LUCER News Flash

  1. Missouri Fruit and Vegetable Producers Survey, Deadline August 10, 2014, Midnight

    If you commercially produce fruits and/or vegetables in the field, high tunnel or greenhouse, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s (LUCE) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program needs your help. We are conducting an online survey in order to find out directly from you what fruit and vegetable needs and practices the LUCE IPM can provide to Missourians. 


    Your responses are confidential. They will not be reported or identified individually, but will be combined and reported in aggregate (total). The survey is currently available and will close on August 10th, 2014, at midnight.


    The purpose of the survey is:  (1) to learn about the diverse farming practices used in Missouri to produce fruits and vegetables, (2) to determine what the biggest challenges are for farmers in their production systems, (3) to identify the most significant pests that cause economic damage in various production systems, and (4) to learn about farmers’ IPM needs, use of IPM and ways in which farmers prefer to receive IPM information from LUCE and research personnel.


    Please take a few moments to take this quick and easy survey so that we can better serve you. You can access the survey here:


    If you have questions about the survey, please direct them to Dr. Jaime Piñero, State Extension Specialist - IPM at or call (573) 681-5522. If you know of others who should take this survey, please forward the link to them.


    Thank you.

  2. 2014 Spring Pollen Alert, March 19, 2014

    Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) News Flash for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Spring 2014 Pollen Alert


    Several types of trees in Missouri such as cedar, elm, maple and box elder do not have leaves yet, but they are already loaded with tiny flowers that are actively shedding pollens. The tree pollen levels have increased to a high level since the end of last week. 


    Some people are developing cold-like symptoms that include sneezing, running nose and congestion. This could be due to pollen allergies, not from catching a cold. The freeze snaps could decrease the pollen release and provide a brief relief to pollen sufferers.


    As soon as temperatures rise, large amounts of tree pollen are released into the air and there will be a large amount of pollen accumulation in the environment. Later in the season, a thin layer of yellow film (pollen) will cover vehicles. Pollen allergy sufferers should close doors and windows at home and, even though longing for fresh, spring air after the long winter, drive with windows closed. Avoid outdoor activities especially when it is windy.


    Hair and clothing have high surface areas for pollens to attach. Wearing a hat could help to reduce the pollens that accumulate. Take a shower to wash off pollens and change into fresh clothes before going to bed to reduce pollen exposure and help with sleep. Wearing a mask could also help reduce pollen exposure.


    There are over-the-counter allergy medications available for relieving pollen allergy symptoms. It is a good idea to take youth to an allergy doctor for early diagnosis and treatment if they show cold symptoms and appear to be cranky and tired during high pollen seasons.


    The best way to reduce pollen symptom is to reduce exposure and/or by taking allergy medication to avoid develop secondary respiratory infection or asthma.


    For more information, please contact Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, State Extension Specialist-Plant Science, by calling (573) 681- 5533.

  3. Ragweed Pollen Alert, August 28, 2013




    Jefferson City, MO - Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) is issuing an area ragweed pollen alert. Earlier than normal, a fall pollen alert is issued now due to high concentrations of ragweed pollen being reported by two pollen and mold counting stations in St. Louis and Kansas City.


    Ragweed grows extremely well in the recent favorable weather conditions and is reaching maturity at this time. The enormous size of the plants and high number of flower heads developed signifies that a long and hard pollen allergy season is upon us. Ragweed pollens will continue to increase and may even peak before Labor Day weekend. The only relief we may have will be rainy days that wash off pollens.


    Pollen allergy symptoms are very similar to those of a cold or flu.  If you start experiencing irritation of your airway such as sneezing and running nose, a loss of energy, and watery and itchy eyes, you may be showing allergic symptoms to pollens. As the pollen level increases, these symptoms will become more severe.


    Over-the-counter allergy medications are effective in reducing symptoms. Without medication, some allergy sufferers may develop secondary respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and asthma.


    The following tips are provided to help reduce pollen exposure and lessen the symptoms.


    (1)  Close your home and car windows. Run air conditioners to filter the air.

    (2)  Avoid outdoor activities, especially between 8 a.m. and noon, because this is the highest pollen-shedding time. Other times to avoid the outdoors are during high winds.

    (3)  Wear a mask and hat when you are outside.

    (4)  Change clothes when entering the house.

    (5)  Shower and wash hair before going to bed.

    (6)  Pay attention to youngsters, who may not express themselves well but show signs of agitation and cold-like symptoms.   

