Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Oh nine was oh no to many people. Many farmers and many people are wishing it good riddance.

I don't know why, but I have always thrived in challenging years. I remember selling pigs for 10 cents a pound and figuring my farming was done. Now they are lucky to get fifty cents and are no better off because of the decrease of the power of the dollar over 40-60 years. I really don't see how livestock men do it.

Me, I am just thankful to be here. I have done so many stupid things that could have gotten me killed. My Guardian Angel has done a great job protecting me for sixty years.

Oh Nine was more of an emotional roller coaster for me. Four new babies in the family, the lose of two loved ones, trying to plant more acres than ever in the mud, almost plowing it back out in the mud. But those yields, oh those yields! And the market price "wasn't too hateful" either!

Today I picked up a grain check and took it to the bank. I hope that puts our income and expenses close together for OH NINE. If we are careful, we could be owing a whole bunch of money we can't afford to pay while building our business. I am willing to pay my fair share but planning taxation is almost a full time job for the farmer.

Oh Nine, Oh Boy, Good Bye!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Clock is Still Ticking

It is almost 2010! How many of you thought you would be here to see this? These year numbers are starting to sound like a fantasy to me. Remember, I was born in '49.

So what do you do differently next year? I plan on doing the same thing as I have always done with some improvements, hopefully.

I don't like much change until I see it really benefits me but the clock is ticking. Tick, tick, tick.

What do you do with every second of that tick?

Today we went 4 wheeling at a friend's farm. What trails he has on flat land to E slopes! A little soil judging training here, A slope is 0-2%, B slope 2-6, C slope 6-12, D slope 12-18, E slope 18-25 percent. That means if you make one 3 foot step, you go up or down one foot on the hill.

Sable ran with his one trip, several miles. I think we rode 25 miles today.

I don't like resolutions but I guess I made some. One is to have as much fun as this old body can take. We tested that theory out today, my bones hurt.

This blog was another one of them one year ago when LuAnn challenged me to put my thoughts on the web. I guess she got tired of me saying the same things over and over to her, family, friends and colleagues.

I always resolve to be a better person. butI am pretty satisified where I am. I do resolve to do those little things that will make me a better person. Listen more, love more, give more, but I am pretty stretched out. I know you and I can always do better.

At 60 you start saying things you believe whether the audience wants to hear it or not. My clock is ticking and I really don't care anymore about hurting someones feelings. It was like walking on egg shells all these years. Politically correct? Not me anymore. Loving and kind? Yes.

I am not rich in money so I can't give millions to my favorite causes. I can and do something though. I am rich in spirit so I will share that. Share the spirit. Be thankful every day your eyes open. Slow down and take time to see the richness around you. I find it really humbling.

So the work goes on, the time flies and the next thing you know, how did I get here?

Enjoy every tick of that clock.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Next Front

I just got off the phone with a contact I value highly and I wonder what the next front is in agriculture?

Farmers are conservative by nature, always waiting for the next storm, whether it be weather or economy or whatever.

He described to me new technology that I can adapt to my farm and then share with others. My brain hurts after one hour of discussion. I took notes.

We talked about corn hybrids and inoculants and everything we could both think of.

I love talking to people who really know what they are talking about. It is invaluable to me.

An old friend came to warm me up on this discussion first. He is all about making farmers more money so he can make a good living for his family.

One question that came up is how do you control volunteer corn in a quad stack that will be resistant to glyphosate and glufosinate? These are chemical names for RoundUp and Liberty, now sold as Impact herbicides.

My first question is why would you want the quad stack in the first place? I don't want or need that now. I do live in the land of rolling hills and crop rotation and conventional corn genetics still perform as well as their modified cousins.

Those conventional hybrids are getting harder to find. Since Monsanto Company rules the roost on genetics, they want to sell what makes them more money and that is modified hybrids by genetic insertion.

The farming field is wide open right now from land value, rent, input costs, machinery costs and the list goes on and on.

I am sure it is that way for many businesses.

Technology has surely changed the way we farm and live.

The next front is hard to imagine. Many of us can't digest the last front yet.

Ed Winkle

Monday, December 28, 2009

I agree with what Maurie Loomans had to say yesterday in the Cincinnati Sunday Enquirer.

"As Christmas approaches, the holiday does not make it better for those who are facing unemployment for the first time. It is a fearful time.

For instance: Will I be able to keep my house? How can I have health insurance? Will my child be able to go to college?

However, this is not the only time this country has faced this problem. Consider the Great Depression. In his first inaugural address in March of 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt said:
"This is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Seventy-six years later we face a similar situation. In my judgment, fear has reached pandemic proportions in 2009. So far I have heard nothing from the White House that either alleviates fear or provides reasonable hope.

