Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
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Story source: Rusty Lee, 573-564-3733

BELLFLOWER, Mo. – You won’t find grass growing under 81-year-old Russel Winter’s feet. While many farmers his age are retired, Winter still likes to lead the way in trying new farming technology and methods.

During a recent hot summer day, Winter helped dig a trench for subsurface drip irrigation on his farm in Montgomery County. “I’ve been wanting to try this for 10 years,” he said. “Now that I should be quitting (farming), I’m trying it.”

University of Missouri Extension research finds that subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), when used as part of an integrated drainage water management system, can boost corn yields by 41 bushels per acre and soybean by 14 bushels per acre on poorly drained flat soils.

Winter built his own SDI unit for less than a third of the $7,000 cost of a ready-made applicator. He also designed and built a pump and filtering unit that supplies irrigation water from a 10-acre lake.

He uses conventional pivot irrigation on other parts of his farm. Installation and operation costs are about the same. The newly installed SDI is better suited for the 14-acre plot because pivot irrigation systems do not easily accommodate small, oddly-shaped fields.

System layout and design is based on the research of MU Extension agronomists Rusty Lee and Kelly Nelson. Water from the lake is pumped through a disk filtration system and distributed to drip tape through buried PVC pressure and flush manifolds.

In addition to higher yields, Lee found that SDI increased kernel size and improved test weight. All of this means better profits and less worry for the farmer.

Trying new technology allows Winter to adapt to changing markets. His cash-only financial practice, a holdover from lean times in the 1970s, gives him the freedom to take some risks.

In 1970 he was the first to double-crop soybean in Montgomery County, Winter said. “I got laughed at first. Three years later, my phone rang off the hook wanting to know what I was doing.” The first year, his soybean made 30 bushels per acre. The second year, he planted in 20-inch rows and produced 35 bushels per acre. The third year, dry weather trumped technology and beans made 5 bushels per acre.

He also started the first slatted-floor hog house in the area. He tried to save labor with a farrow-to-finish operation. When hog prices dropped to $30 per hundredweight, he moved efforts into more row-crop land. He helped organize and build the first ethanol plant at Macon and invested in the biodiesel plant at Mexico. He also pioneered the use of hairy vetch as a cover crop for erosion control in his area.

Winter follows outlook trends offered by MU Extension economists, including Abner Womack, professor emeritus of agricultural economics and co-founder of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI). He is regular at Womack’s impromptu coffee gatherings with farmers in the Montgomery City area. He checks the weather each morning before planning his day’s work, and he monitors market prices hourly from his smartphone.

Last year, MU Extension held a session on subsurface drip irrigation at Lee’s Warren County farm. Researchers also demonstrated MU’s free Crop Water Use mobile web app (cropwater.org) to schedule crop irrigation. Winter couldn’t attend because he was receiving chemotherapy. When Winter’s treatment course was over, Lee volunteered to give individual training on how drip irrigation works.

In addition to offering more flexibility than pivot irrigation, drip irrigation also prevents wetting of crop leaves, reducing the likelihood of foliar diseases, Lee said. It can decrease water use by as much as 25 percent. Water-soluble fertilizers such as nitrogen can be applied through drip irrigation.

There are a few drawbacks, Lee said. Rodents can chew through drip lines, especially when the soil is loosened during installation. Water filtration requires frequent monitoring for particulates that could clog the emitters. Another concern is bacterial growth inside the drip tape, but this can be managed through acidifying agents.

Both surface and well water work with an SDI system, but an irrigation water-quality test is the first step in evaluating SDI for your operation.

For more information, contact your local MU Extension center or visit crops.missouri.edu/irrigation.

Photos available for this release:

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/2018/sdi0194.jpg
Bellflower, Mo., farmer Russel Winter uses his phone to track weather and the markets while helping trench a ditch for subsurface drip irrigation. Photo by Linda Geist.

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/2018/sdi0197.jpg
At 81, Russel Winter still likes to try new farm technology. He recently installed a subsurface drip irrigation system on an irregularly shaped plot of soybean. Photo by Linda Geist.

