July 5, 2012

Do or Die Time for Local Crops in Need of Rain

Scattered rain across parts of southern Scotland County brought some much needed temporary relief over the weekend, but left residents in the north thirsting for more precipitation as the drought is entering the devastating stages for farmers.

Rain reports of between 1.5 to 2 inches of precipitation came in from the Bible Grove and Rutledge areas while Memphis and the surrounding areas measured only .1 to .2 inches of rain on Saturday and Sunday.

"I think we have lost one-third of the yield potential on the corn," said Jardin Fuller of J & J Ag in Scotland County whose farm wasn't one of the fortunate ones to receive more than just a sprinkle of rain during the weekend storms. "Give it another week and I think that loss could be doubled."

With a normal output of 160 bushels an acre, by Fuller's estimates, many farmers have seen their production cut to 120 bushels by the drought. At $6 a bushel corn, the drought may have already cost farmers $360 an acre. For a producer with 500 acres, no rain has meant a loss of $180,000 in income, with the potential for even more loss.

The USDA Missouri crop report issued July 2nd revealed high temperatures and little to no precipitation across most of the state took its toll on crops last week as all crops declined in condition. Corn condition rated poor to very poor increased 22 points to 48 percent while soybeans rated poor to very poor increased 14 points to 49 percent.

Topsoil moisture declined to its lowest point this year at 71 percent very short, 26 percent short, and 3 percent adequate. The 5 year average topsoil moisture condition is 4 percent very short, 16 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined to 58 percent very short, 35 percent short, and 7 percent adequate.

According to William Wiebold, professor of plant sciences in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, this year's corn needs rain and needs it soon. He indicated the next couple weeks are critical for corn pollination, because silk growth and tassel pollen-shed must be in sync to create corn kernels. That coordination relies on water.

"Silks are at least 99 percent water, and they use it as the driving force to elongate from inside the husk until they emerge outside the husks, or about 10 inches," said Wiebold. "If the pollen sheds from the tassel and the silks aren't there, no kernels are produced."



Silk growth is only half of the critical pollination process. If the pollen does reach the silk, a tube created by the pollen grain must be able to grow down the silk to where the kernel will be, according to Wiebold. He added that there has to be enough water to keep the corn silk wet enough for the pollen tube to grow through its entire length to reach the ear.

"This coordination process, colloquially called nick, is so important that if dry, hot conditions prevent it, you could see a 30-40 percent yield loss," Wiebold said.

The professor noted that a typical ear will have 12 to 14 rows, each with 35 to 40 potential kernels, he said. Lose just three kernels per row and that's a substantial yield loss.

The lack of rain is having other negative effects on corn. Normally, corn tasseling occurs when plants are 7, maybe 8 feet tall, according to Wiebold. Water pushes that growth.

"There are reports coming from throughout the state that corn is tasseling at 5 1/2 to 6 feet tall," Wiebold said. "That's a couple of feet shorter than normal, and it's because there's wasn't enough water to increase plant cell size."

Corn leaf blades are coming in smaller for the same reason. All these stresses put this season's corn yield in question.

"Probably the next two weeks will really determine what our yield will be," Wiebold said. "Some places that had rain, like northwest Missouri, will see less yield loss. Places like St. Charles County and along the rivers, which have deeper soils with good water-holding capacity, should also experience less yield loss."

Places that have seen little rain, have claypan soils or have compacted soils will experience large yield losses if rain doesn't come soon. A heavy yield hit in the Corn Belt could send ripples through the futures market.

"The Chicago futures market will start calling around to the states to see what the weather is like," Wiebold said. "It's really important and it can drive the market price that farmers will receive."

Less corn produced would mean higher prices, putting pressure on livestock producers who feed corn. At the end of this food chain, consumers could see sticker shock for meat and dairy products.

While the corn situation is critical, soybeans are nearing the do or die point as well.

"Give it another week or 10 days and I figure we could loss 20 bushels an acre on the soybeans," Fuller stated.

With soybean prices at $14 a bushel, the potential loss would be around $280 an acre. That same farmer with 500 acres of beans, would be looking at a loss of $140,000.

"I would say no rain in the next two weeks and the guy with 1,000 acres will be looking at loses of half a million dollars or more," Fuller said.

