Watch an informative YouTube with information about hay testing at

Biosecurity workshops set across state for livestock producers

Free biosecurity workshops across Missouri will discuss emerging livestock diseases and how to manage them.  

"Preventing and Responding to Disease Outbreak" is offered in March in Versailles, Springfield, Jackson, Kirksville and St. Joseph.  The workshops are designed to help beef, dairy and hog producers and veterinarians, says Teng Lim, University of Missouri Extension specialist in agricultural engineering.

Attendees will benefit from reviews of biosecurity protocols and the experience of speakers on a range of topics, including quarantine, mass mortality management, indemnity and economics.

They will learn of foot -and-mouth disease and the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in China, says Lim. While U.S. agricultural officials have not documented any cases of ASF in the U.S. to date, the disease spreads quickly from pig to pig through direct secretions, contaminated objeects and ticks.  No vaccine exists to control the disease, which does not affect humans.

Speakers include representatives from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Agriculture, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and MU.  They will discuss protocols to prevent and control disease, regulations, written biosecurity plans, how to train employees and what to do when there is an outbreak.

The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at these locations:

  • March 6, Hunter Civic Center, Versailles
  • March 8, Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, Springfield
  • March 13, MU Extension Center in Cape Giarardeau County, Jackson
  • March 15, Missouri Department of Conservation Northeast Regional Office, Kirksville
  • March 18, Missouri Western State University, Leah Spratt Hall, St. Joseph  

Register before February 27 to receive lunch, workshop materials and a free USB flash drive loaded with biosecurity information.  This course has been approved for four hours of veterinary continuing education.  For more information, contact Kristi Perry at  There is a downloadable registration form at

Event sponsors:  MU Extension, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, North Central Extension Risk Management Education, MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.  U. W. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services.

Additional resources:

New MU app helps identify herbicide injury

MU Extension introduced a new mobile app to identify herbicide injury at its annual Pest Management Field Day on July 10, 2018.  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 description to MU for diagnosis.  

Bish says the app is not limited to corn and soybeans.  I 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.  

Hitchhiking spotted lanternfly could become problem in Missouri

An exotic pest that hitchhikes on train cars, trucks and boats could suck the life of out Missouri crops.

Spotted lanternfly has the potential to establish populations in Missouri, says University of Missouri Extension field crop entomologist Kevin Rice.  it damages soybean, corn and hops, as well as fruit and ornamental trees.  According to MU Extension viticulturist Dean Volenberg, it could have damaging effects on Missouri's 1,700 acres of grapes, its primary host.

Adult lanternflies are active in June and July.  Entomologists reported seeing the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania in 2014.  It has appeared since then in Virginia, Delaware and New York.  

The plant hopper likes to lay its eggs on smooth, metal surfaces such as those found on train cars, boats and tractor-trailers.  Its honeydew secretions attract other pests.  It leaves weeping wounds as it feeds.

The adult lanternfly's forewing is gray with black spots.  The wingtips are black blocks outlined in gray.  It has distinctive bright orange-red and white underwings, but it appears less vibrant and may be difficult to see when its wings are not spread, Volenberg says.

It likes fall feeding on Ailanthus altissima, also known as tree of heaven, a medium-sized invasive tree with stout branches that spead to form an open, wide crown.  Its flowers are showy and fragrant and it tolerates drought.  The tree also enables the ailanthus webworm moth.  

What to do if you spot lanternflies:

  • Do not kill it.  The insect contains cantharidin, the same toxic chemical found in the blister beetle.
  • Capture it if you can.  Lanternflies are jumpers.
  • Take a photograph of it.  Email to
  • Collect a specimen and put it in a vial filled with alcohol to preserve it.
  • Take it to your county extension center and note where you found it.  GPS coordinates are helpful.  The extension center will send it to Kevin Rice, who will track its spread in Missouri.  
  • Use caution when handling tree of heaven; its sap can cause headaches, nausea and possible heart problems, according to Penn State Extension.

Sign up for free pest alerts from MU Extension's Integrated Pest Management program at

Caption:  Spotted lanternfly.
Credit:  Photo courtesy Penn State Extension

Caption:  When its wings are not spread, the spotted lanternfly is fairly unremarkable in its appearance.
Credit:  Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture