Friday, March 6, 2015

Funniest Story At The Grain Elevator

Dan Loehr told this story in the cafe and a lot more good ones pursued.

This I overheard at a grain elevator 40 years ago and still makes me smile every time I think about it.

I walked into the scale house to pick up my scale ticket and listened to this exchange- both involved were quite red in the face:

Farmer:" are you accusing me of bottom loading my truck?"

Elevator manager: " I know you couldn't do that- you would have to go to your neighbor to get corn good enough to put on top"

Made me smile again!

Bet there are a lot of good stories out there?

When I was younger and just getting started, I was chatting with the next door neighbor in the scale house.  Our corn was making about 180.  This neighbor's was making "230," like it always does.  I know that's how he is, and it doesn't bother me, so I was going along with him, like saying "man, that's great!  What hybrid was it?"  On my next load one of the ladies in the scale house stopped me and told me that there's no way his corn was making that much, they had all his scale tickets and knew how many acres his farm was.  She didn't want me to feel bad that my corn wasn't as good as his, because it wasn't.  I had a pretty good laugh about that.

Years ago I was sitting in the elevator office waiting to pick up a check. An old guy was sitting there waiting his turn while a farmer was back talking to the manager blowing about his yields. Finally the old man got up, stuck his head in the manager's office and said "wish my half made that much". Turns out the old man was the guy's landlord. Next year there was a new tenant on the farm.

A truck driver took a load of beans to a corn plant. He sat in line in the fall of the year and pulled around, the guy from the probe stand came out. He told the driver that they reject for 2 beans in the sample so he didn't need to probe him to reject him. Then he had to wait to get out and go to the bean plant and do it all over again. The driver told people over the CB what he had done. He never lived that down.

Hauled two wagon loads of beans to the elevator 30 yrs ago, got on the scale and weighed, got out of the tractor and went inside and told Dan I had two loads of beans . He then asked me where the second wagon was, I thought he was joking till I looked out the window and saw I was dragging half of the tongue, apparently the spring broke on the extension pin. We got in his truck and retraced my route and found the wagon upright in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. This happened at night, needless to say I said a few thank you prayers before I went to bed that night.

Those are pretty good, aren't they?  Do you have a good farm or elevator story?


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lost The War On Cancer

The frightening truth is that the medical establishment has lost the War on Cancer.
Based on the American Cancer Society's 1999 statistics:
  • 1 in 2 American men will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 3 American women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.
In the 1930's the ratio was 3 out of one hundred developed cancer.

Real Cause of Cancer

Cancer has only one prime cause. It is the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body's cells by an anaerobic [i.e., oxygen-deficient] cell respiration. -Dr. Otto Warburg-1931 & 1944 Nobel Prize-Winner
An effective approach to treating cancer MUST include:
  • Detoxification (heavy metals, chemicals, etc.)
  • Boosting the Immune System (anti-oxidants)
  • Regeneration of damaged tissues (organic nutrients)
  • Destruction of cancer without destroying the body
  • Psychological Healing
An integrated comprehensive approach is the patient's best insurance policy for beating cancer.  In my condition it seems like cancer comes up every five minutes, whether it's TV, Internet or just two people talking.  My whole life has become centered around this dreadful disease because I have it.  I have been active on NAT and anything I can find just to keep my mind off it but in truth it's always on my mind.

I have a terminal illness.  My wife had to tell that to someone yesterday and it cut like a knife.  I guess I have been avoiding it and sheltering myself from it but its the truth.  I am in the fight of my life and any little thing could send me in the wrong direction.  It's hard to recognize what that might be.

I just woke up in a sweat but my pain medicine had run out and my catheter bag was full.  I woke my poor wife up to empty the bag and took another pain pill.  I have lived on pain medicine for three months now.  I feel better now typing to you.  It's time for me to get up anyhow and I got another good night's sleep.

My urologist tried to put a stent in my kidney yesterday but could not do it the easy way.  I have to go through another surgery tomorrow that is more complicated.

