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.

Great landscapes begin with quality topsoil

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Quality landscapes begin with quality topsoil.Topsoil is the top 3-10 inches of the soil. Most surface soils have higher organic matter content than subsoil, but not all surface soil is ideal for gardens or lawns, says Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory.

Managing potassium and phosphorus when prices are high

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Farmers understand fertilizer prices fluctuate with time. “We are living through a substantial shift in potassium and phosphorus prices, from low prices in the 2020 growing season to the highest prices in the past decade for fertilizer purchased now for the 2022 growing season,” says John Lory, University of Missouri Extension nutrient management specialist.

Test for SCN after soybean harvest

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The best time to test for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is right after soybean harvest, says University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette. 

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.

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 Extension, NRCS partner to help farmers convert cropland to pasture

WELLSVILLE, Mo. – Matthew Spiers wants to convert cropland to pastureland for grazing.Through a joint effort by University of Missouri Extension and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Spiers plans to build a rotational grazing system so he won’t have to rent more pastureland to expand his cattle herd.

Hitchhiking spotted lanternfly could become problem in Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. – An exotic pest that hitchhikes on train cars, trucks and boats could suck the life out Missouri crops.Spotted lanternfly has the potential to establish populations in Missouri, says University of Missouri Extension field crop entomologist Kevin Rice. It damages soybean, corn and hops, as well as fruit and ornamental trees. According to MU Extension viticulturist Dean Volenberg, it could have damaging effects on Missouri…

Frost-seed legumes now to improve cattle and pastures

STOCKTON, Mo. – Add legumes to grazing pastures to improve cow performance, soil health and forage production, says Patrick Davis, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist in Cedar County.

Second annual Mid-Mo Expo set for backyard gardeners, small farmers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The second annual Mid-Mo Expo for backyard gardeners and small farmers offers presentations and demonstrations to improve productivity and profits.The event will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Battle High School, 7575 E. St. Charles Road, Columbia. University of Missouri Extension in Boone County hosts the event.

Is there clover in there?

NEVADA, Mo. – If you’ve sent a pasture or hay soil test through your University of Missouri Extension center, you’ve been asked what kind of forage you have.“Next time, before you answer, think about whether you have a legume in there and how much of it there is, or if you want to add a legume,” says Pat Miller, regional extension agronomy specialist based in Vernon County. “These things make quite a difference in the fertilizer and…

Ashes to ashes

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Ashes produced by wood-burning fireplaces or stoves are an excellent example of the idiom “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein.“When collected and spread on the garden, they are an excellent and free source of calcium and other plant nutrients,” Trinklein says.

Soil testing kits available at local MU Extension centers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Submitting soil samples to your local University of Missouri Extension center is easy, says Manjula Nathan, director of the MU Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory.Now is the best time of the year to submit samples to the accredited lab. Soil tests help farmers, gardeners and lawn owners find what fertilizers they may or may not need, says Nathan.

Carefully select topsoil when doing fall yard work

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Not all topsoil is created equal.

Inexpensive soil tests can save farmers thousands

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Soil tests can save farmers thousands of dollars, says Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory.Too often, farmers follow routine fertilization schedules and end up applying too much fertilizer to fields, Nathan said. A simple soil test gives the farmer accurate information to guide nutrient management decisions.