Friday, August 30, 2013

Look for Performance Labeling on Homes and Dwellings

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When buying a car, the window sticker displays useful information that can help the consumer.  As the cost of fuel continues toward new heights, the miles-per-gallon or MPG ratings have become even more crucial to buyers.

In a similar way, available ratings and certifications can help buyers achieve a more efficient option when selecting a residence.

“A low cost, competitive certification for homebuilders and landlords exists to encourage building or renovating homes to obtain Home Performance with Energy Star,” said Jeff Barber, a housing and urban development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

This type of certification offers consumers a site verified dwelling that meets or exceeds program standards. This whole-house approach improves comfort and energy efficiency while helping to lower utility bills by 20 percent or more.

“This certification is also available to existing homeowners for efficiency renovation,” said Barber.

An option that can be included with Energy Star is the EPA’s new Indoor airPLUS certification, introduced in 2009.  Included in the Indoor airPLUS label are more than 30 additional home design and construction features.

“The intention of these designs is to help protect qualified homes from moisture and mold, pests, combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants,” said Barber.

To complete the EPA program of health and conservation measures, WaterSense certification offers a process to verify efficient water use both inside and outside the home.  According to Barber, a WaterSense label is earned by verifying specific measures of water use and making sure certified fixtures are used. With a WaterSense label, a future occupant can be assured of the home’s performance.

“EPA labels can offer consumers confidence that the homes they choose to rent or buy will provide efficient and healthy performance,” said Barber.

For more information on these certifications, contact Barber at the Greene County Extension Center in Springfield at (417) 881-8909 or online at

Take Care to Keep Mice Outside Home This Winter

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

PINEVILLE, Mo. -- As outdoor temperatures become colder, mice seek locations that are more hospitable.

In many cases, that most agreeable location is inside a home, according to John Hobbs, agriculture and rural development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“No matter how big a house is, it is never big enough for most people to want to share it with a mouse,” said Hobbs.

Mice contaminate food for humans and livestock consumption, damage structures and property, and transmit diseases such as food poisoning and dysentery.

There are even cases of fires getting started when mice gnawed through insulation surrounding electrical wires.

Droppings, fresh gnawing, tracks, and nest material are signs of mouse activity in a house or barn. According to Hobbs, effective mouse control involves mouse proof construction, good sanitation, and population reduction by traps and poison baits.

He recommends first eliminating places where mice find shelter. If they don't have places to rest, hide, or build nests and rear young, they cannot survive in large numbers.

“Although good sanitation will seldom eliminate mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater abundance,” said Hobbs.

The best permanent form of controlling mice is to mouse-proof places where food is stored, processed or used. According to Hobbs, if you are building a new home, there are also some steps that can be taken to “build them out.”

“A mouse can enter a home through any opening larger than one-quarter of an inch,” said Hobbs. “If you discover some holes, fix them quickly and appropriately.”

Trapping is another proven method of mouse control. The simple wood-based snap trap and most bait traps (with peanut butter, dried fruit, or a small piece of bacon for bait) are effective.

Set traps close to walls, behind objects, in dark corners and in places where there is evidence of mouse activity. Hobbs also recommends using enough traps to make the effort decisive.

“Leaving traps baited but unset until the bait has been taken at least once also reduces the chance of creating trap-shy mice,” said Hobbs.

Single-dose or multiple-dose rodenticides can be effective in reducing large numbers of mice. The multiple-dose baits are considered much safer to use than the single-dose poisons.

“Remember, these products are designed to kill mice. Dead mice stink. So be careful when and where you use mouse and rat poisons. There are no known rodenticides that do not present some hazard to animals other than rodents,” said Hobbs.

As with any pesticide, always read and follow the label. It is also a good idea to use rubber gloves or tongs to remove the carcass.

For more information on controlling mice, contact your local University of Missouri Extension center or go online to to obtain a copy of guide sheet G9442, “Controlling House Mice.”

Childcare Training Series Starts Sept. 19 in Branson

Contact: Dr. Jim Wirth
Tel: (417) 546-4431

FORSYTH, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension will offer a series of four workshops on four separate Thursday evenings this fall to address training requirements for childcare and foster care providers.

The workshops will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 21, and Dec. 12 at White River Valley Electric Cooperative, 2449 State Highway 76 East, Branson, Mo.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, Mitzi Huffman, a family nurse practitioner will present, “Sexuality & Children: What is Normal?”

On Oct. 17, Mitzi Huffman will present the topic “Meth + Children = Danger.”

On Nov. 21, Dr. Wirth, a human development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, will present two topics: “Science for Young Children” and “Art Appreciation for Young Children.”

The last program of the series is on Dec. 12 and the topics presented by Dr. Wirth are
“Sparking Kids Curiosity” and “What does Time mean to Children?”

All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance with credit for clock hour training regardless of how many sessions attended.

"These workshops are conducted locally to help child care providers meet the certification requirements to provide quality child care and education," said Dr. Wirth.

A registration fee of $15 will be charged for each three-hour workshop. To register for the training, contact the Taney County University of Missouri Extension office at (417) 546-4431.