The question is whether the message of Christmas is pertinent to this problem. I believe it does.
The biblical story found in Luke as said to the shepherds is, "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.' Then a multitude of angels came and said, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' "

And later Jesus in his ministry says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." When put together, it appears that God's peace is an antidote for fear.

President Roosevelt goes on to say: "More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment."

My hope is that the current administration will take realistic actions that will create good jobs, and that churches across this country will help people turn fear into peace."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Last Sunday in '09

When the Pastor said welcome to the last Sunday of the year today, it hit me. Christmas is over and 2009 is too!

Most farmers are going to be glad 2009 is almost history but I think a few will miss it!

Ohio could well end up with a record corn and soybean crop. I saw more good fields this year than I ever saw in my life.

Now planting, spraying, harvesting and hauling was a different matter. It ended up to be a good problem here but many of my friends out west literally pulled their hair out.

Score another victory for Ma Nature! There are so many variables in our control as farmers but weather is the major one and we have no control. All we can control is how we plan and respond to her.

My soybean talk last year showed the disparing soybean yields of 07 and 08, 39 and 38 bushel nationwid, respectively and we could push 50 in Ohio for 2009. 50 bushels was common around here on a per acre basis. Corn yields, who knows, many records were set as the old ones fell away.

Now I do know that farmers are paying much more attention to their soybean yields when beans reach that magical $10 per bushel price which they stayed at most of the year.

I know that variety, fertility and weed control has improved our overall yields but the cool damp summer made it all the better.

This is what I am thinking about on the last Sunday of 2009.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Wonder

I wonder how people are fairing this holiday season?

With our 15% unemployment and reported 17% underemployment reported in southwest Ohio you really wonder.

People are tough and seem to survive, one way or the other.

We saw young families just shopping Christmas Eve and LuAnn said I bet they just got paid and couldn't shop until now. We saw little kids around their parents with big eyes and families loading their purchases.

I know that is not the true meaning of Christmas but it is what we are accustomed to in the states.

Churches were packed Christmas Eve and had pretty good crowds on Christmas Day. It was good to see all the stores and restaurants closed for once.

And how about the folks in the storm? I am sure glad we weren't flying, what a mess. NewAgTalk has some amazing snow pictures on it and stories of families "holed up" until the weather breaks.

NORAD kept track of Santa, nothing keeps him down since Rudolph came around!

The wind has howled here for three days straight but we got by with an inch or two of rain. Now the snow is all gone. I bet more will come though, it is not even January.

LuAnn has a nephew who adopted a family of three young children for Christmas, along with his sweet wife of course. It's an amazing story and I hope it has a great ending. We got to talk to them on the telephone yesterday. Their young lives has been changed for the good.

LuAnn and her mother and brothers experienced their first Christmas without Dad. They all seem to be handling it pretty well but you know it isn't easy.

My dad's been gone 9 years January 3, 2010 along with a lot of good friends and family. Time just keep rolling on.

People seem to keep on striving and living no matter the situation. You control it or it will control you.

That is much easier said than done.

All we can do is just keep helping one another the best we can. People really seem to be "stepping up to the plate" here.

To me, it's all about the little ones.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I can't say it any better than this:

"Merry Christmas
Posted 2 hours ago

As we've went through the last year we have been subject to some of the greatest experances one could've been afforded.....we've seen first hand some greatness by some great people and met quite a few special ones.

I hope some of the great families we've met are lucky enough to progress the way Rolan has, We think of them often. To those lucky enough to be touched by Rolan, he's really turning it on. A year ago this week is when we really started to notice things where happening with him that weren't in his character... He's come a long ways and had quite a few "moments" that have really embarassed his mother. When we tell you "what he thinks-you hear" we mean it...

Rolan's emotions are still riding very close to the surface and it's been a heck of a ride the last few weeks keeping his spirits up, but he's doing good. I cherish some of our conversations when we've been driving alone...he just lays it on the line.

Over the last year we've had some bumps in the road but thankfully none of them have had ill effect on Rolans progress to get better. We've been told people hope we have a better year in '10...To be truthful, I think it'll be hard to top '09...

In reality I belive '10 will bring us bigger challenges as Rolan progresses and tries to retrun to some sense of a Normal 13yr old kid.

I wouldn't change much about '09, it's been a GREAT year for us, Rolan's on the mend and the girls,Brenda & I are doing good...We've had alot of fun this year even if we had to make alot of adjustments.

We cherish each and every day together and trust our true friends that have been with us every minute never Doubting a thing we've done in an effort to keep moving foreward one foot at a time.

Some have questioned how we keep doing it? Well it's been pretty simple, we let the all the good folk at the U of I do their job and we focus on whats ahead.

