Thursday, March 28, 2013

Preventive Health is an Essential Individual Responsibility Says Extension Nutrition Specialist

Dr. Lydia Kaume, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

Preventing a disease is wiser than facing the unknown or sometimes known consequences of a disease at a more advanced stage.

Three types of prevention exist: primary, secondary and tertiary according to Dr. Lydia Kaume, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Primary prevention is the most essential and one that calls on our personal responsibility while the latter two are provider-assisted interventions.

Primary prevention is achieved by modifying unhealthy behaviors, administering immunizations to prevent infectious diseases, and reducing exposure to harmful environmental factors.

“There is evidence that the health care system has not been successful in helping patients change behaviors. Unhealthy behaviors are part of our lifestyle and include physical inactivity, tobacco use, and poor diet, are major determinants for risk for chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease, depression and diabetes,” said Kaume.

These diseases result in premature mortality and account for 38 percent of all deaths in the United States.


Premature mortality among adults aged 45-64 years per calendar year in Missouri is at 662, much higher than the national average of 616.

On behavioral risk and disease factors, 34 percent of Missourians have been diagnosed with hypertension, 40 percent of adults in Missouri have high cholesterol, and 9 percent have been diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, 25 percent of the population smoke tobacco, and 35 percent are obese and overweight.

A spot check on some preventive measures show only 17 percent of Missourians participate in enough aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises and only 20 percent of adults consumed fruits and vegetables five times per day.

Several resources are available to help individuals assess their health and provide steps toward healthier lifestyles. American Heart Association provides easy assessment tools and heart related health information at

In addition, visit for evidence based information on weight management, portion sizes, and estimated calories on various foods. The site also provides tips on how to eat on a budget, and get sample menus and recipes and even answers your questions on how much physical activity is a needed.

“Since it is intuitively wiser to prevent disease; we ought to consider adopting healthy behaviors such as eat well, be active and stop smoking to prevent these debilitating chronic diseases.

Over 200 Attend Branding Workshop in Mt. Vernon

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Over 200 persons attended the afternoon branding workshop at the Jackie Moore Ranch near Mt. Vernon on March 26. Attendees came from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and much of southwest Missouri to watch the ranch crew demonstrate freeze and hot-iron branding.

Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension in southwest Missouri, discussed the Missouri Brand Law and the merits of taking time to put a “return address” on your animals.

Jackie Moore explained their branding program and how it aids feedlots in tracking a producer’s cattle, whether they are good or sometimes bad.

Sheriffs in attendance were Brad Delay of Lawrence County and Joey Kyle of Christian County. They voiced their support of branding as a tool to help them in case of theft.

The demonstration of freeze branding was carried out by Glenn and Kris Callison, Simmental breeders from Verona.

“They have been branding with the super cold iron about two years with excellent success. The freeze branding technique is useful on dark-haired cattle and horses as the new hair comes in white if the branding process is done properly. Hide damage is less of a problem than with a hot iron brand,” said Cole.

A weakness of the cold iron technique is that it requires obtaining dry ice and a solution such as 99% alcohol or gasoline to super cool the iron. The copper iron must be applied around 40 seconds which requires good restraint of the animal. This time expense may be a problem for cattlemen who get in a hurry.

The freeze brand is used more by seedstock producers as well as cow-calf operators as an herd ID program in lieu of ear tags. Stocker cattle producers usually rely on the hot iron method.

The hot iron method of branding the 45 head was supervised by the Moore crew of Bailey Moore, Keith Ketron and Bruce Hall.

Gregg Bailey of Mt. Vernon, president of the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association welcomed the large crowd and invited them to participate in local and Missouri Cattlemen’s Association activities in the future. Dustin Schnake, Stotts City, Missouri Cattlemen’s regional vice-president for southwest Missouri was also in attendance.

Questions regarding branding and the Missouri Brand Law may be directed toward University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists or the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Division, Jefferson City.

MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri are: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

81st Bull Sale March 25 Sees Overall Sale Average Increase

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

The 81st Southwest Missouri Cattle Improvement Association Bull Sale saw a strong demand March 25 for the 35 bulls that sold. The overall average was $3137 up $58 per head from the November 2012 average.

“As has been the trend, bulls with a combination of outstanding expected progeny differences (EPDs) and an attractive, sound appearance sparked the most interest. Four bulls sold for $5000 or more,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The 26 Angus bulls made a strong showing with a $3421 average. They were topped at $5300 by a bull consigned by Truman L. Wiles, Willow Springs who combined outstanding calving ease, weaning weight and yearling weight EPDs, along with impressive $Beef values. The successful bidder was Brackenridge Brothers, Eldorado Springs, a consistent repeat buyer.

Other Angus bulls topping the $5000 mark were consigned by Clearwater Farm, James Pipkin, Springfield and Naylor’s Angus, Buffalo had two.

One Polled Hereford bull sold for $3300. The seller was a young 4-H member, Aiden Kleinman, Wentworth. The buyer was Tom Studer, Reeds Spring.

One Charolais bull averaged $2400. Wright Charolais, Mona Wright, Mt. Vernon consigned him. He sold to Jason Choate, Carthage.

The Simmental portion of the sale was represented by 6 head that combined purebreds and some SimAngus composites. They averaged $2233 with a top of $2750 on a consignment from S-4 Farms, Mike and Connie Stewart, Marshfield. The three-fourths Angus and one-quarter Simmental was bought by Kiney Stegner, Rogersville.

One LimFlex bull brought $1800. The buyer was Steven Dodson, Walnut Grove and Brent Boyce, Marshfield was the consignor.

The sale is a cooperative effort between the Southwest Missouri BCIA and University of Missouri Extension. For details on participating, contact your nearest Extension Livestock Specialist or sale manager, Pam Naylor, Buffalo. The next sale will be Oct. 28 at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

92 Bulls Evaluated at Three BSE Clinics Have Second Highest Pass Rate in History of Program

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

During the three Bull Soundness Exam (BSE) clinics at Miller, Aurora and Cassville, there were 27 different owners that brought in 92 bulls ranging in age from 11 months to 9 years (average 2.9 years) for evaluation.

Over 93 percent of the bulls were designated as satisfactory, potential breeders. This was the second highest pass rate since we started the program in 2005. The overall average since 2005 on 1,483 collections now stands at 89.6 percent.

The body condition score on this year’s bulls averaged 6.1 (range 4 to 7.5). Each bull was scored on structural soundness with a scale from 1 to 9. The average was 5.5 (range 3 to 7). A 1 is very poor structure with a 9 being perfect.

The average scrotal circumference was 39.5 centimeters (range 33 to 49).

The deferred bulls this spring all had normal sperm levels below 70 percent which is an automatic no. Here are a few relative minor problems noted but none were serious enough to fail a bull.

• 7 had long toes – two were trimmed

• 5 had pinkeye scars in one or both eyes. Their vision did not appear to be impaired

• 1 had an ugly ear abscess

• 1 had prepuce scarring

• 1 had an old penis laceration

• 1 had a penile wart

• 1 had an old sheath injury

A total of six bulls were trichomoniasis tested.

“Over the course of the program I’ve tried to monitor the breed makeup of the bulls. Angus numbers peaked in 2009 at 71.9 percent. This spring they represented 30.8 percent of the bulls,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

The second most popular breed was Hereford and Polled Hereford, next came Gelbvieh, Balancer and SimAngus. Others followed in this order: Red Angus, Charolais x Red Angus, Lim Flex, Charolais, Limousin, Beefmaster, Senegus and Simmental.