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

Master Gardener Courses Being Offered in Branson West and Ozark Starting Sept. 30

Contact: Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 357-6812

OZARK, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension is offering Master Gardener training courses in Branson West and Ozark this fall.

The intensive multi-week Master Gardener courses begin with orientations on Sept. 30.  The trainings will consist of 10 three-hour classes on specific Monday and Thursday afternoons in Branson West and evenings at Ozark. The classes will all occur from Oct. 7 to Nov. 21.

Participants have their choice in classes: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Branson West and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ozark.

“This is a great opportunity for persons interested in horticulture and gardening. Attendees get to learn new skills, volunteer for community educational projects and become associated with other gardeners in the area with similar interests,” said Gordon Carriker, agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Christian County.

According to Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Stone County, the classes are taught by educators from University of Missouri Extension, Master Gardeners, Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

“There is a course fee which covers the 30 hours of instruction and many resource materials including the ‘Missouri Grounds for Gardening’ manual,” said Schnakenberg.

Pre-registration is needed by Oct. 2.  It is recommended to attend the orientation for a review of the program.  Space is limited, so register early.

For more information and to pre-register for the Branson West class, contact Schnakenberg at the Stone County Extension Center, (417) 357-6812.

To pre-register for the Ozark class, contact Carriker at the Christian County Extension Center, (417) 581-3558.

A downloadable registration form and class schedule is available at:

“The Master Gardener Program is a popular, successful statewide volunteer community-service organization administered through University of Missouri Extension. The organization’s goal is to train gardeners who are willing to share their knowledge with others,” said Carriker.

Master Gardeners become volunteers of the University of Missouri and donate volunteer hours for community educational projects in horticulture. Participants who complete the course can become members of one of the Master Gardener groups throughout Missouri.

Become a 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer: Sign up for 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification in El Dorado Springs Oct. 4-6

Contact: Dr. Amy Patillo, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 256-2391

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The 4-H Shooting Sports program is not possible for youth, without leaders who are willing to share their love for shooting and hunting and spend time handing down their knowledge and experience to a young person.

“Whether you are a veteran marksman, military personnel, sportsman, enjoy hunting or have never shot a gun, 4-H shooting sports needs you to volunteer to help lead a shooting sports program,” said Dr. Amy Patillo, 4-H youth specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification will be held Oct. 4-6, 2013, at Camp Galilee, El Dorado Springs, Mo. Sessions begin Friday evening (7 p.m. -10 p.m.) and conclude Sunday at 3:15 p.m. The cost is $65 and includes 5 meals, overnight lodging and workshop materials.

Registration is limited and will close when sessions are full. All registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis when accompanied by fee. In the past, these workshops have filled up before the deadline.

“4-H Shooting Sports is a positive youth development education program. Skills and disciplines of shooting are used to assist youth and their leaders to learn the discipline of shooting and life skills that are built into the program curriculum,” said Patillo.

Shooting Sports is open to any youth from ages 8 – 18 years of age. Project choices for youth include: Archery, Air Rifle, Smallbore Rifle .22 caliber, Air Pistol, Shotgun (11 years and older), Smallbore Pistol (14 and older), Muzzle Loading (11 and older) and Hunting and Outdoor Skills.

4-H uses shooting sports to teach positive youth development and create youth-adult partnerships for mentoring and character education. Missouri 4-H shooting sports programs are invaluable for helping young people develop self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship.

“The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms use continues to develop in many other aspects of youth development and ongoing life events,” said Patillo. “Volunteer with 4-H Shooting Sports today to help promote the highest standards of safety and ethical behavior to teach youth to use guns safely and responsibly while enjoying a competitive local, State and National 4-H Shooting Sports program.”

For more information, contact Amy Patillo, 4-H youth specialist, by email at, or by telephone at 417-256-2391.

Southwest Missouri Students Peterson, Nelson and Whitehead finish 1, 2, 3 at State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Tucker Peterson, Steven Nelson, and Bailee Whitehead finished first, second and third, respectively in the senior division of the Missouri State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held Aug. 17 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Only three points separated the top three finishers according to Karla Deaver, a 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Peterson, Nelson and Whitehead are the current members of the Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team, and will represent Missouri at contests in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Madison, Wisconsin this fall.

Tucker Peterson of Mountain Grove was the high individual in the senior division with 378 points.  Peterson was first in Ayrshires, second in Brown Swiss and Guernseys, and third in oral reasons.

Second high individual in the senior division was Steven Nelson of Grovespring.  Nelson was first in Brown Swiss, Jerseys,  and oral reasons and second in Ayrshires.

Bailee Whitehead of Conway finished third overall, and was second in Jerseys and oral reasons, and third in Brown Swiss and Guernseys.  Rounding out the top five were Josh Walther of Cape Girardeau and Grant Voelker of Perryville.   Walther was first in Holsteins and third in Ayrshires.

Lauren Whitehead of Conway was the high individual in the intermediate division  with 343 points.   In second was  Ellie Wantland of Niangua.  Rounding out the top five were Lora Wright of Clever, Kathrin Buff of Ava and Shaelyn Scoon of Schuyler County.  Scoon was second in Holsteins.

