Watch an informative YouTube with information about hay testing at

Moving baled hay 

As the severe drought continues and conditions become more widespread across the state, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is offering a special over-width hauling permit to help farmers and ranchers move hay as it is needed.  MoDOT will be waiving the cost of the hauling permit, allow loads of up to 12 feet, 4 inches in width and also move hay during any holiday as well as at night.  (When hauling at night or when visibility is less than 500 feet, drivers must use a reflective, oversized load sign and clearance lights instead of the normally required flags.)  Permits can be requested by phone and, in most cases, will be issued within minutes by fax or email.  The permit fee will be waived through October 31, 2018.  To obtain a permit, hay haulers need to call MoDOT's Motor Carrier Services office at 1-800-877-8499 to report the year,m make, license plate number and VIN of the power unit as well as provide the farm business name and address.  These permits will cover delivery within Missouri only and are required for each truck and load.

More information about the continued drought conditions as well as a directory of producers needing to buy or sell hay is available at and

PLEASE BE AWARE:  Most all of the southeastern United States is under quarantine for imported fire ants, which can be easily spread through the transport of hay.  Any farmer concerned that they may have received fire ants in a shipment of hay should call their local MU Extension Office as soon as possible!  Please refer to the Imported Fire Ants Quarantine Areas and the Fact Sheet for Moving Balled Hay from Quarantined Areas.

Fire ants:  The sting of buying hay south of the state (PDF)

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