Friday, July 26, 2013

Good Lawn Practices Reduce Risk of Nutsedge Taking Over

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Nutsedges are common weeds in landscapes and, once established, they can be extremely difficult to eliminate.

“Nutsedges thrive in waterlogged soil, and their presence often indicates drainage is poor, irrigation is too frequent, or sprinklers are leaky,” said Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

Although nutsedges resemble grasses and often are referred to as “nutgrass,” they aren’t grasses but are true sedges according to Byers.

Their leaves are thicker and stiffer than most grasses and are arranged in sets of three at their base. Nutsedge stems are solid, and in cross section they are triangular.

Yellow and purple nutsedges produce tubers on rhizomes, or underground stems that grow as deep as 8 to 14 inches below the soil surface. Buds on the tubers sprout and grow to form new plants and eventually form patches that can range up to 10 feet or more in diameter.

Yellow and purple nutsedges are perennial plants and the tubers can survive for up to three years.

“Nutsedges are a problem in lawns because they grow faster, have a more upright growth habit, and are a lighter green color than most grass species, resulting in a nonuniform turf,” said Byers.

In gardens and landscapes, nutsedges will emerge through bark or rock mulches in shrub plantings and vegetable and flower beds throughout the growing season.

“The best approach for avoiding nutsedge problems is to prevent establishment of the weed in the first place. Once established, nutsedge plants are difficult to control,” said Byers.

Prevent establishment by removing small plants before they develop tubers, eliminating the wet conditions that favor nutsedge growth, using certain fabric mulches in landscape beds, and making sure nutsedge tubers aren’t brought in with topsoil or other materials.

“Tubers are the key to nutsedge survival. If you can limit production of tubers, you’ll eventually control the nutsedge itself,” said Byers. “To limit tuber production, remove small nutsedge plants before they have 5 to 6 leaves; in summer this is about every two to three weeks.”

Continually removing shoots eventually depletes the energy reserves in the tuber. The best way to remove small plants is to pull them up by hand or to hand hoe. If you hoe, be sure to dig down at least 8 to 14 inches to remove the entire plant.

Few herbicides are effective at controlling nutsedge, either because of a lack of selectivity to other plants or a lack of uptake.

“Two that are recommended for home gardeners are sold under the names of Sedgehammer and Basagran T-O,” said Byers. “Some new products marketed specifically for nutsedge have come on the market this spring and can now be found at large retailers too.”

Many people mistakenly use Roundup on fully grown plants to try to kill the tubers.

Unfortunately, when tubers are mature the herbicide usually doesn’t move from the leaves to the tubers, leaving them unaffected, according to Byers.

For more information, contact the lawn and garden helpline operated by the Masters Gardeners of Greene County at (417) 881-8909.

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Parents Can Help Make Back to School Cool by Taking Steps to Make Transition More Relaxed

Contact: Angie Fletcher, human development specialist
Tel: 417-683-4409

AVA, Mo. -- The short summer months will soon begin to wind down and school bus trips will take the place of car trips to the lake. Back to school time is often a time of change for families.

The first day of school, new schools, and new teachers, are only a few of the many changes children and families encounter at the beginning of a new school year according to Angie Fletcher, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Making a smooth transition between the summer break and the beginning of school can help children feel good about themselves and help everyone in the family create and maintain a positive outlook about the coming school year,” said Fletcher. “Parents play an important role in helping make this transition a smooth one.”

Fletcher offers a few tips to help make this transition more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone.

Establish a routine. “Bed times, rise and shine times, where to put backpacks and important notes when I get home are all part of the routine. It is a good idea to begin following the school schedule at least a week or so before school actually begins. This will help you and your child adjust to the new routine,” said Fletcher.

Take a school tour. “This is especially important if your child is new to the school system or building. Knowing where to go on the first day can relieve a lot of stress,” said Fletcher.

Meet with your child’s teacher(s). “Introduce yourselves. Discuss what will be happening in the classroom, as well as any special needs or situations your child may have. It is also a good idea to find out if there are ways you can help out in the classroom,” said Fletcher.

Make sure all school records are up to date. Make sure the school has any new phone numbers, changes of address, immunization updates, etc. Having these in an emergency can save precious minutes.

Get all required examinations. Try to schedule appointments for sports physicals, immunizations, dental exams, etc. before school starts. This will help avoid absences from school.

Be sure your child knows their address and phone number. This is especially necessary if you have just moved.

Make necessary after-school care arrangements. “Make necessary arrangements and be sure your child knows where they are to go and what they are to do after school. It is also a good idea, especially for elementary school students, to inform the teacher of these plans,” said Fletcher.

Purchase school supplies. Check with your child’s teacher or school for a list of needed supplies.

