Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bored in July? Sounds Like a Joke But Extension Specialist Says it is Possible and Requires Creativity to Overcome

Contact: Renette Wardlow, human development specialist
Tel: (417) 581-3558

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When the sun is shining and the weather is nice how could anyone be bored? It is a question that that seems like fantasy to some but all too real to others says Renette Wardlow, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension

“We become bored when our everyday lives become dull or monotonous. We can also be bored when there is plenty to do but we don’t have the energy or motivation to do it,” said Wardlow.

Feeling bored from time to time is common according to Wardlow. The important thing is to be creative and innovative enough to help ourselves through the low points in our lives.

“People who say they are never bored are simply not in touch with their feelings, or they are unwilling to give in to them,” said Wardlow.

As human grow older, they tend to have decreased physical and mental energy which may to boredom. People begin to think that they can no longer do some of the things that they have loved to do all our lives. As a result, Wardlow says aging increases vulnerability to boredom.

“Advanced age brings people into situations that risk both emotional and social isolation,” said Wardlow. “Social activity does not necessarily relieve boredom. Boredom is not simply a desire for company.”

Wardlow says to prevent extreme boredom in your life try to be creative and try new things or put prior experiences together with something new.

“The experience of being involved in creative activity satisfies people in ways that nothing else can and the ability to be creative reflects and fosters emotional health. The act of creation enhances feelings of self-esteem and self-worth,” said Wardlow.

A person can test the validity of the above statement by recalling the last time you produced something original – perhaps something as simple as a Christmas decoration or making a set of bookshelves – and then recalling how you felt when it was accomplished.

“There is something about creating a unique product or idea that leaves people feeling good about themselves,” said Wardlow. “Besides enhancing self-esteem, creative experiences offer opportunities to express emotions and to come to terms with them.”

Most people probably know someone who faces each day as though it were a deadening burden or an oppression to be struggled through. What if we want to relish our activities, to find deep rewards in accomplishment, and to anticipate each day with at least a mild pleasure because of the interest our daily activity holds for us? Wardlow says we must not fall into the trap of assuming that our lives should consist only of doing what we don’t like or don’t want to do.

“Life, happiness, and accomplishment are not exclusive possessions of the young,” said Wardlow. “Aging and remaining active and interested can be a rewarding experience and prevent us from becoming bored with life. Living from day to day should be an enjoyable natural process with a variety of activities rather than an affliction with nothing to do.”

In viewing your life and level of satisfaction, consider the following points:

• Balance physical and mental capabilities. Both types of activity should be stimulating and without much stress.

• Be willing to change. Activities and interest of necessity may change over time. Adapt new ideas to replace those no longer appropriate.

• Set goals, they provide meaning for life. Goals should be attainable to allow for the feeling of satisfaction gained. Failure weighs heavy!

• Maximize time because time is a precious commodity. Never waste a day, an hour, or a minute.

For more information, contact either of MU Extension’s human development specialists in southwest Missouri: Renette Wardlow at (417) 581-3558 or Dr. Jim Wirth, (417) 881-8909.

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Pets and Fireworks Don’t Mix Says Extension Specialist

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

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- Independence Day is a day for family get-togethers and fireworks. But Bob Schultheis, a natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension, advises families to leave their pets at home when going to crowded summer events.

Schultheis suggests the following safety tips for managing pets around crowds and fireworks.

Many pets are not used to large crowds and a lot of noise. The noise and commotion can be extremely frightening.

“If you are hosting a party or will have fireworks, have a safe quiet place to keep pets so they will not become frightened and hurt themselves. Fireworks, particularly, make pets very uncomfortable and agitated, and can hurt their very sensitive hearing,’ said Schultheis.

If you know your pet usually becomes scared by loud noises, like thunderstorms, Schultheis recommends putting the pet in the quietest room of the house, with soothing music playing, to help them alleviate any anxiety caused by exploding fireworks.

“If you are home with your dog during a fireworks display or thunderstorm, do not try to comfort them. That tells them that they have reason to be frightened. Turn up the radio to help drown out the noise and put lots of lights on so that the flashes are less noticeable. Act normally, keeping your voice light and unconcerned,” said Schultheis.

Never tie dogs outside because it increases their anxiety according to Schultheis.

“Don't leave your outdoor pets unattended, even in a fenced yard. The chaos may cause them to panic and hurt themselves trying to escape. A scared animal is not careful, and many are hit by cars when running wildly away from something they think is dangerous,’ said Schultheis.

It is also a good idea to be sure your pets are wearing proper identification in case they do become lost during an event. Identification tags will help your pet find its way home. Microchips are the most reliable form of identification.

“Don't take your pet to a fireworks event and then leave it alone in a parked car. They may develop hyperthermia (increased body temperature) which is usually fatal,” said Schultheis.

Dogs and cats cannot perspire and can only release heat by panting, drooling and through the pads in their feet. Cars reach unsafe temperature levels (120 degrees Fahrenheit) quickly. Young, elderly or obese pets, and those with a dark-colored coat, are particularly at risk of overheating.

“Keep your dog or cat hydrated and cool. Make sure they have access to water for drinking. Use a wet towel under the animal, air conditioning, a kiddie pool, or a fan in front of a pan of ice to keep the animal cool,” said Schultheis.

For more information on safety concerns surrounding pets and fireworks, contact the nearest University of Missouri Extension Center. Bob Schultheis can be reached at the Webster County Extension Center in Marshfield at (417) 859-2044 or by e-mail at

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Safe Handling of Fireworks Can Prevent July 4th Trip to Emergency Room

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

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- The July Fourth holiday won't be a celebration for the 8,600 or so Americans likely to end up in hospital emergency rooms from injuries by fireworks.

"National Fire Protection Association statistics in 2010 (latest year available) showed 57 percent of those injuries were to the arms and legs and 37 percent were to the head. The injury risk was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk as for the general population,” said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

In addition, the NFPA estimated fireworks caused 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage in 2010.

A Consumer Products Safety Commission study in 2011 found that nearly half of all fireworks injuries occurred to hands and fingers, and that the top three fireworks for causing injuries were sparklers (17%), reloadable shells (14%), and firecrackers (13%).

"Celebrating Independence Day can be fun for the family, but fireworks are not a toy. Injuries can range from burned fingers and lacerations to serious disability or loss of vision,” said Schultheis.

‘Consumer fireworks,’ formerly known as Class C fireworks, are legal in Missouri. Legal age of purchase is 14, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. This class includes bottle rockets, sky rockets, Roman candles, cone and cylindrical fountains, firecrackers, certain sparklers and revolving wheels. Bottle rockets are the most dangerous for eye injuries; sparklers are the most dangerous for burns.

“Public displays are safest, but if you are having a home fireworks display, please follow these common-sense safety tips,” said Schultheis.

• Read and follow all manufacturer label directions and warning instructions.

• Always light fireworks outdoors in a clear area on a flat surface at least 25 feet away from onlookers, buildings, vehicles and combustible materials.

