The number of Missouri farmers who are pessimistic about the new year is double what it was at the same time in 2019, according to a new survey by the Missouri Farm Bureau. 

The poll of members showed that 14% of farmers have negative feelings about 2020, compared to 6% in 2019 and 3% in 2018.

A similar survey of farmers by Purdue University shows a comparable mood across the Midwest.

Courtesy of Stan Polivick

For roughly seven weeks now, the city of Cape Girardeau has been testing out a new treatment process for turning “bio-solids” in residents' wastewater into a substance that could benefit the region in the long term. 

Sewage sludge is being dried out in an oven by public works personnel and turned into pellets, which are also being trialled with select local farmers as a potential fertilizer. Public works director Stan Polivick says it all started with the development of a new water treatment plant. 

The Southeast Sikeston Campus has teamed up with Lincoln University to increase the amount of jobs and fresh produce consumption in the Bootheel region with a student-led vegetable demonstration garden that opened in May.

Looking at what will grow better and handle adversity under Missouri weather, students in the program plant, harvest, and research a variety of seeds from places like Asia, Africa and Europe.

Missouri Department of Conservation

As part of an ongoing effort to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease, the Missouri Department of Conservation has added additional regulations to their Wildlife Code that will take effect in 2020. 

Missouri Department of Agriculture

A microbe responsible for the sweeping death of oak trees along the west coast has been detected in over 2,000 rhododendron plants shipped to various retail nurseries throughout Missouri. 

Phytopthera ramorum, commonly known as “Sudden Oak Death,” was first detected in California in 1995 and is under federal quarantine. It hasn’t yet established itself in the Midwest, but the Missouri Department of Agriculture, with the help of the USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service, has already removed potential host plants from shelves or had them destroyed.