Create a homework center. “Stocking a homework center with the supplies needed to complete homework can help a child focus and have what they need when they need it. Just make sure the area is not near the television or other distractions,” said Fletcher.

Stress the importance of good nutrition. “Healthy, well-balanced breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners can unleash brain power in your child. Studies have shown that good nutrition helps keep children focused, their energies high, and their moods balanced - all of which are factors that promote learning,” said Fletcher.

For more information, contact any of MU Extension’s human development specialists in southwest Missouri: Renette Wardlow in Christian County at (417) 581-3558, Dr. Jim Wirth in Taney County at (417) 546-4431, or Angie Fletcher in Douglas County at (417) 683-4409

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Ten Steps to Having a Great Plate

Contact: Cammie Younger, nutrition and health specialist
Tel: (417) 967-4545  

HOUSTON, Mo. -- The USDA approved simple concept of “MyPlate” is teaching Americans how to become healthier by what they put on their plates. 

Cammie Younger, a nutrition and health specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, says there are 10 basic steps that lead to having a great plate.

Balance calories. Calories should be balanced with a sufficient amount of physical activity. 

Enjoy your food, but eat less. “Take the time to savor your food and allow your body cues to tell you when you are full.  Eating too fast can often cause overeating,” said Younger.

Avoid oversized portions. A simple way to accomplish this is to use a smaller plate, bowl or glass.

Know what foods you should eat more often. “The foods in this category include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fat-free or 1 percent milk and dairy foods,” said Younger.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Dark colored vegetable are the best choices. “Consider choosing red (tomatoes), orange (sweet potatoes) and dark green (broccoli) vegetables.  Choose fruits for a side dish or dessert,” said Younger.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. “These have fewer calories.  I recommend a gradual switch from whole milk to fat –free.  This gives your taste buds time to adjust to the new flavor will give you a better chance for success,” said Younger.

Make half your grains whole grains. Instead of white bread, choose 100% whole –wheat.

Foods to eat less often: fatty meats like ribs, sausages, bacon and hot dogs as well as cakes cookies, candies sugary drinks and ice cream should be eaten in moderation after healthier foods are consumed.

Compare sodium in foods. Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”  Use the Nutrition Facts label to find the lower sodium foods.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks have sugar and calories you don’t need.  Drink water or unsweetened drinks to cut calories.
“By following these 10 tips, your plate will serve you well on your journey to becoming a healthier you,” said Younger.

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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Master Naturalist Training Class in Springfield Scheduled for September and October

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you love the outdoors and natural world, have an innate curiosity about wild critters and native plants and are committed to volunteering, then the Missouri Master Naturalist program may be for you. Here’s how to become a Master Naturalist.


The Springfield Plateau Chapter, one of 12 in the state, has an active membership of more than 60.  Local training—40 hours—for the class of 2013 is conducted by sponsors Missouri Extension and Missouri Department of Conservation.  Register with Jay Barber at or 417-895-6881, ext. 269.

The schedule for the 2013 training has already been established:
·       Mandatory orientation Aug. 12 OR Aug. 20 at Missouri Department of Conservation Regional  office, 2630 N. Mayfair Drive
·       Six classroom sessions Sept. 10-Oct. 29 – all Tuesday evenings from 6-9:30 p.m. in the regional office
·       Four field trips Sept. 14 and 28 and Oct. 5 and 19
·       Graduation Oct. 29

The sessions and field trips cover such topics as the three levels of conservation, identifying singing insects, basic ecological concepts, eco-regions, watershed and fisheries management, prairie ecology, caves and karst, tree identification, invasive plants and animals, native landscaping, volunteering, educational tools and how to use them.

In addition to the 40 hours of training, each Master Naturalist in training must complete a 20-hour capstone project that can be completed with a group or done individually. A capstone could be developing a new educational training tool or course, inventorying plants, doing a bird count or helping with a rain garden.


Missouri Master Naturalists is a community-based, natural resource, education and volunteer program. Its mission is to engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state’s bountiful natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. The purpose of the program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to that purpose.

Most projects are local, and each Master Naturalist chooses how to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a year and acquire 8 hours of advanced training a year. In 2012, local Master Naturalists accumulated more than 7,000 hours of service and training. The Plateau Chapter averages more hours per member than the other chapters.

Some examples of local projects Master Naturalists are involved with are the Butterfly Festival, Young Sprouts, water festivals conducted by James River Basin Partnership, GLADE program, WOLF School, various Stream Teams, tree and shrub plantings at area schools, tree plantings in Joplin, educational trunk presentations at many elementary schools and plant inventory at Valley Water Mill Park.

Learn more about the program at


Attempts to Sell Herbicide by Phone Most Likely a Scam

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

LAMAR, Mo. – As if dry weather and insects did not present big enough problems for farmers, one University of Missouri Extension specialist says recent attempts to sell herbicides to farmers by telephone is really a scam.

