Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sprayer Screw Ups

I hope this doesn't get into the wrong hands but anyone who sprays, the home owner, land owner, farmer, professional spray business all have sprayer screw ups.  Somewhere along in the process of selecting the pesticide, following the label and getting that done went wrong.

The picture shows one of these screw ups.  The operator intended to put on 2.5 quarts of product and accidentally put 2.5 gallons of product on instead.  You can see what it did to his corn.  His 200 bushel corn suddenly became 100 bushel corn in places!  But he has no weeds!

The sad thing is the sweet corn patch got the same recipe and sweet corn is weaker than field corn.  It smoked the sweet corn and this is what was left of the field corn.

Actually, when I get too much herbicide on I see it not killing the target weeds and even other specie come in.  If I get too good a kill on my weed spectrum to the point it hurts the crop, I see late grasses pop in because they have no competition when the pesticide "wears off" or is absorbed and moved away from the soil.

I've suffered through one all summer.  It has pained my soul.  The spray operator got about 2 ounces too many of a strong corn herbicide on my prize corn field and it has not looked right since the day it was sprayed.  I suffered all year because of one mistake and I take great pride on how my crop looks.  LuAnn and I will both suffer in the pocketbook from this operator error.

The job of spraying is a big one.  There are so many chemicals and labels and different machines.

I don't complain when I have $8 an acre invested in a great spray job.  $8 and 20 less bushels per acre, I complain.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farm Science Review 1968

I got my first glimpse of the Ohio State Farm Science Review in 1968.  I was a freshman at the university in the University College.  That means I didn't know what to study.  I didn't claim a major until 1970.

I don't remember much about it.  I had a busy class load and a job.  I always had a job for a source of income while in college.  We were "poor white farm folk" as one of my friends always said but I don't think we understood how rich we were to get the opportunities we had.

Roy M. Kottman, a former dean of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (known as the College of Agriculture at the time) is credited for launching Farm Science Review. At the time, the college was looking for a replacement to "Farm and Home Week," a 46-year-old program that came to its end in 1959. In 1961, Kottman was approached by M.R. Maxon, regional branch sales manager for International Harvester Corporation. Maxon wanted to know if Ohio State was interested in sponsoring a farm machinery show that would include field demonstrations and educational displays.

Meetings between Kottman and Maxon soon involved Ray Mattson of the Columbus Tractor Club, Thomas Wonderling of OSU Extension, and Robert P. Worral from the College of Agriculture. In March 1962, the group finalized a "Memorandum of Agreement" among the Ohio Expositions Commission, the Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (known as the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at that time). Later that year, Ohio State President Novice G. Fawcett signed the memorandum. Kottman signed for the College of Agriculture and Rowland Bishop signed for the Ohio Expositions Commission. Farm Science Review was officially born.
The first show was held in 1963 at the Ohio State University Don Scott Airport in northwest Columbus, Ohio.  That was a pretty good hike to a farm kid from Sardinia with a busy schedule. 

Over 18,000 visitors paid 50 cents a ticket to view 116 commercial exhibits and be the first to witness no-till corn demonstrations. For the next decade, visitors were treated to such programs as research on 20-inch (510 mm) and 30-inch (760 mm) corn rows, the introduction of big farm equipment, solid-row soybean planting, conservation exhibits, fertilizer application by airplane, and research to fight corn blight.
At least I had some contact with the Ag College that eventually helped me to decide to major in Agricultural Education after all of my other college requirements were satisfied by the next year in 1969.
I took my first class of agricultural students to the same site in 1971 and that alone is a pretty wild story.  Blanchester schools sent us on a old bus that didn't make it to the review.  Mr. Shilts, our driver said this bus is junk and we won't make it.  We didn't.  I had 60 students sitting unsafely along Interstate 71 near the US 62 Grove City exit until the school sent us a better bus to pick us up and tow the old blown up bus back to Blanchester.
I know the young students learned a lot that day but their barely older ag teacher learned a whole lot more.  That day started a many decade interest and connection to the Ohio State Farm Science Review.
I hope you who are going have a much less stressful trip to the Review this week.
Ed Winkle


