Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Twilight Horticulture Tour in Lawrence County July 10

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102
E-mail: colee@missouri.edu

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- The Lawrence County Extension Council invites the public to attend the annual “Lawrence County Twilight Horticulture Tour” starting at 6 p.m. on July 10.

The focus of the 2014 tour is community gardens and three gardens are on the tour.

The Verona 4-H club garden is in its first year, and includes beds of vegetables that are tended by the members of the Verona Wild Clovers 4-H club.  The club includes children from kindergarten to sixth grade.  The garden is located on grounds near Verona School.

A Harvest Supper celebrating the vegetable harvest is planned for later in the summer.  MU Extension specialists will discuss vegetable garden preparation and planting at this stop.

The tour begins just east of the Verona School on Ella Street.  Watch for the signs.

From there the tour goes to the Aurora United Methodist Church at 1211 South Carnation Drive. Also in its first year, the church garden the produce from this garden will supplement a sack lunch program that serves over 150 children each Saturday.  Topics of discussion at this garden include weed management.

The third garden on the tour is the Aurora Community Garden, located at the junction of Hwy. K and High Street across the road from Casey’s.  The garden was established over five years ago by MU Master Gardeners and members of the public.  Four families tend this garden and share in the harvest.  MU Extension specialists will share information at this stop on garden irrigation.

The tour is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and the Lawrence County Extension Council.  For more details call 417-466-3102.

A photo of tour coordinator Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension, at one of the tour stops, is available online for download at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/muextension417/14498992522/

Herbicide Carryover in Garden Mulch and Manure

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Headquartered in Barton County
PHONE: 417-682-3579
EMAIL: scheidtjk@missouri.edu

LAMAR, Mo. -- Herbicide carryover has become an increasing problem in gardens and greenhouses. Depending on the active ingredient in the herbicide and weather conditions, herbicide effects can linger in the soil for years.

Tomatoes and other garden plants are especially sensitive to herbicides. Typical signs of herbicide damage include: distorted leaves, plants and fruits, and cupped leaves.

“These are the same signs one would see in a case of spray drift from herbicides, however if there is no possibility of spray drift, herbicide carryover in mulches and manure compost introduced from another location should be considered,” said Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

According to Tim Baker, horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Daviess County, there are two instances where he has observed irregular herbicide carryover in mulches and manure compost.

The first situation is that of herbicides surviving the intestinal tract of an animal, in a high enough concentration to cause crop damage.  In this case, a broadleaf herbicide is sprayed on a pasture, creating lush grasses for the animal to feed on.  When the manure is collected, the herbicide is still there. The second situation is the possibility of herbicide being applied to a field, and then manure collected for composting.

In order for most chemicals to speed the process of breaking down, sunlight, air and water must be in the equation. Wet, warm weather promotes the process of chemical breakdown. If there is contamination in a covered greenhouse, consider opening the greenhouse to the outside elements.

If that is not an option, Baker suggests using activated charcoal to absorb the herbicide. In some instances, herbicide can take a number of years to leave the soil, plants may improve, but slight signs of injury can still be seen.

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 Sarah Kenyon in Texas County, (417) 967-4545.

Japanese Beetles Populations Expected to Peak Later in July

Contact: Sarah Kenyon, agronomy specialist
Headquartered in Texas County
Tel: (417) 967-4545  
E-mail: kenyons@missouri.edu

HOUSTON, Mo. -- Japanese beetles have been reported in large numbers across Missouri according to Sarah Kenyon, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“These destructive insects feed on roses, shrub, vegetables, and even field crops like corn and soybean.  The damaged leaves typically look like Swiss cheese,” said Kenyon.

Trap counts across the state indicate the population will continue to climb and will peak later in July.  The green, dime-size beetle with bronze wings and white tufts of hair around its shell is amid a multi-year population boom.

Japanese beetles show little discrimination in filling their stomachs, and will feed on any plant that has a pleasant smell.

“Roses and linden trees are their favorite crops, but they’ll feed on a wide variety of ornamentals, fruit trees, grapes and 440 different plants species,” said MU Entomologist Wayne Bailey. “They usually feed on the tops of plants in the sunlight, and they like plants that smell succulent, so if it smells good to you they likely will prefer those plants.”

Field crops also appear on the menu for the Japanese beetle.  Both corn and soybeans can receive significant damage if control measures aren’t implemented.

This can be a serious pest for corn farmers.  The insect will chew on corn silk and tassels.  If the silks have been taken down to less than half an inch in length, there will not be any pollination, resulting in poor corn production.  In corn, treatment is recommended if there are three or more beetles per ear that are producing green silks and pollination is less than 50 percent complete.

In soybean crops, Japanese beetles chew at the leaves. They prefer lush leaflets at the top of plants and can hurt yield by significantly defoliating the plant.  Control is justified if there is 25 percent damage to the leaves of soybeans.

Japanese beetles live for one year.  The adult lays eggs in July that hatch and develop into white larvae, which overwinter in the soil and mature during the spring.  They emerge as beetles in mid-June and begin feeding.  Each healthy female lays 40 to 60 eggs.  Adults live up to 60 days.

Homeowners can fall back on a staple insecticide, powdered Sevin (carbaryl), to combat the destruction of Japanese beetles.  “Sevin is probably one of the best, because it’s readily available and relatively safe to most everything around,” Bailey said.

More for information on the insect contact MU Extension Agronomy Specialist, Sarah Kenyon at 417-967-4545 or by email at KenyonS@missouri.edu.