Bailey Groves of Billings was the high individual in the junior division with 351 points.  Second was Kelsie Grimm of Aurora, followed by Lila Wantland of Niangua, Whitney Yerina of Conway and Taylor Whitehead of Conway.

The contestants placed six classes and gave two sets of reasons. The top three individuals in each breed received cash prizes sponsored by the Missouri breed associations.  The top ten individuals in each division received rosettes from the Missouri State Fair, and the top three individuals in each division received a plaque from the Missouri State Fair and supporters of the contest.  
Contestants, their families, and exhibitors who provided cattle for the event were the guests at a Junior Dairymen’s Barbeque sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association, Missouri State Fair, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, MFA, Dairy Farmers of America, and Hiland Dairy.

The Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team is supported by Monsanto Company, FCS Financial, the Missouri Holstein Association and the Missouri Dairy Association in partnership with the Missouri 4-H Foundation, and thanks all their sponsors for their support.  

Teams will represent Missouri 4-H at three contests this fall:  The Youth Invitation Contest at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Madison, Wisconsin in October and the North American International Livestock Exposition contest in November.

For more information about the dairy judging program, contact either Ted Probert at the Wright County Extension Center at (417)741-6134, or Karla Deaver at the Lawrence County Extension Center at 417-466-3102.

Southwest Missouri Field Crop Report for August 28, 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 August 28 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.


This week, Scheidt did find several cases of mold on corn ears. However, this normally will not cause problems.

“Ear worm damage will encourage molds to develop, which was enhanced by the wet weather.  Ear worm resistant variety selection, such as tight husks, is the most effective way to manage mold growth,” explained Scheidt.

But she also adds this warning: some molds can product toxins, and the harvested grain should be analyzed before feeding.

“Producers need to be aware that the abnormally cool weather and cloudy days may have reduced pollination.  Be sure to check deep into the field.  While the outside rows may appear to have had good pollination, plants closer to the center of the field may have had unsuccessful pollination,” said Scheidt.

If this is the case in your field, the most practical solution is to put the corn up for silage.


A fungicide application to soybeans at the R5 stage, or beginning seed development, will most often result in a yield increase, if disease is present.

Fungicides applied at R6 may result in improved seed quality, but this is may not happen every year and there will seldom be a yield increase.

Podworms still need to be to be scouted in soybeans. threshold levels are one podworm per foot.
Bacterial blight and septoria brown spot may be seen in fields.

Bacterial blight has water soaked lesions that begin as yellow spots and progress to irregular brown to reddish brown lesions.  Bacterial blight is brought on by cool temperatures and heavy rains; hot dry weather reduces disease development.

Septoria brown spot develops angular to somewhat circular reddish brown spots that begin in the lower canopy.  Warm, wet weather favors disease development; dry weather reduces disease development.  Septoria brown spot can be differentiated from bacterial blight by fruiting bodies that can be seen under a hand lens.


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.

Pipkin Family of Republic Honored as State Fair Farm Family for Greene County

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. ― Jim and Joann Pipkin and family of Republic were among the 108 families honored during the Missouri State Fair’s Farm Family Day on Aug. 12.

The Pipkin family was selected as the Greene County Missouri State Fair Farm Family for 2013 by the Greene County Extension Council and local Farm Bureau. The family includes daughter Jera and son Jace.

Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state who are active in their community, involved in agriculture and participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H and FFA.

One of the oldest and most respected Angus herds in Missouri, Clearwater Farm is backed by seven generations of the Pipkin Family. W.D. Pipkin and his wife Bonita, and their son Jim and his wife Joann manage the farm’s day-to-day operations.

The original deed to Clearwater Farm dates to 1857. In the farm’s early years Berkshire hogs were an integral part of the operation. In 1933, W.H. Pipkin and his son Morris traveled to Kansas and purchased the farm's first Angus cattle. Since then, Clearwater Farm has had performance as a primary objective with the farm actively involved in AHIR since 1962. Today, more than 400 Angus cows find their home on about 1,000 acres at Clearwater Farm.

The Pipkins have been actively involved with 4-H for a number of decades, leading clubs and helping 4-H’ers with projects. Daughter Jera is now active with FFA at Republic High School.

“The Pipkins are active with MU Extension programs, having participated in performance bull sales and other programs over the years. As a freelance writer, Joann is also a frequent user of MU Extension media releases. Their farm operation is truly award winning and has both a state and national reputation of quality,” said Burton.

The annual event was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri State Fair, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and University of Missouri Extension.


PHOTO CUTLINE: Shown in the picture with Jim and Joann Pipkin of Republic, and their children Jera and Jace, are (from left to right): Dr. Tom Payne, Vice Chancellor and Dean, University of Missouri, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Blake Hurst, President, Missouri Farm Bureau; Lowell Mohler, Missouri State Fair Commission; Mark Wolfe, Director, Missouri State Fair; Dr. Jon Hagler, Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture; and Barbara Hayden, Missouri State Fair Commission.

Beef-Forage Tour at SW Center Well Attended

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- The Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri’s Southwest Research Center teamed up for a successful educational event at Mt. Vernon on Saturday, Aug. 24.

