Missouri Drought - A Deep-Rooted Problem

Professors Randy Miles and Mike Collins (photo by Jessica Salmon)
You can't judge a drought by surface soil.  You have to look at the subsoil where plant roots live and grow.  Dry conditions in Missouri could mean trouble for next year's growing season, unless this winter and early spring comes with a lot of snow, sleet and rain.

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Stay Safe While Stringing Holiday Lights

Photo by Rachel Kirk
It's time for holiday lights.  Stringing multicolored bulbs, placing Santa and his sleigh in the right spot and turning trees into a delight for the eyes all require a very common, household tool: the ladder.  Problem is the ladder's simplicity can make you forget that for every tool it's safety first.  Use a ladder the wrong way and instead of waiting for a visit from St. Nick, you'll be visiting a nearby emergency room.

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Midwest Winter Outlook - Cold and Snow

Photo by Martyn E. Jones
Mid-to-northern Missouri, most of Illinois and all of Iowa could get a good share of cold and snow this winter. Southern Missouri might see more ice than snow.  The southwestern U.S. and Florida should see a mild winter. What's driving these winter predictions? It's a La Nina phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.  During a La Nina event, sea-surface temperatures are below normal, and this produces volatile weather patterns for the Midwest and the Northeast.

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Improved Turkey Feed - Could Save Industry Big Bucks

Photo by Gargi Bhuyan
Profit for turkey producers is very narrow.  So, any savings that can be reaped has a huge impact on the industry.  A University of Missouri animal scientist has designed the perfect turkey diet which allows the birds to put on weight, but at a lower cost.

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Happy and Healthy Halloween

Trick-or-Treat can trace its origins to a medieval practice called souling.  Poor folk would go door-to-door on Hallowmas, which was on November 1st. In exchange for food, prayers were offered up on All Souls' Day on November 2nd.

The tradition of dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door has existed in the U.S. since at least the late 1950s. While candy is the typical treat handed out out Halloween, it doesn't have to be. You can choose to hand out treats that are fun, festive and healthy.

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Breathe New Life into Perennials – Try Garden Surgery

Now that fall is here you may think that gardening chores are ending.  Fall, however, is the perfect time for some garden surgery that will pay off next spring.

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Soybean Podworms Threaten Yields; Scout Now to Head Off Problems

Photo by Wayne Bailey/Univ. of Missouri

With insects, you are what you eat.

That's no more apparent than with soybean podworm, a.k.a. corn earworm. Farmers battle the pest in July and August when it chews away at the tips of corn ears, but in late August and early September it moves to a more green, lush meal of soybeans.

Healthy After School Snacks

Learning is hungry work.  Most children have lunch around 11:30, and then classes all afternoon.  Add an after school activity or two and by the time they get home they’re running on empty.  It’s small wonder that they head straight to the kitchen to devour whatever they can get their hands on.  So, how can you make sure that they’re choosing snacks that are good for them?  It’s easy, just think “inside” the box.

Using New Technology to Combat an Age Old Problem - Drought

Photo by Roger Meissen
Drought is a worldwide problem that can plunge countries into famine. The more we understand the mechanisms that plants use to survive drought, the better prepared we'll be to stave off starvation.  Plant Science researchers, with the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), are using state-of-the-Art simulators to increase their knowledge of plants and drought.

Japanese Beetle Numbers Could be High This Year

Photo by Bruce Martin
The destructive Japanese beetle will be breeding and feeding over the next few weeks.  This is bad news for both crop producers and homeowners because they eat nearly anything.

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Rescue Nitrogen Opportunity Fading Fast

No corn producer wants to face a 30-bushel yield hit at the end of the season. But, that could happen this year if rescue nitrogen isn't applied.


Would Corn By Any Other NameTaste As Sweet?

Too much rain, and lower than normal temperatures, may have delayed the home gardener from planting sweet corn so far this year.  But, this isn't, necessarily, a bad thing.  The delay will give you time to think about trying some new varieties, and may give you a very sweet surprise.


Cicadas Set to Invade, But Not Quietly

Photo by Bruce Barrett

The 13-year periodical cicadas are about to dig themselves out of the ground. They were last seen in 1998. After a very long hiatus, they're going to do what the birds and bees ... and cicadas do; create the next generation. This is a rare event that occurs only in North America, but don't worry, you won't miss it.

The difference between a healthy lawn and a sick one is just a few inches

Photo by Roger Meissen

This year's wet spring is creating mowing challenges for home owners. Wet or not, grass needs mowing.  Good mowing practices will keep your lawn healthy and looking good. Poor practices will leave your lawn with weeds, disease risk, and drought stress later in the year.

In the photo, Brad Fresenburg measures from the ground to the bottom of the cutting blade because factory adjustments can be inaccurate. Experts suggest that homeowners adjust mowers to cut grass at a height between 3 and 4 inches.

Turbulent weather system wallops state with rain, floods

Photo by Robert Aichinger
Tornadoes in St. Louis and torrents of rain elsewhere led to property damage, flooding and a man's death in a southern Missouri flash flood.  These are just part of what a volatile system of storms will bring this week.

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Limiting access to your credit report

A growing number of businesses look at consumer credit history that have nothing to do with offering loans.

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Understanding how cattle turn feed into beef

Photo by Andrea Kratzenberg
MU and Texas A&M Research Teams Receive Nearly $14 Million  to Study Food Efficiency in Cattle, Bovine Respiratory Disease

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Federal agencies exercise caution with Japanese food imports

Federal regulatory agencies are closely monitoring the on-going situation in Japan and making decisions to keep Americans safe.

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Time to Start Tomato Seedlings Indoors - Well, Almost

The days are getting warmer and spring fever is rampant.  Gardeners are already itching to get started with this year's garden.  However, it may be a bit too early to start tomato seeds indoors.

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Arctic Air Brings Lots of Snow to the U.S.

Photo by Debbie Johnson
Snow and low temperatures have gripped many parts of the U.S. this winter.  This is contrary to the expected conditions based on below average sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial pacific, or a La Nina event.  With a La Nina, the expectation is below average precipitation and above average temperatures. However, other variables can affect the weather. In this case, a change in arctic pressure is pushing cold air deeper into the U.S. 

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Paying to Borrow Your Own Money - Refund Anticipation Loans

Photo by John Nettleship
For families who are trying to make ends meet, their annual tax refund is something they count on and need. Many will turn to "refund anticipation loans" to get their money faster. The problem is families with limited resources are paying a high price for these loans, just to get their money a few days earlier.

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