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/2018/sdi0198.jpg
Russel Winter, left, and MU Extension agronomist Rusty Lee, right, use subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) at their farms. They built their own trenchers for the drip lines, and Winter helped design the water pump and filtration unit for his SDI system. Photo by Linda Geist.

Photos available for this release:

Photo

Cutline: Bellflower, Mo., farmer Russel Winter uses his phone to track weather and the markets while helping trench a ditch for subsurface drip irrigation. Photo by Linda Geist.

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Cutline: At 81, Russel Winter still likes to try new farm technology. He recently installed a subsurface drip irrigation system on an irregularly shaped plot of soybean. Photo by Linda Geist.

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Cutline: Russel Winter, left, and MU Extension agronomist Rusty Lee, right, use subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) at their farms. They built their own trenchers for the drip lines, and Winter helped design the water pump and filtration unit for his SDI system. Photo by Linda Geist.

Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Greg Luce, 573-473-7079

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Researchers from University of Missouri Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources share their work at the July 31 Show Me Soy School at Bay Farm Research Facility near Columbia. The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council hosts the annual field day to showcase checkoff-funded research.

New demonstrations this year include biodiesel, SCN testing, phenotyping equipment, dicamba testing and monitoring equipment, and the Natural Resources Conversation Service’s rainfall simulator. Presenters will show how to use the new MU Herbicide Injury ID app.

Researchers will share new uses for soybean, the latest research on high-oleic soybean breeding, information on MU’s Strip Trial Program, and more. The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council provides a free lunch of fish fried in high-oleic soybean oil.

Speakers include MU specialists and researchers Andrew Scaboo, Kevin Bradley, Kaitlyn Bissonnette, Kent Shannon, John Lory and Bryon Wiegand.

For more information or to RSVP, go to mosoy.org/fieldday or call 573-635-3819.

Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension introduced a new mobile app to identify herbicide injury at its annual Pest Management Field Day on July 10.

MU Extension weed specialist Mandy Bish says Herbicide Injury ID lets users send photos of injured plants to MU Extension for preliminary diagnosis and feedback. Users can also scroll through a library of more than 200 photos to look for similar types of damage.

When the app launches, users can choose from four options: diagnose injury, search by herbicide, view sites of action, or send photos and detailed descriptions to MU for diagnosis.

Bish says the app is not limited to corn and soybeans. It includes photos of some ornamentals, cucurbits, tomatoes and trees. It will continue to be expanded.

Download the Herbicide Injury ID app from the Apple App Store or Google Play on any mobile device.

• For iPhone, iPad: itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1297001308

• For Android devices: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=doit.herbicideinjury

Photo available for this release:

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Cutline: Screenshots from Herbicide Injury ID app.

Media contact:
Duane Dailey
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9181
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Craig A. Roberts, 573-882-0481

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Stunted, stemmy pastures unable to support grazing cattle have potential. Depend on fall rains to bring fall regrowth, says University of Missouri Extension forage agronomist Craig Roberts.

Cool-season grass growth always slumps in summer. Fescue goes dormant. This year, the slump dives deep with lack of rain and too much heat. In spite of that, Missouri farmers should prepare for fall regrowth for winter grazing.

Roberts reminds farmers to think back to the big drought of 2012. After a prolonged dry spell, rains returned Sept. 1. After the drought, grass grew and soybean fields made big yields.

Fall rains and renewed growth are normal. Sometimes remnants of hurricanes, as in 2012, bring big rains.

To prepare for fall growth every year, farmers clip pastures to encourage regrowth and apply 40 to 50 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer. Then they wait for rains and new grass. Often as not, it works.

“If you prepare and it rains, you win,” Roberts says. “If not prepared, you can’t win.”

Roberts cautions farmers to not clip too early. “Wait to clip the canopy until mid-August.”

Friendly weeds may prove welcome this year, Roberts says. Grassy weeds such as crabgrass, foxtail, barnyardgrass and goosegrass are summer annuals. “Weeds are just waiting to grow. If we get some rain, they may make forage to bale.”