The tour of the beef and forage activities on the farm was led by Dr. Rob Kallenbach, State Extension Forage specialist.  He was assisted by Brett Jones, a graduate student at MU.

The first stop featured six, big round bales wrapped in plastic.  The forage in each were similar, the difference was in their management.  One bale was too dry when wrapped, one was too wet, one was wrapped with only one wrap, one bale’s wrap had been punctured, one was not wrapped for 48 hours and finally one bale was managed properly.

“Rob split the plastic on each bale and invited everyone to smell, feel and evaluate the haylage.  As expected, only one bale’s contents really ended up as excellent feed that would not result in waste,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with MU Extension.

Questions were raised about feeding moldy haylage. Kallenbach said there is very little risk because the cows generally sort through it and the moldy material becomes waste.

“He said you should wrap the hay at 40 to 60% moisture and to use a reliable moisture tester.  Wrap the bales as soon as you can, certainly within 24 hours, using multiple wraps,” said Cole.

Haylage doesn’t store well beyond one year and haylage needs to ensile for 3 to 6 weeks before feeding.

The next stop was at the beef barn where the Grow-Safe unit is used to evaluate Residual Feed Intake (feed conversion) on both beef and dairy cattle.

The heifers seen are fed either Kentucky 31 fescue with toxic endophyte or Bar Optima Plus, a fescue with the friendly or novel endophyte.  A portion of the heifers on each haylage have some tolerance to fescue toxicity while the others do not.

“From there, we visited one of the replicated KY31 and Bar Optima Plus pastures being grazed by fall-calving cows.  The latter cows were out in the sun on the 90 degree day and had slick hair coats.  In contrast the KY31 cows were under the shade with longer, rough hair coats and were reluctant to get out in the sun,” said Cole.

The cows on these pastures were of different genotypes regarding fescue toxin sensitivity.  The genotyping is done by University of Tennessee researchers.

“Rob stressed that in combating fescue problems think, fungus first and selection second so far as forage and genetics are concerned,” said Cole.

During the pasture stops, Kallenbach  and Jones demonstrated how pasture growth is measured as they develop a grazing wedge for each pasture.  Their system uses a four-wheeler, a computer, GPS and a software program.

“This combination of technology allows measurement to be taken 20 times per second as the four-wheeler speeds over the pasture in a zig-zag pattern.  They said it sure beats using a rising plate meter which requires walking each pasture,” said Cole.

The Southwest Center was established in 1957 and covers 897 acres along I-44.  Primary research conducted, besides beef and forage, includes pasture-based dairy, a wide variety of horticultural projects and agroforestry.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: Follow the individual links given or download these from our online photo library at
Estimating pasture with an ATV and GPS:
High Moisture Hay Bale:
Show and Smell

Friday, August 23, 2013

Southwest Missouri Field Crop Report for August 21, 2013

Headquartered at Barton County Extension Center
Tel: (417) 682-3579

LAMAR, Mo. –Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County, scouted area fields on August 21 to prepare this week’s field scouting report.

Japanese beetle populations have greatly decreased, and should move out of the area soon. 

Bean leaf and blister beetle foliage feeding is still being seen.  Threshold levels for foliage feeding in soybeans are 30 percent defoliation before bloom and 20 percent defoliation during or after bloom. 

“Hero is the most effective insecticide; do not apply insecticide unless threshold levels are reached, because beneficial insects that control spider mites and thrips will also be killed by insecticides,” said Scheidt.

Podworms were not seen, but need to be scouted for; threshold levels are one podworm per foot.

“A little bacterial blight was seen on older soybean plants and phytopthora blight was seen in young plants; neither can be treated with a fungicide,” said Scheidt.

Deficiencies are also being seen due to over saturated soils, but plants should green up as the ground dries.  Beginning pod formation is the ideal time to apply preventative fungicides. 

“If a specific disease infects the field, fungicides to treat them may be applied up to beginning seed stage,” said Scheidt.

According to Scheidt, pollination was spotty in some fields and other fields had medium sized ears filled to the tip but were slightly non-uniform. 

“Some ears have molds growing due to prolonged humid conditions.  Ear rots and molds will increase with humid conditions and decrease with hot drier conditions.  If you are harvesting corn with molds and ear rots, harvest quickly as possible once corn reaches 15 percent moisture,” 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.

Greene County Master Gardeners Hosting State Conference Sept. 20-22, 2013

Contact: Barbara St. Clair, 2013 Master Gardener State Conference chair

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It’s a Garden Party! And Master Gardeners are invited to expand their knowledge, tour the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Gardens and private area gardens, and experience the newest gardening equipment, resources and workshops during the 18th annual Master Gardener State Conference, Sept. 20-22, 2013 in Springfield, Mo.