Sheep and Goats Need Special Care During Summer Heat and Humidity

Contact: Dr. Jodie A. Pennington, region small ruminant educator
Headquartered at Newton County Extension Center, Neosho, Mo.
Tel: (417) 455-9500
E-mail: PenningtonJ@lincolnu.edu

NEOSHO, Mo. -- Management of sheep and goats in summer heat can be a challenging task for some producers, especially those producers with wool sheep, according to Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant educator with Lincoln University Extension.

“The two most critical factors are to provide access to shade and water at all times for the animals,” said Pennington. “The extreme heat is compounded by the relatively high humidity that we experience here in southwest Missouri.”


Signs of heat stress in goats and sheep include bunching in the shade (if it’s available), slobbering, high respiratory rates (panting), high body temperature, and open mouth breathing.  In severe cases of heat stress, lack of coordination, trembling, and down animals may be seen.

“If you see many or severe signs of heat stress, minimize the stress immediately, but handle the animals gently to avoid increasing their stress even more,” said Pennington.

Some animals may be affected more than others. Animals with other stresses such as heavy lactation and past health problems may be more affected by heat stress. These animals will often be the first and the most severely affected in the herd.

Dark animals are more susceptible to heat stress than light colored sheep and goats.  

If an animal’s health problems are on-going, administer treatment with extra care and consider culling,” said Pennington.


One of the best things to do for goats and sheep is to offer shade and water.  Shade will reduce heat loads, and water will help dissipate heat.  

According to Pennington, water consumption is driven by environmental temperature. At 90 degrees Fahrenheit, water consumption may be almost twice that at 70 degrees and 50 percent greater than at 80 degrees.

“Always keep good quality fresh water in front of the sheep and goats,” said Pennington.

Heat stress can be lessened by providing water via sprinklers and using fans to aid in evaporating the water.  Use care with a sprinkler as misting can add to the humidity.  With sheep, water can make the wool less able to dissipate heat.

“Mature trees provide excellent shade (and shelter) and are usually the least-cost alternative. If natural shelter is not available, many sheep and goat producers use wooden or metal huts, plastic calf hutches or movable structures to provide shelter for grazing animals,” said Pennington.

Simple shade structures can be constructed from shade cloth, mesh fabric, tarps, canvas, or sheet metal. Movable shade structures are suitable for intensive rotational grazing systems.

“All livestock should be able to lie down in the shade structure or area at the same time. Lying down in a cool spot provides additional relief from the heat,” said Pennington.


Avoid overworking the animals if they are heat-stressed.   Body temperatures of sheep and goats tend to peak in the early evening, then decline in the night to reach a low point in the hours after sunrise, and then slowly building throughout the day.

Pennington says to work the animals in the early morning, and avoid afternoon/evening work when body temperatures are already high. If possible, under prolonged heat stress conditions, avoid working the animals at all.

“If at all possible, avoid transporting sheep and goats during periods of heat stress. If transportation can’t be delayed, do it during the cooler evening or early morning hours to avoid any additional stress,” said Pennington.

Goats tend to tolerate heat better than sheep.  Goats with loose skin and floppy ears may be more heat tolerant than other goats. Angora goats have a decreased ability to respond to heat stress as compared to sheep and other breeds of goats. The heat is especially hard on fat animals.


For more information about caring for goats or sheep, contact Dr. Jodi Pennington, region small ruminant educator with Lincoln University, at the Newton County Extension Center in Neosho, telephone (417) 455-9500 or email PenningtonJ@lincolnu.edu.

Protect Your Mobility to Protect Your Independence

Contact: Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: duitsmanp@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Older age, less physical activity, reduced strength and balance, obesity, and chronic diseases are all common risk factors that lead to loss of mobility. Losing mobility with age has profound consequences on physical, social and psychological health.

“Once mobility is lost, independence is often lost. The feeling of isolation can be overwhelming, and often physical and emotional health plummet,” said Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist, University of Missouri Extension. “The good news is that the evidence is strong that we can head off immobility and perhaps avoid it altogether with certain strategies.”

Duitsman suggests getting your mobility checked. “Your physician can assess your balance and movement by a few simple tests.  If you have difficulty climbing up ten steps or walking a quarter mile, your mobility may be impaired,” said Duitsman.


Research shows that older adults who walk and do basic strengthening exercises on a daily basis are less likely to become physically disabled compared to those who do not regularly exercise.

“Elderly people who maintain their physical fitness are more likely to live independently longer,” said Duitsman.

Structured exercise programs designed for older adults can result in significant health benefits. Such programs have been shown to improve balance, strength, energy, flexibility, sleep and mood; as well as blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Walking can also be a great benefit.

“Start by walking as far as you can, and increase this as you are able.  Research shows if older adults walk more, like 30 minutes three days a week, the beneficial effects on the brain as well as physical health can be significant.  The 30 minutes can be broken down however needed.  Even 5-minutes six times a day is beneficial,” said Duitsman.


Here are the most successful strategies that have been proven to work:
Commit yourself.  Decide that incorporating more physical activity is worth it. Then, make an action plan each week that includes different and interesting activities that you love.  “Commit to doing an action plan, and follow through for at least six weeks,” said Duitsman.

Enlist social support.  “Studies show that we are dramatically more successful at increasing physical activity when we have others to share the experience with, and to help encourage us,” said Duitsman.  Join a class or increase physical activity with an interested neighbor, family member or co-worker.

Keep notes.  “It can be effective to write down your plan for the week, and what you accomplished each day and what got in the way. This can be helpful in overcoming barriers and achieving your goals,” said Duitsman.

Reminders of what activity you have planned. Set your alarm, or your phone, to remind you.