• Always supervise older children when they are lighting fireworks. Never allow children under age 10 to play with fireworks, including sparklers. (Sparklers can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.)

• Light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting the devices. Never put fireworks in breakable containers like tin cans, clay pots or bottles that may shatter, and never hold fireworks in your hands when lighting them.

• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy for emergencies and to douse any fireworks that do not ignite.

• Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Keep unused fireworks away from the area where fireworks are being lit, Always store fireworks in a dry, cool place and avoid rough handling that might damage the fuse or handles.

• Always demonstrate responsible behaviors around fireworks, because children may imitate your actions.

MU Guide GH6026, “Protecting Children from Unintentional Injuries,” offers safety tips for fireworks. It is available from your county University of Missouri Extension Center or online at Good resources from NFPA can be found online at

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2013 Missouri Steer Feedout Ends in Red Ink Again

Eldon Cole, Livestock Specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- The curtain has come down on the 2012-13 Missouri Steer Feedout with the Finale on June 27 in Mt. Vernon. Participants and other interested cattle producers received the sad news that the average loss per head on the 149 steers that began the program was $227.49 during the feeding phase of their life.

“This was the second Feedout in a row that saw losses exceed $225,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The November closeout was $225.71 in the hole. The range in the profit/losses went from one steer that actually made $8.42 for the owner, Bart Renkoski, Purdy to a loss of $618.32 for one steer from another consignor.

The large losses can be blamed on a variety of causes. They range from the initial value placed on the steers in November which ran from $135 to $170 per hundred. The feed cost averaged $109.36 per hundred with the total cost of gain $130.45.

Other factors that contributed to the red ink were: two steers died; 25 percent of the calves were individually treated at an average cost of $11.24 per head; six head were Yield Grade 4s; four head had very low marbling scores thus graded Standard; two carcasses weighed less than 550 lbs. Each of these items made profits more elusive.

The least money lost per head for a group was $141.47 on 10 head of Angus-sired steers entered by Jeff Kaal of Verona. They weighed 666 lbs. after the warm-up in the lot in Iowa. They averaged 1219 lbs. when slaughtered. Seven of the ten made low Choice. They were the second high gaining group at 3.52 lbs. per day.

The top rate of gain entry was 6 head from Donald Stuckey, Tunas. They were out of Angus and Simmental bulls.

The 149 steers were all born after January 1, 2012 and made an average daily gain of 3.19 lbs. They weighed 1181 lbs. when slaughtered. Their average fat cover was .42 inch and their ribeye average was 12.5 square inches. The 147 carcasses averaged 59% low Choice or above with 60% having a Yield Grade of 1 & 2.

In addition to the various costs that contributed to the $227 per head loss, the fed cattle marketed remained low throughout the spring.

The Missouri Steer Feedout has been held since 2001 in southwest Iowa as part of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity.

“The Feedout is an educational program that gives cow herd owners a chance to get detailed performance and carcass data on individual steers,” said Cole. “This information helps owners make breeding and management decisions that should improve the type of calf they produce. They can learn if their cattle are ready to go for the high-end, quality grade market or if they are more suited to the high yield grade market."

More information on the Feedout program, 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 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

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“Taking Shelter from the Storm” in Springfield July 1 Focuses on Building a Safe Room in Home or Business

Jeff Barber, housing and environmental design specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Greene County Extension will host “Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room in Your Home or Business,” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday July 1, at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, Springfield.

Jeff Barber, LEED AP architect and a housing and environmental design specialist with University of Missouri Extension, will lead the program.

Program information will focus on locating and constructing a safe room in a home or small business. A variety of approaches will be discussed during the program, focusing on several construction methods that are presented in the FEMA 320 document.

“The powerful destruction of recent spring storms in Joplin and Moore, Oklahoma are reminders of the dangers we face in tornado alley,” said Barber. “Knowing the risks and developing a solution that is appropriate for the homeowner or business is an important aspect of preparedness.”

This class is free but pre-register is requested and can be made by calling 881-8909, ext. 311.

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Southwest Missouri Field Scouting Report for June 26

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

LAMAR, Mo. –Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted area fields on June 26 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

Based on her scouting stops this week, Scheidt says wheat is in the hard dough stage.

“Producers who are thinking about harvesting early should proceed with caution. If harvesting wet wheat, producers should dry wheat as it is going into the bin and make sure the first load is completely dry before adding more wheat,” said Scheidt.

If the grain bin is filled all at once, the wheat at the top of the bin will not dry and may sprout due to humid conditions that occur in June and July. Harvest wheat at 13.5% moisture in order to prevent fungus development in the storage bin.

This week, Scheidt did find signs of deer and birds feeding in soybeans.

“If the leaves and cotyledons are completely eaten, it is very likely the plant will not come back. This is usually not too big of a problem,” said Scheidt.

Rust and holcus spot were seen in corn; however, neither are a big concern. Holcus spot is identified by elliptical to round lesions on the leaves. The tan colored lesions appear watersoaked and larger lesions often have a yellow halo around the border and look similar to chemical drift.

Armyworm feeding was also seen in corn. Armyworm feeding can be identified by irregular and pinhole shaped holes where armyworms have fed inside the whorl. Treatment is justified when 25 percent of corn seedlings are damaged.

“I have also been getting a lot of calls about poison hemlock and Queen Ann’s lace in pastures. Poison hemlock has purple or red blotches on the stem and has a hollow stem. Queen Ann’s lace is hairless and solid green on the stem. Poison hemlock is toxic to livestock and can be toxic when baled if livestock eat enough of it,” said Scheidt.

For more informaiton on poison hemlock see:

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 to receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, (417) 682-3579.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Greene County Extension Hopes to Get Financial Boost from Donated Old Vehicles, Farm Equipment

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

Company contact: Barry Barbee, ph. 877-845-7378, email:

Program Offers Residents an Opportunity to Rid Farm or Yard of Junk at No Cost

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Greene County Extension Council is hoping to generate money for educational programs and office operations thanks to a partnership with a national vehicle buying company.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs, boats, boat motors and farm equipment -- in any condition -- can be donated to the Greene County Extension Council with a phone call to 877-845-7378 or by requesting a quote online at will pick up the vehicle within 24 hours and send a check to the Greene County Extension Council. The donated vehicles can come from any place in Missouri or the United States.

“This is a perfect way to contribute to Extension and help us maintain our programs and office operations that mean so much to the residents of Greene County and the surrounding areas,” said David Burton, county program director for Greene County Extension. “Best of all, we think this is a valuable service and a great way to clean up a yard or farm. For no cost, you can get rid of a heap of junk from anywhere in Missouri or the United States and Greene County Extension gets money to keep operating.”

Funds remain tight at the Extension office after Greene County Commissioners cut the county contribution to the extension council by 90 percent in 2011.