The problem dates back to a particularly arid spring according to University of Missouri climatologist Pat Guinan with the MU Extension commercial agriculture program. Only 4 inches of rain was recorded across most of Missouri in May and June. Normal rainfall is 10 inches.

"So we have a 6-inch moisture deficit going into what are normally the hottest and drier months of summer," said Guinan.

In addition to the rain shortage, January-to-June temperatures show the warmest average on record in 118 years. The state continues to set heat records: Third warmest winter, warmest March and warmest spring.

"It's a unique growing season," Guinan said. "High heat and lack of rain indicate possible prolonged drought."

That brings back memories of some of the state's tougher times.

"It's beginning to look a lot like 1988," said Wiebold.

Guinan noted that 1988 was one of the three worst droughts of the last century. That includes the mid-1950s and the dust bowl days of the 1930s.

"We're not there yet," Guinan says. "But you do have to go back to 1988 to find a drier May and June than we've had this year. Hot, dry weather in the spring isn't a good start."

Normally, May and June are the wettest months of the year in Missouri.

"This year, we're short on soil moisture. There's no reserve in the top 12 inches and subsoil is not much better," he says. Soil moisture supports crop growth during hot months, supplemented by normal rainfall."

In many parts of Missouri, a foot of soil is all there is. Below the topsoil lies claypan or rock. Iowa and Illinois cornfields tend to have deeper soils with more water reserves. That can make a difference in plant survival, according to Guinan.

A National Weather Service outlook for July issued at the end of June shows below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures for the month ahead. Usually, July is the hottest month of the year.

A drought has many facets, Guinan noted. There is the lack of precipitation. That is combined this year with high temperatures, an unusual number of sunny days and low relative humidity. Humidity levels run 20 to 30 percent by midafternoon, day in and day out.

"We've already had temperatures in triple digits, most unusual for June," he said. "Strong winds and low humidity boost water evaporation, creating plant stress."

The buildup of solar energy on the soil intensifies drought effects, according to Guinan. Sunshine boosts evapotranspiration, the water use by plants combined with evaporation from soil surfaces.

Plant transpiration pulls moisture out of the soil. Evaporation removes water from the surface, including ponds and lakes.

The Bootheel remains the driest part of the state, which now rates as extreme drought on the National Drought Monitor. Most of the rest of the state ranks as moderate drought.

"Some areas of northwestern and western Missouri received 'million-dollar rains' in late June to keep crops growing," said Guinan.

Wiebold, who oversees crop variety test plots across the state, looked at 1988 yield reports. "Then we had lots of corn that made only 10 bushels per acre," he says.

Regional extension agronomists report some cornfields with "rootless corn syndrome." Lack of soil moisture when corn was planted hurt growth of strong roots. Brace roots, which emerge at the soil surface level, failed to extend into dry soils.

Recently, strong winds blew over cornstalks in northeastern Missouri. "That corn is dead," Wiebold says.

Short-term forecasts into early July show daily temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. "There is a dire need for moisture," Guinan adds. "June ranks sixth driest on record."

Guinan encourages public reports on local conditions to the Drought Monitor participation page. The Drought Monitor is a source used by USDA in assessing drought disasters. Authors of the Drought Monitor pay attention to public reports, Guinan says.

Anyone can contribute at http://droughtreporter.unl.edu.

The 2012 drought has become a widespread concern and now covers much of the Corn Belt.

Traffic Changes Implemented at Two Memphis Intersections

A new stop sign has been installed at the intersection of Market and North Streets in Memphis. the change was approved recently by the Memphis City Council to address visibility concerns at the intersection caused by parked vehicles.

The council approved installing a stop sign for traffic northbound on Market Street. Traffic at the intersection was already stopped by signs on North Street for both east- and westbound traffic.

The move turns the intersection into a three-way stop. Southbound traffic will not be required to stop. The council decided not to make it a four-way stop because of the steep incline heading into the southbound intersection on Market Street, which could be a factor in inclement weather.

The council also agreed to install a yield sign on County Road 555 at the northeast corner of Memphis where the gravel road comes onto Sigler Avenue near Scotland County Hospital. The intersection technically is county property, but the county does not install or maintain traffic signs.

