[Nameplate] Fair ~ 44°F  
High: 59°F ~ Low: 41°F
Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
Planning for the "What If" -- Tools for protecting your family (11/03/14)
I once read a Peanuts cartoon in which Linus informs Charlie Brown that "worrying won't stop the bad stuff from happening, it only stops you from enjoying the good." We live in an uncertain world filled with "what if's." What if I lose my job? What if I become disabled or die? These are questions we all worry about and certainly something we would prevent if possible. ...
North central region water network conference (10/22/14)
Since joining university of Missouri Extension over two decades ago, I have always enjoyed working on water quality issues. I have participated in many in-service opportunities over the years. I am currently serving on the Dunklin and Pemiscot County Soil and Water Conservation Districts...
"Grandparents Raising Grandchildren" (10/13/14)
The University of Missouri Extension will be sponsoring a program in November on a current societal issue that often does not get the attention it deserves. According to AARP, approximately 5.8% of children currently live in their grandparent's home and more than 2.5 million grandparents are taking responsibility for these children, often with little involvement from the parents of the child. ...
Miniature Gardens (10/04/14)
An idea that has grown in popularity in recent years is miniature gardens. This idea has seen resurgence from use in the 1970's when terrariums were used to create miniature landscapes. What are the benefits of trying a miniature garden yourself? Miniature gardens are tiny mini-landscapes prepared just for fun. ...
"Renting or buying, an argument for both" (09/20/14)
It has often been referred to as the American dream, to own your own home. The decision to purchase a house may be the single most important decision any of us make. It is a major decision and consumes the majority of most family's monthly budget. For some, due to bad decisions in their past or because of their current circumstances, the ability to obtain financing to purchase a home is not an option and they must rent for the time being. ...
Tree Maintenance (09/13/14)
During the summer there are many leaf diseases that have the opportunity to attack trees. These often show symptoms as spots on the leaf. There are also many other non-disease issues that cause trees to decline over the summer. Taking time to maintain trees in the spring and again in the fall can help to determine what you are dealing with and plan for better tree health...
Living On Less (08/30/14)
The University of Missouri Extension has what often seems like an endless amount of educational materials and publications designed to help educate and improve the lives of Missourians. One such publication, titled "Living on Less", outlines over 80 ideas to help you spend less and still live well. ...
Perspective on cotton yields (08/16/14)
This has been an interesting growing season for our southeast Missouri crops. While planting was delayed by cool, wet conditions, most of our crops are about two weeks later than normal. Having said that, August 15 is considered to be the last effective bloom date for cotton...
Selling your home yourself? (08/11/14)
I recently received a telephone call from a citizen in Dunklin County about selling their home. I was asked how someone would sell their home without hiring a real estate agent and if I thought it was worth the time and trouble. I informed the person that it is difficult to sell your home without the assistance of a real estate agent, but many people do so every day. ...
Potato Pests (08/02/14)
Potatoes have been actively growing and, in some cases, new (small) potatoes have already been harvested. For those who are waiting until the tuber grows large enough to be used as a baked potato, or for those who are waiting until the tuber has stored as much energy as possible, there is still a bit of time left before harvest. ...
Current status of waterhemp resistance (07/26/14)
On Wednesdays of this week, I had the opportunity to attend a Pigposium-Respect the Rotation Field Day at the Northeast Arkansas Research and Extension Center at Keiser. There were six stops on the field tour with excellent presentations. This event was also well attended...
Tips for managing your debt (07/19/14)
Last month, I discussed how to rebuild your credit, once problems arise. This month, I would like to consider ways to prevent those problems. Debt management is the practice of maintaining control over your credit and debt load. To manage debt, one must be able to look at their situation objectively, to identify problem areas and places where changes might be made to improve their circumstances. If you are going to review your credit situation yourself, the following tips may be helpful...