“We understand the Commissioners have a difficult budget situation and that the budget is tight. We do hope that gets turned around in 2014 and the partnership between Extension and Greene County gets restored. However, it does take money to provide the services we offer to residents. Thanks to the vehicle donation program, most anyone can help support the Greene County Extension office,” said Burton.

Since 1914, residents of Greene County, Missouri (and adjoining counties) have sought help from MU Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, Master Gardeners, 4-H youth, nutrition, cooking, families, Master Naturalists and business and community development. During 2012 over 25,000 residents of Greene County received unbiased and research-based information, assistance or education through the Greene County Extension Center.

“Thousands of children have come through the 4-H programs we have offered in this county and they are better adults as a result of the experience. Farmers and gardeners use our services year round. The impact extension has on Greene County and the area is just massive,” said Burton. “Donating your old car to us through will help these services continue.”

AutoWranglers president Barry Barbee said he is excited about the opportunity to help Greene County Extension.

“I grew up in Georgia and saw the impact 4-H had in my home town. It really makes a difference in the lives of kids,” Barbee said. “While I don’t farm, many of my friends are farmers and I know how they rely on our local extension office. If that office were to close down or the budget be sharply cut, then the whole county would suffer.”

AutoWranglers buys pretty much anything that has or had wheels, according to Barbee.

“It doesn’t even need a motor or wheels for that matter. If you have an old turning plow that’s broken and rusting, we’ll buy that,” Barbee said. “We’ll buy junked tractors, combines, trucks, ATVs. If you don’t want it, donate it to the Greene County Extension office through AutoWranglers.”

To donate a used car or other equipment to the Greene County Extension Council, visit, email Barbee at or call 877-845-7378.

Once a purchase price is agreed on, someone from AutoWranglers will be there within 24 hours to remove the old heap and a check will be on the way to the Greene County Extension Office.

In addition to supporting the Greene County Extension service, AutoWranglers donates $10 to the national Arbor Day Foundation for every vehicle purchased.

“We’re big supporters of planting trees,” said Burton. “So when you donate your old clunker to us, you are helping Greene County’s Extension office and planting more trees.”

For more information visit or

To learn more about the “Friends of Greene County Extension,” a campaign to raise operational funds for the Greene County Extension, call (417) 881-8909 or go online to The Friends campaign was established in 2012 in effort to privately raise monies to keep the Greene County Extension office open to the public.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Water Hemp and Nitrogen Loss from Rain are Biggest Challenges to Corn Crops in Southwest Missouri

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

LAMAR, Mo. –Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted area fields on June 19 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

Scheidt says wheat is in the soft dough stage and diseases are present, but it is too late to spray for them.

“It usually takes 4 weeks after flowering for wheat to be ready to harvest. On average, Wheat is running 14 days behind,” said Scheidt.

Scheidt did report seeing lots of water hemp in corn fields this week. It is important to kill water hemp at a very early stage, when it is 2” tall or less, to insure good control. Many water hemp plants are Roundup resistant and hard to control because they grow 1-1/2” per day.

“If water hemp is identified in your field, it needs to be sprayed immediately. You can identify water hemp from other pigweeds by the hairless leaves,” said Scheidt.

Dicamba products work well in corn, Cobra works well in soybeans and if water hemp is not resistant to Roundup, use a minimum of 32 oz. /ac. Roundup WeatherMax or PowerMax. Search for IPM 1030 for more information on controlling water hemp.

Corn is leaning due to wind and excess rain in the soil, but should stand back up.

“The excess rain received in southwest Missouri has reduced the amount of nitrogen available to the corn crop,” said Scheidt.

According to Peter Scharf, MU fertility specialist, producers are likely to need to apply more nitrogen if corn that is at least 1 foot tall remains lighter green than it should be once the soil is no longer waterlogged. You can also track rainfall and probable nitrogen loss by going the Nitrogen Watch webpage at

“According to the maps, producers in Barton and surrounding counties should be aware of potential nitrogen loss in poor drained soils and those in well to moderately drained soils have probably experienced substantial nitrogen loss if nitrogen was applied pre-plant,” 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 to receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, (417) 682-3579.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dinner Raises $2,500 for Greene County Extension

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Thanks to the generosity of individual business and farms, extension council members, and the owners of Sunshine Valley Farm, the “Dinner at the Orchard” event on June 14 raised $2,500 for the Greene County Extension Council.

Jan and Michael Wooten, owners of Sunshine Valley Farm, hosted the event so 100 percent of all tickets purchased could benefit the “Friends of Greene County Extension.”

The dinner featured locally produced and grown foods. Thanks to the following farms and businesses that donated all of the provisions for the meal: Circle B Ranch, Echigo Farm, Fassnight Creek Farm, Farm Road 168, Happy Mouth Foods, Katiemade Breads, Landers Meats, Mockingbird Gardens, Ozark Natural Foods, Quickley Produce Farm, Sunny Lane Farms, Sassie Sharons, Terrell Creek Farm, Urban Roots Farm, Yang Family Farm, Williams Creek Winery, Mother's Brewery and Oovvda Winery.

Farm chef Marci Sonnemaker planned the menu and prepared the meal with help from staff. Appetizers for the evening included deviled eggs, grilled asparagus wrapped in ham, hamburger taco wonton cups, smoked trout and crackers, meatballs in marinara and canapé of fresh tomato, basil and goat cheese. The meal included chilled tomato soup with basil and bacon, farmer’s market salad with herbs, garden vegetables and fresh blueberries, “pikes peak” beef roast with kale, carrots and garlic jus or roasted leg of lamb with glazed spring onions and roasted potatoes. Dessert was the Sunshine Valley dessert cabinet featuring apple, blackberry, blueberry, chilled fresh blueberry, gooseberry, peach, rhubarb-raspberry pies with ice cream.

MU Extension specialists and staff from Greene County waited tables and were assisted in the set up by members of the extension council. The following individuals volunteered their time and skills to make the evening a success: Carl Allison, Harold Bender, Jeff Barber, David and Stacey Burton, Patrick Byers, Jay Chism, Pam Duitsman, Craig and Tamara Vonfoerster, John and Lorri Winters and Marty Wood.

Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County. Individuals wanted to donate to Greene County Extension can get details online at


County Budget Cuts Cause Second Extension Specialist to be Moved Out of Greene County

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist and county program director
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Dr. Jim Wirth, a human development specialist for Greene County Extension, is being moved from Greene County to Taney County in response to budget cuts from the Greene County Commission.

According to Jay Chism, Southwest Region director for MU Extension, Wirth’s move will be final in July.

“He is being moved to a county where the County Commission provides adequate funding for the local office and is able to provide the support he needs to be able to do his job,” said Chism. “Greene County has had a great interest in programs related to families, elderly and human development. But, this move makes meeting those needs much more difficult and creates a lot of challenges for our volunteer council.”

The announcement was made on May 27 during the monthly meeting of the Greene County Extension Council.

“I want to thank the Council for doing everything possible as a volunteer group to survive from financial drowning,” said Wirth. “I’ve been in Greene County for 16 years.