The annual conference will be hosted by Master Gardeners of Greene County. Keynote speaker for the Saturday night banquet will be Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne, president and CEO at Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden near Tulsa, Okla. A Louisiana native, Lasseigne is a horticulturalist who has helped design two other botanical gardens and a plant enthusiast who has visited more than 350 gardens in five countries. He holds three degrees in horticulture, including a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

“I visited North Carolina’s JC Raulston Arboretum two years ago with other Greene County Master Gardeners,” said Barbara St.Clair, chair of the 2013 State Conference Committee. We thoroughly enjoyed Todd Lasseigne’s presentation. He’s knowledgeable, fast-paced, and very funny. We thought he would be a perfect speaker for our program, given the fact that the Springfield Botanical Center is also new and heavily supported by volunteers. His insight should be very pertinent.”

A variety of advanced training classes will be offered as a benefit to Master Gardeners on Sept. 20 and 21. The hands-on classes will be three hours in length; the majority of the classes cost $5 each, with two classes at $10 each. Topics will range from Collecting, Cleaning, and Storing Native Wildflower Seeds to Paper Making from Plant Fibers.  An additional option is a trip to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. The cost is $20.

The public is invited to attend Potting Shed University classes on the morning of Sept. 22. Four tracks consisting of seven diverse topics per track will be offered. The offerings range from Miniature Gardening and Designing with Dwarf Conifers to How to Build a Master Gardener- Driven Hotline and Gardening with Chickens in Your Backyard. A Leadership Breakfast Roundtable will be held. 

Twenty-two beautiful gardens will be on display during the garden tours in Springfield and the surrounding area on Sept. 21. Master Gardeners may choose from two full-day and two half-day tours. Each tour will be limited to 100 people, and lunch will be included.

The newly-expanded Ramada Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield will be the conference hotel and site of the Sept. 21 banquet, Sept. 22 luncheon, Potting Shed University, advanced training, and exhibitors. The Ramada Oasis Hotel & Convention Center is located at 2546 North Glenstone. The Friday evening social event will be hosted at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic.

Early bird registration, open to Master Gardeners and their spouses/partners, is $160 for the full conference. Early bird registration ends Sept. 2. Regular registration for the full conference is $180. Participants may register online or by mail. Master Gardeners who cannot attend the entire conference can register a la carte.

Registration details and lodging information are available at . Questions can be emailed to Additional information is also available by calling (417) 881-8909, ext. 320. Registration will open to the public on Sept. 3.

Cindy Arrowood, a Master Gardener from Springfield, Mo. who has more than 150 daylilies in her yard, has attended 10 state conventions. “Every year I look forward to becoming acquainted with Master Gardeners from other areas of the state during the conference,” said Arrowood. “Another highlight for me is seeing other people's gardens because there is always something I want to try.”

Founded in 1984, Master Gardeners of Greene County has approximately 300 members. Members of the Master Gardener organization provide horticultural information and training to home gardeners, based on proven research specific to area climate, soil, and plants. Master Gardeners of Greene County's three core projects are the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, Master Gardener Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, and Master Gardener Hotline, which answers over 2,000 home garden questions a year.

The Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program began in St. Louis in 1983 and is designed to assist the University of Missouri and Lincoln University with a mission of bringing horticultural information to the public. The Master Gardener Program throughout Missouri promotes and raises public awareness of the University of Missouri Extension as a source of unbiased, research based gardening information.

Private Pesticide Applicator Training in Springfield Oct. 17

Contact: Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 357-6812

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A private pesticide applicator training session will be offered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, at the Greene County Extension office located in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield. 

Under Missouri law, this training provides certification to obtain a Private Pesticide Applicators License for Missouri agricultural producers and will also count for recertification requirements by the state.  The training will not certify for commercial application licenses.  

“This three hour training program will allow individuals to recertify or receive initial training to be licensed to purchase or use restricted-use pesticides for five years,” said Tim Schnakenberg, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension and instructor for the class.

This training is open to producers of agricultural commodities, 18 years of age or older.

Participants will be required to purchase the Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual for $12 and pay a small materials fee for a total class fee of $15.

“The reference manual can be shared among members of the same household so if a current edition (M87 printed 2007) of the Missouri Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual is already available to you, please bring it with you when you recertify,” said Schnakenberg.

Pre-registration is required by Oct. 11. Persons interested in attending should call (417) 881-8909 to reserve a space. 

This pesticide applicator training session is provided by the Greene County Commission and University of Missouri Extension Council.

MU Extension to Hold Master Gardener Classes in Neosho Starting Sept. 5; Registration Deadline is Aug. 28

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

PINEVILLE, Mo. -- The University of Missouri Extension will hold Master Gardener classes on Mondays and Thursdays from Sept. 5 to Oct. 7, 2013, at the University of Missouri Extension Office located at Crowder College in Neosho.

The mission of the Missouri Master Gardener program is “Helping Others Learn to Grow.” Master Gardeners involve people in improving the quality of life and enhancing the economy and environment through horticultural education, applied research and the resources of the University of Missouri.

Master gardeners are adults of all ages who love gardening. They are members of the local community who are interested in lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, gardens, and the environment and want to learn more.

“The primary responsibility of the master gardener is to help find sound solutions to gardening and landscape problems and help answer questions about home horticulture,” said John Hobbs, an agriculture and rural development specialist, MU Extension.