The past couple of monthes we've finally had time to start focusing on what's ahead and as the changes start being implemented people realize we're moving foreward. Early on I was told the biggest mistake people make when confronted with a situation like Rolan's is to fall into a rut and live Day by Day....Get a picture of where you want things to be and go for that. Well we're starting to see the picture.

Some may ask What's ahead? we don't know for sure but think of how you felt this morning and go with that, that's our goal. Put the gifts and the commercial aspect aside...go for the feeling.
PS.. Rolans counts had a slight improvement yesterday morning and we'll see how things look Monday."

Rolan is the son of Loran and Brenda Steinlage of West Union Iowa. They have a ton of support but keep praying for Rolan, better known as Popcorn. Popcorn is fighting a little cancerous pineoblastoma and he and his family LIVE at the University of Iowa when not farming or cutting hair.
God Bless 'Em, they just renew my faith.
Merry Christmas from the Winkle's in Martinsville.

09 Won't Quit

2009 just won't quit, will she? That is another crazy weather pattern off doppler radar at NOAA just up the road near Wilmington.

We feel for all the stranded people, people without services, people who can't see their loved ones and people in accidents.

It has sure been a crazy year from the get go, especially from a farmers view point. There are too many corn and soybean fields still out there, farmers little fortune down the tubes. Some farmers just did not have good weather this year, we are thankful we just got by.

We had enough rain, it was hard to plant, we had just enough heat to mature the crop, we had just enough lack of rain to get the crop harvested without much soil damage. There are sure some "by golly" ruts out there this year.
Some weather is hard to take like the ice storm in 04, the tornado in 06 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. Those three like to have destroyed this farm! "That is why we carry good insurance."
But we hung on and are so much better off today than other people we sure can't complain.
I hope it is a great day for you and thank you for reading this and being my "follower." I follow some of the smartest people I ever met and just pass what I learn and try on to others.
That's what makes Christmas great and the world go round.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dirty American Farmer

I just received this from my friend Joe in North Carolina and wanted to share it with you.

I guess I am just a dirty American farmer. How soon we have forgotten our past.
Dirty American Farmer's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Luke 12:15

Recommended Reading James 2:1-9

In the late 1700s, the manager of Baltimore's largest hotel refused lodging to a man dressed like a farmer because he was afraid the man's humble appearance would shame his establishment. So the man left. Later, the innkeeper discovered that he had turned away none other than Thomas Jefferson! He immediately sent a note to Jefferson asking him to return to the hotel and be his guest, to which Jefferson replied, "I have already engaged a room. I value his good intentions highly but if he has no place for a dirty American farmer, he has none for the Vice President of the United States."

We should never disregard the value or worth of those who have little in this world or show partiality to those who have much. The Creator of the Universe was born into a family that was poor in the eyes of society, but God found them worthy to raise His own Son.

Let us show the love of Christ to all without partiality because oftentimes it is those with little to speak of in this world who have much stored up in heaven.
Read-Thru-the-Bible Revelation 21:1-22:21

How blessed can I be? Like Thomas Jefferson? He and his peers gave all for this country and ended up dirt poor. Those early Americans gave everything, their lives, their most prized possessions just so you and I can enjoy this Christmas Eve in this "free country."
I would really like to talk to Thomas, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and a host of hosts.
Thanks Joe, that really fit into my thinking this morning on this Blessed Christmas Eve.

Ed Winkle

Merry Christmas Eve!

I woke up early, excited. Just like when I was as a child.

All because God sent his only and begotten Son to us. Do you believe or disbelieve? Not sure yet? There is plenty of help out there.

I still love you if you don't believe, that is part of Christmas. I personally searched my soul when I was 12 before I was baptized in the Protestant Church I was raised in. I do believe.

I have learned so much about Christ and Mass the past few years my head could explode. But I am happy and wish all people could be. I know so many in misery so I feel fortunate to not be like that today.

I do see many people saying Merry Christmas this year and they are not trying to be politcally correct.

It's funny but sad so many take advantage of Christmas, the Holiday, the free time and really don't believe. They watch the lights, they eat the food but they really don't get the whole picture.

I am not sure I do but I hope I do?

I ran across these blogs, from the Ozark's to Kentucky, these stories tell much. There are no words to explain what these people have been through so I will let you do your own reading.

How can I not wish you Merry Christmas?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I found this and must admit I was surprised. Uncle Roy spent his career in water and LuAnn spent much of her's in Soil and Water and I have always understood the importance of water.

"U.S. Uses Less Water Today 12/22/2009 Farm Journal Editors (Sara is a bright young jounalist and we are working some projects together)

The U. S. uses less water today than it did 35 years ago, despite a 30% population increase. Declines in water use are partly attributable to more efficient irrigation systems and alternative cooling methods at power plants, according to a recently released U.S. Geological Survey report.

