Friday, October 24, 2014

Jeep Jam

Yesterday we were talking to our family surgeon and he told the story of how a friend convinced his wife they needed to buy a Jeep and go to a Jeep Jam.  I kind of knew what he was talking about but I had no idea how popular they are.

"The majestic Cumberland Mountains are a fitting backdrop for this Jamboree. Located on the bend of the Cumberland River, the Williamsburg area is known for its charming homes, picturesque landscapes, vast outdoor recreational activities, and the second-largest waterfall east of the Rockies. The area offers numerous trails of varying difficulty that will lure you into the scenic woods. You'll discover steep forested ridges, magnificent natural arches, and lush vegetation. Swimming, fishing, boating, golf, tennis, hunting, and horseback riding are popular activities in the area.
Tow points required. CB Radios Mandatory."
Jeep Jam is short for Jeep Jamboree.  Jeep Jamborees are off-road adventure weekends that bring together the outdoors, down-to-earth people, and their Jeep 4x4s.
These seem to be casual to serious off road loving people who drive Jeeps.  Around here the mud bogs and 4 wheel trucks became popular in the 80's as tractor and truck pulling became too expensive for the average truck owner.  There is a popular bog just west of Blanchester.
Driving through scenic off road territory sounds enjoyable to me but making a Jeep climb over rocks and welding all night after you break it doesn't.
I see the Cumberland Jeep Jam is coming up soon so I will have to say an extra prayer for our family surgeon!
Ed Winkle

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jim Johnson

I am blessed to know or have known a lot of Jim Johnson's over my lifetime.  One of them passed a few years ago and another one passed this weekend.

I met Jim at a tractor pull when I was a young ag teacher at Blanchester.  No, I met him and his brother Herb when I was a teen ager showing livestock at the Brown County Fair in the 60's.  They had a Super 88 Diesel they campaigned and they beat a lot of big tractors even though a Super 88 was a big tractor to me in those days.

Jim had a 460 International he campaigned in the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Super Stock division.  I saw him try and try and got to know him better.  He bought an 806 and put a P pump and big injectors and lines on it and needed more turbocharger.  I studied turbochargers and got a dealership just so I could buy one of the first 3LM Schwitzer turbochargers to mount on the 806.

We could pin the M&W dynamometer at 325 HP in the early 70's.  That was big HP out of a farm tractor.  He let me drive it in the 9000 lb class and we both drove it where they allowed two drivers.

I remember one night at Owensville and one night at Lynchburg we won the 5, 7, 9, 12 and 13,500 pound classes between my 88 and his 806.  We might have done it at Hillsboro and we almost pulled it off at Georgetown.  We could always compete with the shiny tractors with our old paid for equipment.  I won the state points race one year and he did too.

We drifted away over the years but always stayed in touch.  No matter what we were doing, we could find each other at Bowling Green.  His son Jimmy Junior stopped by the other day to say Hi and now today he had to stop again to tell me the bad news.  I asked him how he was doing and we talked about the grieving process.  We all grieve differently but we all must go through it to have any kind of healing.

RIP, Jim Johnson, and thank you for the great ride full of interesting stories.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Death Of The Gall Bladder

So many friends and family have had their gall bladder removed, I wondered if the incidence is increasing?  Our surgeon friend who removes them says not but it seems like I meet more and more people who have had the operation to remove it.

One doctor said if you are female, over 40 and have had children, your chances are increased.   Another doctor noticed that fatty diets in colder climates seem to have some correlation.  Is fast food a culprit?  One dietician friend says that many people on a NutriSystem diet seem to have a lot of problems with their gall bladder.

Contributing factors include:
    • Heredity. Gallstones occur slightly more frequently in Mexican Americans and Native Americans but also are common in people of northern European stock.
    • Age. Gallbladder disease often strikes people older than 60 years of age.
    • Gender. In medical school, the “five F’s” help doctors to remember the usual patient with gallbladder disease: “fair, fat, forty, fertile and female.” Sexist as it sounds, it describes the group most frequently affected by gallbladder disease: overweight middle-aged white women with a history of several pregnancies. Excess estrogen may be implicated, since hormone replacement after menopause increases the likelihood of stones.
    • Diet. The propensity of Western diet to predispose one to gallbladder disease was commemorated by journalists during the Persian Gulf War—the prevalence of gallbladder disease among Saudis had gone up 600 percent since the 1940s, when they began “enjoying” more and more Western foods! Most people know that there is an established link between fat intake and gallbladder disease, but many don’t realize that there also is a significant correlation with high sugar intake as well.
In my limited research and talking to doctors the past month, these seem to be the most contributing factors to gall bladder failure.

Diets rich in sweet potatoes and soy seem to have less problems.

Do you still have your gall bladder?