Other opportunities include: gardening exhibits at home and garden shows and fairs, organize community gardening projects, and assisting in senior gardening projects.

Those interested in learning more about plants and gardening are urged to become master gardeners. The deadline to register for the class in Neosho is Aug. 28.

For more information, contact John Hobbs at the McDonald County Extension Center, P.O. Box 336 or by calling at 417- 223-4775 or by email at

Missouri Steer Feedouts Can Help Producers Increase Profits Says Extension Specialist

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

MT. VERNON, Mo. – You may wonder why your calves don’t attract a lot of bids when you sell? Do you know if you are producing the feeder calves that are the right kind for today’s beef industry?

“The right kind of feeder calves for today’s industry may not be what was in demand 5, 10 or 20 years ago as the market changes,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Market demands may change faster than you can change your cow herd.”

However, with today’s genomic technology, heat synchronization and artificial insemination, change can be sped up if it’s necessary.

“Today’s cow-calf producers must evaluate the current type of cattle they raise, compared to current and future demands, before they can put technology to work.  Here’s where the Missouri Steer Feedout can help,” said Cole.


For years, Cole has had farmers say they would like to get feedback on their calves after they have been slaughtered.

“There are a number of ways this can be done but in most cases the farmer must retain all are at least part ownership in the cattle and stand some of the risk.  Feedlots and packing plants will not normally give you a complete report on how your cattle have performed without your investments,” said Cole.

The feedout program allows cow-calf raisers to sample a portion of the herd rather than taking a risk on the entire calf crop.  However, participants should keep in mind that the more head they sample, the more accurate the results.

“When making decisions on which calves to enter in this type of evaluation, select calves that are not the best and not the worst.  This should allow a more accurate appraisal of your herd’s genetic makeup, this enables you to select your next sire more wisely,” said Cole.


The upcoming feedout will accept a minimum of five steer calves, no maximum, born after January 1, 2013.  They will be gathered in Missouri at Joplin Regional Stockyards and a couple of other Missouri locations.

The cattle will be fed as part of the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF) in southwest Iowa. The TCSCF has been in existence for over 30 years and does a very thorough job of collecting and analyzing cattle performance.  They can also provide risk management assistance.

The entry deadline for the Missouri Steer Feedout is Oct. 10 and delivery to Iowa will be Nov. 5.  Calves should be weaned by Sept. 21.  Complete details on the health protocol are outlined in a brochure you may obtain from your University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist or go to:

“The corn prospects appear to favor a less expensive feeding cost this winter and fed cattle prices for the spring of 2014 look optimistic.  This should be a good year to learn about what type of feeder calf you’re raising and possibly make a profit while you learn.  That would put you in a more competitive position if you plan to stay in the feeder calf enterprise,” said Cole.

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

Barton County 4-H Youth Visit Ozark Harvest Food Bank as a Part of Invest an Acre Project

Contact: Elaine Davis, 4-H youth program assistant
Headquartered in Barton County
Tel: (417) 682-3579

LAMAR, Mo. -- The Barton County 4-H clubs are involved in a community service project working with Missouri 4-H Feeding Communities and the Invest an Acre Project.

On Aug. 1, Barton County 4-H youth met with Gordon Day, food resource manager and Denise Gibson, director of development for the Ozark Harvest Food Bank in Springfield Mo.

The 4-H youth presented $301.00 in cash to the Ozark Food Bank from a barbeque dinner served July 30 at Barton County Extension’s Seed and Farm Grain Bin Tour in Liberal to community farmers and community leaders . The proceeds were ear marked for The Ozark Harvest Food bank and returning back resources to local community. Monsanto will match that donation making the donation to the Ozark Harvest Food Bank $602.00.

The 4-H youth met with staff at the food bank and learned that for every $1 donated the food bank provides $10 worth of food distribution. That means this donations has the buying power of over $6,020.

Barton County is served by the food bank with resources going to Good Samaritan Food Pantry and AOK -About our Kids. The Ozark Harvest Food bank located in Southwest Missouri is the only food bank that provides food to a network of more the 300 agency’s in 28 counties.

The food bank is supported through individual donations, support from foundations and community partners and distributes more than 11 million pounds of food annually.

 “Thank you to the Barton County Community for making this a opportunity for our 4-H you to learn by doing, possible,” said Davis.

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.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What is Your Extension Story?

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension has been improving lives for generations. While the topics and methods have changed over the years, the impact that research-based information can have on an individual has not.

David Burton, a civic communication specialist with MU Extension, says his first contact with the "extension service" was when he was 10-years old and trying to grow pumpkins.

“My grandfather had a big garden and he gave me some space to start my pumpkin business. He also helped me plant several hills and water the pumpkins during the hot summer,” said Burton.

Things were going great, and Burton was seeing dollar signs as the small pumpkins formed, until bugs showed up on the vines. That is when his grandfather suggested visiting the county extension office to get information on what to do.

“My parents drove me to Springfield and I went in to the old extension office on Boonville. I still remember all of the file cabinets full of publications that lined the walls in that office,” said Burton. “Someone in the office located an extension guide sheet for me on raising pumpkins and one on dealing with pumpkin pests.”