“Weeds aren’t great,” Robert adds. “But this year, take what Mother Nature gives. However, avoid baling poisonous or thorny weeds. We just want friendly weeds.”

Cool-season grasses have two growing seasons. The spring season provides two-thirds of annual production. That other third of growth usually goes into stockpile, which is left unbaled and held for winter grazing.

When cows harvest grass by grazing, it cuts winter feed bills.

Management-intensive grazing, taught in MU grazing schools, boosts production per acre by one third.

Roberts says he’s getting lots of phone calls about clipping pastures now. Farmers want to speed regrowth, but he urges patience. “Wait until the first or second week of August.”

By nature, Missouri farmers take risks. “Just wait and play the odds,” he says.

Regional MU Extension field crops or livestock specialists advise on managing grass and cow herds.

Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Kevin Rice, 573-882-2838

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Japanese beetles—those mean, green eating machines—are peaking throughout much of Missouri.

University of Missouri Extension field crops entomologist Kevin Rice hopes his research on Japanese beetles will take a bite out of their buffet.

Japanese beetles cause large economic losses for the agricultural community. Adult beetles typically feed on silks and tassels in corn and foliage on soybean. They also damage the foliage and fruit of more than 400 flower, shrub and tree species.

Currently, pyrethroids are the best knockdown control measure for them, says Rice. Apply chemical control when thresholds are met. The beetles move quickly from nearby woods, fields and lawns to re-infest an area, so multiple applications might be necessary.

Rice and his team of MU graduate students are researching the use of nets containing pyrethroids to control Japanese beetles. They place nets and pheromone lures around field borders. Previous researchers found that beetles pick up a toxic dose within three seconds. The nets remain effective throughout the growing season and are unlikely to attract pollinators.

“It’s not a silver bullet,” Rice says, “but it’s a bullet.”

Japanese beetles are in peak season in Missouri now. Rice recommends chemical control when economic thresholds are reached. Bags and traps are far less effective and may attract more beetles.

Traps catch about 75 percent of beetles and can actually attract more beetles than they capture, according to the USDA publication “Managing the Japanese Beetle: A Homeowner’s Handbook” (bit.ly/2KJsCdo).

If you use traps, place them away from plants and on the borders of yards or fields.

Rice says his research is in the preliminary stages and he does not recommend nets yet. He says homeowners and farmers should continue to monitor lawns and fields. Apply chemicals in a timely manner according to label instructions.

The adult Japanese beetle is a little less than half an inch long and has a shiny, metallic-green body with bronze-colored outer wings. The beetle has six tufts of white hair under the edges of its wings. Japanese beetles produce one generation each year and can burrow up to 12 inches below soil in the winter to survive.

You can monitor Japanese beetles and other pests at MU’s Integrated Pest Management website, ipm.missouri.edu/pestMonitoring/jb.

Photos available for this release:
https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/stock/bugs/JapaneseBeetles.jpg
University of Missouri Extension entomologist Kevin Rice and his team of graduate students research the use of pyrethroid nets to control foliage-eating Japanese beetles. Photo by Jessi Dodge, MU Extension.

Photo available for this release:

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Cutline: University of Missouri Extension entomologist Kevin Rice and his team of graduate students research the use of pyrethroid nets to control foliage-eating Japanese beetles.

Credit: Photo by Jessi Dodge, MU Extension.

Media contact:
Duane Dailey
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9181
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Kevin Bradley, 573-882-4039

COLUMBIA, Mo. – “I’m done arguing about it. We’ve proven volatility in the new dicamba formulations,” said University of Missouri weed scientist Kevin Bradley.

Speaking at the end of MU Pest Management Field Day, July 10, Bradley summed up ongoing research on dicamba. The herbicide for weed control in soybeans and cotton remains in the news.

“We” in Bradley’s comment includes himself and 12 MU students and staff. Most of their time goes to finding answers for farmers’ concerns. A big concern in Missouri agriculture remains off-target movement of dicamba.