Modify your plan when needed.  An all-or-nothing approach leads to failure.  Adjust plans when needed, and stay motivated by doing many activities that you enjoy.  “Try some dance steps, garden, walk the dog.  When the weather is bad outdoors use activity or walking DVDs inside,” said Duitsman.

Reward yourself.  Duitsman says it is important for the reward to be something you enjoy, but that is not detrimental to health.  For instance, a dessert would not make sense as a reward but a bubble bath, manicure, fishing trip, a new book or magazine might be an encouragement.

“Incorporating more physical activity each day can be enjoyable. You will begin to feel the rewards within the first couple weeks,” said Duitsman.

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 http://extension.missouri.edu.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Region Extension Headlines for June 26, 2014

Every week, the Southwest Region News Service (which is a program of University of Missouri Extension) delivers eight to 10 regionally focused news articles to individuals southwest Missouri. The articles are delivered by email, via social media and on websites including the AgEBB (Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board) operated by the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.

This week, the stories for the news service are all lined on AgEbb. Here are this weeks headlines. Just click on the link you want to read.
Southwest Region News Service stories from the last 60 days are available online at http://agebb.missouri.edu/news/swnews/queries/index.idc and of course, on this blog as well.

If you have questions, contact David Burton, civic communication specialist, via email at burtond@missouri.edu.

Several Lessons Can be Learned from One-Room Schools

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
County Program Director - Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: burtond@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Historic one-room schools still dot the landscape in the Ozarks. Several fine examples exist with others moving toward restoration. The old schools are an icon of America and are historically tied to agriculture in Missouri.

According to David Burton, civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension and director of the Ozarks Country School Program, one-room schools are still revealing valuable historical, educational and cultural lessons.

“I’d say there are five important lessons we can take away from the one-room school experience,” said Burton.

First, community is important. Many families in the Ozarks worked together to build because they valued education. “These school buildings then served as a center of education for children. Since parents and neighbors were so deeply involved, the school also became a center of community life,” said Burton.

Second, helping others is essential and expected. Children in a one-room school spent their days surrounded by children of all ages. At various times, students could find themselves being challenged by a lesson with an older student or mentoring a younger schoolmate. “With just one teacher, cooperation was essential,” said Burton. “It also served to engrain learning in the students, because in order to mentor another child, you must know that material well.”

Third, hard work is required. In addition to having to walk to school, students had to help haul in the water, take care of the coal stove, clean the blackboards and perform a range of other chores essential to the operation and upkeep of the school. “These responsibilities, I think, helped instill pride in their school and offered chances for responsibility,” said Burton.

Fourth, ability, not age, is key. Lessons could be given according to ability and students were permitted to learn ahead or listen in on lessons. “I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a former student say they learned ahead by listening to other lessons,” said Burton.

And finally, stable and caring families are key. Financial support came from the families who sent children, but they also instilled in their children respect for the teacher. A national study done a few years ago on one-room schools concluded that stable and supportive families were the number one reason for the success of one-room schools.

To expand the restoration and research of one-room schools in Missouri, consider becoming a member of the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance. Contact the Greene County Extension Center (or go online to http://extension.missouri.edu/greene) to learn more about the organization.

Protect Retirement Benefits if You Are Leaving Your Job

Contact: Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist
Headquartered in Taney County
Tel: (417) 546-4431
E-mail: lamersn@missouri.edu

FORSYTH, Mo. -- Any person that is suddenly unemployed or plans to leave their job for another position needs to be careful with any retirement benefits built up through their current employer according to Nellie Lamers, a family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Ask your human resources director for the company’s summary plan document. That document  will tell you how your benefits are calculated, when you become vested, when you may receive your benefits, and in what form,” said Lamers.

According to Lamers, the next step is to contact the administrator (not employer) for an individual benefit statement, which will explain what is in the plan.

It is important to know what kind of plan it is because an individual’s rights are different with each. Defined Benefit plans and Defined Contribution plans are the most common.

“Learn about your distribution and payment options before you make a decision about what to do with your retirement benefits. In most cases you will be better off if you leave the plan intact, move it to a plan at your new employer or to a Rollover IRA,” said Lamers.

If a person decides to “cash out” a retirement plan they may only get the contributions they made or pay a 10% penalty and 20% federal withholding tax if contributions were pretax.

“The penalty and tax will be deducted by your plan administrator before they send you a check. When you file your tax return, you may owe additional federal, state and local income taxes,” said Lamers.

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

Speaker Introductions Should Build Energy, Credibility

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
Email: burtond@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Introducing a speaker is something few people prepare for very well. After all, if we are not the one giving the presentation, why should you worry?

There are plenty of reasons to worry if you recall the last time you watched someone else reciting the degrees earned, positions held, books written and honors achieved by the speaker.

"Opening comments play an important role in piquing the audience members' interest, warming them up to the speaker and helping to create a bond between the speaker and the audience," said David Burton, civic communication specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

There are several techniques that can be used to engage an audience's attention while adding life and emotion to an introduction.

Link the speaker and audience. "When you introduce a speaker, your job is to make the speaker's expertise known and to rouse interest in hearing the speaker's remarks," Burton said. "Listeners want to hear relevant credentials and prior experiences but instead of reciting a laundry list of accomplishments, point out specific connections between the speaker's past and the audience's motivations for attending the meeting."

Provide stories instead of facts in the introduction. "People find a biography that lists degrees and titles boring. That changes if you can translate the facts into situations that mean something to the audience. You can accomplish this through a story. People are interested in people, not degrees, and if you bring out the speaker's human side, his accomplishments will ultimately mean more to the audience. Plus, don't be afraid to use some humor," said Burton.

