MU pesticide safety program vital to state's ag economy

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sam Polly, coordinator of University of Missouri Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program, wants to make Missouri a safer place that allows Missouri’s agricultural economy to continue to grow. Polly says the program is the backbone of agricultural and commercial pest management in Missouri. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute $369 million annually to the state’s economy.

Technology inches farming toward autonomy

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Armchair farming may not be here yet, but it’s getting closer.“Autonomy in agriculture isn’t as far away as you think,” says Kent Shannon, University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineering specialist.Agriculture is rapidly shifting to technology that can increase land efficiency, reduce labor shortages and streamline food production, says Shannon.

Choose the right pest control provider before the bedbugs bite

COLUMBIA, Mo. – To some, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite” isn’t just a quaint good-night wish. Bedbugs are a nightmare for people in the hospitality and housing industries, says Sam Polly, coordinator of University of Missouri Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program.With zero tolerance for these tiny pests, it is important to hire the right pest control provider, Polly says. Misapplied pesticides or choosing subgrade “exterminators…

Safe storage of farm chemicals protects people and animals

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Proper inventory management of farm chemicals saves money and protects animals, people and the environment, says University of Missouri Extension specialist Sam Polly.“With the cost of pesticides, letting a product degrade in your storage shed is not a mistake anyone can afford to make very many times!” says Polly, who teaches private pesticide applicator training for MU Extension.

Q&A with Sam Polly

What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?

Survey of Missouri Pesticide Applicator Practices, Knowledge, and Perceptions

The introduction of soybean and cotton traits with resistance to synthetic auxin herbicides has led to an increase in concern over the off-target movement of dicamba and 2,4-D. A direct-mail survey was sent to Missouri pesticide applicators in January of 2016 to understand current herbicide application practices and applicator knowledge and awareness of the new synthetic auxin technologies.

New MU app helps identify herbicide injury

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension introduced a new mobile app to identify herbicide injury at its annual Pest Management Field Day on July 10.MU Extension weed specialist Mandy Bish says Herbicide Injury ID lets users send photos of injured plants to MU Extension for preliminary diagnosis and feedback. Users can also scroll through a library of more than 200 photos to look for similar types of damage.

MU research targets Japanese beetles

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Japanese beetles—those mean, green eating machines—are peaking throughout much of Missouri.University of Missouri Extension field crops entomologist Kevin Rice hopes his research on Japanese beetles will take a bite out of their buffet.