The report, “Summary of Estimated Water Use in the United States in 2005,” states that Americans used 410 billion gallons of water per day in that year, slightly less than what was consumed in 2000. “Because electricity generation and irrigation together accounted for a massive 80% of our water use in 2005, the improvements in efficiency and technology give us hope for the future,” says Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science.

The report concludes that irrigation accounted for 31% of total withdrawals and 37% of freshwater withdrawals. Even though the amount of irrigated acres has increased, irrigation application rates have steadily decreased—a change that the report’s authors attribute to the increased use of more efficient irrigation systems.

“We are pleased to see that irrigation efficiency played such a major role in decreasing our nation’s overall water use,” says John Farner, director of federal affairs for the Irrigation Association. “As our nation’s population increases, the demand for food will increase, as will the amount of Americans owning homes. We will need to do more with less in the future than we’ve ever had before.”

The full report is available at

Personally, finding our water leak, new toilets and appliances has cut our water useage to one third what it was a year ago. We were wasting water. Our Highland County water comes from the deep wells near Bainbridge, Ohio in that good aquifer. There is no bottled water any better than our tap water. Our water bill is our best bargain each month.

We also invested a lot of money to open up the two old farm wells so we would have alternative sources of water for spraying and some light irrigation.

Everytime we head west we see the importance of water in this country.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

To Eben

Today's blog is dedicated to Eben Quimby, a boy I never met from Albion Maine.

ALBION -- Onlookers watched Monday afternoon as the procession of tractors chugged up Unity Road.

Behind two police cruisers was the lead tractor, driven by 22-year-old Lawrence Quimby.

And behind the tractor, on a hay wagon, was a wooden casket. Inside the casket was his 15-year-old brother, Eben, who died Thursday after a four-year battle with leukemia.

And behind that tractor were 34 more tractors, driven by family, friends and residents from the town's farms. The slow-moving sentinels, some bearing American flags and flowers, shepherded Eben Quimby to his final resting place -- in a cemetery about 31/2 miles away, off Knights Road, where more than 100 people gathered.

One of those tractor drivers, Kirk Shores, said that he and others were there to show support for one of their own.

"Farm families stick together," Shores said.

Eben Quimby's grandfather, Carroll Quimby, said the tractor procession was a fitting way to pay his grandson tribute. Eben was a member of the Maine Antique Tractor Club and loved his Allis Chalmers tractor, a model B, Carroll Quimby said. Family also said he spent most of his time working on the family dairy farm or hunting deer (he got one last month).

"He was a tractor nut," Carroll Quimby said. "Everyone was excited (to see the procession), that's for sure. It was Eben's day."

After the funeral at the Palermo Christian Church, many of Eben's family members joined the afternoon tractor procession with temperatures in the low 20s and a few snowflakes falling from an overcast sky. Eben's family includes his parents Charles L. and Gail N. (Peabody) Quimby, and his two brothers Lawrence and Zachary, and sisters Chelsea and Marsha.
Eben's sister, 19-year-old Chelsea Quimby, said the gathering was "an amazing testimony to our community."

"I know he would have had a grin, cheek to cheek, to see his brother pull him," she said. "There's no other way he'd want things to be done."

Among those who braved cold weather to watch the procession were Penny Bean and her husband and son, who are family friends.

"It's awesome," Bean said. "He would have loved this."

Eben would have also grinned at seeing John Deere tractors.

A man who drove a tractor in the procession said he recalled a time when he walked into the H.L. Keay & Son store and saw Eben -- then 5 or 6 years old -- sitting with his father, Charlie.
"He said to me, 'Hey Pierre, how come you run them John Deere junk?' I said, 'Ever sat in the cabin of the green tractor?' He looked at Charles, who said I sounded full of it, and Eben nodded his head in agreement."

Scott Monroe -- 861-9253

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Day

It's a New Day.

I am still thinking about my birthday party this weekend and my family and friends. It's all natural to think and reflect.

But it is a new day. What do I do today? I have grain tickets on my mind, gross income, expenses, net income. Taxation summary is coming up soon. But so is travel. Which do I focus on?

I focus on them all at one point of time or another. Which is best for the moment? Sometimes I am right and sometimes I am wrong. What is around me affects what I think and do.

I don't want to be a sheep like Becky's Sheed Lead ewe from our younger days, sheep are followers are not all that smart. Sheep are really dumb animals. I want to be a leader and thinker but it is nice to be a sheep.

Most of the time the sheep are just grazing and living and following the leaders.

I am not good at following leaders unless I really trust them. I follow many but I think most follow us? This is not at all to brag but to do what I think I should do according to my principles.