The yield sign will impact southbound traffic on the gravel rood and will not impact traffic on Sigler Street.

Missouri DAR to Host Wheeling for Healing in September

Missouri DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) is sponsoring Wheeling for Healing, a fundraising bike ride across the historic Katy and Rock Island Trail, on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds from this ride will be divided between the Wounded Warrior Project and DAR’s Project Patriot.

The WWP mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001.  WWP also supports family members and caregivers of a Wounded Warrior.

DAR’s Project Patriot supports the Chaplain’s Closet at Landstuhl Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany; the Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland and the Wounded Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, Texas.  In addition, Project Patriot provides support to deploying and returning service members and their families.

The bike ride will take place across the historic Katy and Rock Island Trail. DAR chapters from all across the state are sponsoring SAG (Support And Gear) stations along the trail. Participants can enter and exit at any point along the Katy Trail and the Rock Island Spur.  The Jauflione Chapter of NSDAR, our local chapter, will be set up at the Hartsburg SAG. All registered riders will receive a T-shirt and swag bag.

Bicycling registration is due June 1st.  However, anyone is welcome to join riders along the trail, and any donation is greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at any SAG location.  For those wishing to register for the event, the Adult Rider fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt and SWAG bag.  The Child Rider (16 and under) fee is $15 and includes a t-shirt.  Jerseys can be purchased for $55 and additional t-shirts can also be purchased for $15.

Susan Miller is the coordinator for the Hartsburg SAG stop being sponsored by our local DAR chapter.  For more information about this event, whether to register as a rider, make a donation, or become a corporate sponsor, please contact Susan at: RR1 Box 130, Memphis, MO 63555 or call her at 660-945-3757.

Junior High Track Squads Close Out Season at Conference Meet

Teammates Kaden Anders and Alex Long battle it out down the stretch in the conference finals of the 200 meter dash. (Photo by Dr. Stephen Terrill)

The Scotland County junior high track teams closed out the 2017 season at the Lewis & Clark Conference on May 9th at Central Methodist University in Fayette.

The Tigers finished third in their inaugural season in the new league while the Lady Tigers were sixth out of nine schools.

Paris won the boys title with 124 points followed by Knox County with 94. SCR-I amassed 86 points to edge Clark County with 81.25 points. Westran was fifth followed by Harrisburg, Marceline, Schuyler County and Salisbury.

Marceline won the girls crown with 159 points. Salisbury (109) was second, followed by Paris (77.33), Harrisburg (75)  and Clark County (45). SCR-I earned 42.33 points to edge Schuyler County (41.33), Westran (15) and Knox County (12).

Kaden Anders led the Tigers with a first place finish in the long jump with a distance of 19′ 6.5″. Alex Long was third with a distance of 18′ 7″.

Anders also took top honors in the 400 meter dash and was third in the high jump and third in the 200 meter dash.

Alex Long finished fifth in the 200 meter dash. He took fourth in the 100 meter dash with brother Hayden Long in fifth. Alex was third in the 100 meter hurdles while Hayden took seventh.

Hayden Long earned third in the 1,600 meter run while Brady Curry was seventh.

Austin Holtke finished third in the shot put.

The 4×400 relay team of Kale Creek, Carson Harrison, Kade Richmond and Holtke finished fifth. They also teamed up for a seventh place finish in the 4×200 relay.

The 4×100 team of Jared Cerroni, Hunter Cook, Kabe Hamlin and Magnum Talbert finished eighth.

Hailey Kraus led the Lady Tigers with a third place finish in the high jump. She took seventh in the 400 meter dash.

Hannah Feeney finished third in the 800 meter run and was seventh in the triple jump.

Aayla Humphrey finished sixth in the 200 meter dash and was eighth in the 100 meter dash.

Shantel Small finished seventh in the 1,600 meter run and eighth in the 200 meter dash.

Haylee McMinn was sixth in the shot put and Emily Dial took eighth in the long jump.

The 4×400 relay team of Morgan Blessing, Jenna Blessing, Emily Terrill  and Kraus finished fourth.

The 4×100 relay team of Bobbi Darcy, Kiley Bradley-Robinson, Jenna Blessing and Morgan Blessing, also took fourth place. The same team took fifth in the 4×200 relay.