“Thanks to the three veterinarians, their staffs, Ed Trotter, Kevin Milliner, Zoetis for helping pull off another successful BSE set of clinics. Hopefully, this effort and the publicity around it will prompt more cow herd owners to get their bulls checked before turnout time,” said Cole.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

Disaster Preparedness Class in Webster County on April 8

Contact: Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist
Tel: (417) 859-2044

Webster County ranks in the top five counties in Missouri in dealing with the number of natural disasters.

With the spring storm season approaching, a free seminar entitled “Preparing for Disasters: Be Part of the Solution” will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday, April 8 at the Webster County Extension Center, 800 S. Marshall St. (next to city hall), in Marshfield.

“This seminar will highlight the typical natural and manmade hazards in the Ozarks, how to create a family disaster plan, steps to take to lessen the effects of disasters, and how to become a resource to help your neighbors and community,” said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Schultheis and Lisa McCarthy, coordinator for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), will be the instructors.

Seating is limited, so those wanting to attend should reserve a seat by contacting the Webster County Extension Center before Friday, April 5, by calling 417-859-2044 or sending an email to

“This will also help in planning for adequate resource materials to share with the participants,” said Schultheis.

This program is sponsored by the Family and Community Education (FCE) Clubs of Webster County, the Webster County Extension Council, and University of Missouri Extension.

For more information, go online to

Field Scouting Report for March 27: Snow Limits Scouting but Soil Benefits from Nitrogen

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, did not physically scout fields this week due to the snow.

“Aphid threats still remain, and need to be scouted for in wheat fields. Aphids are active in temperatures above 60 degrees,” said Scheidt.

When temperatures drop below 60 degrees, aphids can be found at soil level or beneath soil level when it snows. Bird Cherry Oat Aphids, green aphids identified by a red ring around their rear, are the most tolerant of aphid species.

“Dead aphids have been seen in area wheat fields. Cold weather does not usually kill aphids but as the season progresses, aphids lose their tolerance for cold temperatures, especially when temperatures frequently change 15-20 degrees, higher or lower, over a short period of time,” said MU State Entomologist Wayne Bailey.

The recent snow could add a minor benefit to the soil by collecting nitrogen from the air and making the nitrogen more available to the plants.

Cold weather can have negative effects too, by temporarily binding nutrients and slowing the mineralization process. Cold temperatures may also slow root growth.

“Any uniform purpling of the leaves is likely due to a temporary phosphorus deficiency caused by cooler temperatures,” said Scheidt.

Also, the ideal time to apply nitrogen is early to mid-March; nitrogen applications should be done before jointing to prevent injury to wheat.

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Barton County Extension.

For more information on this scouting report, or to learn how you can receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County at (417) 682-3579.

Local Youth Meets State Officials at 4-H Legislative Academy

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Representatives from the Missouri 4-H program gathered at the State Capitol in Jefferson City Feb. 18-20 to share their stories and experiences with legislators, commodity groups, and state agency leaders.

The Missouri 4-H Legislative Academy brought these groups together to provide hands-on experience for youth representing the 4-H youth program to the heart of Missouri state government.

Katie Pennell, the 17 year-old daughter of Gary and Kay Lynn Pennell of Aurora, represented the Missouri 4-H program during the Academy. Pennell is a senior at Aurora High School and a member of the Mt. Comfort 4-H Club in Lawrence County.

While in Jefferson City, Pennell talked with over 60 legislators, sponsors and guests at a formal Academy dinner, including Sen. Brian Munzlinger, legislative host of the 2013 Academy.

Marty Oetting, University of Missouri government relations director, and Aaron Baker, field representative for U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, oriented the group to the Missouri General Assembly. Academy delegates received a memorable tour of the State Capitol building by Rep. Mike Kelley.

Pennell discussed trends and current events with agricultural leaders from the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Missouri Cattleman’s Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Pork Producers Association, and Missouri Farm Bureau. She also visited with spokespersons from state agencies that partner with 4-H, including the Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Corrections, Dept. of Social Services, and Dept. of Conservation.

Pennell and other delegates spent a morning with Missouri Supreme Court Justice Mary Rhodes Russell and an afternoon shadowing State Senator David Sater from Cassville. The Academy delegates also met with Secretary of State Jason Kander and toured Governor Jay Nixon’s office.

Missouri 4-H is a community of over 300,000 youth ages 5-18 from rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards, and urban neighborhoods. 4-H youth are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills, guided by over 10,000 caring adult volunteers statewide. University of Missouri Extension 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension system.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.

Greene County Sweeps Missouri 4-H Horse Judging Contest

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102
Team photo available at

Greene County 4-H members were the top placing teams in the Missouri 4-H Horse Judging Contest, held Saturday, March 16 at the University of Missouri Trowbridge Livestock Center.

Greene County won both the Junior and Senior divisions of the contest according to Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

The Senior team, consisting of Bailey Brines, Emily Hoy, Madison Hynek, Shiane Moulds, Bethany Rohlman and Taylor Weider placed first out of 14 teams. Rohlman was third high individual, Hoy was fourth high individual, and Hynek was tenth high individual in the contest.

The Greene County senior team will represent Missouri 4-H at the 4-H National Horse Judging Contest to be held in November of this year in Louisville, KY.

The Junior team, consisting of Mattie Cobban, Cara Driskell, Mikayla Peterson, Serena Peterson and Brooke Wieder placed first out of 12 teams. Wieder was first high individual, and Cobban was fourth high individual. Greene County teams are coached by volunteer Sarah Martin.

Ninety contestants from across Missouri participated in the competition, placing nine classes. Junior contestants gave one set of oral reasons and senior contestants gave two sets of reasons.

In addition to the contest about 60 youth and parents participated in a judging clinic, held in the Trowbridge Sales arena, taught by Karen Craighead of Stephens College. Skills learned by participants include the science of horse judging. Additionally they learn transferable skills in decision making, problem solving and public speaking.

There are currently over 23,000 Missouri youth participating in 4-H clubs, with over 290,000 youth being reached by the variety of Missouri 4-H programs in 2012. For more information on Missouri 4-H youth programs, visit the 4-H website at, or contact your local extension office. Missouri 4-H is a program of University of Missouri (MU) Extension.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.

Robthom Farm Honored With 4-H Foundation Award

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Robthom Farm of Springfield received the 2013 Missouri 4-H Foundation Naomi Crouch Leadership Award, on March 15 in Columbia. Robthom Farm was recognized for commitment to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development program.

Janice and Monica Ling accepted the award on behalf of their family.

“It is our great pleasure to honor Robthom Farm with the Naomi Crouch award for the family’s dedication to Missouri 4-H,” said Cheryl Reams, executive director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation. “Volunteers like the Ling family have made Missouri 4-H the quality experience for youth that it is today, and we are indebted to the Robthom Farm family for their service.”

Since 1997, Robthom Farm has served as the host of Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp. The statewide University of Missouri Extension 4-H camp draws attention to the importance of farming and its crucial role in Missouri’s economy. It also provides 40 youth participants a “hands-on” opportunity to care for dairy animals while learning about dairy production.

To date, more than 500 youth have attended Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp at least one year.