    (7)  See an allergy medical professional for diagnosis and therapy. 


    For more information on this pollen alert visit or contact Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, State Extension Specialist – Plant Science at or call (573) 681-5533.

  4. Urgent Advisory: Invasion of Spotted Wing Drosophila, August 6, 2013

    Jefferson City, MO–Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE) is issuing an urgent advisory:  Missouri fruit crops are at risk due to a confirmed invasion of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). SWD infestation has already caused extreme injury to crops in many counties throughout the state during the last few days. The best way to protect crops now is to spray an effective insecticide right away.
    SWD is a new invasive pest that poses significant challenges to small fruit producers and homeowners. It can multiply quickly and the females lay eggs inside the berries (e.g., blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry). Some stone fruits (cherry, nectarine, peach), high tunnel tomatoes and wild hosts (including pokeweed, autumn olive, crab apple, nightshade, Amur honeysuckle and wild grape) are also at risk.
    The only way to protect the crop from SWD infestation is by spraying effective insecticides that are well timed and provide good coverage to keep SWD under control throughout harvest. Due to the potential for rapid population increase by SWD, especially during fall red raspberry season, it is critical to actively manage them through monitoring of flies and fruit infestation.

    For home gardeners, insecticide recommendations include Ferti-Lome® Borer, Bagworm, Tent caterpillar and Leafminer spray (spinosad 0.5%), and Green Light® (spinosad 0.5%). For certified organic farmers, Entrust is the only OMRI-approved product that is both effective and provides good residual activity (5-7 days control). AZERA (Azadirachtin + pyrethrins), Aza-Direct (Azadirachtin) and Pyganic can also provide some control. For conventional farmers, the most effective chemicals are organophosphate, pyrethroid and spinosyn classes of insecticides. Insecticides with fast knockdown activity have performed well at protecting berries from SWD. These include Malathion (an organophosphate insecticide), Mustang Max (a pyrethroid), and Delegate (spinetoram). Delegate 25WG has been labeled for control of SWD in various crops. Neonicotinoids such as Provado and Actara have performed poorly so are not recommended.

    The above products are not a complete list of all available options. Not all products are labeled for all fruits. Read the pesticide label and follow its directions exactly including Pre-Harvest Interval. You may only use the pesticide on sites or crops listed on the label.

    For more information on SWD visit or contact Dr. Jaime Piñero, State Extension Specialist – Integrated Pest Management at,  (573) 681-5522 or Jacob Wilson – IPM Associate,, (573) 681-5591.

  5. Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) flies, July 2, 2013

    Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s (LUCE) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program deployed the first-ever monitoring traps for Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) flies with a grant from the MO Department of Agriculture.

    SWD has been found on three MO farms: St. Charles (June 26, 2013), Truxton (June 26, 2013) and Rogersville (near Springfield, June 27, 2013). Trap deployment at additional locations is ongoing. Based on our initial findings, SWD is expected to be found in more farms. This information is of relevance to farmers that grow blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, plums and cherries. Other soft-skinned fruits such as peaches can also be attacked by this invasive insect.

    The SWD is small vinegar or fruit fly, 2-3 mm long, with yellowish-brown coloration and prominent red eyes. Male SWD have dark spots on the wing tips. The adult flies are difficult to distinguish from other small vinegar flies found on overripe bananas. Unlike other flies that typically feed on overripe or deteriorating fruits, SWD females lay eggs in healthy, intact, ripening fruits. Sometimes the symptoms will not show up until after the fruits are harvested and sometimes not until the fruits are in possession of the consumer. In addition to the damage caused directly by the larvae, the feeding makes the fruits susceptible to infestation by other insects, rot fungi and bacteria. The larvae will then leave the fruits to pupate and later emerge as adults. Many flies can originate from just a few individuals in just a few months.

    To monitor the SWD fly, bait traps with a mixture of ½-tablespoon active dry yeast + 2 tablespoons sugar + 6 oz water. Use yellow sticky cards to capture the responding insects. Deploy the traps in fruiting Mulberry trees. Replace bait every week, if possible.

    To identify an SWD, look for the presence of spots on the wings and the two black bands on the forelegs of males. Females do not have those two physical attributes, so the only way to confirm is by dissecting the fly and look for the serrated ovipositor (a small structure located at the tip of the abdomen). 