Monday, September 15, 2014

Iowa and ANF

"ANF. America Needs Farmers.
All of you Hawk fans see it on helmets, or on some T-shirt promoted by Iowa Farm Bureau, and think - man that's a pretty cool lightning bolt, but I wonder what it stands for?
Back in 1985, Hayden Fry started "America Needs Farmers" as a promotion to help our agricultural producers through the Farm Crisis. That was 29 years ago.
To help out our farmers during the crisis, the government provided direct payments, no matter whether they had a profitable or non-profitable crop. This past year, direct payments were taken away. Just because something made sense then, doesn't mean it makes sense now.
As a farmer myself, I find it a great misrepresentation that the University of Iowa is the primary supporter of this program. If you were to Google "Does the University of Iowa help Farmers?," your first two links would be - you guessed it - Iowa State University!
ISU is widely known as one of the premier agricultural colleges in the world. It offers majors ranging from Agronomy to Animal Science, and Ag Systems Technology to International Ag. What does Iowa offer its yearning farmers? They offer programs in Ag medicine and Occupational and Environmental Health. Sounds a lot like more medicine to me."
I ran across this on Crop Talk and thought it was interesting.
When I was a kid, I didn't even know where Iowa was.  It seemed like a far off place to me.  I wanted to study agriculture at Purdue which was a very far off place from Sardinia, Ohio where I grew up.  I didn't do all the steps it took to get there and ended up at Ohio State like my aunts and uncle.  They grew up in harder times than 1985 or today so I count my blessings.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thank You Lord For Rain

Our friend John sent this sad but laughable article about how desperate the drought has made the rich people in California.

After seeing Michael's super double crop soybeans this week I have to say thank you Lord for rain.  We have had more rain than normal in this part of Ohio this year.  I told you some fields never even got planted near me.  We are looking at one of the best corn and soybean crops in history and many had their best wheat crop ever here in July.

Some farmers aren't thanking the good Lord for the cold, though.  Many posts are popping up about frosted beans in Iowa to the north this morning.  My friend took this picture in Minnesota.

It is 48 here and that is below our normal but things always average out.  I knew the days we planted double crop soybeans behind our wonderful wheat harvest this could be the year those double crops are a cover crop.  That's the risk we take planting soybeans in late June or July.

The double crops need another month of warm weather and we normally get that.  We might not this year, we just do not know.  We do know it's cool here today and colder west and north so the trend is not favorable.

Al Gore sure has made people talk about weather and climate change.  I figure those cycles were set in motion a long long time ago so I need not worry, I just need to cope.

I am thankful for everything I have this morning.  I am thankful for a very good week, we had some beautiful weather with this cold front that came through.

Thank you Lord for rain.  It makes everything grow but people still complain.

I send my blessings to all my good readers this beautiful Sunday morning.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catching Up

Thanks to a lot of good help, I am catching up!  Next week is Farm Science Review though, so I am sure to get behind again.

I promised the guys at AgroSoil to help explain how gypsum works from my experience here on the farm after taking every opportunity to learn about it the last 20-30 years.  I've seen it take farms up a notch, especially if they are no-till and or use cover crops.  The physical, chemical and biological properties come together well.

Water infiltration is a major problem on many soils, particularly here in Ohio.  Soil erosion and farm economics are such that many no-till farms are out performing others who don't.  Gypsum fits right into that scenario with all of the properties that calcium sulfate brings to soil.  Many soils are lacking calcium or sulfur to the point that users often see benefits from one application.  I wonder how much it would help the tight soils I saw at the Farm City Field Day yesterday.  I bet it would help a bunch.