The Robert F. Thomson family at Robthom Farm provides the facility, as well as volunteers and 20 dairy heifers for student use. Without their support and contributions, this camp would not be possible, nor would it be a success. The farm has been in the Thomson family since 1905, and the sixth generation is now growing up on the dairy.

The Naomi Crouch Leadership award is given annually to volunteers and organizations that devote their time and talents to MU Extension’s 4-H youth development programs. The award is named for Naomi Crouch, a Plattsburg native, who was an active 4-H volunteer and Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee for more than 20 years.

Celebrating 63 years of service to 4-H youth, the Missouri 4-H Foundation secures funds for the Missouri 4-H youth development program, provides higher education scholarships and recognizes 4-H volunteers.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.

Lawrence County Woman Named 4-H Volunteer Award Winner for 2013

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Janella Spencer of Lawrence County was named a 2013 Frank Graham4-H Volunteer Leadership Award winner by the Missouri 4-H Foundation on March 15. Spencer was recognized for her commitment to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development program.

“It is our great pleasure to honor Janella Spencer with the Frank Graham Volunteer Leadership award for her dedication to Missouri 4-H,” said Cheryl Reams, executive director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation. “It is volunteers like Janella who have made Missouri 4-H the quality experience for young Missourians that it is today, and we are indebted to Janella for her service.”

Janella Spencer is extremely committed to 4-H. In addition to serving as club leader for the largest club in the county, she has served as County 4-H Council Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. She is also an extraordinary cake decorating project leader, and has taught her students the fine art of cake decorating very successfully.

Through Janella’s leadership, the county 4-H program has become completely self-sufficient in their fund-raising efforts, and started a new fund raiser and healthy living event, a 5K run. She encourages her club members to become involved at the county, regional and state level, and these efforts have paid off. Many of the Mt. Comfort club members have participated in national level events.

The Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes leaders who work to guide our youth. The award is named for Frank Graham, who served as director of MU Extension 4-H Youth Programs from 1958 to 1975. During his tenure of 33 years, Mr. Graham was an avid supporter of volunteer leadership, and still believes that volunteers are the foundation of the 4-H program.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nominations for Greene County Farm Family of the Year Being Accepted Through April 19

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Since 1963, the Greene County Extension Council and Greene County Farm Bureau have worked together to select a local farm family to represent the county at the Missouri State Fair.

The honored families enjoy a fun-filled day at the Missouri State Fair followed by a recognition dinner sponsored by Missouri Farm Bureau. The Greene County Extension Council provides a stipend of $50 to cover the cost of fair admission and offset some travel costs.

This year’s Farm Family Day will be celebrated on Monday, August 12, 2013 at the Missouri State Fair. This recognition event is jointly sponsored by Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair, University of Missouri Extension, and the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“The Farm Family Day program is intended to honor the contributions of an individual farm family from each county in the state,” said David Burton, country program director for Greene County Extension. “All county extension councils select a farm family. We just do it a little differently in Greene County.”


Families can self-nominate, or neighbors can nominate an outstanding farm family that they know. However, several criteria must be mentioned in the nomination.

• Nominated farm families must be engaged in agriculture. (Give some examples).

• Nominated families need to be active cooperators with University of Missouri Extension who use Extension assistance. (Give some examples).

• The family should be involved in or support youth organizations such as 4-H or FFA.

• Family must be willing to represent county at the 2013 Missouri State Fair.

Nomination letters should be sent by email to and information must be received prior to Friday, April 19. The final selection of the 2013 farm family will be made by the Greene County Extension Council.

A complete list of Greene County State Fair Farm Families from 1963 to 2012 is available on the Greene County Extension website at . Farm families from other counties should contact the extension office in the county they reside.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Strawberries are a Favorite Homegrown Fruit, Spring is the Time to Get Growing

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Spring brings several jobs for the home strawberry grower according to Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Spring weather also brings lots of questions from strawberry growers.

When is it time to uncover my strawberries? According to Byers, strawberries should be covered with straw or rowcover during the winter, to protect the plants from winter injury.

“I recommend uncovering the plants in late March or early April and watch for leaf development,” said Byers. “Don’t uncover too early because the plants will bloom earlier.”

What should you do if a frost is in the forecast?

“Strawberry plants blossom in April, and the flowers can be damaged by a late frost,” said Byers. “It is a good idea to watch the weather forecast and plan ahead. If frost is forecast, cover the plants with row cover or straw which can protect down to around 26 degrees.”

Should I fertilize my strawberries this spring? “The answer is no because you don’t want lots of lush leaf growth,” said Byers.

What can be done to limit those fruit rots? According to Byers the key is keeping a clean strawberry patch. It is also a good idea to not fertilize in the spring and if you have a large patch, consider a fungicide spray.

A good source of information on this topic can be found in the MU Extension guide sheet, “G6135 Home Fruit Production - Strawberry cultivars and their culture” available online at For more information, call University of Missouri Extension at 417-881-8909.

Get Educated About Spring Frosts and Take Steps to Protect Your Plants

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Spring is here, but we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to cold weather. Spring frost is a common occurrence in the Ozarks.

What can be done to protect your tender plants when the forecast is for frost?

Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension, says that on average the last expected frost in southwest Missouri is on April 17.

“Just knowing that is rule number one for success,” said Byers. “Don’t plant before that day and some folks wait as late as Mother’s Day.”

There are several types of frost that can be mentioned in the forecast. White frost occurs on still nights, when cold layers of air settle near the ground below warm layers of air.

Frontal frost occurs when cold air masses move into an area, often with wind.

What type of damage can occur with a frost? For starters, flowers are often the tenderest part of a plant, and the first to be damaged by frost. This is certainly the case with strawberries, peaches and apples.

“I get lots of calls from gardeners wanting to know what can be done to deal with frost,” said Byers. “There are three things. First and foremost, plant at the proper time to avoid most frost. Second, cover plants with row cover or other protective layers. Third, pull back mulches and moisten the soil.”

For more information on protecting plants from cold temperatures, call University of Missouri Extension at 417-881-8909 or visit the website for Greene County Extension at

Refresher on Egg Safety a Rite of Spring

Contact: Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 345-7551

Celebrations associated with Easter and the spring season usually involve eggs in some way or another.

But with these festivities, it is important to be aware of egg food safety according to Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes the following recommendations on buying, keeping and preparing eggs:

• When buying eggs, get them from a refrigerated case, before the expiration date on the carton.

• Select eggs that look clean and uncracked.

• After leaving the grocery store, take the eggs straight home and refrigerate them immediately.

• Store eggs in their original carton in the main part of the refrigerator, instead of the door.

• Make sure the temperature in the refrigerator is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Eggs should be used within three to five weeks from the date they were purchased.

• When preparing raw eggs, remember to wash your hands, as well as the surfaces and cooking utensils used, with hot soapy water, in order to prevent cross- contamination.

• Raw or cooked eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

“When decorating eggs, hard-cook them and use food grade dye to color them if you intend to eat them,” said Haynes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes the following recommendations on hiding, keeping and eating eggs:

• During Easter egg hunts, hide eggs away from animals, dirt, and other sources of bacteria.

• Throw away any eggs that have cracked shells, because bacteria could get into the egg and contaminate it.

• Keep eggs in the refrigerator until right before the hunt, and put them back in the refrigerator right after the hunt.

• Make sure the eggs have not been at room temperature for longer than two hours total.

• Consume hard-cooked eggs in their shells within a week of cooking, and egg dishes, like deviled eggs, within three to four days.