“For years I was a weed scientist,” Bradley said. “Now I’ve become a dicamba injury inspector.”

Bradley uses most of his research plots at the MU Bradford Research Center east of Columbia to study dicamba movement. “We’ve moved on from ‘does volatility occur?’ to ‘is there something we can do to reduce it?’”

So far, Bradley’s group hasn’t seen much success in reducing off-target movement of dicamba.

Farmers often tell of a neighbor spraying weeds in a soybean field. Then damage appears across the road in their soybean field. Damage can occur far from a suspected source.

Farmers then ask, “What can I do?”

Dicamba proves effective in killing weeds in fields of soybean and cotton bred to tolerate the herbicide. However, non-dicamba-tolerant field crops plus specialty crops of fruit, tomatoes, ornamentals and others suffer damage.

At first, damage was called “drift.” That’s spray droplets carried by wind across the fence causing off-site damage.

“There may be some physical drift or some uncleaned sprayer tanks,” Bradley said. “But there’s also off-target dicamba through volatility.”

Bradley’s team samples air above dicamba-treated plots in two ways: through air samplers with lab analysis and by greenhouse-grown “indicator” soybean plants from campus.

These potted soybean plants are suspended above plots after they’re treated with dicamba. The plants show damage for days after being removed from the field. Damaged plants show cupped leaves and stunted growth.

On plants suspended above a soybean canopy a half hour after a dicamba treatment, there is no possibility of drift or tank contamination, Bradley said.

So far, tests of recovery aids show most don’t work. The best help, Bradley said, is water applied after damage appears. Drip-irrigated research plots showed some signs of recovery.

“It’s pray for rain or add irrigation,” Bradley said in summation. “We haven’t found much of anything else helps.” Foliar treatments, including fertilizer and fungicides, all failed.

New research by Bradley’s graduate student Eric Oseland shows greater volatility occurs on fields with low soil pH. Adding limestone increases pH. That’s done in advance of planting.

What used to be "weed day" now covers insects and diseases.

The 2018 field day drew a larger crowd than expected. Farmers and farm advisers came to learn.

The Bradford Research Center, home of the state’s largest plant science test site, is part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

For Bradley’s help, go to his website at weedscience.missouri.edu.

Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The public is invited to submit information to help local, state and national decision-makers assess drought conditions and impacts in Missouri.

You may submit information about conditions in your area to the Missouri Extension Drought Impact Reporter at arcg.is/1f95Pi, said Pat Guinan, University of Missouri Extension climatologist. Guinan worked with the National Drought Mitigation Center and the National Integrated Drought Information System to develop the website.

“This site will be very helpful when it comes to assessing drought conditions and compiling impact reports at the local, county and state level,” he said.

Information provided by users is shared with the national Drought Impact Reporter (droughtreporter.unl.edu), the nation’s first comprehensive database of drought impacts.

Input from Missourians helps decision-makers gain a more complete and accurate portrayal of drought conditions affecting the Show-Me State, Guinan said.

A related resources is the U.S. Drought Monitor at droughtmonitor.unl.edu, a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought in the U.S. The map is based on measurements of climatic, hydrologic and soil conditions as well as reported impacts and observations from hundreds of contributors across the country, including people who contribute to the Drought Impact Reporter.

Drought Monitor authors assess the data and use their best judgment to create the weekly drought map. Drought reports are available to the public and archived for future use.

“I encourage your participation,” Guinan said. “Nobody knows a drought and its impacts better than a person living in it does. Your local input and expertise is valued and will provide additional information for the author to consider when assessing Missouri drought conditions and categories.”

The Missouri Extension Drought Impact Reporter allows contributors to upload image files up to 10 MB in size. “Pictures are extremely helpful for map authors when assessing drought at the local level,” he said.

You can subscribe to the Drought Impact Reporter RSS feed at moderator.droughtreporter.unl.edu/rssfeed/. Add the two-letter postal abbreviation at the end of the URL to receive a feed for a specific state. For example, the feed for Missouri is at moderator.droughtreporter.unl.edu/rssfeed/MO.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency provide funds for the Drought Impact Reporter.

