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Doniphan County

Crops and Livestock

While farming is admirable as a way of life, it is also a business. Therefore, our research-based crops and livestock programs promote:

  • effective production practices;
  • competitive pricing;
  • business management skills
  • environmentally sound production practices;
  • alternative agriculture businesses;
  • youth education about food and fiber sources;
  • successful living on a few acres.

Tar Spot Fungus in Corn

How do I scout for Tar Spot?

Tar spot develops as small, black, raised spots (circular or oval) that develop on infected plants and may appear on one or both sides of the leaves, leaf sheaths, and husks. Spots may be found on healthy (green) and dying (brown) tissue. Tar spot can be easily confused with insect droppings, which can appear as black spots on the surface of the leaf.

How do I identify and diagnose Tar Spot on my corn?

Please contact or visit the Doniphan County Extension office! We will assist you to send photos of corn with suspected tar spot to be diagnosed for no charge by the K-State Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab. 

More information on corn Tar Spot can be found below: 

A way too early confirmation of Tar Spot - K-State Research and Extension Meadowlark District June 6, 2024 Blog Post

Low levels of Tar Spot have been confirmed in Kansas - Doniphan & Atchison Counties were confirmed on May 27, 2024 and June 4, 2024. 

Tar Spot in Corn IPM Tracker - CornIPM Pipe Map of US Tar Spot scouting.

Managing tar spot of corn mid season update - Michigan State University Extension.

Poultry Pullorum Typhoid (P-T) Testing

Doniphan County is a 2024 poultry Pullorum-Typhoid surveillance county for the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Surveillance County Fair Program. As the second year of this rotating 5-year state program, Doniphan County poultry entries will be tested at check-in on July 23rd from 8:00 to 10:00 am. Doniphan will not need to be tested again at fair check-in until 2029. All poultry project 4-H enrollees should have received a small pink paper included with their June 6th dated County fair letter notifying them about check-in testing of their entries.

What is Pullorum Typhoid? 

Pullorum-Typhoid (P-T) is a disease caused by a Salmonella species that infects chickens, turkeys, and other types of poultry. It is egg-transmitted and can produce high death loss in hatchlings and young birds. Birds that survive a P-T infection are usually carriers for life and source of the disease for other birds. P-T has been nearly eliminated from poultry flocks in the United States because of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). Blood-testing potential breeding birds and culling infected birds are required to eradicate this disease. Breeders that test negative produce non-infected hatching eggs, chicks and poults. Kansas is a Pullorum-Typhoid Clean State. Annual testing is conducted to validate the Pullorum Clean flock status. (Source: KDA, Poultry NPIP). This new program began in 2023 as a strategy for the KDA to confirm the clean flock status for the state of Kansas. This annual P-T testing has nothing to do with Avian Influenza testing, which has been in the news as of late. 

More information about P-T Testing may be found below: 

Pullorum-Typhoid Survelliance County Fair Testing Schedule - K-State Department of Animal Sciences

Pullorum Typhoid Disease - Kansas Department of Agriculture

Private Certified Pesticide Applicators

Private certification may be obtained by passing an open book examination at the Doniphan County Extension Office. Contact the office in advance to ensure the office will be open and allow 2-3 hours to complete the examination. We will collect the $25 fee and mail the completed examination to KDA for grading and issuing the certification card. Private applicator certification expires on the individual's birthday in the 5th calendar year after it is issued.

We also have manuals available for sale.

Soil Testing

Prior to conducting a soil test, please contact the Doniphan County Extension Office. Depending on the issue, a photos of the issue can be used to determine if plant diagnostics and/or soil testing is necessary.

Development of sound nutrient management programs involves knowledge of a wide range of information. Soil test records are an important piece of required information, but other factors such as soil moisture conditions, land ownership/tenure, crop and cropping sequence, pest management, cultural practices, environmental issues, and other management items are vital for developing sound nutrient management programs.

K-State Research and Extension offers soil testing through the K-State Soil Testing Lab in Manhattan.  Samples may be submitted through the local extension office.  Most often, soil tests are taken in the spring before planting, or the fall after harvest.

Proper soil sampling technique

  • Supplies: clean bucket or pail, soil probe (available from the extension office), clean small plastic containers or plastic bags.
  • Sample each field or management area separately, and try to sample from representative sites within the field - avoid fencerows, high-traffic areas, wet or low spots, or any area that doesn't reflect the "average" of the field.  Aim to take 20-30 cores total (may be smaller in small fields).  Each core should not represent more than about 5-10 acres, depending on the uniformity of the field.
  • Sample to the proper depth:
    • 6 inches for most basic soil tests for row crops
      • Split samples of 0-3 and 3-6 inches for no-till
    • 4 inches for permanent sod
    • 24 inches for available nitrogen, chloride, or sulphur
  • Combine all cores in a clean bucket, mix well, and take a subsample (about 2 cups).  Store in a clean plastic container or bag.  Allow the sample to dry out if it is wet and/or you will not be able to get it to the extension office promptly.  Label the container with the field, date, and depth of the sample.
  • Bring all samples to the extension office with this additional information:
    • Field ID
    • Test(s) desired
    • Previous crop and intended next crop
    • Yield average
    • Tillage method and irrigation use
  • Extension office staff will provide you with forms (or you may download and print them yourself) and help calculate the total cost.  Samples my take a week or two to be analyzed, so plan in advance.  Results and recommendations will be made available to you after that.


Starting in 2019, the new low-volatility dicamba products (Engenia, FeXapan, XtendiMax) can only be applied by a Certified Pesticide Applicator.  Anyone applying the product must be certified - no more applying under the supervision of someone with certification.

An additional auxin-specific training must be completed each year.  These trainings are offered by the chemical companies themselves, not Extension.

Resources Available

Katharine Sharp

Hello, my name is Katharine Sharp and I will be the Agriculture and Natural Resources/4H Extension Agent for Doniphan County.  I grew up south of St. Joseph in De Kalb, Missouri, on my family's farm.  My family primarily raises corn, soybeans, cattle and a few pigs.  I was always interested in livestock, especially pigs, so that I pursued a bachelor's degree in Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri.  I decided to attend graduate school to attain my Master's in Animal Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  While at Purdue, I studied swine and some beef production working on a heritage pig project funded by the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program.

Upon graduation from Purdue in 2020, I accepted a full-time position with DNA Swine Genetics of Columbus, Nebraska, as a Genetic Support Specialist for Nucleus farms.  As a Genetic Support Specialist, I traveled to many purebred (nucleus) swine farms in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Manitoba Canada, teaching the company's genetics program.  I accepted a temporary technician position in 2022 with the USDA Agricultural Research Service returning to work with the USDA program that I worked with while at Purdue University.  There I assisted in inventorying and entering animal sample information for the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program.  I am excited to be working with Doniphan County 4H in the coming months!  I look forward to serving Doniphan County communities as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent.


Helpful Livestock Links

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