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

Field Scouting Report for March 20…Henbit, Chickweed and Cold Weather Purpling Seen in Southwest Missouri Wheat Fields This Past Week

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

The weekly crop update for March 20 provided by Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, notes that henbit and chickweed is starting to show up in southwest Missouri wheat fields.

“Annual weeds such as henbit and chickweed can cause up to a 37 percent yield loss in wheat,” said Scheidt. “Harmony or its generic is recommended to treat henbit and chickweed.”

A uniform purpling was seen on wheat tillers this week. The purpling could be due to a temporary phosphorus deficiency that has occurred during the cold weather snap. It could also be due to slight freeze injury.

“Plants must be tested to determine which possibility it is. Purpling will lessen as temperatures rise,” said Schedit.

Scheidt says aphids were also seen this week, but no bird cherry oat aphids, which vector barley yellow dwarf virus. Aphids are green insects found on the underside on the leaf or in cold temperatures, at soil level, near the crown.

Bird cherry oat aphids can be identified by a red ring around their rear with cornicles which look like tail pipes. Threshold levels for bird cherry oat aphids are 6 aphids/foot. A rate of 3.2 oz/A Warrior or 3.6 oz/A Mustang Max is recommended to control aphids.

“Early-mid March, before jointing, is the ideal time to apply nitrogen. In a drought year, less nitrogen may be required when planting after corn,” said Scheidt.

Formula: Nitrogen applied to corn- bushels/acre harvested= possible left over nitrogen. Possible left over nitrogen X .9 = total nitrogen needed to apply to wheat field

“It is a good idea to still apply the normal amount you usually apply to at least half the field. If you see that the part of the field you applied with less nitrogen is less green; then use the normal rate you usually apply,” said Scheidt.

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Barton County Extension.

For more information on this scouting report, or to learn how you can receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County at (417) 682-3579.

Get Data to Make Your Cattle Crop More Attractive to Buyers; Sign-up for Missouri Steer Feedout is Underway

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Beef cow-calf producers who want to develop a reputation as a producer of cattle that do well in the feedlot and on the rail should consider entering the upcoming Missouri Steer Feedout.

“Raising calves that have the potential to create excitement when they run into the sale ring requires that they have some positive objective data,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

According to Cole, progressive feeder cattle order buyers are not content to just bid aggressively on calves that have the looks, flesh and fill condition.

“Those buyers would like to have a track record for feedlot gain and carcass merit that supports that extra one, two or three bids,” said Cole. “The most effective way to develop that objective data is to retain ownership on all or at least a portion of your calf crop.”

The cattle feeding business has not been financially rewarding in recent times with calf and feed prices both high. In fact, last December’s closeout on the Missouri Feedout showed a $225 per head feeding loss.

Despite that dollar loss, some of the participants discovered they had steers that gained above average in the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in southwest Iowa. Excellent carcass quality and yield grades were also made.

“These facts can help their herd mates attract more bids in the future,” said Cole.


The feedout is now accepting entries, a minimum of five head, until May 10. Eligible entries must be born after July 1, 2012. Birth dates and positive sire identification are desired, but not required.

The calves must be weaned and given two rounds of modified live vaccinations at least 28 days before the June 4 delivery date. Forty-five days are preferred. They must be castrated, dehorned, healed and bunk broke.

Pickup locations will be Joplin Regional Stockyards and possibly the Paris Veterinary Clinic. Calves in the northwest corner of the state may be delivered directly to the selected feed yard in southwest Iowa.

At the June 4 pickup, steers will be weighed, given feedlot tags, graded by Missouri Market News graders and priced. The price is used to establish value going into the feeding phase. The price helps determine the profitability during the finishing phase.

Data available on individual animals at the conclusion of the feedout include: rate of gain, carcass weight, marbling score, ribeye area, fat thickness, retail value per day on feed and per day of age, carcass premiums, discounts, disposition score, feed to gain and health treatment costs.

Information about the program can be found online at

Christian County Livestock and Forage Conference April 1

Contact: Dr. Gordon Carriker, agriculture business specialist
Tel: (417) 581-3558

The annual Christian County Livestock and Forage Conference will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, April 1 at the Clever High School Commons and Performing Arts Center, Clever, Mo.

This long-running educational event, organized by the University of Missouri Extension, provides area residents with a wealth of research-based agriculture information.

Topics to be covered during the evening include: Preventing Cattle Theft and Other Rural Crimes; Forage Health - Post-Drought Recovery and Future Considerations; and, Post-Drought Livestock Considerations.

“At this annual event we try to address timely topics of interest to producers in Christian County. The planning committee has put together another great program this year,” said Dr. Gordon Carriker, agriculture business specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

The program is open to the public, whether or not they reside in Christian County. However, Carriker does request those planning to attend call the Christian County Extension Center at (417) 581-3558 by March 27 to reserve a meal.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything.

Eat Well, Be Well with Diabetes Starts in Dallas County on April 4; Registration Needed by March 29

Christeena Haynes, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist
Tel: (417) 345-7551

“Eat Well, Be Well with Diabetes,” a four-class series designed for adults with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, will be held 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Thursdays, April 4-April 25 at the Dallas County Health Department, 1011 W. Main, Buffalo.

The program will be facilitated by Christeena Haynes, a nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The cost of the program is $20. Contact Dallas County Extension by calling (417) 345-7551 for more information and to pre-register by Friday March 29.

Checks made payable to Dallas County Extension can be mailed to P.O. Box 1070, Buffalo MO 65622. Number of participants is limited, so sign up early.

“Spouses and other family members of those with diabetes will also benefit from the classes,” said Haynes.

“Eat Well, Be Well with Diabetes” provides participants with practical information and skills needed to self-manage diabetes and promote optimal health. The series teaches the many aspects of diabetes self-care with a strong focus on nutrition.

The program includes demonstration and tasting of easy recipes as well as hands-on activities to encourage discussion and sharing among all participants. Participants will receive copies of all recipes used in class plus many more for home use.

All extension programs focus on the identified high-priority needs of people throughout the state. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to these unbiased resources and programs.

Workshop in Mountain Grove on April 1 to Address Weed Control, Alternative Forages

Contact: Ted Probert, dairy specialist
Tel: (417) 741-6134

Weed control in row crops, pastures and hay fields will be one of topics of discussion at a workshop scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 1 at the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station in Mountain Grove.

A second speaker will focus on options for alternative crops that can be used to extend the growing season and provide emergency feed in challenging production years

Workshop speakers will be Kevin Bradley, a weed specialist with University of Missouri Extension and Sarah Kenyon, an agronomy specialist, with MU Extension.

Lunch will be provided as part of the workshop. Sponsors of the event include University of Missouri Extension, Wright County Farm Bureau, Pasture Pro, Farmers Ag Center, Richards Brothers Feeds, FCS Financial, South Central MFA, Larson Farm & Lawn and Hirsch Feed and Farm Supply and Missouri State University. Thanks to these sponsors there is no charge to attend the class.

Anyone planning to attend should contact the Wright County Extension office at 417-741-6134 or email to allow appropriate planning for lunch.

“Understanding Financial Statements” Workshop April 10 in Kimberling City is First in a Series from MU Extension

Contact: Chrystal Irons, business development specialist
Tel: (417) 546-4431

An upcoming series of University of Missouri Extension workshops held in Kimberling City are designed to help small business owners and managers better increase their financial knowledge.