“There are calls going around from a fake company called Supply House out of Illinois selling a herbicide called Trilete,” said Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with MU Extension.

Scheidt says the callers claim their product, Trilete, will kill anything in soybeans and has an excellent rating for control of water hemp.

“In searching for this product and company, I could find no proof of their existence or information on the product, Trilete.  We believe this is a scam coming from a fake company selling a fake product,” said Scheidt.

She also warns advises farmers to use caution before buying any product over the phone and especially when a company you have never heard of contacts you to sell their product.

For more information, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, (417) 682-3579.

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What You Need to Know About Sunscreen and Protection from the Sun

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

OZARK, Mo. -- Whether it’s “fun in the sun” or “work in the sun,” protection from ultraviolet rays of the sun is important for everyone – both children and adults.

“Many of us use it but the selections in the aisle of the store can be confusing. It's hard to decide which SPF to use and whether you need protection against UVA, UVB or both,” said Renette Wardlow, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

UVA and UVB are types of ultraviolet radiation. Humans need protection against ultraviolet radiation because it contributes to conditions such a premature skin aging, eye damage and skin cancer. These types of ultraviolet radiation can also suppress the immune system making it difficult to fight these conditions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization recognize UV as a proven carcinogen.

UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB and this contributes to skin aging.

“We used to believe that aging was the worst damage that UVA could do. We now know that UVA rays damage skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis where most skin cancers occur. We now know that UVA can contribute to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers,” said Wardlow.

UVA is the ray that makes humans tan. Tanning in the sun or in a salon can cause damage over time which can lead to skin cancer.

UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn. It has long been known that UVB rays play an important role in the development of skin cancer.

UVB rays vary in intensity depending on the season, location and time of day. Humans are most exposed to UVB rays from April to October and between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

UVB rays do not penetrate glass. UVA rays can and do penetrate glass in homes and in cars causing damage while we are unaware it is happening.

“That is why it is a good idea to even use sunscreen while on road trips,” said Wardlow.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Experts recommend that you use a SPF of at least 15.

“A SPF of 15 means it will take 15 times longer for skin to redden than if you did not use it at all. The SPF refers to UVB protection only,” said Wardlow.

To assure you are getting protection from UVA as well, Wardlow says to look for one of these ingredients: stabilized a avobenzone, ecamsule (Mexoryl), oxybenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. 

“One thing to remember when using sunscreens is that they do tend to wash off, such as when you perspire heavily. Labels are now carrying information on the products resistance to washing off. When looking for protection from the sun, remember to look for the SPF number and the products resistance to washing off,” said Wardlow.

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Southwest Missouri Field Crop Report for July 24, 2013

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 July 24 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

“In fields that received rain, the crops look refreshed from the dry conditions.  Some lodging or leaning has occurred in the corn from high winds,” said Scheidt.

This week, no Japanese beetle feeding has been seen on the silks.  Threshold levels for Japanese beetle in corn are when 3 or more beetles are clipping green silks, to less than half-inch. 

“If corn is over 50 percent complete with pollination, it is not economical to treat Japanese beetles because the threat of kernels not being pollinated is minimal.  A high rate of Hero is recommended to treat Japanese beetles,” said Scheidt.

Chinch bugs have been seen in Vernon County.  They usually feed on edges of corn fields near wheat fields.  Chinch bugs suck sap from corn stalks causing them to wilt and the plant not to yield.  They prefer hot, dry weather.

Treatment is justified when 2-3 percent of plants show damage; Warrior II, Cobalt or Lorsban are recommended by themselves or with mixtures.  Treatment is usually only needed on field edges.

“Japanese beetle and grasshopper feeding were still seen in soybeans, but not at threshold level.  Grasshopper feeding should decrease with rainfall because they prefer hot, dry weather,” said Scheidt.

Defoliation threshold levels in soybeans are 30 percent defoliation before bloom and 20 percent defoliation during or after bloom. 

“Window pane feeding was seen on soybean leaves from second generation bean leaf beetles.  Second generation bean leaf beetles do not cause economic damage that require treatment, so window pane feeding is nothing to worry about,” said Scheidt.

In addition, Scheidt says some false chinch bug feeding has been seen in Vernon County.  False chinch bug suck sap from soybeans and can eventually kill them.  They are usually in weedy areas of the field and are most active in hot, dry weather. 

Warrior II, Cobalt or Lorsban work well to control false chinch bug.  Spot or edge treatment is usually only required; treat when 2-3 percent of plants are wilting or damaged. 


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.


New Extension Livestock Specialist Working with Livestock Producers in Southwest and West Central Missouri

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

STOCKTON, Mo. – Dr. Patrick Davis has returned to southwest Missouri, this time as a livestock specialist for MU Extension and the county program director for Cedar County Extension. He started with MU Extension in 2011 and was headquartered in Neosho and worked in the MAESTRO program conducting farm energy audits.