Tell the audience why you selected this speaker. "One challenge during an introduction is broadening the audience's opinion of the speaker. Why was this speaker chosen for this event? If you haven't touched on it already, communicate to the audience why your organization is pleased to have this particular individual speaking," Burton said.


For 100 years, MU Extension has engaged Missourians in relevant programs based on University of Missouri research. The year 2014 marks the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which formalized the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, a national network whose purpose is to extend university-based knowledge beyond the campus. More information is available at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene or by calling the MU Extension office in Greene County at (417) 881-8909.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Regional Extension News Headlines for June 20, 2014

Every week, the Southwest Region News Service (which is a program of University of Missouri Extension) delivers eight to 10 regionally focused news articles to individuals southwest Missouri. The articles are delivered by email, via social media and on websites including the AgEBB (Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board) operated by the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.

This week, the stories for the news service are all lined on AgEbb. Here are this weeks headlines. Just click on the link you want to read.
Southwest Region News Service stories from the last 60 days are available online at http://agebb.missouri.edu/news/swnews/queries/index.idc and of course, on this blog as well.

If you have questions, contact David Burton, civic communication specialist, via email at burtond@missouri.edu.

Bountiful Benefits of Blueberries

Contact: Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: duitsmanp@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The news on blueberries continues to get better.

“Nature has provided amazing health benefits in these tiny fruits, and packed them with exceptional taste, plump juicy sweetness, and a powerful dose of nutrition,” said Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Blueberries contain few calories, virtually no fat or sodium, and are full of dietary fiber and vitamin C.  But berries are most known for their health-promoting phytonutrients.

“While all berries benefit our health, noteworthy research has focused on blueberries because they are very rich in the phytonutrient class called polyphenols, which contain compounds such as anthocyanins.  These compounds give blueberries their rich color, but also are responsible for their amazing health benefits,” said Duitsman.


Recent headlines like these may be hard to believe: “Blueberries dramatically lower the risk of diabetes,”  “Blueberries halt hardening of the arteries,” “Blueberries reduce heart attacks,”  “Blueberries improve memory in older adults,” and “Blueberries fight obesity”.

Very credible current research shows that eating blueberries can benefit health by helping prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease.  Studies show an increase in the elasticity of blood vessels, improved control of cholesterol levels, protection against cognitive decline and age related diseases.

A significant number of studies continue to show remarkable neurocognitive benefits from eating blueberries.  In human studies, memory is boosted, and cognitive function increased.  Other animal studies show the mechanism by which blueberries protect the brain may be specifically beneficial in preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Preliminary research also shows that the polyphenols in blueberries combat the development of fat cells, and help breakdown fat at the molecular level.

“Beyond the health benefits, blueberries also possess extremely high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help lessen the inflammatory process associated with many chronic conditions including auto-immune disease, obesity, heart disease and cancer,” said Duitsman.


Eating three or more servings of a half a cup of berries each week has been shown to be heart protective.  To decrease the risk of diabetes, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health have reported that eating at least two servings each week of whole blueberries reduced risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent compared to eating less than one serving a month.

“It’s important to note that only the whole fruit, not fruit juice, was beneficial. Study participants who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21 percent,” said Duitsman.

Researchers report that swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7 percent reduction in diabetes risk.

It’s easy to find these blueberries while in season, at the farmer’s market, u-pick farms, at farm stands and supermarkets.


Here are some tips to help you store blueberries for future use:
Handle the fruit gently to avoid bruising. Bruising shortens the life of fruit.
Sort carefully and remove berries that are too soft or decayed.
Store berries loosely in a shallow container to allow air circulation and to prevent the berries on top from crushing those underneath.
Do not wash berries before refrigerating.
Store covered containers of berries in a cool, moist area of the refrigerator, such as in the hydrator (vegetable keeper), to help extend the usable life of the fruit. Recommended storage time in the refrigerator is five to six days.
Before eating berries, wash gently in cold water, lift out of water and drain.

Cooking blueberries can dramatically decrease their health protective compounds, but freezing or drying does not harm them.

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 http://extension.missouri.edu.

Youth Benefits of a County Fair Experience Extend Beyond Just Having Fun Says 4-H Specialist

Contact: Jeremy Elliot-Engel, 4-H youth development specialist
Newton County Extension Center, Neosho, Mo.
Tel: (417) 455-9500
E-mail: elliottengelj@missouri.edu

NEOSHO, Mo. – According to a recent article in the Journal of Extension, the greatest motivator for participating in a county fair is “having fun.” However, Jeremy Elliot-Engel, 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, says participating in a county fair is much more.

“Youth who participate in a fair also learn independence receive feedback, mastery and gain positive relationships with caring adults,” said Elliot-Engel.

The county fair experience allows youth to balance their desire to have fun with the responsibilities of preparing and caring for livestock for exhibition all under a time structure.

“It is an opportunity for youth to learn how to balance their responsibilities with their desire to have fun.  Youth that go to fair with livestock projects learn how to handle the world,” said Elliot-Engel. “They have deadlines, like show times, that they need to meet. Their efforts are linked to their success with ribbons and placing). And they sometimes learn the world is not always fair depending on the judge that day.  These experiences all build independence.”

Throughout the year, 4-H youth are working on projects in all project areas (not just livestock).  A county fair provides an opportunity for each young person to get feedback on their project.

“County fair competition is not about who wins grand champion, or who gets a blue ribbon, it is about learning about how your effort and skill has paid off,” said Elliot-Engel.