The series begins with “Understanding Financial Statements” offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, at the First Christian Church in Kimberling City.

“Understanding Financial Statements” is for business owners, managers, accountants, bankers and consultants who need to know how to turn financial statements into useful management tools. The workshop covers the basics found on the income statement and balance sheet and includes information on various ratios critical to the financial management of a small business.

“This workshop series will provide participants a broader understanding of the key elements in financial management. With this new found knowledge a business owner will be able analyze their financial position to make better business decisions for future success,” said Chrystal Irons, a business development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The two other classes planned for this series are “How to Control Cash Flow” on April 17 and “Predicting Future Cash Needs” on April 24.


The cost to attend the workshop is $69 for Table Rock Chamber members or $99 for non-members. Registration deadline is Friday, April 5, 2013. To receive additional information or register contact the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce at 417-739-2564.

The series of workshops is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for person with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trend Toward Healthy Concessions at Local Parks Visible in Delicious and Nutritious Choices at Republic and Nixa

Contact: Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

There is growing interest statewide in ways parks and other places of recreation can offer fresh, flavorful and healthy foods to visitors.

Area parks are already gearing up for busy summer seasons which includes ordering foods for sale in concession stands. A typical park concession menu includes things like soda, candy, pizza, potato chips, popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and some fried foods.

But a 2012 survey of visitors to Missouri Parks found visitors are willing to pay more for healthy food options, like fruit, if they were available for sale in park concessions.

That has people like Jared Keeling, director of Parks and Recreation in the City of Republic, interested in testing healthier concessions.

“This past year we have introduced several healthier concession items. Baked chips, Powerade Zero and Coke Zero have all been fairly well received,” said Keeling. “We recently started testing protein drinks in our vending machines and we’ll see how they sell over the next 60 to 90 days. It is encouraging to note the number one bottled beverage we sell throughout our parks system is Dasani water.”

Joy Siemer, recreational specialist for Nixa Parks, says changes to the concession menus in the Nixa park system is a regular consideration.

“The tried and true items on our concessions menu like candy bars and soda will always remain, but people like to see new things. We are taking an in-depth look at our offerings right now,” said Siemer.


University of Missouri Extension held a “Healthy Concessions Workshop” at the Southwest Region Missouri Park and Recreation Association meeting held in Republic during January.

The workshop presented “Eat Smart in Parks,” a statewide effort funded by Missouri Foundation for Health, aimed at promoting healthier eating options in Missouri’s local and state parks.

Cindy DeBlauw, a registered dietitian with MU Extension, shared resources with participants aimed at helping park staff offer tastier, healthy food choices. A toolkit with hands-on resources was given to each participant.

“The program offered guidelines for serving healthier options, training for parks staff to assist them with using the guidelines, and materials to promote healthier items,” said DeBlauw. “While focusing on better nutrition for Missouri citizens, the program also considers revenues from food items, and offered recommendations for signage, display and pricing of items.”

It is interesting to note that there are some examples of parks turning a sizable profit when they completely replaced all of the least healthy menu items with healthier items according to Pam Duitsman, a nutrition and health specialist with MU Extension in Greene County

“While the model is intended for any park in Missouri, we know that each park is unique. The training helps implement healthier food policies, and offers resources and practical, simple methods to do so,” said Duitsman. “Honestly, parks are losing revenue from folks who want to eat healthy foods.”


The city of Republic boasts of an outstanding parks system that includes a zero-entry aquatics center, community center, five parks, lots of options for youth athletics and special seasonal events like a father-daughter dance in February and the Tiger-Triathlon in the summer.

The community center, aquatics center and the combined baseball and softball complex all have concession stands and the parks department also supplies vending machines in the system.

As a result of the training about healthy concessions, Keeling says parks staff in Republic are going to review all concession offerings in advance of busy summer months.

“As a direct result of the training, we are at a minimum going to add several new items to our menus including frozen grapes, string cheese and possibly a fruit of the week,” said Keeling.

According to Keeling, the initial testing and order volume of these type concession offerings becomes a little tricky.

“You don’t want to be stuck with a lot of inventory that could potentially expire before it has been sold if it happens not to go over well. We rely on concession revenue as part of our budget and like to be as frugal as possible when it comes to expenditures,” said Keeling.


Residents of the City of Nixa enjoy access to a large community center, an aquatics center and three city parks, including a baseball and softball complex.

“Healthy concessions trainings like the one offered by Extension in February provide us with ideas on ways to make changes to the concessions menu and to also offer healthy food choices to the people who visit our facilities, pools, sporting events and special events,” said Siemer.

There are several challenges to providing health concessions according to Siemer. For example, it is difficult at times to find healthy options that are available with food distributors.

“In many cases food distributors do not carry items or they are priced too high. In other instances the shelf life of the product significantly goes down if it is a fresh item,” said Siemer. “It also takes time to redirect the paradigm that all foods at a concession stand will be unhealthy. It takes time for the healthier food choices to be well known.”

Staff in the Nixa Parks system had some experience last year with trying healthier food items on concession menus. Siemer says several new items were added to the Nixa Parks menu and coined as “On the Lite Side.” Some of the items added – like frozen grapes, frozen Go-Gurt and low-fat cheese sticks -- were very well received.

“Based on what we learned from last year we will be working on tweaking a few things for this spring. We are always watching for new, fun and healthy things to add to our menus,” said Siemer. “We hope over the next few years to have our menu balanced with an equal ratio of healthy options to those that satisfy the sweet tooth.”


There is a trend of obesity in Missouri that needs to be changed. A 2010 study found over 30 percent of adults in Missourians are obese, ranking Missouri as the 10th highest in the United States. There is a lot of interest in changing that trend by addressing foods we eat.

To get information and resources about this statewide program and educational effort visit

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“Raw Food Diets” are Popular but Best Advice is to Eat Whole Foods Using a Variety of Preparation Methods

Contact: Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Raw food diets are becoming increasingly popular across America according to Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Raw food diets are not weight loss diets,” said Duitsman. “Instead, they focus on consuming plant foods in their most natural state for improved health.”

Raw food advocates generally do not use traditional cooking methods, but may use food dehydrators, not heating above 115 to 118 degrees. Proponents of raw food diets believe that cooking destroys enzymes vital to our health, and greatly decreases the nutrient content of food.

“In reality, enzymes in food play little role in human nutrition. The reason is because they are quickly deactivated by our own bodies’ digestive enzymes, and destroyed as soon as they come in contact with stomach acid,” said Duitsman.

She also notes that the use of a variety of cooking methods is actually important to ensure optimal nutrition. Some vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are actually less bioavailable when foods are eaten raw.

Lycopene, a carotenoid, is a good example. Lycopene has health promoting and disease preventive properties. It helps protect against several types of cancer, and is also protective against types of cardio-vascular disease and macular degeneration. However, Lycopene is not well absorbed from uncooked foods.

“While it is true that some nutrients (B and C vitamins) can be destroyed by heating, the study of health protective components in food have taught us that a variety of whole foods and a variety of cooking methods, are helpful in obtaining an optimal diet,” said Duitsman.

The ingestion of a higher level of natural toxins found in edible roots, seeds, stems and leaves can also result from the practice of eating only raw foods.

“These naturally occurring toxins help to protect the plants, but can be potentially harmful to humans. Most of these compounds are broken down and destroyed by cooking,” said Duitsman.