Rain is impacting this season's crops (08/17/13)
This year has been such a contrast with last year. We have gone from exceptional drought to prolonged wet conditions. When the rains began, it was welcomed by everyone. July and August rains are sometimes called million dollar rains by those in the agricultural community. Rain that this time of the year really helps the crops to grow to grow and producers can stop their irrigation. By not irrigating, they can save a lot of money on fuel costs...
Fresh water concerns in the U.S. and world (06/08/13)
Fresh water concerns in the U.S. and world I have written on a number of occasions about the vast water resources available to Southeast Missouri producers. When I arrived in Southeast Missouri in 1990 to accept the agronomy specialist position in Dunklin County, it didn't take me long to realize that Southeast Missouri was unique in crop production compared with the rest of the state. ...
Anthracnose (06/02/13)
Anthracnose is a foliar disease caused by a series of fungi that affect shrubs, shade trees and garden plants. The plant will dictate which fungus causes the anthracnose. For example on cucumber it could be Colletotrichum while on trees it might be Discula (dogwood), Apiognomonia (oak or sycamore) or Kabatiella (maple). The fungus overwinters in debris or in cankers producing spores in April and May when it is cool and moist. These form small spots to large blotches on foliage...
Planting progress is being made in Southeast Missouri (05/26/13)
This has been an unusual planting season, but a lot of progress has been made this past week. One thing that all of us have learned the past few years is that we are not in control of our circumstances. Whether it is a homeowner planting a garden or a commodity producer trying to get their fields planted, we do not have control over the weather...
Questions about Disease (05/19/13)
One of the frustrating things about disease issues on ornamentals such as hollyhocks and peach trees is that by the time the symptoms of the disease show up, the opportunity to control that disease is gone. Two diseases that qualify for this problem are hollyhock rust and peach leaf curl...
Honeybees and 17 year cicadas (05/12/13)
On Tuesday of this week, I had an opportunity to be a presenter at Ecology Day at South Elementary School in Kennett. My topic was insects. I shared interesting information based on my experiences and knowledge. I discussed the importance of honeybees and shared how scout bees communicate with other bees about where to find the nectar source. ...
Large Patch on Zoysia (05/05/13)
Due to the wet weather conditions and the long spring, conditions are right for large patch on zoysia. Although it can attack bermuda grass, large patch is usually more of a problem for zoysia grass. The disease associated with large patch creates large brown areas in the lawn that will increase in size as they age. ...
The benefits of gardening (04/28/13)
Gardening is an activity that benefits people of all ages. There are many opportunities including vegetable, herb or flower gardening. Gardening can be done in small plots or larger plots such as community gardens. One of the benefits of gardening is that it provides physical exercise. ...
Tent Caterpillar (04/22/13)
This time of year I get calls about many things so it is easy to come up with a topic to cover for this article. This week the topic is Tent Caterpillar. The question is, "what is the webbing in my tree caused from?" Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum, is a common defoliator of trees in Missouri. ...
Planting slightly delayed due to weather (04/14/13)
We all remember last year and the warm temperatures that we experienced in early March. We were able to get our crops in earlier due to this extra heat. To put things in perspective, let's look at the March 1 through April 10 total rainfall and average temperature. ...
Henbit (04/07/13)
Although some may disagree henbit is not a word of curse. It is the name given to one of two winter annuals that are prevalent in the lawn, and in some cases fields, this time of year. What are winter annuals? A winter annual is a plant whose seed germinates in the fall, survives in winter and grows quickly in late winter or early spring. ...
Program integration and opportunities (03/31/13)
University of Missouri Extension has begun a process of making changes in not only the structure of the organization but also in how we deliver programs. On January 1, 2013 our organization went from eight regions to seven. More importantly, the St. Louis and Kansas City areas were combined into a single, urban region. While there was major reshuffling of some regions, the Southeast region went from 16 to 18 counties. We added Oregon and Shannon counties...