    For more information, or to receive monitoring traps and bait at no cost contact Dr. Jaime Piñero (573) 681-5522 or email

  6. Pollen Alert, April 8, 2013

    Lincoln University Cooperative Extension News Flash for Monday, April 8, 2013

    Pollen Alert!
    Cedar pollens have been on the rise in the past few weeks, according to the pollen reports released by Kansas City and St. Louis aeroallergen counting stations ( The cedar pollen level can be much higher in our area than in the two metropolitan areas because we have a lot more cedar trees in the Jefferson City vicinity. If you are suffering from cold-like symptoms, such as itching eyes, sneezing and running nose, you may be allergic to cedar pollens. Consider taking over-the-counter allergy medicines to help reduce the symptoms. Pay close attention to young children. Some children who are allergic to pollens may show cold symptoms and appear to be cranky and tired. If allergy symptoms are ignored, some people will develop a secondary respiratory infection or asthma. It is a good idea to take youth to an allergy doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.

    The cedar pollen season may last for weeks. Here are a few tips to help allergy sufferers, besides taking allergy medicine:

    • Avoid outdoor activities if possible, and wear a hat to cover your hair when outside.

    • Take a shower to wash off pollens, and change into fresh clothes before going to bed.

    • Use a fresh towel to cover pillows, or use a fresh pillowcase every night.

    • Keep doors and windows shut. Running air conditioners in your car and in your home will filter air and reduce pollens, easing your allergy symptoms.

    • See an allergist (medical doctor) for treatment.


    For more information, please contact Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, State Extension Specialist, Plant Science, by calling (573) 681- 5533.



  7. Drought, July 26, 2012

    Lincoln University Cooperative Extension News Flash for Thursday, July 26, 2012

    The recent drought in Missouri has severely withered crops. With temperatures in the upper 90s to mid-100 degrees Fahrenheit, farmers worry about the harmful conditions on corn, soybeans, and other crops. Vegetable and fruit growers are worried they will lose their produce -- just as many did last year, especially in the Bootheel where there was severe drought and flooding.
    Cattle farmers are also being hit hard as the pasture for their animals dries up. Some are buying hay at higher prices in order to feed their herd while others are selling part of their herd to cut costs.
    Unless things improve and we get significant rainfall, the effect on society will be adverse. For example:
    1) The increase in the price of corn and hay will push the price of cattle feed up, which will lead to desperate decisions by some farmers to sell part of their herd.
    2) Depending on how many of the animals sold are sent to be slaughtered and at what rate, the price of beef may rise or fall for consumers.
    3) The price of all products made from corn, soybeans, and other affected crops will rise so consumers will pay more for such items as corn syrup, sweeteners, ethanol (gas), and tacos.
    4) Because of the loss of fruits and vegetables, consumers will have to pay higher prices for produce shipped into the local market from more distant locations.

    Goats are able to graze in harsh conditions. But, if this type of drought continues to occur on a regular basis, farmers may be better off diversifying ruminant production. This can be achieved by adopting the co-grazing method of raising large and small ruminants together using a rotational paddock form of grazing to increase farm profits.
    Overall, this drought, which has been seen as the worst in the past 25 years (Jefferson City Tribune, July 2012), will ruin the livelihood of many and cause hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
    For those who may not have heard, Dr. Steve Meredith, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at Lincoln University, communicated the following to faculty and staff on July 24, 2012: “The Governor sent out two Executive Orders 12-07 and 12-08 yesterday for producers that need immediate assistance with water for crop and/or livestock. Please let your Extension staff know to help get the word out. Here is a link on the state web page and people can apply at their local SWCD.
    Please check it out and pass it on to those who may need it.

    Below is the average price for goat and sheep obtained from St. Joseph Goat and Sheep Stockyard auction through the Missouri Department of Agriculture:
    Goat Sale:
    Slaughter Kids:
    Selection 1 45-60 lbs 175.00-187.50, few 192.50-202.50; 60- 70 lbs 165.00-185.00. Selection 2 43-60 lbs 150.00-177.50.
    Selection 3 43-75 lbs 108.00-130.00.
    Sheep Sale:
    Slaughter Lambs: Choice, few Prime 2-3 90-125 lbs 90.00-111.00; pkg 140 lbs 90.00. Non-Traditional pkg 80 lbs 125.00; 85-90 lbs 90.00-113.00.

     For more information, please contact Dr. Emmanuel Ajuzie, Agricultural Economist/Economist State Specialist, (573) 681-5635,