According to Duitsman, one very positive outcome of the popularity of “raw food dieting” is that it does help bring more attention to the importance of building on a foundation of whole foods.

“Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed, and include fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds. The best advice is to start with whole foods, and then use a variety of preparation and cooking methods, to obtain a nutrient-rich diet,” said Duitsman.

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

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Small, Intentional Changes Key to Successful “Action Plan” for Improved Health Says Extension Specialist

Dr. Lydia Kaume, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

Although we have reminders around us of the national obesity crisis, lifestyle changes are difficult for most individuals said Dr. Lydia Kaume, a nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“For individuals not yet experiencing health problems, the incentive of better health and reduced morbidity in the future is not motivating enough,” said Kaume. “For those in the thick of health problems, behavior change is seen as an unachievable daunting health-provider-requirement.”

Scientific observations show health providers and counselors have not been successful at achieving behavior changes in clients. To modify lifestyle, one needs personal resolve, small, intentional gradual changes and the necessary emotional and moral support.

There is also evidence that well written personalized “action plans” that are easy to adhere are effective instruments of behavior change.

To write a personal “action plan,” Kaume says to follow these guidelines.

1. State the “what” (the behavior that needs change).

2. State “how much” (how much will be done).

3. State “when” (which day of the week- to increase chances of success avoid stating all 7 days-even 2 days may good for a start).

4. State “how many times” (in the day or week).

5. Finally, state “your confidence level” (on a scale of 1-10 how confident you are that you can succeed). A confidence level of 7 or over is recommended.

There are several simple but important health behaviors that a person may resolve to modify that can significantly improve their health according to Kaume.

For example, try a few of these changes: increase your hours of sleep, plan a weekly meal schedule to reduce the number of times you eat out, eat less red meat, add oily fish to your diet, increase the number of days in a week that you eat fruits and vegetables, buy whole grain products, exercise (10-15 minutes for beginners), eliminate a certain known stress factor, try a new healthy recipe, attend a health class, start a dairy or meditate.

“The goal is to stick to new behavior until you are ready to make another action plan and resolve to modify another behavior,” said Kaume.

Most Americans are in our current health crisis because most of our lives are hectic. This means busy lifestyles, poor eating habits, poor quality sleep, and being physically inactive, which leaves majority of people fatigued, and yearning for more energy. Health conditions and/ medications can further complicate fatigue.

“Ideally, good habits need to be formed early in children so no interventions would be necessary as adults, and we have lots of opportunities to influence the next generation. But, we must begin by modeling healthy behaviors today,” said Kaume. “Writing an action plan and making small improvements, one at a time, can be a big step toward nutrition and lifestyle change.”

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Christeena Haynes, in Dallas County, (417) 345-7551; Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

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Management-intensive Grazing Schools for 2013 Begin in Halfway April 30

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

A variety of different locations in southwest Missouri will host Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) Schools during 2013.

Also known as rotational grazing management, producers who follow the MiG system manage for both the benefit of livestock and forage. Livestock graze in each pasture long enough to harvest the forage but are moved before eating too much of the leaf area.

The result is lower feed costs and improved forage production. That means more money in the pocket of the beef cattle producer.

The 2013 locations and dates are as follows:

Halfway: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on April 30 and May 3, 7 and 10 along with a daytime field tour on May 4. Contact: Dallas Co SWCD at 417-345-2312, ext 3.

Mt Vernon: May 8, 9 and 10 (daytime), contact the Lawrence County SWCD, 417-466-7682, ext 3

Ozark: daytime on May 21, 22 and 23, contact Aaron Hoefer at 417-581-2719, ext. 3.

Neosho: June 11, 12 and 13 (daytime), contact: Nathan Witt, 417-451-1077, ext.3.

Greenfield: daytime on Sept. 12, 13 and 14, contact the Cedar County SWCD at 417-276-3388, ext. 3.

Marshfield: daytime on Sept. 24, 25 and 26, contact Mark Emerson, 417-468-4176 ex. 3.

Bois D’Arc: (10 miles NW of Springfield): October 22, 23 and 24 (daytime). Contact: Greene County SWCD, 417-831-5246 Ext. 3.

There is a limit on attendance at each location and the enrollment fee varies.

Grazing schools started in 1995. Since that time, the schools have been held at various locations, dates and in different formats to meet the diverse needs of livestock producers.

To date, literally thousands of individuals have attended the schools to learn about the basic principles and practices of MiG. The schools have also helped livestock producers qualify for thousands of dollars in various cost-share programs through NRCS or FSA.

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Missouri Extension and the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsor the MiG school. University of Missouri Extension specialists from southwest Missouri teach many of the sessions during the school.

Registration forms and fees can be obtained at the NRCS office on Hwy. B, Springfield, Mo., or by contacting Mark Green at (417) 831-5246 or via e-mail at Information is also available online

Peanuts Can Help a Maintain a Healthy Weight and Prevent Chronic Diseases Says Extension Nutrition Specialist

Contact: Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 345-7551

According to the Peanut Institute, peanuts are the most popular nut choice in the United States.

Not only are peanuts well liked, but they offer many health benefits as well according to Chisteena Haynes, a nutrtion and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Despite the fact that peanuts are high in fat, they are still an excellent food choice because they provide a variety of important nutrients,” said Haynes.

Peanuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which all improve health and lower the risk of chronic disease. In a study conducted with over 15,000 peanut consumers, it was determined that peanuts had higher levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber than people who did not eat peanuts.

Peanuts are high in arginine, an amino acid that is a precursor to nitric oxide, which helps decrease blood pressure. They contain resveratrol which improves longevity and performance as well as reduces inflammation. Peanuts also have phytosterols that work to lower cholesterol and may inhibit cancer development.

Haynes notes that peanuts can also help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“Research has shown that they are able to decrease lipid levels and may reduce inflammation, which is a cause of chronic disease. Researchers have also found that mortality decreases as the frequency of eating nuts like peanuts increases,” said Haynes.

Studies also show that peanuts can help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Peanuts help you to stay fuller for longer; therefore, making you less likely to overeat at other times during the day,” said Haynes.

In one study, it was found that people lose more weight on diets high in healthy unsaturated fats like in peanuts compared to low-fat diets. It is all about eating the right portion and the right type of fat.

In addition to all of these wonderful things, peanuts are affordable and easy to find, making them a great addition to a healthy diet,” said Haynes.

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Christeena Haynes, in Dallas County, (417) 345-7551; Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

Field Scouting Report for March 13: Powdery Mildew, Bird Cherry Oat Aphids and Henbit Are Main Concerns in Area Wheat Fields Based on Weekly MU Extension Field Scouting

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

According to Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with the Barton County Extension, powdery mildew is being seen on the lower tillers in area wheat.

“Powdery mildew begins as light green to yellow flecks on the leaf; developing to patches of cottony white mold growth, that eventually turn a grayish white to grayish brown,” said Scheidt.

Powdery mildew is favored by warm, wet or humid weather. Avoiding excess nitrogen is important in managing powdery mildew. If the disease increases, then the recommended treatment is spraying a fungicide labeled for powdery mildew. However, if powdery mildew decreases, do not spray.

Barley yellow dwarf virus vectored by bird cherry oat aphids is also being seen in area wheat fields. Symptoms include light green or yellowing to a red or purple leaf discoloration which starts at the leaf tip down and from the leaf margin in toward the center of the leaf. Threshold levels are 6 aphids/foot.