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last Fruits Of The Season

I picked the last of the peppers yesterday and was thinking about another year over.  Between them, our apples and our pears, they are the last fruits of this season.

Where did this year go?  It's been a tough year here with too much rain in May and now too much in October.  Very little has been harvested and we got another big rain yesterday we surely didn't need.  We are not as wet as southern Illinois from what I hear but we have our own problems.

Our main fruits, our corn and soybeans are still in the field.  This is what we work for and this is what pays the bills.  It will be good to ever get this crop in the bin.  I know many have more anxiety than I do because they have more on the line.

Ag PhD just called and asked if I would join in the discussion on continuous soybeans tomorrow at 3 pm EST on Sirius channel 80.  I haven't talked to Brian and Darren for awhile so I look forward to the discussion.

Many of my neighbors have done really well with continuous soybeans.  Several near by don't even own a corn head.  They plant beans year after year and do really well.  It may not be the number recommended practice but it sure works for lots of people in southern Ohio.

No matter what you produce, this year is over except for gathering, counting and distributing the harvest!  Therefore farming goes on every day from the last crop to next years.

We always look forward to next year in the hopes it will be better!

This one was really good if we can just get it harvested.

Ed Winkle

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Neighbors Weeds

I have one good neighbor who has a terrible weed problem.  I don't know him well enough yet to offer him any advice but I sure wish he would take some from somebody.

He is a kind old gent, probably a better man than I'd ever hope to be but his weed problem reminds me of what dad said they fought when he was a kid.  They are clear out of control and costing him big money and me a little.

If it were mine, the whole thing would be planted to cereal rye or at least sprayed with 2,4-D and Banvel this fall.  That would get us started.  He only raises soybeans so other crops are not an option and I am sure he wouldn't want to pay for planting cereal rye or a fall spray.

You read all of this great advice on Crop Talk but when it really comes down to applying them to your local situation, sometimes there just isn't a good answer.  I would love to rent the farm just to clean up the weeds but that isn't going to happen.  I would really like to own it but that is just as far a shot, too.

I am not whining but I am complaining.  These resistant weeds are going to eat our lunch unless we stay on top of them.

This is what happens when you farm in 2014 like you did in 2004.

Farming doesn't change much but it is continually changing.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kona Joe Coffee

This year Linda, Fred, LuAnn and most of us on the Roach Ag Tour of Hawaii got to visit Kona Joe Coffee.  Kona Joe developed the idea of planting coffee trees on trellises like is done for some fruit production.

I was watching America's Heartland, a program I record weekly and there was a tour of Kona Joe's just like we took.

"Deepa Alban and her husband Joe were planning to retire on a lovely piece of paradise on the Big Island of Hawaii. That is until they began sharing the coffee beans that were growing on the tropical landscape. Friends and family raved about the coffee and a family farming operation quickly got underway.

The Alban farm sits on a swatch of ocean front soil known as the “gold belt” of the Kona coffee district, one of the richest coffee growing regions in the world. The Albans planted a few coffee trees and began enjoying their home brewed beverage. To improve their crops and get better yields, the Albans began planting coffee plants on trellises, just as you would for grape fines. The results provided a 30% jump in productivity, just by treating coffee like wine. Soon they had a business that they named, “Kona Joe” coffee.

Many farmers have been enjoying trips to Hawaii to break up the winter and get some summer sunshine in the dead of winter.  If you go, I would recommend a trip to Kona Joe Coffee, even if you don't like the drink!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Clermont Soybeans

First call for the Clermont soybean variety.  I think they will sell out fast.  I am very impressed with them after 2 years of watching them develop.  I planted my first Clermont soybeans and encouraged my friends to do the same.  I've heard good things so far from Kentucky to Michigan.  Southern Ohio and Indiana growers are very interested in them.

Today I found many 4 bean pods in the June 28 planting so that tells me they have really good reproduction properties.  I saw that last year when the foundation seed made 85 bushels per acre in a Ohio State University Southern Region plot.  I certified seed locally through my inspection scouting and I have watched them grow since June, 2013.

Clermont non GMO soybeans were developed by Ohio State University soybean breeders.  They are 3.9 maturity with white flowers, light tawny pubescence, brown pods and the key thing to buyers, it is a black hilum soybean.  I wouldn't say its especially pretty but not as ugly as some beans are.  The beautiful thing is watching them grown and put on and fill all those pods.  They look similar to Dennison, a recent 3.5 maturity variety released by Ohio State.

I highly recommend the Ohio Public Soybean Releases.  They always perform well in the University testing program but more importantly, on the farm.  From 2.6 to 3.9 maturity, they've got your soybean needs covered.

Clermont is named after Clermont County Ohio and means clear mountains and hills, though the county is not mountainous.

Ed Winkle