It's a new day but my basic principles have not waned much from my early years. Yes, they have been modified but I am who I am today. I am subject to some change but I really like where I am and what I am doing.

How can change make me better?

Ed Winkle

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Yes!

The last guests just headed toward Michigan. What a day! Like LuAnn said I saw people I haven't seen in awhile. I even had three cousins here who have never been here before.

Lots of acres of farming and cover crops were represented by the farmers in attendance. We didn't let farming dominate the conversation though too much with so many non farming family and friends and all those children.

My sister and brother in law made it here from Gallia County. Two former students and their families came early and we had great talks about the past and the present. I have had just a few students over the years!

There were four of us from the Ohio State LEAD Program where we studied agriculture at local state, federal and international levels for sixty days over two years. It was a life changing experience and we will always be friends. The good news was the farmers of the group had a real good year and some their best year ever.
Did I learn anything? I sure did. I learned and reaffirmed that I have one of the best families and set of friends I could ever wish for.
I wanted a big sign in the frozen yard that reads See You Again Ten Years From Today.

I thank my dear wife for planning this all out and carrying it through. I couldn't do as good a job for her as she did for me but I would sure try.

This is usally a happy place but it has been a really happy place for 24 hours and now the silence is deafening but welcome.
Sure missed you guys who couldn't come. Mark that ten year deal on your calendars, LOL.

Sixty years, wow.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Big Six Oh(No)

Today is the day. I turn 60. It seems like a big deal this time, not sure why. I distinctly remember waking up ten years ago like Rip Van Winkle and both knees were burning from arthritis. I don't remember what I was doing to set them off but they sure were on fire.

That year the 19th was on Sunday so I was probably in NY. Hey maybe it was that cross country skiing LuAnn tried to cripple me with! I bet that was it.

I won't forget LuAnn and the Lewis's setting up my classroom like a spookhouse and funeral home. I came to work on that Friday the 17th, sleepily turn the classroom door key, flipped on the lights and oh no. A day of celebration was planned at my cost.

When that fat little yellow chicken, a hired gun came in to tease me and make me sing in front of half the school and my peers, I like to died as we say down here. I almost lost my composure as I had a really good lesson planned and was on the verge of getting my students to analyze their farm and business records. I actually got so mad I couldn't think. But it blew away just like the snow blew in here last night

Glad we are not going to dinner someplace where they sing some funky version of happy, happy birthday. I will gladly give up the ten percent, free entry or piece of rich dessert.

Speaking of that I have got to lose some weight. I am getting to big around the middle. That might have to be my resolution just like starting this blog a year ago. This blog has been hard on my waistline.(now that's a laugh out loud!)

At least I am still here, somewhat as a contributing member of society I guess. So many friends and family aren't. I remember dad outliving all his friends and now Uncle Roy is too. I have got so many young friends I don't think I will have as much problem with that. I always liked to hang around youth. Now I have to employ them to get my work done!

The ole forty niner turns a big page today.

Thank you Lord.

Ed Winkle
Sorry for the sideways picture, can't get it to orientate right but I will figure it out, old age blunder...

Friday, December 18, 2009


Where does the time go? The next thing I know it is Wednesday night again and time to put the trash out for pickup Thursday morning. It's almost ike that old Dunkin Donut commercial where the baker meets himself at the door in the morning?

Why does time seem to go faster when you get older? It is like you are on a treadmill and trying to slow the thing down but it does the opposite and speeds up!

There were a few times in my life when I wasn't doing much and I could just watch time creep by. That hasn't happened very often. I envy those who make it look so easy. Maybe I have always been making up for lost time?

That isn't good!

The little girls were here last night and we had so much fun we wasn't ready to give them back when mom came! I guess that is a great problem to have.

I think this year of blogging has burned up a bunch of time too but I still enjoy it.

I never did think man's method of keeping time was very good except for knowing the position of the earth and what season it is. It is no value of time spent whatever.

I guess we will all be off this rollercoaster soon enough so I just better appreciate what I have done and what little time I have left.

Eternity sounds like an unbelieveable amount of time.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Parly Pro

I am rooting for the Fayetteville FFA in the State Parly Pro finals in Columbus Saturday. Ten Ohio FFA districts are sending their district winning team to select the winners of meeting procedure from the three hundred plus chapters of Ohio.

Parly Pro is FFA lingo for Parliamentary Procedure, a contest that teaches young FFA members how to conduct a proper meeting, a long standing tradition in the country and in the FFA.

FFA is centered around a monthly meeting where the officers and members meet to discuss and vote on the various things the chapter, as a group, is working on.

I had to learn how to prepare students for these meetings in the fall of 1971 and taught it all my life. I really put it to use as Board President of Blanchester Local School District in 1994.