Gardening on a budget (03/24/13)
I have many requests that come in on how to plant or what to grow and when to plant it. When discussing ornamentals or growing fruits and vegetables there are always at least two ways it can be done. Create the perfect area by spending money to get what you need or thinking outside of the box to create the perfect area without breaking the budget. Below are some ideas that might help you get started without breaking the bank...
The impact of Bt corn adoption by U.S. producers (03/16/13)
The impact of Bt corn adoption by U.S. producers Corn is a very important crop in the U.S. and in the international community. The word corn comes from the English for grain. Around the World, it is generally known as maize. Maize comes from a Spanish word, "mahiz," which means "that which sustains us." It is the number one grain in the world, providing twenty-one percent of the global nutrition. ...
Watermelon (03/10/13)
National Garden Bureau has declared 2013 the year of the watermelon. What a great excuse to discuss such a juicy, sweet fruit. Watermelon's scientific name is Citrullus lanatus from the family Curcurbitaceae. It is cousin to the cucumber, pumpkin and squash...
Cotton breeding is more efficient (03/03/13)
Cotton breeding has come a long way. I had had the experience of being involved with two cotton breeding programs. I was involved with the LSU cotton breeding program lead by Dr. Jack Jones. I learned a lot about the various traits such as smooth leaf, glandless, nectariless and...
The Perfect Soil (02/24/13)
It is true that the soil around us is often taken for granted. The environment contained in the soil supports the flowers we enjoy looking at and the food we grow and eat. If this soil is well maintained, it will feed the plants we desire. Think about what can be done to help maintain a healthy soil capable of growing lush plants...
Cotton planting intensions and resistant weed surveys (02/17/13)
The National Cotton Council released its cotton planting intentions at its Annual Meeting on Friday, February 8. This survey can be found at http://www.cotton.org/news/meetings/2013.... Most commodity watchers had expected a drop in cotton acreage for 2013 because of the corn, soybean and wheat prices...
Peach Meeting (02/09/13)
Each year in February the University of Missouri with the help of the State Fruit Experiment Station hosts the peach and fruit meeting. This year the meeting will be held at the Hickory Log at 1314 business highway 60 in Dexter, Missouri on February 12, 2013...
At Your Service (02/03/13)
How government nutrition advice impacts consumers The Amber Waves electronic magazine is an USDA publication by the Economic Research Service (ERS). This agency is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture...
Japanese Beetle (01/26/13)
I have seen several articles coming out saying that Japanese beetle populations are on the rise in Missouri. The Japanese beetle has been in Missouri for over 20 years and has been showing itself in great numbers for the last 4 to 5 years in southeast Missouri...
Weather expectations for 2013 (01/19/13)
2012 was the warmest year on record in Missouri since 1895, when established instrumental temperature records began, according to Pat Guinan, extension climatologist with the University of Missouri Commercial Agriculture Program. Combined with the lack of rainfall for the entire state, we experienced exceptional drought conditions in the Southeast region and most of the state...
Ag Expo 2013 (01/13/13)
Each year I encourage attendance at the Ag Expo held in Poplar Bluff, MO at the Black River Coliseum. I often see many people I know from Dunklin County and have the opportunity to talk with them face to face during the Expo. Although there are many family and child friendly events (dairy cow, petting farm, toy tractor pull and garden activities) each year at the expo I will highlight some of the activities that may be most interesting to the agriculture community. ...
Southeast Missouri agricultural extension meetings (01/06/13)
January and February are busy months for extension specialists. We have scheduled several production conferences, pesticide applicator training, and it looks like we will have the University of Missouri Scouting School again this year. On Thursday, January 26, the Regional Soybean Meeting will be held at the Miner Convention Center, Miner Missouri. ...
Can we garden this week? (12/30/12)
Here we are during some of the shortest and coldest days of the year. This time of year is usually a good time to stay inside and leave the garden at rest. If you have time on your hands and need something to keep you occupied what you can accomplish is the rescue of your garden tools. I may have provided this information before but the truth is if you protect your garden tools they will serve you for life...