This is what you need to know about this new Extension livestock specialist.

Name/title: Dr. Patrick Davis, Assistant Extension Professional, livestock specialist and county program director

Headquartered in:  Cedar County Extension Office, Stockton, Mo.

Coverage area:  Barton, Cedar, Dade, St. Clair, and Vernon Counties

Education Background: Bachelor’s degree in animal science from University of Missouri – Columbia; masters in animal science (emphasis in beef cattle reproduction) from Oklahoma State University – Stillwater; doctor of philosophy in animal science (emphasis on beef cattle nutrition) from University of Missouri – Columbia.

Job Responsibilities:  Educate (individually or through programming) livestock producers on proper management, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, genetics and marketing of their livestock. 

“Along with educating adult livestock producers I will be educating youth livestock producers and exhibitors through Missouri Show – Me – Quality Assurance Training and programs focusing on proper management, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, genetics, and  marketing of their livestock,” said Davis.

He will also help with programs like the Missouri Show – Me Select Heifer Program, Pork Quality Assurance Plus Program, Missouri Steer Feedout, Missouri Master Gardeners, and other MU Extension programs as needed. 

“As the county program director in the Cedar County office I will work with local organizations and groups in Cedar County and the surrounding area to provide them with any educational opportunities that I can within the framework of MU Extension,” said Davis.

How does your work impact residents of southwest and west central Missouri?  “Through my job I will provide livestock producers and farmers information that will help them improve their livestock or farming operation,” said Davis.  “As a CPD in Cedar County I hope to be helpful in providing residents of Cedar County and the surrounding areas educational opportunities within the framework of MU Extension that will satisfy their needs.”
What are some goals you have for the coming year? “Work with existing and developing new livestock and equine programs that I and my colleagues will deliver in the counties that I cover,” said Davis.  “I will be attending as many meetings and events as I can within my coverage area to gain contacts, identify needs of the people that MU Extension can fulfill, which will help me in deciding which programming efforts we need to do in the coming years.

Cedar County will also be holding Missouri Master Gardener Training in the late winter to early spring, so keep that in mind if you would like to attend and be a part of that program.

Is there a group you are targeting for your services?  “Livestock producers and farmers in my coverage area,” said Davis.  “As the CPD in Cedar County I will work with groups and organizations not related to livestock and farming as needed.”

Where are residents of southwest and west central Missouri most likely to see you? “I will be at agriculture workshops and meetings.  I will be at the Show – Me Select Heifer sales in the fall and spring.

Contact Information: Dr. Patrick Davis, Assistant Extension Professional, Livestock Specialist and CPD, Cedar County, 113 South St., Stockton, Mo., telephone (417) 276 – 3313 or e-mail at

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Extension Training for Child Care Providers and Parents Begin in Springfield Starting Sept. 7 at Botanical Center

Contact: Dr. Jim Wirth, human development specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension in Greene County is offering a series of four workshops on five topics for clock hours of training for child care and foster care providers starting Sept. 7.

All sessions will be presented by University of Missouri Extension and will be held at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo.

This series of focused classes is geared toward childcare providers, day care owners, Head Start and foster parents as well as parents and those interested in youth according to Dr. Jim Wirth, human development specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

The first session is from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 7, will be presented by Joe DeVries, an early childhood specialist. “The Nurtured Heart” will teach attendees how to energize positive behaviors and reduce negative behaviors through focused attention.

The second session is from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 28. The topic is "Sexuality & Children: What is Normal" by Mitzi Huffman, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

The third session of classes will be held 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 12. Dr. Jim Wirth, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, will present two 90-minute programs: "Making Secure Attachments" and "Creating Special Moments with Infants and Toddlers.”

The fourth and final session the fall childcare series will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 19. "Meth + Children = Danger" will be taught by Mitzi Huffman, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

A registration fee of $15 will be charged for each workshop regardless of length. To register, contact the Greene County University of Missouri Extension office at (417) 881-8909 or use the registration form that can be found online at

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Extension’s “Healthy Lifestyle Expo” in Springfield Sept. 24 Educates on Taking Care of Yourself, Home and Family

Contact: Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist
Tel: (417) 546-4431

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension presents the first “Healthy Lifestyle Expo” for southwest Missouri from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo.

Attendees will learn the latest in nutrition, family financial planning, childcare, home safety and personal improvement from regional specialists with MU Extension.

This program is designed for individuals working in human resources for area businesses that want to present Healthy Lifestyle programs to employees. The program could also benefit small business owners and individuals who are interested in healthy lifestyles for themselves or for employees.