The publication was informative, research-based, and answered his questions.

What was the result of the information MU Extension provided?

“I went to the MFA store in Ash Grove and spent some money on a pesticide to deal with the problem. That fall I made, what seemed like a lot of money to me, selling pumpkins out of our garage for jack-o-lanterns and pies,” said Burton

MU Extension helped Burton solve a problem and make money back in 1976 and county extension offices are still doing the same thing today.

Extension offices still have resources and experts on topics related to gardening, agriculture, starting a business, youth development (like 4-H), community development and other topics. 

“One of the biggest changes is that MU Extension’s popular guide sheets can all be found online ( That sure would have saved me a lot of time back in 1976,” said Burton.

So what is your MU Extension story? Share your first experience with MU Extension by sending Burton an email at with the details, or become a Facebook fan at and share your story with others.

Tips and Rules for Making Back to School Lunches Healthy

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

HOUSTON, Mo. -- Many students in the Ozarks are starting school this week, some for the first time.  University of Missouri Extension Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Cammie Younger, says the connection between healthy food choices and learning cannot be overstated. 

“Research clearly indicates the collaboration of proper nutrients and the ability to learn and develop at a healthy level,” said Younger. 

According to Younger, school lunch programs have worked hard in the past few years to improve the nutritional value of the meals served to students.  However, many parents and students prefer to pack a lunch filled with their favorite choices.

Tricks to ensure a healthy lunch include: allowing children to help prepare the food to be packed and giving children several healthy food choices to pick which ones they would like for the day.

“Make the choice between things like carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, or sliced cumbers for their vegetable and maybe a choice of an apple, banana, or blueberries for a fruit,” said Younger. “This will help support the rule of making half of a meal consist of fruits and vegetables.”

Another school lunch box rule to focus on would be to include a dairy product.  Choices like flavored milk, string cheese or cheese cubes, yogurt or “go-gurt” seem to be things kids enjoy and are packed with nutrients. 

These foods along with foods from the protein and grain group (like a turkey or peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread) will give kids a well-balanced meal in the middle of the day. Younger says this will refuel their brains for the learning power needed in afternoon classes. 

“Another important tool for success in packing school lunch boxes is to remember the rules of food safety,” said Younger.

Make sure children follow proper hand washing techniques: washing with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds and adequately rinsing and drying their hands before handling food products, food prep surfaces, and storage containers.

“Also remember to wash fresh fruits and vegetable before they are packed. Train children to use a clean insulated lunch box and add an ice pack or a frozen bottle of water to ensure food stays at the proper temperature until ready for use,” said Younger.

Schools mornings are typically rushed so a time management tool Younger suggests is to prepare lunch boxes the evening before when the family is not as rushed.

“Store the prepared lunch box in the refrigerator and it will be ready to grab and go giving the kids the best opportunity to enjoy a safe healthy lunch that they helped prepare,” said Younger. “A well-balanced diet is an incredible tool in assuring healthy child development.   These lunch box rules and tips can play an important part in reaching this every day goal.”

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

Federal Health Insurance Law One Topic at Extension’s “Healthy Lifestyle Expo” in Springfield Sept. 24

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 are Molly Vetter-Smith, a continuing medical education specialist with MU Extension and Brenda Procter, a personal financial planning specialist with MU Extension.

“Missouri’s Health Insurance Marketplace, called for in the new federal health insurance law, will open October 1.  A requirement will be that all Americans be enrolled in health insurance.  Presenters will share up-to-date information about how the new Affordable Care Act will affect Missourians in different groups or situations and explain how Missouri Extension’s Health Insurance Education Initiative is providing fact-based information and resources to help individuals, families, and businesses make informed health insurance decisions and comply with the requirements of the new law,” said Proctor.

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 following the links provided.

Farm Management Course for Women Starts Aug. 27 at Douglas County Sale Barn in Squires, Mo.

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

AVA, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension is offering a series of farm management courses in Douglas County designed just for women – known as Annie’s Project –starting Aug. 27.

“The course should be of particular interest to women who want to learn how to run a farm as a business,” said Stacy Hambelton, an agriculture business specialist with MU Extension. “But it is also good for those that want to do a better job of marketing or need to learn how to pass the farm on to the next generation.”

The Annie's Project course includes six evening classes on: Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 24, and Oct. 1, Oct. 8 and Oct. 15. The classes will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Douglas County Sale Barn in Squires, Mo.

Class size will be limited to the first 20 women who register to ensure good group interaction and one-on-one assistance. For more information, call the Douglas County Extension Center at 417-683-4409 or the brochure is available online at .


Annie’s Project began with a farm wife who grew up in northern Illinois. She spent her life learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband. This course takes Annie’s experience and shares it with farm women so they can be better business partners.

According to Hambelton, agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension, the course provides mentoring for farm women with varying levels of business skills.

“Women who are new to a farm business may be afraid to ask questions. Women who are accustomed to the farm business may feel helpless with new technologies. A program like this gets those two groups together and collectively finds solutions,” said Hambelton.

The goal is to empower farm women and help them make better management decisions through networking and by using critical financial information.  The course is to provide mentoring for farm women with varying levels of business skills.