At Your Service (12/22/12)
Private pesticide applicator training sessions scheduled in 2013 The Dunklin County University of Missouri Extension Center will soon begin training sessions for the private pesticide applicators license. The private pesticide applicator training is for those individuals who use ?restricted use? chemicals for the production of agricultural commodities. ...
2012 Watermelon Growers Meeting (12/16/12)
The 2012 watermelon meeting is held each year at the conclusion of the growing season. This meeting once again provided new information for 61 attendees and producers in the southeast portion of Missouri and northeast Arkansas. Many attendees left with information that will be used during the next growing season...
USDA predicts good economic and financial conditions for U.S. agriculture (12/09/12)
The December 2012 Amber Waves electronic magazine is now available online. It can be found at http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves.aspx. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ...
2012 Watermelon Growers Meeting (12/02/12)
The watermelon growers meeting continues to improve. In addition to Dr. Reed Smeda and David Dunn from the University of Missouri and Mr. Bob Garino with the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service we have added Jason Hanselman with the Watermelon Promotion Board. The meeting will cover soils, weeds, promotion and the future for our area. In addition, application has been made for 2 Certified Crop Advisor CEU credits for those CCA's who attend...
Southeast Missouri's soil and water resources (11/25/12)
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I had the opportunity to attend the Certified Crop Advisors Conference held each November at the University of Missouri Delta Center. This annual program was started to assist certified crop advisors with their continuing education requirements...
2012 watermelon growers meeting (11/18/12)
2012 Watermelon Growers Meeting On Wednesday, December 5, 2012 University of Missouri Extension will again host the annual Watermelon Grower's Meeting with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the American Legion Building in Kennett, MO. Sponsors for this event include International Paper Company, Plant Agra, Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Siegers Seed Company, Syngentia Seeds, TEVA Corporation and Yara North America...
Missouri drought update (11/11/12)
I was in Columbia last week attending our extension Fall Conference and an Agricultural and Natural Resource (ANR) Conference. I really enjoyed visiting with co-workers from throughout the state. A good bit of the agricultural conference dealt with the drought and its consequences in Missouri...
Bulbs that need protection (11/04/12)
Fall is the time of year to plant bulbs that will bloom in spring or early summer but it is also the time of year to dig up many bulbs that may not be able to withstand our winter soils. When asked if certain bulbs need to be dug up before winter the reply depends on the growing situation. ...
GrandFamily conference scheduled (10/28/12)
A GrandFamily/Kinship Conference has been scheduled for Thursday, November 15 at the Divine Holiness Outreach Center in Caruthersville Missouri located at 1109 E. 18th Street from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The conference is free, but pre-registration is required to insure adequate seating, materials and lunch. To register, you may the Pemiscot County University of Missouri Extension Office at 573-333-0258. The registration deadline is November 9th...
Rust on Cedar (10/21/12)
Likely due to the abnormal summer weather patterns followed by the cool and wet fall, it seems that rust has exploded on cedar (juniper) trees this year. Many of you are asking, "what can be done about it?" The first thing is to determine which rust is present. ...
Arsenic in rice: What it means? (10/14/12)
The Consumer Reports Magazine included a study on arsenic in their November 2012 edition. The headline is ?Arsenic in your food. Our findings show a real need for federal standards for this toxin. This article can be found here http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magaz......
Fruit flies (10/08/12)
With the cooler, wet weather there has been a significant increase in the number of tiny flies in the house. What can be done? Is there a magic solution? The lifecycle of the fruit fly usually occurs in 12 to 14 days, going from egg to adult. As an adult they are attracted to fruit but if there is none available they will live inside drains or in damp towels, dishtowels or mops...
Pesticide pickup in Kennett on Saturday, October 6 (09/30/12)
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is providing the free pesticide collection event for Missouri households and farmers. Pesticides from businesses, pesticide production facilities, pesticide distributors, pesticide retailers and the like cannot be accepted. This collection event will be taking place in Kennett on Saturday Oct. 6th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Kennett Compost Station. The Kennett Compost Station is located at 18464 County Road 508, Kennett Missouri...