“Each presentation provides valuable information for taking care of yourself, your home and your family as well showcasing the various programs that MU Extension can provide to any business or organization,” said Nellie Lamers, a family financial education specialist with MU Extension who is helping coordinate the event.

The keynote speakers for the event are Molly Vetter-Smith, a continuing medical education specialist with MU Extension and Brenda Procter, a personal financial planning specialist with MU Extension. Their topic will be changes in health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the decisions consumers will be making starting this fall.

Other sessions presented by regional specialists with MU Extension include: “Taking Care of You,” “Safe Rooms for Your Home or Business,” “Tools for Healthy Self- Management,” “Creating a Better Built Environment for Healthy Living,” “Thrifty Estate Planning,” “Influence of Nutrition on the Immune Systems,” ‘Saving & Investing—Yes I Can” and “Understanding the Benefits of Stay Strong, Stay Healthy.”

There is a cost for the program with early registration discounts ending Sept. 1: morning session at $50 per person (includes lunch) or afternoon session at $25 or the entire day for $75. After Sept. 1, registration changes to $60 for the morning session, $30 for the afternoon and $90 for the entire day. Registrations after Sept. 20 do not come with a lunch guarantee.

See our posted schedule and agenda at for details on the program. Registration and payment can also be done online at

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Worms in Goats Can be a Problem in Dry Weather

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

NEOSHO, Mo. — Recent dry weather may have goat producers thinking that internal parasites are not a problem. Last year’s dry weather resulted in few problems with worms in goats.

However, this year more producers are having problems with internal parasites, in part as a result of the wet weather that we had back in the spring, according to Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant educator with Lincoln University Extension at the Newton County Extension Center.

“Worms are the primary internal parasite of small ruminants and remain one of the biggest problems of meat and dairy goats. They can also be a problem in sheep but not to the same extent as goats,” said Pennington.

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.

To minimize contamination of uninfected goats, Pennington says it is essential to maintain a dry, clean environment with a sound manure management plan. Eggs from the worms can be deposited in the manure and then spread to other animals.

"In order to control worms, you must set up a deworming and sanitation program and then adhere to it," said Pennington.

There are different types of deworming programs that can be effective for goats but it is critical to have a deworming program if worms are in the herd.

"Depending on location and density of animals in the field, deworming may have to be repeated at different times during the year. But doing so is essential because a lack of control of worms can destroy a herd. Like any drug, you want to minimize use of dewormers as much as possible by good management," said Pennington.

One of the most effective worm-control programs includes monitoring the level of parasite eggs in the feces, (fecal egg counts). This provides an indication of the quantity of worms. Only animals with moderate-to-high fecal egg counts are dewormed.

Fecal egg counts can be used not only to monitor the level of infestation of internal parasites in goats but also to determine the effectiveness of the dewormers used to treat the goats.

For beginning goat owners, Pennington says it is best to work with a veterinarian or an experienced goat owner on internal parasite control in the herd. Good observation skills also may help detect animals that need to be dewormed and can be learned with experience.

For producers who deworm all goats on a four to six week schedule, there is greater risk of build-up of parasite resistance to a dewormer than with less frequent deworming.

"Goats that consistently need deworming should be culled from the herd," said Pennington.

All dewormers can be effective but presently two of the most effective dewormers are moxidectin and levamisole which recently came back on the market.

General control recommendations for internal parasites in goats include sound manure management and cleanliness, pasture rotation to break the life cycle of the worms and appropriate livestock density.

Taller pastures for goats will minimize exposure to larva of internal parasites. Depending on the type of forage, goats should graze four to six inches above the ground to minimize exposure to larvae of internal parasites which are primarily located in the bottom four inches of grass.

Watering and feed troughs should also be constructed to prevent contamination by manure.

"Goats should be dewormed as often as needed to control worms. However, good sanitation and proper feed and forage management can decrease the number of animals needing to be dewormed," said Pennington.

For more information about goats or sheep, contact Dr. Jodie A. Pennington, region small ruminant educator with Lincoln University, at the Newton County Extension Center in Neosho, Mo., telephone (417) 455-9500.

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Questions About Creep Feeding Calves Don’t Have Simple Answers Says MU Extension Specialist

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- When weather patterns follow a dry summer cycle and pastures deteriorate, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists start getting questions about whether creep feeding nursing calves is worthwhile.

“Honestly, there is not a simple, yes-no, answer to that question. We extension folks have to often say, ‘it depends’ then explain,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with MU Extension.

Creep feeding is the practice of supplying supplemental feed (usually concentrates) to the nursing calf. Feed is provided in a creep feeder or some type of physical barrier, which prevents cows from having access to the supplemental feed.

Cole notes that feed is not cheap so the payback for the extra 30 to 50 pounds of gain must offset the cost of the extra gain. The amount of feed required to add an extra pound of gain varies from less than five to over 12 pounds.