The contest measures how well the students have learned Robert's Rules of Order and deliver it in speaking and discussion on an agenda prescribed for the contest. A team of judges decide who did the best job by placing scores on each phase of the meeting of each team participating.

We bought our first house on Anderson Station Road near Fayetteville in the early 70's. I was teaching ag at Blanchester and the Superintendent would always rave about the newspaper stories of my students. I said why don't you start a program and chapter here?

It took me thirty years before I dared a friend to run for schoolboard there and she was able to get a chapter started in the late 90's. My oldest boy Matt was hired as the instructor in 2001 and we were able to teach at the same time, different schools until I retired from teaching in 2002.

Now he has a good program going and those students will come out winners whether they win Saturday or not.

"The Sentinel is stationed by the door."


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've Been Watching You!

I found this YouTube and boy it will get ya!

It took me right back to the 1980's when Matt and Mark were that age. My has time flown!

Now Matt and Becky have their own little buckaroos.

I can remember them peddling those big wheels and Ertel tractors all over the place. They peddled so much they wore the wheels out and became Peddle Pull Winners. My, that was fun.

I remember Matt winning the peddle pull at Georgetown, Ohio and driving all the way up for a peddle pull in Auglaize County where Mark pulled like nobody's business.

I also remember Becky trying to beat her big brothers and peddling at the Sardinia 4th of July Celebration. Boy, we had fun!

There is nothing in the world like raising your kids on a farm or out in the country to appreciate real down home values. Church, fairs, school, 4-H and FFA. They were all good to my kids and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Now these kids are stable parents and family, raising their own families. Kind of astonishing when I think about it but it came very natural to us. Thanks Mom and Dad for showing us three kids what to do and what not to do.

It has worked out pretty well!

I have to get into those old picture files and post some history. Here I am working on farm management but this video sure caught my eye.

Good job Daddy and Benny!

Ed Winkle


One of the great things about NewAgTalk is the International Ag Community.

"This bloke was in a tree hanging over the garden gate as I went out this morning. They are often seen in the gum trees out in the paddocks but dont often come into the garden. He wasn't worried about me going past, just looked at me as if to say "keep the noise down mate, I'm trying to sleep here"

Obscure koala fact: The koalas hands have 2 thumbs and 3 fingers, while their feet have 1 thumb and 3 toes, although 1 of those toes is actually 2 fused together. If you look closely you can see 2 nails from one toe, this is used for grooming. Those nails are pretty sharp and you really know it if they grab you."

This was written by EMU in southern Australia. He said it was 110 degrees there yesterday. That be our mid June here.

I hope we get to see some during our trip "down under."

Kangaroo's in their natural habitat will be great, too. Madison still calls me Papaw Roo sometimes, thanks Luann! I don't bounce around quite as much as I did six years ago though.

I don't think Sable would be safe around a Koala or Kangaroo!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bad Day At Target Yesterday

After posting what a great day we both had Friday we had a really bad day at Target Stores yesterday. They were just added to our do not shop list with WalMart.

LuAnn and I planned to do a little shopping yesterday to buy some last minute Christmas gifts.

We got there about 1 pm, a 45 minute drive from our farm. We went our own direction as we entered the store as she had things to do and I had some separate shopping to do.

I came out to the car in 20 minutes. No LuAnn. Over an hour, I walked back in 3 times to find here when I figured out something was wrong. I wondered if she had been kidnapped but I figured I would have heard that going on.

The fourth trip I walk in the door and I catch a glimpse of her to the right of me at Customer Service. She was VERY unhappy. When she checked out she used two of her $100 MasterCard Gift Cards to pay for her purchase. The manager was so busy watching 10 things at one time he voided her cards accidentally. The cards showed zero and the store had no receipt of the money from the cards.

LuAnn was livid. It went through two other managers and they started getting on the phone and so did we. Basically they said it would be posted back on those cards though they now read zero and MasterCard says we don't do that.

We drove off and decided we better go get her merchandise as she needed some for today. I put the purchase on my MasterCard so in one day I spent more money that my last month's bill total was.

I felt sorry for those three young people whose hands were tied by Target policies. Yet what they did was wrong and they admitted it. Still we walked out with two cards reading zero and no credit for purchase so we paid double in one day.

Maybe it will work out but this is just wrong. I started reading Target Sucks on Google and read the same thing and more over and over. One lady was called a counterfeiter when she presented a legal 1974 $100 bill for her purchase and it was seized for counterfeit. Someonone goofed up and made it known and she supposedly collected $3.1 million from Target in a lawsuit.

After we finally left there (two hours later) was my farmer friend Merl, parked beside us. I told him what had happened and he said the same thing happened him at WalMart. Number one I don't like WalMart's Chinese junk and would not put my family in their clothes. Number two they are arrogant and ingorant so there are two stores on our do not shop list. Sorry if that offends any of you but that is our experience.