Bird Cherry Oat Aphids are small green insects with a red ring around their rear, with short cornicles, which look like tailpipes. They are usually on the underside of the leaf; in cooler temperatures, aphids may be at soil level in the crown.

A rate of 3.2 oz. /A Warrior or 3.6 oz. /A Mustang Max is recommended to control aphids; it is optimum to apply at temperatures above 60 degrees.

Winter annual weeds henbit and chickweed in wheat fields and can cause up to 37 percent yield loss. Scheidt recommends applying herbicide before these weeds flower; after flowering the seeds have already dropped. A rate of .3-.6 oz./A Nimble is recommended to control henbit and chickweed (Nimble is the generic of Harmony).

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Barton County Extension.

For more information on this scouting report, or to learn how you can receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County at (417) 682-3579.

SW Missouri Sheep and Goat Fitting and Showmanship Clinic Scheduled for April 13 near Joplin

Contact: Dr. Jodie A. Pennington, region small ruminant educator
Tel: (417) 455-9500

The Southwest Missouri Sheep and Goat Fitting and Showmanship Clinic will be conducted on Saturday, April 13 at Double Down Arena, 5585 W. Belle Center Road (near junction of Hwy JJ or MO P), Joplin.

The clinic is a joint activity of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and University of Missouri Extension.

Registration on Saturday, April 13 is from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. The program continues until 3 p.m.

“Top showmen from Missouri and Oklahoma will be assisting with the clinic. Both breeding and market animals will be discussed but emphasis will be placed on market animals,” said Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant educator with Lincoln University Extension,

Youth should not bring their animals unless requested. Youth, adults, and leaders will be able to ask questions about hair sheep, wool sheep, meat goats, and dairy goats that will be available for viewing in fitted condition.

Topics at the clinic include: marketing, buying and selling your animals; selection of your animals; ethics and Show Me Quality Assurance (SMQA) program with SMUA certificates awarded; feeding and body condition scoring, acidosis, poisonous plants; diseases, including sore mouth and fungus; foot trimming and hoof care; vaccination and deworming; facilities and equipment; ask the vet—discussion; display and explanation of fitted breeding animals; fitting including clipping and shearing; getting ready for the show; showmanship; practice showmanship; and a demonstration of showmanship and behavior in the show ring with judge and youth exhibitors.

To register, or for more information, do one of the following: call Newton County Extension at (417) 455-9500, email, call Jasper Co Extension at (417) 358-2158 or email Pre-registration is $5 and registration is $10 at the door.

Rose and Fruit Tree Demonstration March 23 Near Neosho

Contact: John Hobbs, agriculture and rural development specialist
Tel: (417) 223-4775

Two programs – one focused on roses and another on pruning fruit trees -- are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 at the Ron Hoyez farm located west of Neosho.

“Anyone who has an interest in roses or fruit tree pruning is invited to attend the clinic,” said John Hobbs, an agriculture and rural development specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Ron is a master gardener and has over 100 varieties of roses at his place.”

During his program Bringing Your Roses Out of Hibernation,” Hoyez will cover the following topics: planting store bought roses, waking roses for the new growing season, what’s needed for the growing season, care during the growing season.

The basics of fruit tree pruning will be covered at this same event.

The farm is located west of Neosho on Ibex Road. Exit highway 71 (I-49) at Hwy. 86. Go west on Hwy 86 for about 1 mile. Turn left onto Ibex road for 1 mile (watch for signs).

For more information, contact the Newton or McDonald County Extension offices at 417-455-9500 or 417-223-4775.

Southern Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference in West Plains on April 6

Contact: Logan Wallace, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 256-2391

University of Missouri Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension will host a seminar for sheep and goat producers from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 6 at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., West Plains.

Topics covered will include tips and strategies to make sheep and goat producers more successful.

Guest speakers for the program are Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant specialist with Lincoln Extension and Mark Kennedy, state grassland conservationist with USDA-NRCS.

The following topics will be covered during the conference: introduction to sheep and goats, why hair sheep, facilitates and fencing, profits with sheep and goats, diseases, and panel of sheep and goat producers.

Pre-registration is requested with a fee of $10 per person. Registration includes lunch and reference materials. Deadline to pre-register is April 2. To pre-register or for more information, contact the Howell County Extension Center at or 417-256-2391.

Regional Extension Council Meeting March 26 in Springfield

Jay Chism, director of Southwest Region
3003 E. Chestnut Expressway, Suite 200, Springfield, Mo.
Tel: (417) 865-0707

The Southwest Region Extension Council will meet at 6 p.m. on March 26 inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. The business meeting begins with a meal.

“The main focus of the meeting will be to get regional council input about program coverage. This has been an ongoing effort to help plan the number of specialists serving the region and the best location for those specialists,” said Jay Chism, director of the Southwest Region.

Regional Extension Council meetings are open to the public; but due to limited space, advance registration is necessary by calling the regional extension office at (417) 865-0707.

The regional extension council for southwest Missouri is comprised of representatives from each of the 16 extension county councils in the Southwest Region. Each county council, whose members are elected by a public vote, selects its own representatives to the regional council where each county has one vote.

The purpose of regional extension councils is to be a forum through which member county councils cooperate in providing effective educational programs for the region.

Search is on Now for Century Farms in Missouri

Contact: Andy Emerson, Missouri Century Farm Coordinator
Tel: 573-882-7216

If your farm has been in your family since Dec. 31, 1913, you can apply to have it recognized as a Missouri Century Farm.

To qualify, farms must meet the following guidelines. The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

“It is important to honor and respect our history,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost for University of Missouri Extension. “These farms represent both Missouri’s cultural heritage and the good stewardship that our farmers strive for.”

In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau joined MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as a program sponsor.

“Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms,” said Blake Hurst, president. “We applaud the hardworking farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation for the bounty Americans enjoy every day.”

Applicants certified as owners of a 2013 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the MU Extension office in the county where the farm is located. Applicants are presented with a sign and a certificate.

Since Missouri began the program in 1976, more than 8,000 century farms have been recognized.

For applications received by May 1, a $65 fee covers the cost of a certificate, farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. If the application is received between May 1 and May 15, the cost is $75. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2013, to be considered.

For application forms and information, call Extension Publications toll-free at 1-800-292-0969, contact your local MU Extension office, or visit the program website at

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Testimonial in Support of Greene County Extension

From: Diann Barth

Sent: Sat, February 23, 2013 1:38:55 PM

I am more than pleased to support the University of Missouri Extension efforts in Greene County by joining the new Friends of Greene County Extension.

My family has a long, important tradition with the Extension efforts in rural Missouri. I grew up on a diverse farm in Lawrence County and I know that the success of our family farm was due in large part to the sound, professional advice given to our family by Extension agents.

My Dad relied heavily on the expertise he learned from our Lawrence County Extension agent. From getting annual soil tests to determine the best application of fertilizer and minerals, to getting advice on building a profitable beef herd, Extension was there with us the entire way!

My Dad consulted with our Extension agent on the type of crops to plant to minimize erosion and when there was a crop issue, our Extension agent helped with trouble-shooting and always provided needed answers. He worked hand in hand with the MO Conservation Department in developing proper terraces to prevent erosion on our farm and help plan for a large, water-tight pond so we could expand our beef herd to pastures where there were no wells.