Wirth is in the process of canceling most of his scheduled late summer, fall and winter programs in Greene County. One exception will be the four training sessions he has planned for childcare providers in Springfield.

During his time in Greene County, Wirth offered programs related to childcare, marriage, parenting, seniors, aging, personal, professional and workforce development, interpersonal relations, leadership development, citizen engagement, diversity and healthy living.

Since 1999, Wirth has delivered 2,519 programs on 137 different topics in Greene County to 60,052 attendees.

“Besides the breadth and depth of program offerings, there is the impact of reaching over 60,000 program attendees in face-to-face programs,” said Wirth. “And the conference presentations were multiple and they show that Extension impact is broader than the local area.”


The Greene County Extension Center is maintained as a partnership between the Greene County Commission and the University of Missouri. But in recent years, funding from the Greene County Commission has fallen far below the amount needed to maintain a local office even though the county office provided educational programs for over 25,000 people during 2011.

“The budget reduction by the Greene County Commission to the state minimum of $10,000 for Extension in 2012 has forced the council to make additional, dramatic, changes,” said Carl Allison, chairman of the Greene County Extension Council. “This is the type of thing we said would happen when the county announced a second year of minimum funding back in January.”

University of Missouri fully funds the salaries, benefits, training, and computer support, for the five specialists headquartered in Greene County. County funds are used to pay administrative assistants and office expenses like the telephone, copies, office supplies, some postage and travel for specialists conducting programs.

“For three years now we have pulled from our reserves to fulfill our mission after the Commission cut our budget. But, we also know we can’t cut ourselves to prosperity, we need additional county funding to survive,” said Allison.

In 2009, the County allocated $95,000 to the publically elected Greene County Extension Council. The local office also generated about $25,000 as part of an annual office budget of $115,000.

In 2010, the County Commission voted to allocate $27,000 to the local office as a savings measure and the local office began to draw heavily from reserve funds, even after making cuts. The Commission repeated the allocation of $27,000 (a 72% percent cut from previous years) with the 2011 budget. The 2012 and 2013 budgets were a 90% cut to the amount requested by council.

By state law, every first class county funds an Extension office with a minimum of $10,000. That amount was set in 1961 and would need to be $72,000 now to have the same buying power. Those funds are used to pay office costs and fund an administrative assistant. Funding from the Greene County Commission for Extension has not been at or below $10,000 since the 1950s.


“The local Greene County Extension Council has instituted many cuts and revenue generating ideas over the past five years in an effort to balance the budget,” said Allison. “Those cuts have kept this county office open but the reserves are running out.”

Educational programs at the Greene County Extension Center draw people from other counties in to Greene County where they spend money and then take what they have learned back home to improve their own communities. The regional specialists in the Greene County office conduct programs that impact the entire region but they also do good work for Greene County.

Wirth told the council that he thought Extension could be compared to a "full menu shop.”

“But, we are becoming less than a full-menu even though the demand is still there. Because of county budget cuts, the infrastructure does not exist to continue as a full menu operation which means we end up only partially supporting things like 4-H, health programs, gardening programs. My fear is that with limited menus offered, perceptions begin to follow the reality that Extension is a limited menu,” said Wirth.

Many volunteers are involved with raising funds and awareness to prevent the extincition of Extension in Greene County.

“From a regional perspective, the Greene County office is one of our flagship so a cut of this magnitude is troubling for our organization, our staff and the people we serve,” said Chism. “The biggest concern is that these changes reduce services to the residents of Greene County.”

Since 1914, Greene County residents have sought help from Extension in areas related to agriculture, gardening, 4-H youth, nutrition, families, business and community development. Members of “Friends of Greene County Extension” contribute financially to make it possible for Extension to continue having a positive impact on the quality of life in Greene County, Mo. To learn how you can help go online to or call the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909.

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Poison Hemlock Isn’t Officially Noxious, but it is Intrusive, Dangerous and Abundant in Southwest Missouri

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Weeds have had an ideal environment in southwest Missouri to flourish during the last three years. Dry weather in 2011 and 2012 weakened established grass and ample moisture during the 2013 spring has allowed weed seeds to come on like gangbusters.

The most opportunistic weed at this point in southwest Missouri appears to be poison hemlock according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Poison hemlock is not on Missouri’s noxious weed list but many farmers feel it’s more of a headache than some plants that are on the list,” said Cole. “The biennial plant can be controlled with herbicides in the late fall or very early spring. Normally the toxicity is reduced, but not totally eliminated when dried, as in hay.”


Missouri’s noxious weed list includes: marijuana, musk thistle, Canada thistle, field bindweed, common teasel, cut-leaved teasel, purple loosestrife, Scotch thistle, kudzu, multiflora rose and Johnsongrass.

Poison hemlock is a highly visible plant since it reaches usually 5 to 7 feet tall this time of year.

“It’s in full bloom now with an abundance of white blossom clusters. The favored location is along streams, ditches and old barn lots although it can be found about anywhere,” said Cole.

Poison hemlock has a big, hollow stem with purple spots on it. Many refer to it incorrectly as wild carrot. Cole says there is an odor to the plant sometimes described as “mousy.”


True to its name, the plant is moderately to highly poisonous to cattle, horses, swine and sheep. The most toxic parts of the plant are roots and seed. Affected animals show signs within two hours of eating it.

“Most animals do not eat it other than nibbling on the leaves. To create a toxic condition requires cattle to eat 1 to 2 pounds of the material,” said Cole. “Fortunately I don’t know of very many deaths attributed to it around here. I suspect at this time of year the plant will be coarse enough it will be sorted out from any grass-legume hay and not be eaten. The risk to animals should be minimal unless they have nothing else to eat.”

Symptoms include nervousness, trembling, incoordination and death in some cases. Pregnant cows that graze poison hemlock may experience birth defects in their calves such as cleft palate and spinal abnormalities. The critical time in the pregnancy for cattle is 40 through 70 days.

MU Extension Guide sheet G-4970, “Plants Poisonous to Livestock,” is available online. There are a number of poisonous plants that lurk in Missouri pastures, ditches and fencerows that can harm and even kill livestock that eat them along with baled forage.

The most common poisonous plants of Missouri include black cherry, black locust, black nightshade, bouncing bet--also known as soapwort--bracken fern, buttercup, common cocklebur, field horsetail, jimsonweed, johnsongrass, milkweed and mustard species, Ohio buckeye, poison hemlock, common pokeweed, snow-on-the-mountain, water hemlock, white snakeroot, wild indigo and wooly croton. Some of the toxic species, like wooly croton and mustard, are relatively harmless unless the animal ingests large amounts.

If livestock poisoning is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and remove livestock from the grazing area until all poisonous plants have been destroyed.


“Hemlock is becoming a real problem and is on the order, if not greater than knapweed in its infestation,” said Tim Schnakenberg, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “It can be eradicated by applying a recommended herbicide early in the year and later in the year every effort should be made to minimize seed production. This may be done by mowing in the bloom stage.”

