders and weeds as well as about pesticide safety. The event will bring state-level opportunities to youths involved in agronomy and plant-science-related projects, said Maria Calvert, MU…

Macon County woman honored with Missouri 4-H volunteer leadership award

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Celebrating National Volunteer Week, the Missouri 4-H Foundation is proud to present Angela Helton with the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award. Helton is recognized for more than 25 years of service and support to 4-H in Macon County. “We are honored to recognize Angela Helton for her outstanding efforts on behalf of Macon County 4-H,” said Rachel Augustine, director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

Clark County woman honored with Missouri 4-H volunteer leadership award

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Celebrating National Volunteer Week, the Missouri 4-H Foundation is proud to present LaTisha Scott-Snead with the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award. Scott-Snead is recognized for more than eight years of service and support to 4-H in Clark County. “We are honored to recognize LaTisha Scott-Snead for her outstanding efforts on behalf of Clark County 4-H,” said Rachel Augustine, director of the Missouri 4-H…

Missouri 4-H celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week

COLUMBIA, Mo. – During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27, Missouri 4-H extends its heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who make a difference in the lives of young people across the state.

Can high cattle prices pay for mistakes?

SALEM, Mo. – With cattle prices at record high levels and many forecasts projecting relatively high prices for the next couple of years, some producers feel they can do no wrong. In times like these, even less-productive cows and mismanaged calves are likely to make a profit.

Kentucky bluegrass: Too much of a good thing?

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is a good, productive grass to include in forage mixtures in the Ozarks region, but having too much of this grass can limit production. Monitoring the amount of Kentucky bluegrass in the forage stand can be helpful to producers. This perennial cool-season grass is identified by the narrow, V-shaped leaf blades. The leaf tips are said to be boat- or canoe-shaped. The leaves are typically 1 to 7 inches…

Soybean gall midge spreading in Midwest

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Soybean gall midge is appearing about 10 days earlier than usual in Nebraska crops, says University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension crop protection and cropping systems specialist Justin McMechan. That could spell trouble for Missouri soybean growers as well.

Rev up safety when riding ATVs

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Spring and riding ATVs seem to go together. However, ATV accidents can lead to tragedy when precautions are not followed, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch. ATVs can offer hours of fun in the days ahead when riders observe safety rules. She says it is important to teach young riders rules of the road and to teach by example.

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