Spring Turkey Hunters Harvest 43,339 Birds

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 39,239 birds during Missouri’s 2017 regular spring turkey season April 17 through May 7. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 932 birds checked, Texas with 843, and Callaway with 697. Young turkey hunters harvested 4,100 birds during the 2017 spring youth season, April 8-9, bringing the overall 2017 spring turkey harvest to 43,339.

Scotland County hunters checked in 274 adult gobblers, 35 jakes and five bearded hens for a harvest total of 314. Schuyler County hunters bagged 215 birds while Knox County checked in 271 turkeys and Clark County hunters harvested 318 turkeys.

The 2016 overall spring turkey harvest was 48,374 birds with 4,167 harvested during the youth weekend and 44,207 during the regular spring season.

“Given that we haven’t had good hatches the past couple years, and the less-than-ideal weather during a considerable portion of this year’s season, the drop in harvest compared to last year was not unexpected,” MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle said.

He added that the number of birds harvested this spring wasn’t too far behind last year’s harvest total going into the second weekend of spring turkey season, but the heavy rains that blanketed much of the state shortly thereafter caused the harvest to drop rapidly.

Isabelle noted favorable weather over this past weekend helped harvest numbers bounce back a bit.

The 2017 spring turkey season included two non-fatal hunting incidents. One involved a shooter who mistook another hunter for a turkey and the other was a self-inflicted shooting injury.

Missouri offers some of the best turkey hunting in the nation. MDC restoration efforts in past decades have taken this popular game bird from almost being wiped out in the state by the 1950s to an estimated sustainable population of more than 300,000 birds today. Missouri turkey hunters spend more than $125 million each year on related travel, food, lodging, and hunting equipment, which helps local businesses and the economy.

Tigers Mash Milan 14-0 to Advance to District Championship Game

Aaron Buford tossed two shutout innings as the Tigers blanked Milan 14-0 in the Class District 5 semifinals on Monday in Memphis.

A pair of nice defensive plays early on by the Milan outfielders kept Scotland County off the scoreboard early in Monday’s Class 2 District 5 semifinals in Memphis. But the Tigers’ offense proved too potent to keep down for long, as SCR-I put up seven runs in back-to-back innings to defeat the Wildcats 14-0.

Aaron Buford got off to a rough start, walking the leadoff hitter before surrendering a single. He recovered nicely, striking out the next six batters he faced.

Milan got out of a bases loaded jam when Wyatt Boyle robbed Justin McKee of a hit with a diving catch in center field.

Jesus Gonzalez made a similar play in right field in the bottom of the second inning to steal a base hit from Will Pickerell after Elijah Cooley opened the frame with a bunt single. After Buford was hit by a pitch, Cooley advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Gage Dodge singled home Buford to make the score 2-0. With two outs, Grant Campbell walked and Will Fromm plated both runs with a base hit. He scored on a double by Lane Pence. McKee followed with an RBI single. After a base hit by Cooley, Aaron Blessing walked to load the bases. A base on balls to Pickerell plated McKee to extend the lead to 7-0.

That was more than enough cushion to give Buford the hook after just 36 pitches, allowing him to be used in Wednesday night’s title game.

The Tigers limited the workload on the rest of the staff as well, adding another seven-spot in the bottom of the third to insure the game would end early by the 10-run rule.

McKee, Campbell and Blessing had RBI doubles in the frame.

Grant Campbell held Milan hitless over the next 2 2/3 innings in relief for SCR-I. Gage Dodge got the final out to nail down the 14-0 victory as SCR-I improved to 19-1 on the season.

Buford notched the win, allowing a hit and a walk in two innings of work while striking out six. Campbell fanned five batters and walked one.

Fromm went 3-4 with three RBIs. Cooley was 3-3 with two runs scored and McKee went 2-3 with two RBIs.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Awards Nearly $170,000 to Missouri Schools, Nonprofits and Literacy Organizations

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced the award of more than $170,000 in literacy grants to Missouri nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools this morning. These funds are aimed at supporting adult, family and summer literacy programs within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center across the 44 states Dollar General serves, and plan to positively impact the lives of nearly 15,000 Missourians.

