Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and Research Publications

LUCER News Flash: a "News Flash" with information that may directly impact, influence and inform our audience. Click title to read.

  1. The Invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Found in Missouri, October 14, 2015


    (573) 681-5554

    October 14, 2015





    Jefferson City, MO - Lincoln University Cooperative Extension has confirmed the presence of an invasive insect pest, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), in Missouri. The BMSB is an invasive pest that was recently introduced into the U.S. from its native home in Japan, Korea and China.


    This insect pest is an over indulgent eater that will cause serious damage to fruits, vegetables and some agronomic (e.g., soybean, corn) and ornamental crops. The BMSB prefers the following fruit crops: apple, Asian pear, cherry, currant, grape, peach, pear and raspberry. Among vegetables, the BMSB seems to prefer asparagus, green beans and peppers. American holly, basswood, catalpa, crabapple, honeysuckle, maple, persimmon, redbud, sweet gum and walnut are only some of the ornamental trees or shrubs that BMSB will devour.


    Recently, this invasive insect was found in high numbers in the St. Louis area. On August 24, 2015, one BMSB nymph (immature stage) was collected using sweep nets in the Ferguson, Missouri area. Twenty-six adults were captured on September 28, 2015, in the same location by traps baited with pheromone (a chemical used by animals to attract a mate). The presence of both adults and nymphs at a single location is strong evidence that the BMSB has become established near St. Louis, Missouri. This might also be the case in other regions, but pheromone-baited traps have not been deployed statewide.


    The BMSB is dormant in the adult stage, either in natural structures or those built by humans. This insect can be a problem in houses, because it is attracted to host trees that are often close to these structures. For winter protection, the BMSB will find gaps in structures, including houses.


     Stink BugBSMB have white stripes on their antennae and faint white bands on the front legs. They are about ½-¾" (13-19 mm) long. The outer edges of their abdomen have alternating (marmorated) white and dark markings and the underside is pale, sometimes with grey or black markings. They produce a pungent odor when disturbed.


    If you spot any suspected BMSBs either outdoors or indoors, please let us know. This is an indication that the BMSB may be established in your area and monitoring systems may need to be implemented. Contact Dr. Jaime C. Piñero, State Extension Specialist – Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Lincoln University Cooperative Extension by email at or call (573) 681-5522.


    More information about BMSB identification, monitoring and management is available at





  2. Cucumber Downy Mildew (CDM) Confirmed in Central Missouri October 09, 2015

    Cucumber Downy Mildew Confirmed in Central Missouri
    Dr. Zelalem Mersha, State Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology
    Lincoln University Cooperative Extension

     Cucurbit Downy Mildew (CDM) (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) was confirmed from samples taken from the Sentinel plots located at Lincoln University's George Washington Carver Farm in Jefferson City, Missouri. After the Labor Day weekend, angular, yellowish lesions were seen on ‘Straight Eight' cucumbers and ‘Walthrum' butternut squash. The Sentinel plots were first planted at Carver Farm in the summer of 2013 and continued annually. However, this is the first time such lesions were found in these plots. There was also CDM on ‘Straight Eight,' ‘Cobra,' and ‘Dasher II' cucumbers that were planted to test various products against another disease, powdery mildew of cucumbers. The latter is most common and easily recognizable by its symptom, white or grayish powdery fungal growth on plant surfaces. It was worth noting that CDM was widespread on cucumbers treated with a fungicide that was used as a standard to control powdery mildew.

     Leaves with lesions were placed in Ziploc® plastic bags and were kept moist overnight for diagnosis. Under a microscope, fuzzy, blackish sporulation was clearly visible on the vein-bounded chlorotic (not having enough chlorophyll, which colors leaves green) lesions on the lower side of the leaves. In addition, the oomycete (fungus-like organisms commonly known as water molds) causing CDM were seen under a microscope. It was easy to see the dichotomously (divided equally from a terminal bud) branched sporangiophores (the sporangia-carrying organ; sporangia produce spores) and lemon-shaped sporangia of P. cubensis.

      Most field production in Missouri will
    end soon. Even so, growers who produce cucurbits (e.g., cucumbers, pumpkin, melons and squash) in protected systems such as greenhouses or tunnels may still experience problems. They should monitor, report and be prepared to prevent and curb the further spread of this disease.