“The poorer the pasture and the poorer the cows are milking for their calves, the better the conversion rate will be. For years we felt a 7:1 conversion might be a desirable target to help determine when to creep,” said Cole.

First-calf heifers, especially those selected for above average milk EPDs should have a better chance of responding favorably to their calves being creeped. Likewise, old cows that have dropped in milk yield should see their calves respond to creep feed.

Cows running on fescue pasture with endophyte problems would also be candidates to have creep feed available for their calves.

One caution however, creep feeding in unlimited amounts has some negatives. Calves can become too fleshy and buyers may discount them a few dollars per hundred at sale time.

Heifer calves given unlimited creep, tend to be lower milk producers when kept for replacements. The cause is excessive fat deposition in the heifer calf’s udder.

Cole says when pastures allow, it is wise to separate cows with heifer calves from those nursing bulls or steers if creep feeding.

“A limited creep feeding program has merit as the over conditioning problem is reduced, heifers don’t’ get too fleshy and the conversion rate is usually more economical. Many creep feeds are available with intake limiters and low levels, (3 to 10 percent) salt may also be mixed with the concentrate,” said Cole.

Another creep option that some may consider is alfalfa or high quality grass hay. Alfalfa can have over 20 percent crude protein and above 60 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN).

“Most of the grass hays will be lower in nutrient content, but can help boost calf gains. Allowing calves to forward graze in a well-managed grazing system is another alternative,” said Cole.

Cole added that producers on an individual weaning weight evaluation program should be careful to not compare creep feds to non-creep feds. This would give an unfair advantage to the creeped calves.

“Here’s where it’s important to compare the different feed and management groups separately,” said Cole.

For more information on the advisability of creep-feeding, 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, Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.

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Fertilizing Fescue Requires a Good Understanding of the Role Played by Lime, Nitrogen and Phosphorus

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

LAMAR, Mo. – Lime, nitrogen and phosphorus are three key ingredients in increasing the yield of a pasture for haying or grazing. However, it is good to understand aspects of a fertilization program in order to have the best impact on a fescue field according to Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

A soil test should be the first step taken in order to determine nutrient needs of the pasture and to help manage overall costs.

Liming is the second step in the fertilizing process.

“Lime must be applied in order to make other nutrients available to the plants for uptake; this is especially important if legumes are in the field, as clovers need phosphorus available for increased persistence,” said Scheidt.

A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is desired, especially for clover establishment and maintenance. Lime should be applied at least 6 months before it is needed; it takes 6 months for 80 percent of applied lime to be broken down and 9 months to completely break down lime.

“When fertility levels are optimal for fescue and clovers, it reduces competition for weeds because the desired plants are able to thrive in their most ideal conditions. Weeds thrive in conditions that are not optimal for desired plants. If desired plants are unable to establish and out-compete weeds, weeds will overtake areas in pastures where desired plant stands are thin,” said Scheidt.

If legumes are present in the field and make up at least 20-30 percentage of the desirable plant stand, less nitrogen will be needed, as legumes aid in nitrogen fixation. Legumes need at least 30 pounds/acre of phosphorus to persist in pastures.

Legumes improve the quality of forage, particularly in endophyte-infected tall fescue pastures.

“The best solution to offsetting the negative effects of fescue toxicosis is by planting new pastures to novel endophyte fescue varieties mixed with legumes. Legumes can eliminate spring nitrogen applications reducing fertilizer nitrogen need up to 100 pounds/ acre,” said Scheidt.

If nitrogen is applied at too high a rate, over 100 pounds/ year, in a legume/fescue mixed pasture, the legume population will be reduced.

Determining the actual percentage of legumes present in a pasture by visual estimates can be difficult.

“There is good rule to use for visually determining the percent of yield from the legume component in a pasture. Estimate the percentage of canopy cover as legume, when the pasture canopy is six to eight inches tall and then divide by two to get the approximate season-long dry matter contribution from the legume,” said Scheidt.

For example, if the canopy of white clover in a pasture is estimated to be approximately 30 percentage then the percent legume as dry matter in that pasture would be about 15 percentage. Obviously, a high percentage of canopy cover from the legume is necessary to provide all the advantages attributed to grass-legume mixtures.

Split applications of nitrogen in the fall and spring help make the growing season more uniform by increasing productivity during less productive times of the season. Optimum application window for fall nitrogen in fescue pastures starts around August 1 and response to fall-applied nitrogen decreases incrementally after September 1.

March is probably still the ideal time for nitrogen application to grass, especially hay. Pastures may benefit from delaying application into April or even May in order to push the grazing period farther into the summer.

Spring fertilization encourages summer growth during low rainfall periods that occur during the summer.