A county fair also provides an opportunity to demonstrate mastery.  A youth starting out may not know how to prepare their animal for the show ring, and will ask another 4-H youth.  This mentoring is innate to 4-H, and each year youth will return, growing and learning the skills necessary to have a successful project. Eventually, they will be in the role as a mentor, rather than the mentee.

“When youth are asked to share their information, this is when they feel they have reached a level of mastery because they know enough to be able to give back to their community, peers and the younger youth,” said Elliot-Engel.

Of course, there is no fun, mentoring or feedback unless there are also volunteers and parents helping everyone be successful.  It should be no surprise that it takes caring adults to volunteer to make a fair happen and help youth gain important life skills from the fair experience.
“This year at the fair, when we are all hot, sweaty and tired, keep in mind that we are there for more than fun. We stay because of the many benefits our young people receive that will last far longer than any placing, ribbon or check,” said Elliot-Engel.

Missouri 4-H is University of Missouri Extension's youth development program. The 4-H program helps to create opportunities for young people to be valued, contributing members of their community. To learn more about 4-H -- the world’s largest youth-serving organization -- and how to get involved locally go online to http://mo4h.missouri.edu.

Residents of southwest Missouri can contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists for  information: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Monica Spittler in Taney County, (417) 546-4431; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500 or Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916.

Rain Barrels Part of Sustainable Gardening

Contact: Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: mcgowank@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A rain barrel won’t make the rain go away but you will be able to save some of it for another day with one according to Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with University of Missouri Extension.

"Rain barrels are gaining in popularity with home gardeners because this time of year we get a lot of rain," said McGowan.

Using a rain barrel has its advantages.  For starters, it is a great way to save money on a water bill for anyone who gardens. Rainwater is also better than tap water for plants.

"Rainwater is nearly neutral in pH. It is also free of treatment byproducts such as chlorinated organics, and it is low in salts and minerals. Water collected in a rain barrel typically contains more nutrients and less of other chemicals that plants don’t want," said Clarissa Hatley, a University of Missouri Extension employee and volunteer with the Watershed Committee of The Ozarks.

James River Basin Partnership sells rain barrel kits at http://www.jamesriverbasin.com. Greene County residents can receive a rebate on rain barrel purchases through the JRBP program.

Barrels are also available from Wickman’s in Springfield and the Habitat Restore.

A person can also try making their own rain barrel. Large plastic barrels and fixtures can be found at different locations in Springfield and many area hardware stores. JRBP also has instructions on assembling your own barrel system online.

"You can buy kits with everything you need to make your rain barrel. So that would be an option.  Or you can buy the parts individually," said McGowan.  "An entire setup would probably be less than one hundred dollars but in the long run you would save a lot of money.”

According to McGowan the average one thousand square foot roof can generate up to 600 gallons of water per inch of rainfall.

For more information, contact the Master Gardener’s Hotline in Greene County or University of Missouri Extension at (417) 881-8909.

No Need to Spray Fungicides on Lawn Mushrooms

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: byerspl@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Rainfall, followed by a few days of warm temperatures, will usually bring out mushrooms.

When that happens, local University of Missouri Extension centers start getting telephone calls from homeowners wondering about what to do with the new mushrooms (or toadstools).

According to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension, mushrooms may be unsightly to homeowners, but they do little damage to lawns and trees.

“In some cases, mushrooms benefit the landscape by releasing nutrients,” said Byers.

In some cases, the mushrooms may grow in a circle, forming “fairy rings.”

Grass inside the rings is darker green and may grow taller as nutrients released as organic matter is decomposed by the fungal bodies. In other cases, the soil inside the ring may become engulfed with fungal growth that water cannot penetrate into the soil and patches of grass may dry out.

“Homeowners can just mow over the mushrooms with the lawnmower, and not worry too much about them,” said Byers. “If you are having some dead areas appear, aerating those spots with a soil probe or using a core aerator will help alleviate the problem.”

Many homeowners are also concerned about mushrooms being poisonous to children and pets and want to apply fungicides because of this concern.

“For the most part, mushrooms and toadstools are unaffected by the application of fungicides,” said Byers. “The best solution for most people is to remove the mushrooms by hand or simply mow them off.”
For more information, or answers to your specific lawn and garden questions, contact the Greene County Master Gardener Hotline at (417) 881-8909.

Friday, June 13, 2014

News articles for June 13 release (week of June 16, 2014)

Every week, the Southwest Region News Service (which is a program of University of Missouri Extension) delivers eight to 10 regionally focused news articles to individuals southwest Missouri. The articles are delivered by email, via social media and on websites including the AgEBB (Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board) operated by the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.

This week, the stories for the news service are all lined on AgEbb. Here are this weeks headlines. Just click on the link you want to read.
Southwest Region News Service stories from the last 60 days are available online at http://agebb.missouri.edu/news/swnews/queries/index.idc and of course, on this blog as well.

If you have questions, contact David Burton, civic communication specialist, via email at burtond@missouri.edu.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Brown Patch in Lawn May Be a Sign of Disease or Stress

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: byerspl@missouri.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Many Missouri lawns are already showing signs of the disease brown patch this summer according to Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

General symptoms appear as small circular patches of brown, lifeless grass, but specific symptoms vary depending on the turf grass species and mowing height.

These patches often enlarge and reach diameters of six feet or more.

"The most common lawn grass that will show signs of brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani) is tall turf fescue.  However, other turf species like zoysiagrass can also be affected," said Byers.

Grass is most susceptible for brown patch when it is growing vigorously, and daytime temperature range between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, free moisture is present on the foliage, and night temperatures fall below 68 degrees.