    At the moment, none of the other cucurbits nor basil have yet shown signs of downy mildew. On basil, an organic grower from Holt, Missouri, reported a high level of downy mildew disease. It caused a great deal of damage to basil plants on his farm.

    The 2015 growing season has been unique compared to the past few years. According to the Missouri Climate Center, the total precipitation in Missouri from May to July was at least seven inches higher than the average. While optimum moisture is critical for plants, too much can harm
    them in many ways. This damage might be abiotic (not related to living things, such as heat, lack of nutrients) or biotic (related to living things, such as insects). For many horticultural and agronomic crops, excessive moisture leads to plants being waterlogged, deprived of oxygen and
    stressed. These conditions might eventually kill the plants. Extra leaf wetness also favors water molds, which include P. cubensis. The unusually moist conditions in 2015 could be the reason for the early detection of CDM in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

    Where does CDM come from? Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the water mold causing CDM, is an obligate pathogen (agent that causes disease). This means that a host plant needs to be present for it to survive. The pathogen alone will not live through the cold winter unless it is shielded in protected systems such as greenhouses and tunnels. In most years, under normal weather conditions, the cold fall and winter arrive before the pathogen makes its way to Missouri. Therefore, it is most likely that the spores of P. cubensis may be carried from neighboring states. The spores can travel long distances by strong winds and storms. Or, they might have reached Missouri through transplants from areas with a heavy CDM infection. Very often, the disease is reported in Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Illinois.

    Management of Cucurbit Downy Mildew

    Monitor and report downy mildew as early as possible. Please contact your county Extension office, University of Missouri's Plant Diagnostic Clinic or Lincoln University's Plant Pathology Program if you see a symptom similar to what is pictured above. Once confirmed, the disease can easily be reported on a website ( This will keep other growers informed of the prevalence of the disease. Then they can be alerted and prepare to take actions to prevent this disease and/or cure affected plants.

    Fungicide sprays. The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2015 is a very good resource to find best-performing products against cucurbit downy mildew. In addition, Dr. Mary Hausbeck's group at Michigan State University has issued a recent report and advice based on an ongoing research project. More information can also be found from an extension publication of the Ohio State University.

  3. 2015 Fall Pollen Alert! Sept. 1, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Sept. 1, 2015

    2015 Fall Pollen Allergy Alert

    A high level of ragweed pollens in the air has been reported by an aeroallergen counting station in Missouri (August 20, 2015). The two photos (below) were taken on August 21, 2015, at a Jefferson City park near Lincoln University. They show ragweed plants reaching maturity and developing flowers with many pollen sacs. These plants can actively release pollens until frost in October.


    Ragweed pollens are microscopic. They can travel with wind or current. Ragweed plants are commonly grown along roadsides, on farms and in fields. This adds to the high levels of ragweed pollens in the fall. Ragweed pollen shedding usually peaks around the Labor Day weekend.

    One in every four people in North America suffers seasonal allergy. If you have already experienced nose tingles, itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, you probably suffer from seasonal allergies. The practices listed below can reduce your symptoms. Decreasing initial allergy symptoms can help ward off secondary respiratory infections and/or asthma. Rain can also bring relief by washing off pollens to clean the air.

    1. Take an over-the-counter allergy medicine. A non-drowsiness formula is best. Take the medicine in the morning rather than late in the day to avoid affecting sleep quality.
    2. Reduce pollen exposure
      • Keep windows/doors closed in cars/homes; run air conditioner to filter air.
      • Avoid outdoor activities, especially if it is windy. Wind can resuspend pollens settled on the surface; it also increases the number of pollen particles in the air.
      • Mow areas infested with ragweed.
      • Wear a hat to reduce pollens clinging to hair; wear a mask to filter pollens.
      • Before bed, take a shower and wash hair to remove pollens. Wash bedding often. Avoid drying clothes or bedding outdoors.
      • Vacuum often to reduce allergens, including dust. Most allergy sufferers have an increased sensitivity to other allergens; for example, against dust during pollen allergy season.
      • See an allergy professional for diagnosis and therapy.         


    Check for pollen updates and forecasts.

    Information provided by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE). For additional information, please contact Dr. Hwei-Yiing Johnson, State Extension Specialist, at (573) 681-5533 or

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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


  9. 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.



  10. 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,


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Newsletter West Central ("Down To Earth" Newsletter)