I am going to go talk to my neighbor who spreads litter each and see if I can interest him in learning how to spread gypsum.  The field behind the house ought to be one of the first fields to come off in this neighborhood since it was the first planted.  720 lbs of calcium and sulfur for $6 is the best purchase I will make in 2015.  It will make the little bit of fertilizer I apply go farther.

I did see a farmer friend at the Pioneer field day who has spread 3 years and claims he has not see any benefit.  Soil test?  Tissue test?  Yield?  Grain quality?  Ponding water?  All his answers were Nope, maybe better water movement he said.  Are you spreading this fall?  Yep?  Why, I wondered?  I just walked away and scratched my head.

Bin 3 has one more load to be delivered then we start with 65,000 bushels of clean storage for 2014 crop.  The experts say we are going to need it.  I admit it has been a big crop since the day it was planted.

Thank you Lord for a really good day yesterday and an amazing week.

Ed Winkle

Friday, September 12, 2014

Farm City Field Day

I took the time to go support my family yesterday at the Farm City Field Day held in Jackson County near Gallia County.  It was a good excuse to see my sister's family busy schedule and visit with them a bit.

The first thing I came across was Michael's soybean plots on the way to the main farm.  They are very eye catching and there was his seed man pounding in stakes to mark the different varieties.  I stopped and introduced myself and walked the plots. 

I got humbled in a hurry because there was 60 bushel beans planted into wheat stubble!  Those are probably the best double crop soybeans I've ever seen.  Jeff, the seed rep told me they were planted July 1, about the same time mine were planted.

I hope I can show you some pictures because I am having some problem with my camera interface right now.  The pictures clearly show what I am talking about.

Farm City days are a great time to get together and like Dave Samples from Extension said, farmers take pride in their place so it becomes a lot of work to clean up the place.  You could see Michael and others have doing that for the last month or more.  It reminded me of the 300 people eating in our front yard last summer and all of the American Farmer Degree visits we prepared for.

They prepared several stops on the 90 minute wagon tour.  They did a good job showing the diversity of a cattle and grain farm and all the things that have to happen to make it work.

They celebrated the day with old fashioned ox roast where they cook a whole beef in a pit for 24 hours.  That takes a lot of work itself to prepare.

Everyone did a great job to make a great day.  I attribute most of that to Michael who oversees much of the farm's operation.

That's what it takes to keep a farm running today and the visitors could easily see the results.  

It's good to share good results.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pioneer Field Day

After driving north of LaRue, Ohio Tuesday, we made it to the Bruce Goodwin Field Day on SR 28 west of Blanchester.  It's a field day I don't want to miss, not because of his great crop production but because of his friendship.

I first met Bruce back in the 70's when I was the agricultural education instructor at Blanchester.  He did not live in the school district but was close enough I tried to recruit him for our Young and Adult Farmer program I was trying to build on top of my daily classroom instruction.  He and his neighbors participated and we became good friends.

We had a common interest in machinery.  He lived near McHenry Equipment, the local Oliver farm equipment dealer.  As that brand faded away, our shared passion for farming never faded.

I became his county agricultural educator in 1987 and we set out to prove Pioneer wheat was better or not better than the other available wheat varieties.  My picks won a few times but Pioneer has always had such a strong soft red winter wheat breeding program that I usually ended up proving that Pioneer was better.

Tuesday was no failure either.  His corn plot showed some 230 bushel yields on my first counts.  It is outstanding corn, especially for Clermont Silt Loam.  I often said if you can farm there you can farm anywhere.  The soil is old and weathered and tight and the rainfall is frequent.

He planted one hybrid at 42,000 plants per acre and 36,000 plants per acre.  He had 43 ears on the higher population and 35 on the lower one but the yield calculated the same.  The 43 ears had one ear with Diplodia which shows the increased disease pressure with the higher population.

It's one of the best field days a person could ever attend if you are in the agricultural business.  Many of his suppliers and even his competitors were in attendance.

Bruce's farming operation and Pioneer seed business is a class act.

No wonder so many want to keep an eye on Bruce Goodwin.

Ed Winkle