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Missouri AgrAbility helps 93-year-old farmer

Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:26 am

Harry Keutzer has farmed almost all of his 93 years. Despite aging knees, he doesn’t plan to quit anytime soon.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project helps him maintain his health and wealth through research-based information, direct assistance on his farm and referrals.

Keutzer represents a growing number of aging farmers who want to keep farming or ranching, says Karen Funkenbusch, director of the Missouri AgrAbility Project and a University of Missouri Extension state health and safety specialist.

At his Lafayette County farm, Keutzer checks on the chickens and takes water to cattle. He also sorts and washes produce for Kansas City-area farmers markets, where he sells eggs and hand-loomed rugs. The rugged terrain of his yard, garden and feedlots makes work slow and difficult, especially

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    Drift Watch Registry designed to help

    The Missouri Pollinator Conservancy Program offers beekeepers new ways to protect hives from pesticide drift according to Sarah Kenyon, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    This program is a joint effort between Missouri Agricultural Aviation Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri State Beekeepers Association, MU Fisher Delta Research Center, and University of Missouri Extension.

    “Drift Watch Specialty Crop Site Registry can help pesticide applicators locate nearby hives before spraying. It also offers real-time weather data to help them decide when to spray, a tool

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    Plastic bale wrap creates farm dilemma

    Most everyone in the livestock business agrees that using plastic for baled forage is a great tool that benefits both the farmer and livestock. However, proper disposal of the plastic after it has been used on hay is a major obstacle and problem, according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

    “Southwest Missouri farmers have used plastics to protect baled forages for many years. It started in the form of twine before moving to cap-like plastic sheets, then bags that totally covered bales (except the ends) and then net

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    Pre-register by Jan. 29

    “Building it From the Ground Up” is a workshop series to help farmers/landowners improve their property as well as their outputs and profitability of their farming operation. This workshop series will begin on February 4th and continue on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p. m. to 9:00 p. m. until April 7th. The classes will be held in the Osceola First Baptist Church, 505 Walnut St., Osceola.

    The subject areas covered in the classes will be:

    • Economics of a livestock

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    USDA grant creates new blackberry research planting

    The staff at University of Missouri’s Southwest Research Center in Mt. Vernon are partnering with the Webb City Farmers Market (WCFM) and University of Missouri Extension (MU Extension) on a new blackberry project.

    Eileen Nichols of WCFM and Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with MU Extension, recently worked with Andrew Thomas of Southwest Research Center to develop the successful grant application. The grant was awarded as part of the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Block Grant Program, funded by the USDA.

    This three-year grant for $18,306.97 will

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    Last SMS sale Dec. 12

    The sale was small, but 70 registered bidders lifted the average price to $2,374 for 133 Show-Me-Select heifers at Fruitland (Mo.) Livestock Auction, Dec. 5.

    “The sale started slow, but bidding wars added mid-sale excitement,” said Erin Larimore, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, Jackson, Mo. “There were strong prices the last third of the sale.”

    “Consignors continue to bring top-quality heifers,” she added. “I think consignors were pleased with prices.”

    Eleven consignors brought replacement heifers to the sale. Of the bidders, 32 of

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    Show-Me-Select Heifer program has stood test of time

    Shortly after the recent Missouri Show-Me-Select Bred Heifer Sale in southwest Missouri, a newcomer to the program asked Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension a question. “What can I do to improve my SMS heifers?”

    “I suspect his question is not unique to him. I’d like to think that any participant in this value-added program for beef cattle aspires to improve the heifers they offer for sale,” said Cole.

    When the Show-Me-Select effort began in 1996 three objectives were set forth. They were: implement

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    USDA commits to help build next generation of farmers and ranchers

    Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced a commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prioritize $5.6 billion over the next two years within USDA programs and services that serve new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Deputy Secretary Harden also announced a new, tailored web tool designed to connect burgeoning farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started.

    “Today’s announcement is symbolic of the evolution of USDA’s efforts to better serve the next generation of farmers and ranchers. What began seven years ago with the recognition that

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    FB Cut to the Chase

    by Stewart Truelsen

    Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants known for its new Nordic cuisine, will close at the end of next year and reopen on a different site in Copenhagen as an urban farm. Chef René Redzepi says he wants to grow all the produce on his menu. He’s nervous about the decision, and who wouldn’t be? Running a first-class restaurant is risky enough; running a farm is even riskier.

    One would think that with all the advancements in agriculture over the last half century surely

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    Antibiotics in livestock: changes coming

    Any person that has raised farm animals for all or a portion of the family income know of the importance of antibiotics in maintaining the health, well-being, and productivity of our animals.

    “However, like my grandpa used to say, ‘the times they are a changing’. We will continue to be able to use antibiotics to treat our sick animals, but there are going to be some changes,” said Randy Wiedmeier, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the Guide

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