“Dollar General is excited to provide these organizations with funding to support literacy and education throughout the 44 states we serve,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.  “Providing these grants and supporting the communities we call home reflects our mission of Serving Others and it’s rewarding to see the impact these funds have.”

Northeast Missouri Caring Communities, Inc. of Edina received a $12,000 grant.

Statewide grants are part of more than $7.5 million that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded this morning. Recipients of today’s grant announcements plan to use Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds to help adults learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, promote childhood summer reading or learn English. Missouri recipients are listed below and a comprehensive list of grant recipients may be found online at www.dgliteracy.org.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is also currently accepting applications for youth literacy grants through Thursday, May 18, 2017. Youth literacy grants support schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations in implementing new or expanding existing literacy efforts. Funding can be used to purchase new technology, equipment, books, materials or software to enhance literacy programs. Applications are available online at www.dgliteracy.org.

For additional information, photographs or items to supplement a story, please visit the Dollar General Newsroom or contact the Media Relations Department at 1-877-944-DGPR (3477) or via email at dgpr@dg.com.

Anna Monroe Named to  Graceland University 2017 Honors List

LAMONI, IA (05/16/2017)– The honor roll lists for Graceland University’s 2017 spring term have been announced, and Anna Monroe of Memphis, MO, has been named to the Honors List.

Graceland University students with a GPA between 3.65 and 3.99 are named to the honors list. Congratulations, Anna! Graceland commends you on your academic success.

For more information visit www.graceland.edu and find Graceland University on Facebook and Twitter to follow additional student achievements.

Founded in 1895 and sponsored by Community of Christ, Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, is more than just a school. It is a community of passionate, caring and dedicated individuals who put their relationships with students first. Campuses are located in Lamoni, Iowa, and Independence, Missouri. For more information and to see additional student achievements, follow @gracelandu on Twitter and like Graceland University on Facebook, or visit www.graceland.edu.

Cemetery Revitalization

I want to publicly applaud the efforts of Elaine Smith, Ronnie Tinkle, Jeff Smith, and the generous donor(s) who made the revitalization of the Bethel Cemetery possible! On behalf of all the Rodgers, Barr and Overfield descendants, we are so grateful for your hard work!

Seeing Bethel the last time I was in Scotland County was heartbreaking and I wanted so badly to find a way to get it cleaned up. Elaine, Ronnie, Jeff, and the donor(s) were an answer to prayer. God Bless you!

Bruce Rodgers

Rochester, MN

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, May 18 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, May 19 – Last Day of School! Cook’s Surprise.

Lunch

Thursday, May 18 – Cook’s Surprise.

Friday, May 19 – Last Day of School! Sack Lunch.  Have a Great Summer!

SCR-I Summer School Menus

(Summer School runs from May 22-June 9.  All meals are free of charge to children 18 and under.  Children do not have to be enrolled to eat and walk-ins are welcome.)

Breakfast

Monday, May 22 – Pancakes, Sausage Link, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 23 – Last Cinnamon Rolls, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 24 – Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk.

Thursday, May 25 – Breakfast Burrito, Fresh Fruit, Juice/Milk.

Lunch

Monday, May 22 – Hot Dog/Bun, Macaroni and Cheese, Peas, Chocolate Pudding, Mandarin Orange Slices

Tuesday, May 23 – Chicken Wrap, Potato Rounds, Buttered Corn, Sliced Pears

Wednesday, May 24 – Cheese Pizza, Green Beans, Applesauce

Thursday, May 25 – Hamburger/Bun, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Sliced Peaches

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, May 18 – Tenderloin/Bun, Onions, French Fries, Pea Salad, Pineapple, Brownies

Friday, May 19 – Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Carrot-Pineapple Cake

Monday, May 22 – Sausage Biscuits/Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Carrots, Applesauce, Cookie

Tuesday, May 23 – Lasagna/Meat Sauce, Lettuce Salad, Hominy, Garlic Bread, Peaches

Wednesday, May 24 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, May 25 – Roast Pork, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Cranberry Sauce, Slice Bread, Pudding

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, May 11 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 17 – Board and Business Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 18 – Health Department here for blood pressure checks, Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 25 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

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