I could use your prayers today to get me through tomorrow without infection.  This will help me heal more and get more of my body functions back.

I hope I win this war on cancer for at least a few years but I really don't know.  All I know is I am doing everything I can to win.  Disease wise, the prognosis is not good.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Net Neutrality"

One of my posting friends asked this very good question in the Cafe on NAT:

"I haven't paid much attention to the NN arguments that have been going on, but I see the FFC has ruled on it today.

Could somebody give me the CliffsNotes version.

Good for us ? Bad for us?"

"Federal Government is going to treat the internet like a utility.

Do you remember when there was only one phone company.

Well that is what we are getting.

User will now have to get FCC permission do provide new products and get any charges approved by the FCC.

I am sure that in no time the internet will be a shell of its former self. Have you ever seen anything that the federal government has improved?

They are claiming the plan is to keep the net free and neutral when it is in fact a power grab by the Obama gang.

"If the government were to take control of the desert there would be a shortage of sand within tow years."
paraphrased quote from Milton Friedman"

"A few years back some companies played with speeds of sites. Quickly they realized the gov would begin to regulate them so they knocked it off and still since have been good out of that fear. A YouTube video scared people and drove to the fcc takeover, it was largely unneeded as abuses were checked. Europe has had it for years. If we follow what happened there the speed of Internet will eventually go down for all as the incentive to create higher speeds is lost through government intervention. Yes some of the other posters predictions can come in time but for now you will see little change."

I thought this was a pretty good synopsis of the situation.  I guess it's all about one's opinion how much the government can or should regulate business.

No doubt, the Internet is big business today and I think we knew it was coming.

It's always a surprise when it happens, though.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Who Has The Shipping Edge, South America or the United States?

I have been wondering who has the advantage shipping grain, principally soybeans to China- South America or the United States?  Even with our port problems now and a very high valued dollar, we have had amazing exports in recent months and years.  I think transportation costs enter in the equation.

I always enjoy Michael Cordonnier's reports of crop production in South America.  He does as good a job as anyone telling us in America what is going on in South America.  We all know that infrastructure is lacking in South America but that is slowly changing.

This year they planted later than normal so their crop is coming to market slower, too.  That has helped us keep US exports up to some extent.  Today is a good example as soybeans closed to a price high enough that it has farmers making moves on new and old soybeans.

Delivery Pd Option Futures Basis Cash Price
LH FEB 2015 SH5 $10.16 $0.30 $10.46
MAR 2015 SH5 $10.16 $0.24 $10.40
APR 2015 SK5 $10.18¾ $0.15 $10.33¾
MAY 2015 SK5 $10.18¾ $0.15 $10.33¾
JUN 2015 SN5 $10.23 $0.10 $10.33
JUL 2015 SN5 $10.23 $0.10 $10.33
O/N 2015 SX5 $9.92¾ ($0.21) $9.71¾
DEC 2015 SF6 $9.97½ ($0.06) $9.91½
JAN 2016 SF6 $9.97½ ($0.06) $9.91½

One thing that caught my eye in these reports is that the US can ship beans from New Orleans for $30 per ton but South American farmers can spend $70 a metric tonne just GETTING their beans to their port.  That reaffirmed what I have been thinking.

Still, too many beans are too many beans and the world has a big crop this year.  That makes for lower prices and how many US farmers can grow soybeans for $9.91 this year and stay in business?

Those kinds of calculations takes some of the fun out of farming but it is a business.  If you enjoy your job they say you never have to work a day in your life.  I have met a lot of farmers who are not enjoying their job as much as they did two years ago.