Recommended control is to use Remedy Ultra, Tordon 22K or Grazon P+D before poison hemlock bolts in the early spring. It may also control it in the fall in the rosette stage.

Information about herbicide treatments is available online under the “agriculture” link at Or contact any of these MU Extension agronomy specialists in southwest Missouri: Tim Schnakenberg in Stone County, (417) 357-6812; Jill Scheidt in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; John Hobbs in McDonald County, (417) 223-4775 or Brie Menjoulet in Hickory County, (417) 745-6767.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blueberries Possess Remarkable Disease Prevention Benefits Along with Great Taste Says Extension Nutrition Specialist

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Blueberries prove that pleasurable things can come in small packages. Nature has provided these little gems with exceptional taste, plump juicy sweetness, and a powerful dose of nutrients according to Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

A one-cup serving of blueberries contains only 80 calories, and virtually no fat or sodium. Full of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese, these berries are most known for their health-promoting phytonutrients.


“Blueberries have been shown to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help lessen the inflammatory process associated with many chronic conditions,” said Duitsman. “Research has shown blueberries are beneficial in helping to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental decline, and other age-related diseases. They also seem to help with insulin response and building a healthy immune system.”

Blueberries rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants (those free-radical-fighting compounds). According to Duitsman, a half cup of blueberries provides the antioxidant power of five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli.

“Intensive research by scientists around the world, including here in the U.S., has revealed remarkable neurocognitive benefits from eating blueberries. Memory has been boosted, and cognitive function increased in human studies,” said Duitsman.

Animal studies show the mechanism by which blueberries protect the brain may be beneficial in preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“It’s easy to find these wonderful berries while in season, at the farmer’s market, u-pick farms, at farm stands and supermarkets,” said Duitsman.


Here are some tips from Duitsman and MU Extension to help with blueberry storage:

• Handle fruit gently to avoid bruising. Bruising shortens the life of fruit and contributes to poor quality.

• Sort carefully and remove berries that are too soft or decayed.

• Store berries loosely in a shallow container to allow air circulation and to prevent the crushing of berries underneath.

• Do not wash berries before refrigerating.

• Store covered containers of berries in a cool, moist area of the refrigerator, such as in the hydrator (vegetable keeper), to help extend the usable life of the fruit. Recommended storage time in the refrigerator is 5 to 6 days.

• Before eating berries, wash gently in cold water, lift out of water and drain.


“The protective, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds are found in fresh, frozen or dried blueberries but not in most processed blueberry containing foods,” said Duitsman.

Frozen blueberries are a terrific way to enjoy berries all year round. A person can freeze their own blueberries while they are in season. Place the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze, and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Frozen blueberries are bests used within one year.

For more information on nutrition contact one of the following nutrition specialists: 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. Information is also available online

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Shopping for Best Mineral Supplement for Beef Cows can be Overwhelming; Extension Specialist Offers Some Advice

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Mineral supplementation of beef cows and stockers creates many questions that are sometimes difficult to answer according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Cole says shopping for the best mineral can be overwhelming when the feed tag lists major minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, percent and parts per million and additives that may boost gains, efficiency, prevent fly development and reduce infections.

“I suspect most supplements are purchased on a price basis or on recommendations from a neighbor or a salesman. I know my experience with research in this area, it’s not difficult to show absolute performance enhancement from the various supplements,” said Cole.

Forage samples with mineral analyses are less common but Cole says the ones he has seen from fescue fields in southwest Missouri often show copper, zinc and selenium to be borderline to lower than desired.

“However, several grazing trials have been run under various conditions and daily gains tend to be similar regardless of the mineral supplement,” said Cole.

Fescue does receive attention regarding minerals due to the endophyte toxin. The toxin reduces animal intake which affects total mineral intake. In this case, a person would expect a well-fortified mineral supplement to improve cattle performance.

“An excellent combination pasture of grasses and legumes may even be enough to meet the mineral needs of most classes of grazing cattle. In this instance, plain salt could be all you need to give them. Salt is the primary mineral all cattle need,” said Cole.

Cole says many cattlemen do not want to take a chance that some mineral may limit their cattle’s performance. In those cases, they should pick a mineral mix that covers the basic needs of their cattle with a reasonable cost.

“I’ve looked at numerous mineral tags and most are certainly adequate in the likely trace elements, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc,” said Cole.

Justin Sexten, a beef nutrition specialist with University of Missouri Extension, says a general “thumb rule” for copper, manganese and zinc is 1000, 2000 and 3000 parts per million (ppm) respectively in a mineral supplement.

“Selenium should be a minimum of 10 to 12 ppm. Of course, consumption enters into the picture and most intakes are based on 3 or 4 ounces per head per day. If for some reason cattle are eating two or more times that amount it can get in your pocket without you seeing significant performance changes,” said Sexten.

Most minerals include various amounts of vitamin A, D and E. In a good weather year, Cole says these vitamins should not be a critical concern. They will add some to the cost of the supplement.

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 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

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“A Home of Your Own” Workshop in Joplin June 29

Contact: Janet LaFon, Family Financial Education Specialist
Tel: (417) 358-2158

CARTHAGE, Mo. – “A Home of Your Own” is a six-session workshop that will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 29 at the South Joplin Christian Church, 1901 Pearl, Joplin. The workshop is being provided by the Joplin Area Long-Term Recovery Committee.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

“A Home of Your Own” is designed to share information helpful to those interested in becoming first-time homeowners. The workshop will qualify for sweat equity hours for various organizations working to provide new homes in the Joplin area.

“This workshop series is being offered to help new homeowners better understand what’s involved when owning a home,” said Janet LaFon, a family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension and a member of the Joplin Area Long-Term Recovery Committee (LTRC). “Topics will include making the most of your money, home gardening, homeowners insurance, credit, protecting your family and home maintenance.”

Advanced registration is requested by June 21. For more information on the workshops or to register, call 417-439-1206.

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Second Chronic Disease Management Class Being Offered in Springfield Starting June 20

Pamela Duitsman, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Help is on the way for people that have a chronic disease like diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, arthritis or asthma.

University of Missouri Extension will offer a series of “Chronic Disease Self-Management” classes 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on Thursdays, June 20 to August 1. Classes will be held in CoxHealth’s Surgery Center , Suite 203-Diabetes Center, 960 E. Walnut Lawn, Springfield.

Classes are free but pre-registration is required, and must be made by June 19 by calling Greene County University of Missouri Extension at (417) 881-8909. The class size will be limited to a maximum number of 18 participants.

“Classes are highly participative. Participants find mutual support and success as they build confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives,” said Pam Duitsman, a nutrition specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management classes will help participants improve their knowledge of living a healthy life with a chronic condition. Participants will learn appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance, will be able to manage fatigue and stress better, and find solutions to problems caused by their condition.

Duitsman will also help participants identify ways to deal with anger, fear, frustration and depression caused by their condition, and explore ways to communicate with family and friends and develop decision-making and problem-solving skills.