Media contact:
Linda Geist
Writer
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story source: Kaitlyn Bissonnette, 573-882-3001

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension confirmed the 2018 growing season’s first case of southern rust corn disease in the U.S. on July 10.

The MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic confirmed that southern rust was present in a sample collected from west-central Missouri.

This common corn disease usually shows up in neighboring southern states before appearing in Missouri fields, said MU Extension plant pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette. “This year is an exception.”

Southern rust (Puccinia polysora) is a “tropical” disease that overwinters in warmer climates. Spores blow north on wind currents into corn-producing states each year.

Unusually warm and humid weather across much of Missouri creates the ideal environment for southern rust, which favors temperatures around 80 F and high relative humidity. As the fungus multiplies in the host tissue, raised structures called pustules form. Masses of spores erupt through the leaf tissue.

Bissonnette said there are a few things to consider when scouting for and managing this disease.

· Orange to tan circular or oval pustules commonly form in dense clusters on the upper leaf surface. As the season progresses, the pustules can change to brown or black.

· Rust shows first in the mid-to-upper plant canopy. It appears initially along field borders or at the ends of rows where spores can easily land on the leaf surfaces. Bissonnette said the proportion of plants affected and severity of the disease are relatively low.

· Southern rust can be easily confused with other leaf diseases of corn such as common rust or Physoderma brown spot. Proper diagnosis helps to avoid unnecessary and costly fungicide applications, Bissonnette said.

Management of southern rust depends on the crop stage and environmental conditions, For up to R3 (milk stage), applying a preventative fungicide may be beneficial. “However, it is important not to apply a fungicide prematurely. Infection in the early R stages can result in more substantial yield losses than in the later R stages,” she said.

“Take note of the current distribution of southern rust in the area, the growth stage of the crop and the environmental conditions. These are the most important factors to consider when making decisions to apply fungicides,” Bissonnette said. A map of southern rust distribution is at ext.ipipe.org/ipipePublic.

Because disease pressure is relatively low and there are no other confirmed reports to date of southern rust in Missouri or any other state, exercise caution when making costly management decisions, Bissonnette said.

For more information on southern rust, its management and look-alike diseases, visit the Crop Protection Network website at CropProtectionNetwork.org.

Photos available for this release:

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/stock/plants/SouthernRust1.jpg
Caption: Southern rust. Note the densely packed orange-tan pustules on the upper leaf surface. Photo submitted with sample from Vernon County, Mo.

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/stock/plants/SouthernRust2.jpg
Caption: Southern rust spores magnified 400 times. These spores exist in the orange-tan rust pustules that break through the leaf surface. Photo by Kaitlyn Bissonnette.

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/stock/plants/SouthernRust3.jpg
Caption: Common rust pustules, pictured here, can be confused with southern rust. Photo by Craig Grau, University of Wisconsin-Madison, courtesy of Crop Protection Network.

https://extensiondata.missouri.edu/NewsAdmin/Photos/stock/plants/SouthernRust4.jpg
Caption: Physoderma brown spot of corn, pictured here, can be mistaken for southern rust of corn, but leaf tissue remains intact. Photo by Daren Mueller, Iowa State University, courtesy of Crop Protection Network.

Photos available for this release:

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Cutline: Southern rust. Note the densely packed orange-tan pustules on the upper leaf surface. Photo submitted with sample from Vernon County, Mo.

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Cutline: Southern rust spores magnified 400 times. These spores exist in the orange-tan rust pustules that break through the leaf surface.

Credit: Photo by Kaitlyn Bissonnette.

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Cutline: Common rust pustules, pictured here, can be confused with southern rust.

Credit: Photo by Craig Grau, University of Wisconsin-Madison, courtesy of Crop Protection Network.

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Cutline: Physoderma brown spot of corn, pictured here, can be mistaken for southern rust of corn, but leaf tissue remains intact.

Credit: Photo by Daren Mueller, Iowa State University, courtesy of Crop Protection Network.

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