Greetings, My Fellow Missourians

Grease under fingernails, skinned knuckles, and sweaty brows are what many fescue seed harvesters experienced this last week.  Due to above average temperatures in May and June, the fescue seed matured about a week earlier than usual.  Most fescue seed harvesters use older combines that corn, soybean and wheat farmers have nearly worn out and traded in for newer and larger machines.  As a result, the older, smaller combines used to harvest fescue seed require a lot of maintenance and repairs.  Nearly all my time was spent last week operating an old 1967 Model G Gleaner in 90 degree plus temperatures. Since the air conditioner in the cab no longer works, we just open the door and a window and hope for a breeze once in a while. The days start at 7 AM and end at about 9:30 PM. This has caused supper to be at 10 PM each night.

I write this to inform about the economic contribution that comes from the fescue seed industry. Since Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue revolutionized the home grass seed industry a half-century ago, homeowners across the United States have turned to this dependable, economical grass seed for durable, low-maintenance lawns.  More than two-thirds of all KY-31 Missouri seed farmers balance raising cattle, growing traditional crops and producing KY-31 seed, all while facing the challenges of unpredictable Midwest weather.  In Missouri, hailstorms and last-minute windstorms can steal a seed crop in a single strike.  Fields that look fine one day can be lost to high winds the next. Even when weather and growing conditions align for optimal seed production, farmers only have a two to three week window, right before the Fourth of July.

A normal Missouri harvest of KY-31 typically yields between 50 and 60 million pounds of quality KY-31 Tall Fescue grass seed. Due to the current short supply of fescue seed, higher prices result when low supply meets high demand.  Across the seed industry, at wholesale and retail levels, KY-31 seed prices are at all-time highs.  The buying stations are currently paying 63 cents for wet and 65 cents per pound for dry seed right off the truck.  With average yields of 100 to 300 pounds per acre, that pencils out to be somewhere between $60.00 and $180.00 per acre. This is good news for Missouri seed producers.

Overlayment on Hwy. 13 asphalt sections:

As of yesterday evening, MoDOT crews have laid and compacted over 9,000 tons of asphalt – nearly a quarter of the estimated total for the Highway 13 project of approximately 41,000 tons.  All work on the project is to be complete by September 4th.  The project limits include the northbound lanes from the St. Clair County line to Osceola and the southbound lanes from Lakeland south to Osceola.  Southwest District Area Engineer Daniel Roeger explained that the overlayment is occurring only to the asphalt sections; concrete sections are not being disturbed.   Roeger also mentioned to please call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) for any questions or concerns.

Supporting veteran-owned businesses (HB1503):

A piece of legislation that has already been signed into law by the governor is meant to encourage and assist veterans to start and grow their own businesses. The bill would allow veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.

After World War II, 49 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses because a federal loan guarantee was available. Currently, only 6 percent of returning veterans start their own businesses. This new legislation can provide veterans with an opportunity to start their own business and contribute to the state’s economy.

The state’s linked deposit program partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to help grow and expand economic opportunity across Missouri. The bill allows eligible veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the program. Eligible businesses are defined as any business owned by an honorably discharged veteran and Missouri resident who has agreed to locate his or her business in the state for at least three years and employs less than 100 employees, a majority of whom are Missouri residents. The bill also states that lending institutions must give preference to businesses owned by veterans when considering which small businesses should receive reduced-rate loans through the program.

Unclaimed property listings:

It is the state treasurer’s responsibility to return as much of Missouri’s nearly $1 billion of Unclaimed Property as possible.  With over 5 million accounts, some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses and local governments of District 125. I encourage everyone to search for and claim possible property free of charge at  Account owners can file a claim online or request a paper claim be mailed to them at any time by visiting this website.  By law, specific dollar amounts that exceed $50 are not public record.