Fall Clean-Up (09/23/12)
The cooler weather has been wonderful for both animal and plant alike. Recent weather has been a welcome vacation from the heat of past months. Add a little rain here and there and fall is shaping up nicely. Each year we do our best to stay indoors during the dog-days of summer and this year the heat kept us inside more than usual. Gardens and yards may have been neglected while the bare minimum was done to keep things alive, mostly watering. September is a month for renewal...
Vote (08/07/12)
As part of this year's primary election, a special election was called by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for the purpose of voting on a question submitted by the 96th General Assembly and is known as Constitutional Amendment 2. The amendment, which if passed, would ensure that the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs would not be infringed; that school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and that all public schools will display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.. ...
Last effective bloom date is near (08/05/12)
While looking over several cotton fields this week, I realized that we don?t have much time left in the season. We have about two weeks left until the last effective bloom date around the middle of August. This is the last date on which a white bloom can mature into a harvestable boll. ...
Non-native invasive species (07/29/12)
As I was riding my bike along Highway 412 south of Kennett, I saw some Johnsongrass that had been sprayed and was turning color. In Missouri, Johnsongrass is classified as a noxious weed and there is a noxious weed law that the Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture is responsible for administering through a county weed control board. The county prosecuting attorney is responsible for prosecution of all weed statutes, so designated. Another weed that is one this list is kudzu...
Heat and Drought (07/15/12)
How are you holding up to the heat? Think about that question and how much water you have been drinking to keep yourself hydrated. The human body is composed of between 60 and 70% water, depending on the age. Now compare that to some plant species which may hold between 70 and 95% water...
Rotting Tomato (07/01/12)
"My tomato's looked great earlier this week and now they are rotting. Can I do anything about this blight?" This is a commonly heard statement, especially this summer. What can be done? In many cases the culprit that is causing tomatoes to rot is not a disease but a physiological condition common to tomato. ...
Drought monitor shows worsening conditions (06/24/12)
I was hoping that after the last rain that we might see some improving conditions. With our high temperatures and lack of rainfall, I was not surprised that the Drought Monitor has upgraded Southeast Missouri to reflect the dryer conditions. This week our cotton growing area is either in the extreme or severe drought categories. Last week we had over 8 percent of Missouri in the Bootheel area in the severe drought category. This week, the extreme drought covers 8.06 percent...
Japanese Beetles are Back (06/17/12)
They're back! Yes, the Japanese beetle have completed metamorphosis and the adults are back to enjoy a smorgasbord of leafy tissue in the garden. Is there anything that can be done to reduce the population? The Japanese beetle spends most of its life (10 months) underground as a small, white, c-shaped grub that feeds on the roots of grass. ...
You Too Can Attract Hummingbirds (06/03/12)
Editor's Note: Sarah Denkler was out of the office this week. The following column was originally ran on May 11, 2008. They are the smallest bird found only in the western hemisphere from Alaska to Chile, with the smallest of the 339 member family at 2.2 grams. ...
Warm season lawns (05/20/12)
By now warm season lawns of Bermuda or zoysia grass should be green and actively growing. These types of turf grass are relatively easy to maintain if cared for properly. These following tips will help build a healthy lawn. Both Bermuda and zoysia grass should be mowed at a height of 1.5 inches. ...
Planting Without Plant Stress (05/06/12)
Transplants can come from the grower or retail center, from a pot that is too small for the plant or from cuttings that have been taken, grown and are the correct size for transplanting. If lucky, friends who enjoy sharing plants will pass on healthy specimens right out of the ground. These need to be planted quickly to ensure as little stress to the plant as possible...
Peach Meeting Peach Meeting Peach Meeting (02/10/12)
The peach and fruit meeting will once again be held in Malden, Missouri at the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center on Tuesday, February 28. We will start with dinner and registration at 5:30 pm before beginning the educational portion of the meeting...