"The fungus can live on dead organic matter in the soil and attack grass when the right conditions arise.  Hot, humid conditions promote the spread of the disease," said Byers.

There are management strategies that can help prevent the disease. For starters, Byers recommends that you fertilize your yard correctly.

"Avoid heavy, early spring and summer fertilization. Then be sure to fertilize to maintain adequate, but not lush, growth during the growing season," said Byers.

It is also a good idea to prune trees and shrubs to allow air movement and light to reach the turf grass. Another way to prevent the diseases is to collect waste.

"Mow only when the grass is dry and remove no more than one third of the top growth. It is also best to remove and dispose of clippings from infected areas," said Byers.

Watering no more than once or twice per week can help prevent the disease from spreading.  More frequent watering (or watering at night) provides an ideal environment for disease development.

According to Byers, using a preventive fungicide program, with recommended fungicides, is the final step for the worst cases.

"Some chemical treatments may suppress the disease, but it is not guaranteed.  The treatment can be expensive even if you do it yourself,” said Byers.

When making a fungicide application, it is best to treat the entire lawn instead of only the infected areas, according to Byers.

"If only the leaf blade is affected, the grass will come back when growing conditions are more favorable.  However, if the disease reaches the crown of the grass plant, it may be killed and must be reseeded in the fall," said Byers.

For more information on lawn care, contact the University of Missouri Extension Center nearest you or call the Master Gardener Hotline in Greene County, (417) 881-8909.

Quality Hay Producers Have Until July 10 to Submit Entries for Hay Show

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102
E-mail: colee@missouri.edu

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Entries are being accepted from now until July 10 for the Ozark Empire Fair Hay Show.

The hay show gives farmers a great opportunity to enter their 2014 hay and have it tested and subjectively evaluated for quality.

The show was first held in 1985 and has proven to be effective in teaching growers and buyers of hay the benefits of forage analysis.

“Exhibitors also find the hay show to be an excellent way to advertise their quality hay,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The process for entering hay requires contacting the nearest University of Missouri Extension Center. The extension specialist visits the farm and uses the hay probe to collect the sample from either 10 small, rectangular bales or 5 large hay packages.

The sampling must be done by July 11. The sample will be analyzed for moisture, protein, fiber, energy (total digestible nutrients) and relative feed value. The lab work is done at Custom Lab, Golden City.

The top testing entries are eligible to be displayed and evaluated for subjective qualities such as, aroma, color, purity, and condition at the Ozark Empire Fair on July 24.

“Every year weather interferes with timely hay making sometimes it is too wet, sometimes it’s too dry, but somewhere in southwest Missouri someone has harvested outstanding hay in 2014 and deserves to be recognized for it,” said Cole.

The entry fee for the complete evaluation is $20. If a farmer chooses to also enter the Missouri State Fair, an additional $5 fee is charged.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: for use with this story.
Winning Hay from 2013: https://www.flickr.com/photos/muextension417/14145524639/
Search is on for great hay: https://www.flickr.com/photos/muextension417/14331478404/

Three Themed Summer Camp Sessions for Children Being Offered at Springfield Botanical Center in June and July

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
County Program Director - Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909
E-mail: burtond@missouri.edu
Contact Katie Stienhoff, director of the Botanical Center at 417-891-1515

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in partnership with University of Missouri Extension, and the Friends of the Garden will offer a unique series of themed, week-long, half-day camps for children ages 7 – 11 in June and July.

Each week, campers will explore a special theme about the garden and learn more about plants, the planet and the way people connect with the environment. Keepsake crafts, field studies, garden games, and botanical snacks are all part of the daily activities.

Enrollment is limited to 15 students per week. The idea is to provide a special experience connecting kids with different areas of the gardens. Fees are $75 per child per week with a discount of $25 per child per week to Friends of the Garden members.

A complete guide sheet, application form and descriptions of the activities is available inside the Botanical Center at the front desk, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield or online at: http://www.parkboard.org/botanical/education.htm.  For more information call 417-891-1515.

The summer schedule includes:

June 9 – 18 & July 14 – 18:  Themed to Arts in the Garden, Inspiration from Nature!
June 16 – 20 & July 21 – 25:  Themed to Birds, Bugs & Butterflies, Garden Friends!
July 7 – 11:  Themed to Plants and Gardening, Growing for Food and Fun!

The 12,700-square-feet Botanical Center is surrounded by the 114-acre, Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. The main building serves as a welcome and education center to the outdoors, 22 themed gardens, 15 special plant collections, natural areas and a play trail with six nature themed activity stations located along over three miles of paved surface.

Community rooms, gardens and pavilions may be reserved inside the Botanical Boutique gift shop. Public services include the Lois K. Boswell Botanical Reference Library and the Master Gardener Hotline, 417-881-8909 ext. 320. Offices of Greene County Extension and Friends of the Garden are also located in the building.

Taney County 4-H Leaders’ Council to Hosting 2nd Annual Youth Fair and Livestock Show

Contact: Chrystal Irons, business development specialist
Headquartered at the Taney County Extension Center
Tel: (417) 546-4431
E-mail: ironsc@missouri.edu
CONTACT Paul Kirk, Chairman, (417) 942-9778 OR Chris Gaut, Treasurer (636) 692-8206

FORSYTH, Mo. -- The Taney County 4-H Leaders Council invites all Missouri 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members to participate in the Second Annual Taney County Youth Fair and Livestock Show starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 at Shadow Rock Park in Forsyth. Members of 4-H and FFA living in contiguous counties of Arkansas are also eligible to participate.