Two split applications equaling 100-120 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year can be applied to fescue-only pastures. A fescue-legume mix pasture with less than 20 percentage legumes should have two split applications equaling 60-80 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year.

“If there are 20-30 percentage legumes present in a fescue-legume mix pasture only one fall application should be applied in the amount of 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre,” said Scheidt.

For more information, 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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Organization a Key to Morning before School Success

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

OZARK, Mo. -- Hectic schedules and hurried breakfasts don't have to be part of the morning routine when students start back to school this fall, according to Renette Wardlow, human development specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

"Organization and good communication are a must in busy families with school-aged children. Getting organized is something everyone plans to do in the future but well-spent moments at the end of the day in preparation for the next day could be a valuable investment," said Wardlow.

For example, selecting clothing for the next day, especially for younger children, is one way to invest time in the evening.

"Folding and stacking clothing as it comes from the laundry into compatible outfits can allow the children to take responsibility for dressing themselves. Then, the child, with help from the parent, can pick out clothing for the next day," said Wardlow.

School books always seem to hide early in the morning so locating and stacking them together in the evening, along with backpacks, school lunch money, notes and other needs, can save valuable moments, not to mention tempers.

"The stage for the day can be set by how the child wakes up. Nagging, begging and pleading are not effective motivators and can even cause a cloud of gloom to gather over the household. Depending on the maturity of the child, an alarm clock coupled with responsibility for using it may be appropriate," said Wardlow.

Wardlow also recommends ending the day with positive communication. For example, if families share an evening meal, this would be an excellent time to share events from the day. It is also a great chance for parents to really listen and gain insight about the world of their child.

"Organization and communication can help maintain family sanity. But even at the best of times there are questionable moments. That is just part of raising children," said Wardlow.

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Families Should Set Guidelines to Ensure Quality Studying

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

OZARK, Mo. -- Every family needs to set its own guidelines for studying at home according to Renette Wardlow, human development specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

“Differences in guidelines occur because of the different ages of students,” said Wardlow.

For example, younger children have less homework, but it generally requires more parent supervision. As children grow older, developing the a skill of independently tackling homework without parent help becomes important.

“Children, young and old, both need a good place to study and a specific time to study, with minimal distractions,” said Wardlow.

Developing the proper frame of mind for studying will help reduce distractions and bring about positive results. There are several ways this can be done.

“For example, the night before you know you’ll have to do a lot of studying, be sure to get a good night’s sleep,” said Wardlow.

It is also important to plan ahead, organize studying around a regular schedule and get materials organized. This is important in order to find what is needed when you need it, to get assignments done on time and to not procrastinate.

“Focus on your strong points. Think about the things you do best in school and develop a positive self-image,” said Wardlow.

It is important to study in a comfortable place that has good lighting in order to not strain your eyes and not feel tired. Wardlow also recommends avoiding distracting music during study times.

“It is true that some people study well with background music, and for different people different kinds of music will suit,” said Wardlow.

It is also a good idea to not watch the clock or count the pages you have left while trying to study according to Wardlow. Getting together with friends to study can also be very distracting, especially when everyone is not studying the same topic.

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Southwest Missouri Field Crop Report for July 17, 2013

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 July 17 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.


According to Scheidt, corn flea beetle feeding was seen on corn. Corn flea beetles are smaller black insects that can jump very high when disturbed.

“Flea beetles usually cause the most damage to corn if flea beetles are causing significant damage before the 4 leaf stage,” said Scheidt.

Flea beetles feed on corn leaves. Feeding looks like gray, rectangular tracks on the leaves when the top layer of the leaf is stripped off. Threshold levels for corn flea beetle in corn are five or more flea beetles per seedling up to the 4 leaf stage of corn.

Corn flea beetles can transmit Stewart’s Wilt virus.

Other insects to watch for in 8-leaf to tasseling corn are armyworm, stalk borer and root worms.

Stewart’s Wilt, transmitted by flea beetles, can be identified by linear pale green to yellow streaks that tend to follow the veins of leaves where beetles have fed. Streaks soon become dry and brown.

“Damage of Stewart’s Wilt is common in Missouri, but damage is seldom of economic significance,” said Scheidt.


A small amount of rust was seen on corn. Rust begins as green or yellow lesions that develop to reddish-brown, raised pustules. Rust usually does not justify a fungicide.

“Rust does not overwinter in debris and crop rotation is the best management practice to prevent rust,” said Scheidt.

Non-threshold levels of Japanese beetle and grasshopper feeding were seen again this week in soybean. Defoliation threshold levels for soybeans are 30 percent defoliation before bloom and 20 percent defoliation during or after bloom. No diseases or other pests were seen.


There are some good resources available online. Corn Insect Pest Guide: and Corn Disease Guide: .