Happy New Year (01/01/12)
Happy New Year and welcome to 2012. It is hard to believe that 2011 is over. Today marks the traditional start of the news year's resolution. One that should be considered is "to do better" at those things which are completed each year. Not only can this resolution make it to the end of the year but it improves as the year moves on, providing a sense of accomplishment as it is attained...
Drought more than skin deep (12/11/11)
I have made a habit to periodically check the US Drought Monitor to see if our abnormally dry condition had changed. I noticed that we were considered to have made it back to normal in the November 29 report. This report is located at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/...
Pecan Shells (11/20/11)
As the pecan harvest in 2011 moves closer to completion what remains are piles of pecan shells. Whether these shells are available in large quantities from an orchard or in small supply from the backyard some have asked what alternatives there are available other than burning the shells?...
Pros and cons of cellulosic ethanol (10/30/11)
Several weeks ago, I wrote an update on cellulosic ethanol. This is a bio-fuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. While the use of bio-fuels has been controversial, their use is mandated by Congress by the The Energy Policy Act of 2005...
Cover Crops (09/25/11)
Many of us may harvest that last vegetable and then forget about our gardens until spring. We have discussed here that we should be taking soil samples and adding amendments now so that our garden will be ready to go in spring. What else can be done to aid our garden soil?...
More good news about Missouri cotton (09/18/11)
I received a request to review an article from the University of Missouri Alumni Association today about a local cotton producer. I was asked to provide a link for Missouri?s cotton production compared with the other states. One of the references that I found was from a Missouri Department of Agriculture Blog, ?Thinking Outside The Barn.? The featured article was, ?Cotton Crop is Valued in Missouri.? This was posted on September 24, 2010 during the Sustainable Cotton Summit conducted by the University of Missouri?s Textile and Apparel Management Department. ...
Perennial Food Care in Fall (08/28/11)
In the fall you need to do a little extra to make sure your perennial food sources will be healthy once spring comes around again. Let's talk about the perennials asparagus, strawberry and rhubarb. In each case fall clean-up is a must before letting the plant go dormant in fall...
Abnormally dry conditions return to Bootheel (08/07/11)
When the drought broke in our area with the much higher rainfall that we experienced in March and April, I knew with our normal weather patterns that we could be in a rainfall deficit before the end of the cropping season. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor as of August 2, much of our prime cotton region in Missouri is now considered abnormally dry. ...
Bacterial blight alert (07/24/11)
According to the Compendium of Cotton Diseases, Bacterial Blight has been around for over 100 years. This disease is caused by the organism (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. Malvacearum). I have seen this disease in the past but I have never seen it cause economic yield loss. ...
Brambles (07/17/11)
Blackberries and raspberries are both brambles from the Genus Rubus and related to the rose. Blackberries are ripe when they lose their shine and raspberries are ripe when they separate at the core. Blackberries are drought tolerant once established but still require regular watering during fruit development. Raspberries are grown in many climates. Both should be fertilized with a complete fertilizer after harvest to ensure good growth and preparation for winter...
Stink Bug and Squash Bug (07/03/11)
Two voracious pests are letting us know they are present in the garden. They have begun to infest many fruits and vegetables around our homes. In each case they leave a great amount of damage. Squash bugs feed on cucurbits such as watermelon, cucumber, squash and pumpkin. ...
Whatever happened to DDT? (06/26/11)
According to Wikipedia, DDT is a chemical with a long, unique and controversial history. It was synthesized in 1874 by a German Chemist, Othmar Zeidler. Its insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, by a Swiss chemist, Paul Muller. After he discovered that it killed flies, mosquitoes and other insects...
Flooding has been a game changer this season (05/15/11)
This has been an unusual year and the weather continues to have an impact. According to the Missouri Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending May 8, planting of all crops was almost nonexistent for last week. In the Southeast Region, only .1 days was available for fieldwork with the state average of 3.4 percent...