I remember quite well when my Dad started farming with no-till beans to protect the soil and when he started carefully planting double crops of wheat and soybeans--all with the careful guidance of our Extension agent. Our agent assisted with a sound crop rotation plan (always involving alfalfa!!) and with advice on the proper choice of pesticides and hybrid seeds. Our agent even assisted us with the choice of the proper grain storage system. Our farm, despite consisting of soil that was less than optimal, was very successful-all because of our continued involvement with Extension.

I first learned of the importance of supporting one's community in the local 4-H club. My experience with 4-H molded who I am today--I learned leadership skills, cooperation with others, and effective meeting leadership all in my 4-H club. I quickly learned how meetings run and even some formal meeting rules in Robert's Rules of Order when I was only in third grade!!

I am a proud alumnus of the University of Missouri and I know that, without my family's successful farming operation I would not have been able to attend the University--so I continue to owe the Extension efforts even to this day. Members of my family continue to go to seminars provided by Extension--even seminars on how to deal with issues as we age!

In todays fast-paced, changing urban world, I believe Extension is even more important than ever. I think every family should have a successful vegetable garden to promote healthy eating and self-sustainability, farmers need sound advice on everything from crop and herd issues to financial maneuvering and young persons must be taught the importance of community support and involvement--all efforts carefully preserved by Extension!

Diann Barth

Greene County Plat Books Available from Greene County Extension at Clearance Prices

Contact: David Burton, county program director
Tel: (417) 881-8909

The last few remaining 2011 “Greene County Plat Books” are for sale at the Greene County Extension office at clearance prices.

Originally sold for $40 in 2011, the books are now being sold for $30 when picked up at the Extension office or $35 if order by mail.

The book contains traditional landownership maps by township, landowner index for easy cross referencing, new aerial photography for each township, rural city maps and a handy school district map.

The book makes it possible for a person to locate all land owners in rural portions of Greene County.

Mapping Solutions of Lathrop, Mo. is the publisher of the book and local advertisers have supported the effort.

The books can only be purchased at the University of Missouri Extension Center located inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 2400 S. Scenic, Springfield, Mo. To order by mail simply send a check for $35 to the same address.

Friday, March 08, 2013

A Gluten-Free Diet is for Everyone: Fact or Fiction?

Contact: Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Gluten-free dieting has become so common that grocery store aisles are now being dedicated to gluten-free products. But, what is a gluten-free diet and do we all need to be on one?

Until a few years ago, only those diagnosed with Celiac disease were familiar with the word gluten. Celiac disease is a serious condition caused by an immune reaction to proteins in gluten, which is found in certain grains.

“Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation and damage to the small intestine. About one percent of the US population suffers from Celiac disease,” said Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

According to Duitsman, individuals with celiac must avoid gluten containing foods, which means anything made with wheat, rye, and barley.

“There appears to be different sensitivities to oats, depending on the individual and also the purity of the oats. Left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to autoimmune disorders, malnutrition, osteoporosis, neurological conditions, and cancers,” said Duitsman.


Celiac disease appears to be on the rise, doubling every 20 years, according to researchers. In addition to Celiac Disease, scientific and medical communities are recognizing a related but separate condition: “gluten-sensitivity” -- which does respond to gluten withdrawal.

Recent studies have made strides in identifying the biologic mechanisms that cause the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, estimated to impact 10 percent of the US population.

“Researchers have demonstrated that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are both part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders. Avoidance of gluten is important for anyone along this spectrum,” said Duitsman.

The good news for those who suffer from these conditions is that gluten-free foods have become readily available. Alternative grains like rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet and corn are being used to create pastas, cereals, baking mixes, and other food products.

Recipe books and websites are also available to guide cooks in creating their own gluten-free meals.

“For those who are gluten-intolerant, reading labels diligently is a must. Small amounts of gluten may be found in places one would least expect, since wheat flour is often used as a filler, starch or thickening agent, and can be added to things like spices and seasonings, thickeners, soups and condiments,” said Duitsman.

At times, Gluten is added to processed foods like hot dogs, cold cuts, canned meat and sandwich spreads. Some alcoholic beverages may contain gluten and almost all beers will contain gluten, as well as some distilled alcoholic beverages.

“Checking with the manufacturer may be the only way to be sure if a drink is made with wheat, barley, oats or rye,” said Duitsman.


Should everyone go gluten-free? If you are gluten-intolerant, Duitsman says the answer is yes. For others, there are important reasons why this may not be a good idea.

“If you cut out whole grains, then you will be limiting true whole grains, which have tremendous health benefits. They are full of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and important phytochemicals,” said Duitsman.

True whole grains have the outer bran and germ layers intact, take longer to digest (preventing blood sugar spikes), and have been shown to be helpful in prevention of chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and inflammatory diseases.

“Many gluten-free products are made from refined (not whole) grains and starches, and are generally not fortified or enriched with nutrients such as folate, iron and fiber, like other processed foods,’ said Duitsman.


So, how do you receive the health benefits of whole grains if you are gluten-sensitive or intolerant? Duitsman says it is important to not rely totally on processed gluten-free foods.

Try using whole grains that are naturally gluten-free. That would include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats (if tolerated), quinoa, rice, sorghum, and teff. Strictly avoid wheat (including varieties like spelt, kamut, farro and durum, and products like bulgur, semolina); barley; rye; triticale, and oats (if you have an oat sensitivity).

“It’s always a good idea to consult your health care provider about what is appropriate to eat if you have a gluten-intolerant condition,” said Duitsman.


“The growing market for gluten-free foods (around $2.5 billion) makes it hard to distinguish a legitimate medical issue from a diet fad. But, if you think you have sensitivity to gluten, see a doctor for Celiac testing before you start a gluten-free diet. You could have a food allergy, or a variety of other conditions,” said Duitsman.

For more information on nutrition, go online to or contact one of the nutrition and health specialists working in the Ozarks: Christeena Haynes, in Dallas County, (417) 345-7551; Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545

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Louse Alert for Cattle in Southwest Missouri

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Reports are that lice are showing up on cattle in southwest Missouri. According to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension for over 40 years, this is the time of year when those reports usually come in.

“Flies and ticks are easily visible on cattle so it’s easy for the owner to get concerned about the impact they can have on profitability. Just because you can’t see the parasite doesn’t mean it’s not there and costing you money. You almost need to get cattle in the head chute and inspect them closely to detect a louse problem,” said Cole.

The louse buildup has been going on since back in the fall of 2012 according to Cole. Heavily infested cattle will now be showing signs of loss of hair and discomfort, which results in the cattle rubbing on fences, bale rings, corral, feed bunks, etc.

There are two types of lice normally found on cattle in Missouri. According to Cole, they are referred to as chewing and sucking lice.

The chewing or biting lice primarily irritate cattle, both young and old.

“The blood sucking louse actually pierces the skin and the blood feeding interferes with growth and milk production. Both types of lice may be found on cattle in small numbers in the warmer months,” said Cole. “During the winter they multiply rapidly when long hair is on the cattle.”

There are numerous products and methods of application that help hold louse infestations in check. Sprays, back rubbers, dust bags, pour-ons and injectables are effective when used according to label instructions.

When treating with sprays, a second application is needed in 14 to 18 days to kill the nymphs that hatch following the first spray.

“Close observation may reveal that some cattle seem to attract more lice than others. They should be culled from the herd at an opportune time as they could be carriers and contribute to the spread of the problem,” said Cole.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.