“In the past, people who have taken this class have reported an increase in: the amount of time they exercise; improved communication with their physician; and confidence in their ability to manage their conditions,” said Duitsman. “Past class members have also reported less fatigue and less disability after taking this series of classes.”

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Extension’s 10-Week “Stay Strong, Stay Healthy” Exercise Program for Adults Over 50 in Galena Starting July 1

Contact: Renette Wardlow, human development specialist
Tel: (417) 581-3558

GALENA, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension will be offering “Stay Strong, Stay Healthy,” a 10-week exercise program designed for men and women over 50 starting on July 1, 2013 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex, in Galena.

The first class is 90 minutes long to allow time for an orientation to the program and health assessments. The nine remaining classes start at 1 p.m. and last an hour.

The program, developed by Tufts University, is designed to help older adults improve strength, flexibility and balance. According to research conducted by Tufts, strength training improves bone density, can help reduce falls, improve arthritis symptoms, increase flexibility in older adults and can lead to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

The exercises are low-impact/low weight and all the necessary equipment is provided. The class is a great way for older adults to improve their strength, balance and flexibility.

“Our second series of classes ended on June 17 and several of the current participants asked if they could sign up again. We have also had a number of phone calls about the program so we decided to offer the class again,” said Renette Wardlow, University of Missouri Extension human development specialist and program coordinator.

The program is limited to 18 participants. The cost of the 10 week program is $25. Adults in a defined income bracket may be eligible to receive a fee reduction/waiver. Some participants may have to obtain their physician’s permission before taking part in the class.

For more details or to register, contact JoEtta Bowling at the University of Missouri Extension Center, 417-357-6812.

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Public Meeting of Regional Extension Council Draws Volunteers from 17 Counties to Springfield on June 25

Jay Chism, director of Southwest Region
Tel: (417) 865-0707

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Southwest Region Extension Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on June 25 inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. The business meeting begins with a meal and business gets underway at 7 p.m.

Regional council members will be voting to approve or amend new bylaws and electing officers to serve the new region.

“As part of the meeting I’ll also provide a presentation describing the new program coverage plan and discuss filling positions in the region. The staffing plan was developed from input the council provided during the March meeting,” 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.

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“Steer Feedout Finale” June 27 in Mt. Vernon Should be Educational for Cattle Producers, Feedout Participants

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- The results of the 2012-13 Missouri Steer Feedout Finale will be given publicly at 7 p.m. on June 27 at the University of Missouri Extension Center in the courthouse, Mt. Vernon. The presentation will explain how the different cattle performed during the feedout.

There were 147 head of steers from Missouri in the program. They were fed at Bentley’s East Feedyard, Macedonia, IA as part of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF).

“The TCSCF has been in existence 30 years and they feed cattle from the Midwest and southeastern parts of the United States,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “They’ve incorporated a lot of field research with the cattle and the past few years they’ve been comparing the USDA frame and muscle scores put on by the graders from various parts of the country with the actual data obtained at slaughter.”

Darrell Busby, manager of TCSCF and former Iowa State Extension livestock specialist will be at the finale on June 27 to review the study and discuss the Missouri Feedout cattle.

The feedout provides an opportunity for cow-calf producers to see how their calves perform in the feedlot and in the carcass. Data collected and shared with participants include: rate of gain, disposition scores, feed conversion, carcass weight, dressing percent, fat cover, ribeye area, yield grade, quality grade, premiums, discounts, health treatments, feed costs and retail value per days on feed and days of age.

Cole says producers will receive sufficient data to make intelligent decisions regarding breed and sire selections as well as possibly cow culling decisions.

“Even if you did not send steers to Iowa, attendance at the finale presentation on June 27 should be educational. Cow-calf raisers need to stay in close touch with what’s happening at the next steps in their feeders calf’s life, the feedlot and the packing plant,” said Cole.

For more details about the event, contact Eldon Cole at the University of Missouri Extension in Mt. Vernon, 417-466-3102.

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Students from Diamond and Seneca Elected to Missouri State 4-H Council; Other Local Students Attend

Contact: Lynda Dumond, youth program assistant
Tel: (417) 223-4475

NEOSHO, Mo. -- Teens from Newton and McDonald counties recently attended the 68th Annual State 4-H Congress (May 29 – 31) on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., with nearly 300 other Missouri teens.

Participants experienced life on a university campus and elected the next State 4-H Council. Workshops were held on topics like creating websites, citizen response to active threats, babysitting, livestock judging and food preparation with locally grown products and more.

The State 4-H Council represents Missouri 4-H youth, provides youth input on 4-H policy issues, and plays a major role in the statewide 4-H youth events of University of Missouri Extension.

Cady Littlefield, a coming-senior at Diamond High School and an active member of the Diamond Renegades 4-H Club was re-elected to the State 4-H Council as one of four Regional Representatives. She is the daughter of John and Sheila Littlefield, Diamond. Cady was also selected to represent Missouri 4-H at National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. She is one of only 20 teens selected based on a paper application and interview to evaluate member growth in 4-H.

Greg Vangunda, the President of Lucky Clover 4-H Club and a coming-senior at Seneca High School, was elected Regional Representative to the State 4-H Council. He is the son of Manford and Dana Vangunda, Seneca. Greg placed 5th high individual in the Missouri 4-H Congress Livestock Judging Contest.

Emily Paul, a Sophomore at University of Missouri-Columbia and a McDonald County 4-H member retired as the State 4-H Council Representative to the State University of Missouri Extension Council. During her year, she launched a program to increase 4-H youth that serve on local county Extension Councils, which resulted in youth serving on both Newton and McDonald County MU Extension Council. Emily is the daughter of James and Shelley Paul, Neosho.

There are currently over 23,000 youth participating in 4-H clubs, with over 290,000 youth being reached a variety of Missouri 4-H programs. For more information on 4-H youth programs, visit the 4-H website at Missouri 4-H is a program of 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.

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Barry County 4-H Members Showcase Life Skills at Local Achievement Day

Contact: Jeremy Elliot-Engel, county program director
Tel: (417) 455-9500

CASSVILLE, Mo. – Barry County 4-H members participated in a wide variety of public speaking and knowledge contests, Tuesday, June 11 at the Barry County Courthouse as part of the Barry County 4-H Achievement Day.

Contests in traditional public speaking endeavors included “Prepared Public Speaking” where youth memorize a 5 to 7 minute speech on any topic and “Extemporaneous Speaking” where a topic is drawn the day-of the speech and then a five-minute speech is developed.

The overall champion public speaker at the 2013 Barry County Achievement Day was Rachel Bridges of Washburn, a member of the Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

The 4-H standard demonstration is when a youth explains how to do an activity related to their Project Area. Youth prepare demonstrations to share their project area knowledge throughout the year with members of their 4-H club. The overall champion demonstration was given by Savanna Gunter of Purdy, a member of the Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Project Judging is a 4-H evaluation tool, where a knowledge test is administered and then members are asked to evaluate a class of four items, based on a scenario. The member then gives a verbal explanation of why they ranked the items the way they have, also known as reasons.