Soil test results show need for soil testing (04/03/11)
A few weeks ago, I received the newsletter from the Plant Protection Program at the University of Missouri. One of the articles was about the Soil Test Summary 2010 for soil samples sent to the university soils labs located at Portageville and Columbia. ...
Extension production and educational meetings (02/20/11)
The beginning of the year is a very busy time for extension agricultural specialists. We attend training, make plans and conduct meetings. At the present time, I am one of three agronomists in the Southeast Region. When I arrived here over 20 years ago, we had nine regional agronomists. Only one of the positions is currently open and that is the position in New Madrid County...
The new harvest, agricultural innovation in Africa (12/10/10)
On August 1, 2009, my article that appeared in the Daily Dunklin democrat was entitled, ?Africa could feed the world.? This was based on two reports. The first report was compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The second was issued jointly by the FAO and the World Bank. This report concluded that 988 million acres straddling 25 African countries are suitable for farming...
Cotton's sustainability and environmental footprint Headline (11/28/10)
As I read many popular news articles, I learn that environmentalists do not like our U.S. crop production systems, our government farm programs, and in particular do not like cotton. By using mechanized equipment, chemicals and synthetic fertilizers U.S. producers are among the most efficient in the world. Compare our production system with the Chinese in which humans provide the labor. I will admit that the Chinese cotton is cleaner since it is all hand harvested...
Will our weather change this winter? (10/31/10)
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, large portions of Dunklin and Pemiscot County are classified as being in the extreme drought category. The remainder of both counties is classified as severe drought. Regardless of how you look at our situation, we are dry. Within the past several weeks, I have been contacted by our state extension climatologist, Pat Guinan, and by the National Weather Service in Memphis regarding our crop situation and what to expect during the winter...
GrandFamily conference scheduled (10/17/10)
A GrandFamily conference has been scheduled for Friday, November 12 at the Pemiscot County Special School District from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The Special School District is located at 1317 W. State Highway 84 near Hayti, Missouri. This is the second conference organized for grandparents...
Grass (09/26/10)
Sometimes the ideas for these articles call to me, literally. I have received many calls in the last week surrounding the main topic of grass. Inquiring individuals want to know what type to grow, when to fertilizer, how to seed it and when to seed...
SE regional crop and climatic update (09/19/10)
This has been such an unusual year. We had spring flooding earlier in the year but we were able to get our crops planted. Then it turned hot and dry. A considerable amount of soil moisture was lost by early July. We were without significant rainfall in much of Dunklin and Pemiscot County until the rains we received last week. While they helped settle the dust for a short period of time and greened up the grass, we still have a long-term moisture deficit...
Farmers selling directly to consumers (09/05/10)
The new Amber Waves e-magazine has been posted to the Internet. This is a publication from the USDA Economic Research Service and can be found at http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/Septe.... One article that caught my attention was ?Urban Areas Prove Profitable for Farmers Selling Directly to Consumers.? This was written by Steven Vogel and Sarah Low. ...
Blame it on the jet stream (08/22/10)
The jet stream on earth is very important because of its impact on climatic changes and because of its impact on commercial aviation. According to the Wikipedia, the jet stream on earth is caused by a combination of the earth?s rotation and solar heating. Information can be found on this phenomenon at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_stream...
Fall Webworm (08/15/10)
Although I would not call it fall, it is still August and it is HOT, I have noticed that fall webworm have begun to build nests and defoliate trees. Fall webworm infests more than 100 different tree species in the United States and Canada including forest, shade and fruit varieties. The most notable sign of an infestation is the large white webs that encompass the tips of trees...
Heat is having an impact on SE Missouri cotton (08/08/10)
According to the Missouri Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending August 3rd, our cotton is 24 days ahead of last year and 20 days ahead of normal. The higher temperatures this year have led to a much earlier crop and the loss of yield potential for the non-irrigated cotton. ...