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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4-H Steer Project Concludes July 29 with in Carthage

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- The Lawrence County Steer Project for 4-H Youth will conclude at 6 p.m., July 29 with a program at Cloud’s Meats in Carthage.

The project began with the steers being weighed, graded and discussed on Feb. 2. The ending weights were taken July 21 and slaughtered on July 22. The official feeding period covered 169 days.

The steer’s carcasses will be evaluated on the July 29 by Dr. Bryon Wiegand, meat scientist at the University of Missouri. Measurements will be taken to determine fat thickness, ribeye area and Yield Grade.

Dr. Wiegand will subjectively score each carcass for marbling which determines the steer’s quality grade.

Andy Cloud will process one-half of a carcass and explain where the wholesale and retail cuts come from as part of the program.

“This program is especially designed for youth interested in learning more about real-world beef cattle production and management. Persons interested in learning more are welcome to attend,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

For more information contact Lawrence County Extension, 417-466-3102.

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Three Farms in Greene County to be Honored by Extension with Century Farm Status July 29 at Ozark Empire Fair

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Century Farm Program annually recognizes Missouri farms that are still productive and have been in the same family for 100 years or more.

This year, Greene County Extension will host a special ceremony from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 29 in the east hall of the E-Plex at the Ozark Empire Fair, 3001 North Grant Ave., Springfield, to honor the three Greene County farms being honored this year.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., members of the Greene County Extension Council will begin their regular monthly meeting at the same location. Council members will then pause at 6 p.m. to conduct the awards ceremony for the Century Farm honorees and then visit the 4-H Exhibit Building.

Members of the public are also invited to view the Century Farm display in the E-Plex. This display is coordinated by Jackie Warfel, a member of the Greene County Historic Sites Board, and it highlights the history of the other Century Farms in Greene County.

Greene County Extension specialists as well as representatives of Farm Bureau, which is the corporate sponsor for this program, will be at the ceremony to present fence signs to the honored families and pose for official photos.

The honored Century Farms in Greene County this year include:

• John and Doris Breakbill of Republic, established 1913

• Warren D. Hardy Jr. of Rogersville, established 1912

• Robert and Mary Mays of Ash Grove, established 1890

In Missouri this year, MU Extension will recognize 201 farms from 84 Missouri counties with Century Farm status.

To qualify for the Missouri Century Farm designation, farms must have been family owned for 100 years or more and have at least 40 acres of the original land still making a financial contribution to the farm income. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, through marriage or adoption.

To learn more about the Missouri Century Farm program call the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909 or go online to

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Research at MU Shows Binge Drinking Can Leave Lasting Liver Damage

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A hangover is temporary, but the effects of binge drinking can be long-lasting and serious according to Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“New research from the University of Missouri shows that weekend binge drinking can leave lasting liver damage,” said Duitsman.

Consumption of alcohol can cause swelling and inflammation of the liver. It’s not news that chronic use of alcohol can lead to scarring and cirrhosis of the liver. However, chronic alcohol consumption can no longer be considered the only factor in developing alcoholic liver disease.

In a recent issue of “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,” MU researchers show a unique connection between binge drinking and the risk for developing alcoholic liver disease and a variety of other health problems.

“Studies from experimental animals and humans indicate binge drinking has profound effects on the liver, leading to a whole host of physiological problems. Binge drinking can also cause severe alcoholic hepatitis, which can be life-threatening,” said Duitsman.

Binge drinking is not only associated with liver damage. Many studies have shown that those who participate in binge drinking risk serious damage to their brains, including memory loss later in adulthood.

Research from Duke University noted that the brain, especially the adolescent brain, is very vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol.

“The research at Duke indicates that alcohol impairs brain activity in the brain receptors responsible for memory and learning. The brains most affected were those who had a binge-pattern of drinking,” said Duitsman.

Alcohol in large doses is neurotoxic and sustained high consumption can destroy brain cells. Additional studies using brain scans and cognitive tests in underage binge drinkers and nondrinkers found that the drinkers had impaired memory and reasoning skills, and their hippocampi – the brain area that handles memory and learning - were about 10 percent smaller. It is not known if these effects are reversible.

In addition to effects on liver and brain, binge drinking also causes inflammation of the pancreas, damage to the heart, neurologic damage, increased blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. 

Aside from health issues, the CDC reports that binge drinking is associated with: unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning); intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence); suicide; unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. 

CDC also reports that, although college students commonly binge drink, 70 percent of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older. About 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. More than half of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. 

“Unfortunately, binge drinking is on the rise, both nationwide and in Missouri,” said Duitsman.

Binge drinking is defined for women as having four or more; for men, five or more drinks; in two hours. An estimated 29 percent of women and 43 percent of men have reported experiencing at least one binge drinking episode over the course of a 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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