Just the opposite at JC Penney's, Kohl's and Sears. Now you see why we prefer online shopping but these store policies make any shopping challenging. Some stores work it out and others do not. I know where we will be spending our money and slow as she goes.

I don't know why corporate America feels like they have to protect themselves from paying customers when a hanful do the damage.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wilmington College

I was asked to listen to the presentations of 6 teams of Wilmington College agriculture students this morning for Professor Tom Stilwell's Farm Management class.

Professor Stilwell asked a local farmer if his class could study his farm operation and make recommendations.

The presentations were all excellent!

Three presentations really stood out but all six were excellent, I would rate them all with a grade of A or B.

It was funny they were considering the same recommendations I am seeking and considering for our farm operation.
Corn versus soybeans

More notill soybeans

GMO vs. Non GMO crops

cover crops

more hired help

a sprayer

replacing tractor and combine

drying and storage facilities

All of the Power Point presentations were excellent but of course a few stood out. I started to notice some of the best family farmer names in Ohio amongst those students.
The one thing they didn't pick up on was more notill soybeans. The farmer is about 2/3 corn and 1/3 soybeans so he tills a lot of corn residue. That has worked for him but costs a lot of money to produce the income. One team recommended notill soybeans but not increasing his acres, I couldn't figure that one out.
The way the teams were spending money on machinery and bins you better have a big bank account! Granted those items are needed for more efficiency but only one team has a plan to phase them in.

I am amazed with the technology of the new generation but they really need our expertise and experience when it comes to management and I think they are receptive to it.

Ed Winkle

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Blogging Thing

The blogging thing has been a trip this year. All from one little dare from my wife a year ago.

Thanks Nebraska for the high five! Glad you enjoy the stories and ideas. I learn from others and have my whole life so giving some back is just natural to me.

I just read that UC head football coach Mike Kelly sold out to Notre Dame and won't even coach his team in the Sugar Bowl. What a let down for those kids. Will he turn out like Rodrigues at Michigan. That man had it made at WVU, took the big ten money and look where he is now.

Sad note for the Buckeyes Men's Basketball team, Evan Turner hit the floor the other night and broke his back. Evan was considered one of the best players in the nation. Injury is one thing but walking out on your team for money is a whole different thing.

Hyde posted on the Cafe about planning for retirement. I know that went sour for many of us, probably most of us last year but you have to have a plan. He is thirty something and has four boys and I know he must be scraping by like I did in my 30's. But my plan is still pretty intact and now I can enjoy it in later years.

Even the old stanby's like State Teachers Retirement lost one third of their portfolio last year. You can't make your pension or Social Security your only plan anymore, hasn't been that way in years.

I enjoyed the Blanchester FFA Breakfast yesterday but felt a little out of place. Some old acquaintances didn't even say Hi. "What does he think he is doing farming that much at his age?" is what I felt. I think five people shook my hand. No I am not farming 100 acres anymore. I got an opportunity and went for it.

Maybe that is what Brain Kelly is doing but shouldn't you work out a deal to finish the job you started? That is my plan with alternatives available when I can't or won't do that any longer.

Get yourself a Google or other account please and leave your comments like Nebraska did and Budde does. That's inspiration that keeps some of us going.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grain Premiums

I received my first grain quality premium. The trucker called quite excited and said your crop was tested at 12.8% moisture, 58 pound test weight where 56 is standard on corn and 60 lb on beans, which hardly anyone gets. The damage was .2% and foreign material was .4%. In short, that is very high quality grain, especially this year.

The trucker said they pulled him off into a special line with no one else in line, he had never seen that before. I bet the buyer is going to blend my load into some lesser quality grain. Les said they had 3 rail cars full of black corn yesterday where he was unloading and he thought they would blend the good with the bad. My friend Eddie from Missouri said I bet they paid the farmer $1.50 for the damaged corn and the local markets are around $3.40 for corn, over $10 for soybeans.

I planted non genetically modified seed again this year, or you might call it old fashioned seed compared to the GMO seed that has taken over the marketplace in the US.

I know my seed quality helped but I think my fertility program and modfied planters for early notill made the difference this year. T-22 helped all crops root properly and my America's Best Inoculant made 3-4 bushels more than untreated strips again this year.

I still fight weed control so I am going to plant some Liberty Link soybeans next year and try to tune my herbicide program.

I called Keynes Brothers Milling this morning and we talked about my 400 acres of wheat. When I told them the variety and conditions, they were even more interested. We agreed there isn't much soft red winter wheat this year in Ohio, farmers were lucky to get the soybeans out. They bid $5.31 today, 35 cents under Chicago but they almost hit my goal of $6 two weeks ago. I guess I wasn't ready then.

