Scout crops early and often for best results

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Though physically demanding and time-consuming, scouting fields for insect pests is essential to crop health, yields and profits, says University of Missouri Extension state entomologist Ivair Valmorbida. Weekly scouting during the growing season helps producers identify and manage problems for early intervention, Valmorbida says. He advises more frequent monitoring when weather favors rapid development of specific…

Tar spot growing in Missouri corn crops

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A yield-robbing corn disease, tar spot, is gaining ground in Missouri. Tar spot has been confirmed in 19 counties in 2024, says University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist Mandy Bish. Corn growers in nearly half of the state’s counties have reported tar spot since Missouri’s first confirmed case in 2018.

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.

MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic offers free wheat virus tests in 2024

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic will offer Missouri producers free testing for five wheat viruses during 2024, says Peng Tian, director of the clinic.

Top ag experts to speak at MU Crop Management Conference

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Leading agriculture experts from the University of Missouri, Purdue University, USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of Nebraska will give updates on weeds, crop diseases, insects and new technologies at the annual MU Crop Management Conference, Dec. 6-7 at the Columbia Holiday Inn Executive Center.

MU Extension offers self-paced vegetable production series

BOWLING GREEN, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension will offer a self-paced “Conventional Vegetable Production Series” this fall.

Free plant diagnostic testing available at MU field day

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Those attending the annual Mizzou Pest Management Field Day can bring plants for free testing and identification of disease and insects. The field day is Thursday, July 6, at the University of Missouri’s Bradford Research Farm, 8 miles east of Columbia. MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic representatives will accept samples for diagnosis and return them in 3-5 business days.

MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic offers free wheat virus tests

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic will offer free screening for five wheat viruses this spring.A partnership of MU Extension’s Integrated Pest Management and Field Crop Pathology programs allows the clinic to waive the usual fee of $65 per sample.

Tar spot of corn confirmed in NE Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri’s Plant Diagnostic Clinic confirmed tar spot in three corn samples collected in the northeastern Missouri counties of Lewis and Holt on Aug. 30, according to Peng Tian, the clinic’s lab director.

No reports of spotted lanternfly in Missouri but vigilance urged

COLUMBIA, Mo. – While not yet detected in Missouri, spotted lanternfly remains a concern for vineyards, certain trees and specialty crops as it continues to spread west. If spotted lanternfly (SLF) reaches Missouri, early detection and insecticide control measures will be key to reducing the economic damage, says Dean Volenberg, viticulture extension professor with the University of Missouri Grape and Wine Institute.

Caterpillars horn in on tomato plants

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Several types of caterpillars damage tomato plants in Missouri, but the tomato hornworm and the tobacco hornworm usually get the most attention because of the prominent horn on the last segment of their bodies.

Spring rains bring root rots to Missouri field crops

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Frequent spring rains in Missouri set the stage for seedling and root rotting diseases that can lower yields.Pythium species usually infect the roots of corn, soybean and wheat, especially in the northern half of the state, says University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette.

MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic is now open

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Like humans, plants can get sick and need someone to diagnose their illnesses, says Peng Tian, the new lab director of the University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic.The Plant Diagnostic Clinic has served Missourians since 1965 to help clients, including county extension specialists, commercial growers, government agencies and homeowners, identify plant health problems.

Crops face danger of BMSB damage

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A flurry of calls and emails from homeowners about the brown marmorated stink bug to University of Missouri Extension specialists sounds a warning of what is to come in in the next two years.

SDS appearing in Missouri soybean fields

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension agronomists reported during their weekly teleconference that sudden death syndrome (SDS) is showing up in soybean fields across the state.MU Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette says she is not surprised that the yield-robbing disease has reared its ugly head.

MU plant diagnostic clinic helps Amish producers in Clark

CLARK, Mo. – On Friday mornings at the Clark Produce Auction, University of Missouri Extension agronomist Dhruba Dhakal sets up a table, plant posters and an MU Extension sign. MU Extension’s objective is to serve all Missourians with resources and research needed to improve lives, communities and the economy. When Dhakal noticed Amish producers in Clark could benefit from a plant diagnostic clinic, he knew there was only one thing to…

MU Soil and Plant Testing Lab still open and serving Missouri agriculture

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For now, the University of Missouri Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory remains open.“We understand the essential role the lab plays in supporting Missouri's agricultural industry,” said Robert Kallenbach, MU Extension senior program director for agriculture and environment. “If we can continue to operate safely, the MU Soil Testing Laboratory in Columbia will continue to accept samples.”

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.

Mulch ado about something

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mulches can help garden soil stay cool during the heat of summer. Maintain 2-4 inches of an organic mulch to keep the soil cool, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. This promotes root growth and curbs soil moisture loss. By blocking sunlight, mulch also prevents weeds from germinating. Finally, organic mulches improve soil structure as they decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

MU plant pathologist gives update on emerging crop diseases

PALMYRA, Mo. – New University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette urges growers to notify her if they spot southern rust and other diseases this growing season. She gave growers a look at emerging diseases at the second annual NEMO Soils and Crop Conference in Palmyra Feb. 8.

Soybean disease not usually seen in state shows in NW Missouri

Note: Revised to correct spelling of “sclerotinia.”COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Wayne Flanary says about 160 acres of soybean in northwestern Missouri show symptoms of sclerotinia stem rot. The MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic confirmed the disease, which can cause large losses in fields with high yield potential.