Healthy Yards (08/05/10)
With the lack of water and high temperatures our plants are in stress. The heat of late summer can do as much or more damage to plants as winter ice. How can we better prepare our lawns and plants to withstand severe weather conditions? Soil tests are a great way to begin a healthy relationship with your yard and garden. ...
Problems with Roundup Ready weed control (07/25/10)
On July 14, I attended the Integrated Pest Management Field Day at the University of Missouri's Bradford Research and Extension Center located near Columbia. As one might expect, the primary theme was dealing with weeds that are resistant to the Roundup Ready system in a number of crops. The trails that we saw dealt with soybeans, corn, and grain sorghum. Southeast Missouri is the only area with cotton and rice, so there was no discussion about these crops...
Sow Seeds for the Fall (07/19/10)
For many of you, we are finally beginning to harvest produce from the garden and although the heat and lack of water are causing much concern for our plants, we are enjoying the reward that goes with our labor. Congratulations on your accomplishments...
Japanese Beetle (07/04/10)
Although the Japanese beetle has been in Missouri for over 20 years, it has just recently began showing itself as the highly destructive pest in our landscapes, gardens and orchards. The adult Japanese beetle is about 1 inch round beetle with a green and orange or copper metallic back and black sides with white spots of small hairs. It has a veracious appetite for green vegetation and does not differentiate between herbaceous ornamentals, fruit, vegetables or trees...
Weather still impacting our cotton (06/27/10)
The Missouri Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending June 20 contains both good and bad news. Cotton squaring has reached 47 percent which is 14 days ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of normal. We now have blooms on some plants and when blooms appear it is considered the day that the bolls begin to set. Cotton condition is rated 7 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 3 percent excellent...
Climate factors affect cotton production (06/13/10)
In talking with many people in the last few weeks, I realize how fortunate that we have been in Missouri during this planting season. According to the Missouri Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending June 6, our percentage of fields with squares is six percent which is 16 days ahead of last year and 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. ...
Flea Beetle (06/06/10)
Now that the heat has arrived the garden plants are growing like weeds. If you are like me you have been fighting against the weeds in your garden and working to keep fungi from taking over during the wet weather. Instead of fungi, how many of you have had your vegetable plants mutilated by many small holes, sometimes referred to as 'shot hole' in their leaves?...
Eastern Red Cedar (05/23/10)
While many of us might consider the Eastern Red Cedar a "weed tree", when fully grown the tree, which is actually a juniper, can be a great part of a landscape. One of the best attributes of the tree is the ability to block unwanted views both in summer and winter or to function as a hardy wind break...
Missouri can be proud of 2009 cotton crop (05/17/10)
I received the May 12, 2010 Cotton and Wool Report from the USDA on Wednesday. I was very pleased with the information that it contained. Table 11 of this 17 page on-line report gives the final acreage, yield, and production figures for 2009. This report is located here at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/cur......
Winds help dry soils after rain (05/02/10)
According to the Missouri Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending April, 25 we are about where we were last year. We are two days ahead of last year but about 2 days behind normal. A look back at last season, we had a good start, but the rains set in. We were behind all planting season and the crop did not catch up with our heat units until late in the season...
Large patch on Zoysia (04/25/10)
For those who have zoysia or bermuda grass lawns, be aware spring and fall are good times to look for rhizoctonia large patch. Although it can attack bermuda grass, large patch is usually more of a problem for zoysia grass. Large patch disease creates large brown spots in the lawn that will increase in size as they age. ...
Lawn Care (04/11/10)
Green grass is sometimes an elusive desire of those who manage their own lawns. Many problems that are seen in lawns are a result of poor mowing or improper fertilizer applications. If signs of disease show up in a lawn the causes usually happen earlier in the year...
Mississippi River Basin Initiative (03/28/10)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that money would be available to improve the water quality in the Mississippi River Basin. The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) will provide approximately $320 million over the next four years for voluntary projects in priority watersheds located in 12 key states. ...
At Your Service
At Your Service