The youth fair includes events for the entire family.  An exhibit hall will be open for participants to display and be judged on their 4-H and FFA projects. There will be games, live music from local bands, craft demonstrations, and food vendors. The Taney County 4-H Leader’s Council will also be hosting a talent show at 3 p.m. on June 28 for children who would like to perform.

The popular livestock show will consist of rabbits, poultry, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and other animals. On Sunday, a Cowboy Church will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Participant registration information can be found at www.4hachievers.com.  There will be no registration fees to participants who register before June13.

Members of the Taney County 4-H Leader’s Council are also looking for sponsors and volunteers for the Youth Fair and Livestock Show. Various levels of sponsorship are available.

Vendors are also welcome to set up during the fair. Organizers say there will be no a fee for vendors to set up at the fair. “But we would ask that vendors consider a small donation or a silent auction item to help with the fair cost,” said Chris Gaut, treasurer of the Leader’s Council.

For more information about the Taney County Fair and Livestock Show -- including details about events, participation, and how to become a sponsor -- contact the Taney County MU Extension office at (417) 546-4431 or learn more online at www.4hachievers.com.

Long-neck Seed Bugs Beneficial in Strawberries

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Headquartered in Barton County
PHONE: 417-682-3579
EMAIL-mail: scheidtjk@missouri.edu

LAMAR, Mo. - Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, has seen several long-neck seed bugs in many strawberry patches during the late spring.

“Long-necked seed bugs are a beneficial insect in strawberries,” said Scheidt.

The long-necked seed bug is 3/8 inch long. The head is black, and they appear to have a neck. The wings are brown with yellow etched lines. The legs are slender and yellowish with black knee joints. The antennae have four segments; the first and last segments are black and the middle antennae segments are orange in color.

“Long-neck seed bugs are classified in the hemiptera order and the heteroptera suborder, meaning they are a true bug, like aphids, stinkbugs and leaf hoppers. They have piercing, sucking mouthparts, meaning their mouthparts look similar to a beak, like a hummingbird,” said Scheidt.

They can be found under leaf litter in early spring and in fields and under artificial lights in the summer. Long-necked seed bugs overwinter in woodland and migrate to fields in the spring and summer; they are attracted to lights.

According to Richard Houseman, University of Missouri plant sciences professor, long-neck seed bugs will sometimes feed on strawberry seeds but are rarely a threat needing treatment. “They primarily feed on other small insects.”

Pictures of a long-necked seed bug are available on the Barton County Extension website at www.extension.missouri.edu/barton. For more information call 417-682-3579.

Free Presentation on Composting and Bokashi at Ozark Community Center Demonstration Garden June 21

Contact: Dr. Gordon Carriker, agriculture business specialist
Headquartered in Christian County
Tel: (417) 581-3558
E-mail: carrikerg@missouri.edu
For Interviews contact: J.J. Leek at 417-581-6774  
OZARK, Mo. -- Christian County Master Gardeners will present a free demonstration on “Composting and Bokashi” from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Ozark Community Center (OC) in Ozark, Mo.

Master Gardener Tom Bakie will discuss the benefits of composting and bokashi, which is the anerobic acidic fermentation of organic material.

The presentation will be on the pavilion behind the OC at 1530 W. Jackson St. between the Ozark and Empire banks.

Register to attend by calling the Christian County Extension office at (417) 581-3558.

For more information on the Christian County Master Gardeners, its demonstration garden and its free public classes, contact J.J. Leek at 581-6774, or Jennifer Ailor at 581-4018.

To become a Master Gardener, contact Dr. Gordon Carriker, MU Extension specialist and advisor to the Christian County Master Gardeners at 581-3558.

Neosho and Pineville Kid’s Summer Program Focuses on Building Character and Life Skills

Contact: Joni Houghton, Educational Program Assistant
Headquartered in Newton County
Tel: (417) 455-9500
E-mail: houghtonjs@missouri.edu

NEOSHO, Mo. – Do your kids enjoy learning about bugs, trees, art, and robots?  Are you looking for fun ways they can learn this summer?  Have you ever wished that local summer programs went beyond sports and babysitting?

University of Missouri Extension, in partnership with Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Newton and McDonald County 4-H, and various local volunteers will host, “Learn. Grow. Do,” a summer adventure program for youth ages 8-12.

The program will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, June 16 through Aug. 4, at the Neosho Chamber of Commerce Building, 216 W. Spring Street, Neosho.

A parallel program will take place on Wednesdays in McDonald County, at the Pineville Community Center, located at 602 Jesse James Rd; Pineville, MO.

Each session is $15 and registration for the entire eight week program is $95. “Learn.Grow.Do” is open to the public and is part of expanding local programming to reach area youth with STEM based education initiatives.

Enrollment is limited and filled on a first-come first-served basis.

The program website at http://extension.missouri.edu/newton/youth.aspx, provides registration materials, links to information, and daily schedule.

“Day programs at Newton County Extension provide a safe place for children (ages 8 to 12) to spend the summer learning about the world around them.  Every day, we will spend time working on important reading and math skills so your child returns to school ready for the coming year.  Physical activity and mental stimulation come together at these camps to provide an enriching place for your child,” said Joni Houghton, educational program assistant at Newton County’s MU Extension Office.

For more information, contact the Newton County Extension Center at (417) 455-9500.

4-H Dairy Cow Camp Educates Youth to Become Future Dairy Leaders, Teaches Life Skills

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102
E-mail: deaverk@missouri.edu

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- A prominent dairy farm in Springfield, Mo., played host to 40 youth, age 8 to 16, as part of the Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp held May 24-26, 2014.

According to Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, Robthom dairy farm has hosted Missouri 4-H Dairy Cow Camp for 18 years.