Course topics will include:  learning to communicate and work with each of the four basic personality types, economics of land ownership, farm record keeping and taxes, business plans, pasture rental contracts, how property is titled, insurance needs, financial statements, retirement and estate planning, farm succession planning for the next generation, using computers and the internet on the farm, understanding Missouri fence laws, livestock marketing and risk management, keys to being a profitable livestock producer, and  more.

The course will be taught by MU Extension specialists and special guest speakers.

The class is being partially funded by a grant from the North Central Risk Management Center.

Fall Gardening Seminar in Christian County Aug. 24

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

OZARK, Mo. – The Christian County Master Gardeners are offering a free gardening seminar, “Gardening Concepts for Fall,” from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Nixa Community Center, 701 N. Taylor Way in Nixa.

Andy Humble, Missouri Department of Conservation, will speak at 9 a.m. on "Wildlife Damages and Conflicts." The presentation will focus on how to deter wildlife damage to gardens, landscaping and crops.

Jennifer Ailor, a master gardener and master naturalist will begin her presentation at 10:15 a.m. on "Veggies for the Fall and Winter Garden." The focus will be on what cool-weather vegetables to grow, when to plant and how to prolong the growing season.

Pre-registration is required by Aug. 22 and space is limited. To register for the seminar, or for more information about the program, call (417) 581-3558.

Disease Possibilities in Crops Increase as Rain Continues

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

LAMAR, Mo. -- Recent rains have created conditions conducive to disease development on corn and soybeans according to Jill Scheidt, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County.

“Rain carries funguses in the air which makes it easier for the funguses to spread.  Diseases like rust, gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, brown spot, crazy top and stalk and ear rots develop best in wet and humid conditions,” said Scheidt.

Fungicides that effectively and economically suppress these diseases are most effective if applied while corn is in the vegetative stage, or before silking.  If corn already has silks, plants will not respond as well to a treatment.

“It is not economical to apply a fungicide past the tasseling stage,” said Scheidt.

Sudden Death Syndrome or SDS may become a concern with wet conditions after planting and later in the season during bloom.  According to Scheidt, wet conditions early in the season are conducive to the infection of SDS and wet conditions during bloom or late in the season are conducive to symptoms being expressed.

“It is difficult to assess yield loss due to SDS. Yield loss is more likely if leaf tissue dies and pods or blooms are aborted rather than seeing severe yellowing between the veins,” said Scheidt.

Other foliage diseases that affect soybeans during wet conditions are septoria brown spot, downy mildew and bacterial blight.  Young plants that are in flooded or saturated soils have an increased chance of root rot diseases.

Flooding causes problems in corn and soybean plants as well.  Saturated soils along with moving water can cause lodging because the roots do not have a solid structure to hold on to in order to stay upright. 

“The longer an area is flooded, the more damage it will cause,” said Scheidt.

If the weather remains humid after the rains have ceased, it is more likely ear rot on corn will occur.  If the humidity is less dense and the air is drier, there is a better chance of not developing diseases. 

“If a field is underwater and is going to be harvested, it should be harvested as soon as it is ready and the combine settings should be adjusted to allow less trash and sediment to stay in the combine.  Unfortunately, there is no fungicide producers can apply to seed after it is harvested and goes into the grain bin to eliminate funguses already present on the seed,” said Scheidt.

Some insect threats have slowed with the increased rain.  Grasshoppers, spider mites and thrips are less of a threat in wet conditions. 

Pod worm, also known as corn earworm, and bean leaf beetle feeding are not affected by wet conditions and still need to be scouted.  Threshold levels for foliage feeding on soybean are 30 percent defoliation before bloom and 20 percent defoliation during and after bloom. 

“Now is the time to be scouting regularly for pod feeders such as pod worms.  Pod worms are rapid pod feeders and can destroy much of a field in one night; threshold levels for pod worm in soybean are 1 per foot,” 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.


1860s Lifestyle Expo returns to Gray-Campbell Farmstead

Rediscover life in the Ozarks more than 150 years ago at the 22nd Annual 1860s Lifestyle Exposition, Saturday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22, noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Gray-Campbell Farmstead in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

The expo includes the opportunity to tour the oldest house in Springfield, built in 1856 and once owned by Springfield founding father, John Polk Campbell. The house was relocated to the park in 1984 and contains many artifacts from the 1850s. The farmstead also includes an exterior log kitchen, a two-crib barn and a log granary and is the future site of Liberty School.

Activities include:
  • Saturday and Sunday (all day): Hearth cooking, fiber arts, blacksmithing, storytelling,       woodcarving, papermaking and old-time fiddle music
  • Saturday only: 11:30 a.m. Horseshoe contest, 1 p.m. Seed-spitting contest
  • Sunday only: 11 a.m. Old-fashioned outdoor service, 3 p.m. apple pie-baking contest

Admission is free, but donations to the Friends of the Gray-Campbell Farmstead are accepted.

For more information, visit; or call Michelle Atkinson, President of the Friends of the Gray-Campbell Farmstead, at 417-725-4921; or e-mail