“Project judging is unique to 4-H. This evaluation process not only measures knowledge, but expects students to apply what they have learned through their project work in a real life setting,” said Jeremy Elliot-Engel, a 4-H youth specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The top ten project areas in Missouri are given evaluations at the county competition.

Overall Champion in Foods Project Judging was Erika Bridges of Washburn, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Overall Champion in Cake Decorating Project Judging was Maranda Gunter of Purdy, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

Overall Champion in Horse Project Judging was Dylan Bridges of Washburn, a member of Exeter Trailblazers 4-H Club.

“I remember when I was in middle school and scared about public speaking. It is great that members are stepping up and sharing what they know now, it will only get easier,” said Becky Wogoman, administrative assistant for Barry County MU Extension.

“Our members continue to grow, learn and be successful at all levels of learning and competition,” said Elliott-Engel.

Top contestants can now start preparing for competition with the 17 southwest Missouri counties at Regional Achievement Day in July at Springfield.

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.

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English Grain Aphids, Septoria, Fusarium and Armyworms all Found During Field Scouting this Week

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

Field Scouting Report for June 12…

LAMAR, Mo. –Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted area fields on June 12 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

English Grain aphids have been seen in wheat heads. Threshold levels for English Grain aphids in wheat heads are 75-100 aphids/head. Treatment may be justified if yellowing plants are seen.

“Septoria head blotch and fusarium, or head scab, were also seen on kernels due to wet weather conditions. It is too late to spray for diseases in wheat,” said Scheidt.

Septoria can be identified by a black discoloration on the outside of the kernel. Head scab is identified by a pinkish orange fungus on the base of the spikelet, the spikelets are usually bleached.

“Armyworms may be moving out of the area. Dead, dried armyworms were seen on wheat heads as a result of a fungus brought in by the rain that killed them. Most armyworms are fully grown larvae that will turn into moths soon, those moths will move north to other non-armyworm-infested fields due to a pheromone armyworms let off,” said Scheidt.

Aphids have been reported in corn. Usually they do not justify treatment, threshold levels for English Grain and Corn Leaf aphid in corn are 400 aphids/plant.

Curled, stunted corn was also seen this week. Damage is likely due to herbicide damage.

“Herbicide damage in corn can occur in herbicides labeled for use in corn under prolonged cool, wet conditions. If herbicides labeled for use in corn are applied at planting, damage may also be seen under cool, wet conditions if the slots were not closed completely at planting,” 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 to receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, (417) 682-3579.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

“Goat and Sheep Parasite Workshop” in Springfield June 20

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A “Sheep and Goat Parasite Workshop” is scheduled for 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday, June 20, at the Bond Agricultural Building, 2401 S. Kansas Expwy, Springfield, Mo.

"If you want to check your sheep or goats for fecal egg counts, you can learn how at this workshop," said Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant educator with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.

Dr. Charlotte Clifford-Rathert, state small ruminant specialist with Lincoln University, and Dr. Beth Walker, associate professor at Missouri State University, will conduct the workshop

Producers may bring a fecal sample for the fecal egg count demonstration if they want their animal or animals checked for worms. Dr. Clifford-Rathert will explain how to conduct fecal egg counts and how to check for FAMACHA scores.

Worms are the primary internal parasite of small ruminants and remain one of the biggest problems of meat and dairy goats.

“Internal parasites also can be a problem in sheep but not to the same extent as goats,” said Clifford-Rathert. “In order to control worms, you must set up a deworming and sanitation program and stick to it.”

Worms not only kill both young and old goats, they contribute to poor growth rates, an unthrifty appearance, coughing, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, bottle jaw.

David Burton, county program director for Greene County Extension, says the local council is happy to be able to support this type of workshop. “This is a needed workshop considering the growing area interest in goats and sheep,” said Burton. “There should be something for everyone who has in interest in controlling internal parasites in sheep and goats, whether hair or wool sheep and dairy or meat goats.”

Pre-registration is needed by June 17 but anyone can attend. The cost is $5 per person to cover workshop materials and snacks. The FAMACHA eye chart is an additional $15 per chart.

For more information or to pre-register, email or call 417-327-6611.

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This Summer, Try Adding More Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to Your Diet Suggests MU Extension Nutrition Specialist

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

BUFFALO, Mo. -- The latest Dietary Guidelines recommend that all Americans increase their vegetable and fruit intake.

“Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they lower your risk of developing a chronic disease,” said Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.”

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month so it provides a natural reminder to include more in our diets according to Haynes.

The USDA’s MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables are based on a person’s calorie needs for age, gender, and activity level. For a 2,000 calorie diet, a person should eat two cups of fruit and two and one-half cups of vegetables a day.

To learn individual needs are, go to

In general, one cup of fruit or one00 percent fruit juice, or one-half cup of dried fruit counts as one cup from the fruit group; and, one cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or two cups of raw leafy greens can be considered one cup from the vegetable group.

Haynes says that before eating fresh fruits and vegetables, it is important to remember some basic food safety rules.

When purchasing, avoid bruised or damaged produce and keep it separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Perishable fresh produce, such as lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms, and all cut or peeled produce should be stored in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fruits and vegetables. Produce should be washed under running water (do not use soap) before eating, cutting, or cooking.

Then, cut away any damaged or bruised areas. Always wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counters between prep of raw meat, poultry, and seafood and produce.

“Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet may be easier than you think. Try topping your pizza with onions, mushrooms, or peppers. Make sandwiches with spinach, tomatoes, and onions. Use fruit as a topping for cereal, pancakes, or waffles. Add vegetables to casseroles, soups, and stir-fries. Make a fruit smoothie or mix fruit into yogurt. Pack raw vegetables with dip for a snack,” said Haynes.

For more information on nutrition contact one of the following nutrition specialists: 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. Information is also available online

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Use Your Time Effectively to Get More Out of Your Day

Contact: Janet LaFon, family financial education specialist
Tel: (417) 358-2158

CARTHAGE, Mo. – In our hurry up world, where every family seems to have schedules crammed with responsibilities, many people wonder how to get more done in the time available.

“Instead of focusing on doing more, you may want to consider six basic strategies for managing your projects and using your time more effectively,” said Janet LaFon, a family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The six basic strategies are as follows:

• Assume ownership. “Don’t allow others to make commitments of your time without your permission. You’d be surprised if someone helped themselves to money in your wallet. Is it really any different when others help themselves to your time?” said LaFon.

• Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. “Check yourself continuously to see that you are working on the things that are most important to you,” said LaFon.

• Work on overcoming procrastination. “Conquer time-wasting habits. When you see that you are procrastinating, make it a point to take the first step toward completing the task,” said LaFon.

• Break down large jobs. “One of the sources of procrastination is that some tasks seem too overwhelming to begin. Learn to break these down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Often the most challenging step is the first one to take,” said LaFon.