Organizers from University of Missouri Extension say the camp is significant for two reasons.  First, it is designed to encourage youth wanting to go into the dairy industry.  Second, it provides campers with an opportunity to learn a variety of life skills, including teamwork, cooperation, and responsibility.

“This camp draws attention to the importance of farming and its important role in Missouri’s economy.  It provides youth a hands-on opportunity to care for dairy animals and learn about many aspects of dairy production while learning life-skills at the same time,” Deaver said.

Campers work in pairs under the direction of adults and take part in workshops to learn about judging dairy animals, dairy management, animal care ethics and showmanship.  Persons working in the dairy industry visited with campers about careers in the dairy industry as well.
In addition to educational workshops on dairy heifer nutrition, showmanship, dairy cattle judging and quiz bowl, campers participated in sessions enabling them to be certified in Show Me Quality Assurance.  The activities, designed as a series of learning stations, help 4-H’ers develop both personal and project skills.  Stations included an animal health tool identification, biosecurity, ethics, public image and learning to give injections.


A judging contest and showmanship competition provide the culmination for the camp.  In the dairy judging contest, Lora Wright of Verona was first in the senior division, followed by Ellie Wantland of Niangua.  In the junior division, Nicolas Dotson of Marionville was first and Grant Groves of Billings was second.

In the showmanship competition, winning the junior division was Kelsey Grimm of Aurora and second was Taylor Whitehead of Conway.  In the intermediate division, first was Bailey Groves of Billings and second was Grant Groves of Billings. In the senior division, Lora Wright of Billings was first and Ellie Wantland of Niangua was second.

In the dairy jeopardy competition, the highest score went to Lora Wright of Verona, followed by Taylor Groves of Billings and Blake Wright of Verona.

A number of other awards were given, including rookie awards to Wyatt Groves of Billings and Erin Ingalsbe of Niangua. Teamwork awards were given to sisters Faith and Hope Bohannon of Marshfield and Jessica and Brittany Crawley of Gravette, Arkansas.

Most improved awards were given to Grant Groves of Billings and Nicolas Dotson of Marionville, and Fast Start awards were given to Adeline Dickerson of Lucerne and Julie Griffin of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

A leadership award was given to Maria Poock of Boonville, and a sportsmanship award was given to Blake Wright of Verona.  Scoops of the day were awarded to David Ley of Washington, Michael and Brady Vedder of New Haven, Allison Davis of Crane and Amy McLaughlin of Unionville.


4-H Dairy Cow Camp is a cooperative program between University of Missouri Extension and a number of industry sponsors, including Robthom Dairy, Dairy Farmers of America, Southwest Dairy Farmers, MFA, Inc., Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Holstein Junior Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Association, Missouri Ayrshire Breeders Association, Missouri Brown Swiss Association, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Association, Land O’Lakes/Purina, Missouri Dairy Association, Sancrest Specialized Transport, S & H Farm Supply, So-Mo Agri-Supply, D Bar J Livestock LLC, John Underwood, Race Brothers of Monett, Hiland Dairy, Monsanto Company, FCS Financial and the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

For more information about cow camp, contact Karla Deaver at the Lawrence County Extension Center in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, or your local county extension center.

Understanding Financial Statements workshop in El Dorado Springs June 12; Preregister by June 10

Contact: Patrick Davis, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Cedar County
Tel: 417-276-3313
E-mail: Davismp@missouri.edu

STOCKTON, Mo. – Cedar County University of Missouri Extension Center and the Missouri Southern State University Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center are working together to present the workshop “Understanding Financial Statements.”

This financial workshop is from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., June 12 in the El Dorado Springs First Baptist Church, 500 South Main Street, El Dorado Springs.

The class will be taught by Ken Surbrugg and is designed for business owners, managers and those who want to learn how to turn financial statements into useful management tools.  Specific topics covered will be reviewing income statement and balance sheet, calculating useful ratios from financial statements, and making business decisions based on calculated information.

The cost of the event is $70 per person and needs to be paid with registration by June 10.   To register, or if you have questions about the event, contact the Cedar County MU Extension Center by phone at (417) 276 - 3313 or by email at davismp@missouri.edu.

Nutrient Deficiencies Found in Corn, Armyworms No Longer a Threat

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Headquartered in Barton County
PHONE: 417-682-3579
EMAIL: scheidtjk@missouri.edu

LAMAR, Mo. - Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Verdella on June 4 and sent out a phone report that day to subscribers to the MU Extension field crop scouting report.

“Wheat is in the soft dough stage; there are a lot of kernels, but they are not very full,” said Scheidt. “No more armyworms were seen and should begin pupating and no longer cause a threat.”

According to Scheidt, stagonospora glume blotch was seen in one wheat field. Stagonospora is promoted by cool, humid weather and is identified by irregular shaped lesions on leaves with black specks, called picnidia, on the lesion, dark spots will also occur on the kernel.

Scheidt scouted corn in the 11-12 leaf stage, several nutrient deficiencies were seen.

“Phosphorus deficiency is identified by slow, stunted early growth and purple leaves. Potassium deficiency is identified by firing or burning of leaf tips. Zinc and magnesium deficiency is identified by narrow white or yellow stripes between the veins. Zinc occurs in newer leaves, magnesium occurs in lower leaves,” said Scheidt.

“Soybeans were emerging; a little insect feeding was seen on cotyledons, but not enough to harm the plant,” said Scheidt. Additional information can be found at http://ipm.missouri.edu/ipm_pubs/ipm1016.pdf


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.

VIDEO: A video about scouting for Armyworms can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzkPrpRj4mc