Fruit, veggie meeting scheduled in January

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Specialty fruit and vegetable crops are the theme for the Great Plains Vegetable Growers Conference and Trade show, Jan. 6-8 in St. Joseph.

Cost is $35 per day, including meals. The sessions will be at the St. Joseph Ramada Inn, a block west of Interstate 29, Exit 47.

Details and conference registration are available at http://www.hightunnels.org/news.htm#greatplains. Click on the Show Me Vegetables newsletter link.

Angus most popular U.S. cattle breed

The National Pedigree Livestock Council listing of purebred breed association numbers for 2003-2004 shows Angus is the most popular cattle breed in the United States with 281,965 registrations.

The other top 10 purebred numbers:

Hereford, 69,316; Charolais, 55,034; Limousin, 49,600; Simmental, 45,000; Red Angus, 43,201; Gelbvieh, 31,664; Shorthorn, 22,430; Brangus, 22,311; and Beefmaster, 21,242.

Harvests, planting behind schedule

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri agronomists and weather specialists say wet ground in November and December has delayed soybean harvesting and wheat planting over much of the state.

Farmers in Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas worked late into Saturday night to harvest soybeans before rains resumed the next day.

The soybean harvest is almost a month behind normal and wheat planting in Missouri is estimated at 75 percent compared to the normal 95 percent by the end of November.

Group seeks photos of holiday trees

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Forests Products Association (MFPA) is looking for the state's best decorated live Christmas tree.

Entries are judged not only on healthy tree appearance, but creativity, enclosed caption/description (50 words or less), photo composition and anything appealing to the eye.

Photos can be sent electronically to moforest@moforest.org. or mailed to MFPA, Christmas Tree Award, 611 E. Capitol Ave., Jefferson City, MO 65101.

The winning entry will be recognized by the association.

"The public often does not realize that such a widespread event like holiday Christmas tree decorating is a really good example of urban forestry," said Cory Ridenhour, MPFA executive director.

Basic personal information is requested to complete a valid entry. Do not send electronic files larger than 1 megabyte. File formats should be GIF or JPG. At least one person photographed must be at least 18.

Entry deadline is 8 a.m. Dec. 20. Winners will be notified by Dec. 29. Rules and guidelines: www.moforest.org, or call MFPA Communications Coordinator Rodric Bradford, (573) 634-3252.

Soybean rust topic of meeting this week

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Soybean rust that has been found in Missouri will be featured Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri Crop Management Conference in Columbia.

Registration details can be obtained at (573) 882-8320.

Meetings are to be held across the state to advise farmers how to detect the rust in their soybean fields. No dates for the sessions have been set.

No soybean varieties are resistant to the rust first noted in Louisiana this fall and then in Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.

Farmers should walk into their fields on a regular basis during the growing season to get a close look at plants to detect lesions. Sessions in the winter will provide information on how to recognize the rust and what and when steps can be taken to reduce losses.

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