Ed Winkle

Monday, March 2, 2015

Soil, The Root of Mankind

In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout to educate the public about the importance of soil. March’s theme is “Soils Support Agriculture.”
Here are a few facts about soils and agriculture:
  1. Soils support agriculture by serving as the foundation of where we grow our food.
  2. Virtually everything in our diets either directly or indirectly came from the soil.
  3. The nutritious calcium found in broccoli is not only good for humans, but it was necessary for the broccoli plant to grow, too. Plants use calcium to help with cell division, and for getting other nutrients from the soil.
  4. Some plants, like alfalfa, not only grow in the soil, but add nutrients back to the soil.
As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA is developing a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. March’s Soils Support Agriculture video can be viewed at The American Society of Agronomy co-sponsored the video. Educational materials can be viewed at by clicking on the March tab.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

Soil and its qualities or lack thereof have become a hot farmer topic in most crop producing areas.  No-till is still being adopted but no quicker than cover crops planted between row crops.

Nutrient density and seed quality has slowly come to the mainstream at the same time.  Some soils produce quality that is nearly double the quality of crops grown in soils that are not managed intensely.

Making it all pay and meeting market demand is the trick.  There is always a trick, isn't there?

Food for thought on another cold February day.  This winter weather are making many wonder what this year has in store for us.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Power Of Blogging

I am trying to recover from this week's treatments so I let LuAnn talk me into accompanying her to CVS and Kroger.  I had a long walk through Kroger but I didn't think I was going to make it.  She is always right if I can do it, the walking helps my nerve pain.

We got our groceries put away and I was able to eat a tuna fish sandwich for lunch.  I was sipping on green tea with an oatmeal cookie when a van pulled into our drive.

Our new neighbor reads my blog and brought us flowers and dinner!  I was hoping I would get to meet her someday because the last time I heard from her, she said she would be moving to our area.  Her family bought one of our friend's house just past the covered bridge!

The neat thing is we share the same faith and go to the same churches.  We had to see each other before but didn't know what each other looked like!  Her timing was perfect because I really need prayer today and needed to talk to someone about our faith.  God brought both to me thanks to her.  Laying my life out there for everyone to read paid big dividends today.

LuAnn and I are humbled by the support we have from all over, next door to New Zealand and just about everywhere.  I pray for all the wonderful people praying for me and give thanks for all I've got.  Right now is really scary but we all have scary parts in our lives.  I've learned that people make the difference and God uses them to speak to me.  I like it when that happens because that reminds me we are all in this together.

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments" (Mt 22:34-40).

Can we do this with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind?  We are fragile and broken and we fail but when we live these commandments, I do believe the angels rejoice.

I hope I can do this with everyone I meet.  Sometimes I don't but when it works out like it did today for us, we rejoice also!

Blessings to all my readers, especially our "new" neighbors.  You sure made two people happy today.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ten Things To Know Before Buying Farm Ground

On AgTalk we get a lot of questions just like the one I had when I graduated college.  How in the world will a poor guy like me ever own any farm ground?

I waited too long and passed up a lot of good opportunities.  I blamed it on my support system.  I never had anyone behind me who agreed with my goal and passion until I met LuAnn in 1999.

One poster gave what I thought was some really sound advice last week on Crop Talk.

1. Start looking now and get connected quietly
2. Pile the cash away
3. Study soil maps and drainage
4. Identify and verify property lines
5. Make sure you know about all easements and liabilities and contracts and leases connected to the land
6. Pay the first one off fast
7. Be offensive but set your limits and obey them and don't be afraid to low ball or walk away as appropriate
8. Keep off farm income rolling in as long as it makes sense
9. Have a plan or at least discuss thing with your father. You have a chance to grow the entire pie which helps the entire operation especially if he is on board
10. Start looking now, yes I said it twice

FWIW. Have bought several hundred acres in the last 18 months. Deals are out there, just gotta be patient and look and be ready. The deals never make it to the headline internet chat. The record high ones do. Picked up one piece last year for under 4K and pulled 200 bushel corn and 70 bushel beans off it this year. Just gotta look and be patient.

This is one of those really good threads that appear from time to time and worth your reading if you are interested in farm ground.  I bet my readers could write some really good stories if I could just get you to comment!

Many of you younger readers I've talked to could really benefit from this list.  Actually doing it and applying it to your own situation may require the support I felt I never had.

My door and email is open to you and I might even talk on the phone with you.