• Set up a simple filing system. “At home, as well as at work, you need a filing system so that you can find important papers when you need them,” said LaFon.

• Reward yourself. “Take time to celebrate the completion of major tasks or when major challenges have been met,” said LaFon.

These basic strategies are expanded on in the University of Missouri Extension publication, “Time Effectiveness, Prioritizing Your Time,” GH6653 available online at

For more information on issues related to home finances, contact either of the MU Extension family financial education specialists in southwest Missouri: Janet LaFon, Jasper County Extension Center, (417) 358-2158, or Nellie Lamers, Taney County Extension Center, (417) 546-4431,

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Black Cutworms and Armyworms Among Concerns for Southwest Missouri Crop Farmers this Week

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

LAMAR, Mo. –Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted area fields on June 5 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

Scheidt says Armyworms are still being seen at threshold level in wheat and fescue fields.

Threshold level for armyworms in wheat and fescue are 4/ sq. ft. or when 2-3 percent of heads are clipped. Mustang Max is recommended to control armyworm because it provides the longest residual effect.

“Armyworms were moving slow, but keep a close eye on them, checking 2-3 times per week for threshold levels, as armyworms at threshold levels can clip heads on half a field in one night. Recent rains may have slowed feeding and may have brought in a fungus that kills armyworms.


Below threshold levels of 1-2 percent of corn plants were clipped above ground due to black cutworm feeding. Threshold levels for black cutworm are when 6-8 percent of plants are clipped above ground or when 2-3 percent of plants are clipped below ground.

“Scout fields for black cutworm until corn reaches the 5-leaf stage. Black cutworms do not feed on corn once it is past the 5-leaf stage,” said Scheidt.


“If you are thinking about switching from corn to soybeans, soybeans should NOT be planted into fields where applications of atrazine or an atrazine premix have already been made this season,” said Scheidt. “The label says soybeans should not be planted until the following year due to the likelihood of soybean injury from residues of atrazine that may still be present in the soil.”

The average field half-life of atrazine is 60 days. High soil pH’s (>7.5) will also slow the degradation of atrazine, along with cool soil conditions. Fortunately, replanting corn or planting grain sorghum into these damaged areas will still be an option.


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.

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First MU Extension ‘Dairy Field Day” is June 20 at MU Southwest Center near Mount Vernon

Contact: Tony Rickard, dairy specialist
Tel: (417) 847-3161

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – The first University of Missouri Extension “Dairy Field Day is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 20 at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center located on Highway H, south of I-44 from the Mount Vernon west exit.

The hours of the event are planned with dairy-farm schedules in mind. The program offers sound, research-based farm management practices according to Tony Rickard, an MU Extension dairy specialist located in Barry County.

“The information shared at this event applies to conventional or grazing dairies, large or small,” said Rickard. “Topics cover forage, rations, economics and breeding. There will be talks and field tours.”

Farmers who have trouble making quality hay in a season of frequent rains can pick up tips on baleage from Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist.

Baleage, or big-round-bale silage, can be made in a day, compared to several days required for drying hay for baling. Kallenbach has been wrapping bales in plastic to show at the event.

“I want producers to smell the difference between well-wrapped bales and those not properly prepared. It was tough, making bad baleage,” said Kallenbach.

Rickard will give tips on cutting feed costs. That is important because feed makes up 50 percent of milk production costs.

“We’ll focus on feeding the right ingredients at the right time,” said Rickard. “Cutting overfeeding is one way to save expensive nutrients.”

Joe Horner, dairy economist with the MU Commercial Agriculture Program, will tell four thingshared by profitable dairy farms. “Low prices and high costs have hammered dairy farms,” said Horner. “But trends point to increased profits.”

Breeding research on synchronized artificial insemination shows good results in the milking herd at the Southwest Center. Some 85 percent conception rates astound dairy producers accustomed to poor AI breeding rates. Scott Poock, DVM with MU Extension, will tell protocols used for success.

Getting all cows into milk production at the same time adds to profits. Peak milk production can be matched to peak forage growth.

There will be time after lunch for touring the herd, calf-rearing pens and forage plots. “We’re trying for a good mix of talks and up-close participation,” says Kallenbach.

New side-by-side plots will show fescue varieties that carry novel endophytes. Those varieties can replace toxic Kentucky 31 fescue, which proves to make poor dairy forage.

The procedure for killing K-31 grass to replant new varieties will be told.

New tools for measuring dry-matter content on forage paddocks will be shown. And some big bales will be wrapped, Kallenbach says.

The free event will be open to all producers. Lunch will be served, courtesy of field day sponsors including Schreiber Foods, Main Street Feeds, ADM Alliance Nutrition, Midwest Dairy Association and Legacy Farm and Lawn.

Details are available from Rickard at 417-847-3161 or

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Extension is an Essential Part of County Government

Contact: Tony DeLong, extension county council coordinator
Tel: 573-882-1832

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension is governed at the local level by county extension councils. These local governing bodies are established in Missouri state law as a function of county government. (Revised Statutes of Missouri Sections 262:550 to 262:620: County Extension Programs)

“The law is clear,” said Tony DeLong, extension county council coordinator for University of Missouri Extension. “Extension is not a civic organization. Extension is a core function of county government.”

County Extension Councils are political subdivisions like school boards and fire districts. However, extension councils depend on revenue from the County Commission as required by state law since extension councils are designed to provide a core function for the county.

County Extension councils were established in 1961 to fulfill the local educational needs through research-based programming. Extension councils were to be funded in a partnership (federal, state, county) with funding that supported programs based on the needs of county residents.

Federal and state laws for Extension date back to 1862 when the Morrill Act was passed.

According to DeLong, Missouri law says the three roles of the county commission are to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens.

Health education goes beyond public health. It includes nutrition, reduction in obesity, parenting skills, and an array of approaches to improving the mental and physical health of society – all areas that extension focuses on.

Safety (education, support and prevention) goes beyond law enforcement. It is programming that prepares us for a natural disaster, services that help us recover quickly, reduction of injury and food safety. A big part of extension’s work focuses on developing a safe, abundant, low-cost food supply in this county—both on the farm and in the garden.

Welfare is at the heart of extension programs that focus on the economic and well-being of society. Examples of these extension programs include business development programs, a youth development program known as 4-H, and community development programs that empower citizens to take the challenges of today and lead.

“A county receives about a seven dollar return on every dollar invested in support of the local county extension is at the minimum, residents are getting a bargain and the commission is underserving the county citizens,” said DeLong. “If the dollars for local support are not there the programs of public value are not able to make the difference.”

Most County Commissions in the state have worked as partners with the local extension council to provide resources that make programs possible locally. This partnership is essential.

“Over 1.2 Missourians received programming from MU Extension last year and most of that would not have been possible without this county and council partnership,” said DeLong. “I certainly say ‘thanks’ to those Commissions that have been supportive of the mission.

For more information about county extension councils in Missouri go online to

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