So I may have another new vendor. I like my previous vendors as I have a relationship with them. With new ones you have to learn where each other stands. That learning curve can be steep.

I have to admit it felt really good to sell a premium crop. That's a nice compliment to the work I have put into it.

The thing now will be to get enough income to at least break even on taxes this year and not carry much into 2010. That is a constant battle for farmers.

That's about it for today,

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.

Every morning I try to tune into to listen to Father Corapi. That is his opening line.
Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.

I am a very trustworthy soul. I trust everone and get burned sometimes doing that. Some of my near ones are much smarter than I and not so trustworthy. I envy them somedays.

I am all wound up about farming, notill and cover crops after yesterday at Plain City. What a great group of farmers seeking the same thing, how to make money improving our God Given resources, soil, air and water.

When it comes to new technology like notill farming, cover crops, your new TV, fear is useless, what is needed is trust.

So many people are not trustworthy, it makes us vulnerables subject to them. That isn't right. I have to be burned a couple of times before I deem someone non trustworthy.

Lots of products and ideas were being "sold" yesterday and I am open to about anything. But some things work for me and others just do not.

For your gardners and landowners, I can tell you with no reservation you can trust me on cover crops. When that crop comes off, plant another crop. If you aren't wanting more food, plant a cover crop. I recommend the tillage radish. I used rye before I discovered the radish idea.

Lots of farmers asked me yesterday about the radish. I asked have you ever seen them grow? They all answered NO. I said get some seed and sow it before Sept 15 in our area. Those radish need about 60 days before 3 nights around 18 degrees to die. I think our garden and the Turning Point garden is really going to shine after this fall's sowing.
I was asked about my radish in wheat seedings. The first time it happened by accident, radish was still in the drill when I planted wheat. We got 12 more bu of wheat where there was a little radish mixed in. Then we tried it on purpose and 12 more bu of wheat again. The radish really helped the wheat aerate, tiller out and make bigger heads.
Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ohio NoTill Conference

It was a good day at the Ohio NoTill Conference at the Der Dutchman in Plain City. For the second year in a row, it was standing room only, they may have to move that conference.

First off was Steve Groff, my friend from Lancaster County Pennsylvania. He always has such a good down to earth, notill farmer friendly presentation. It is great to be on the same program as him and we have done it many times now.

He showed the benefits of the Tillage Radish and the 40 different cover crops he is experimenting with. He is a key part of my cover crop network. The main vendor in the country is my friend Leon Bird, Bird Hybrids, Tiffin, Ohio. Leon had a good display there, answered questions and supported the state notill effort. Many good notill supporters were there with their products, giving a little money to the council's effort.
Dale Minyo had a good interview with Steve that a friend in New Zealand heard before the conference was over! Look for the NOTILL license plate!

Then I tried to show the benefit of cover crops of scavenging nutrients. I don't know if I got it home or not but I come from the larger farmer standpoint and farm management, if it is so great how do we get it done? Cover crops definitely pay but many farmers were lucky to get one crop in the ground and out this year. Just try and plant 1000 acres of cover crops!
My big point was how to balance nutrients. If your soil isn't balance, you can't expect the cover to "cover" for you. D is a bad grade on my tissue test, it means I am deficient in that or those nutrients I need to pay more attention. Hidden hunger in crops is still a concern wherever crops are grown. I don't want to see that big ugly thumb that shows when it has been deficient for years.
"ABN Covers The Ohio No-Till Conference in Plain City
Tuesday The ABN, Ohio's Voice for Agriculture, was in Plain City for a live broadcast of The Ohio No-Till Conference. Coverage brought to you by Ohio State University Extension. Here are just some of the guests featured on the broadcast.
Bill Richard has been in the No-Till conversation for some time now and was the Chief of Conservation under the first Bush Administration. He talked to Lindsay Hill about his experience with Cover Crops, including radishes.
Mark Wilson discusses Manure Management with Lindsay at The Ohio No-Till Conference.
Ed Winkle is with HyMark Consulting and he and Lindsay talk about Nutrient Management with No-Till.
Randall Reader is an Extension Ag Engineer with OSU and he shared his insights on Soil Compaction."

Another huge point was reduction of compaction that enables the cover crop to explore the soil and release valuable nutrients. The reduction of compaction and aeration of the soil is a bigger feat in my mind but the value of harvesting nutrients is a big one at today's fertilizer prices. It's called green manure, something I learned as a child. You always planted wheat when a crop came off, especially if it was early.

The best compliment was all the questions during the break after me. I asked farmers have they ever seen the tillage radish grow? Most never have. I said get a bag for your garden for you or your wife to plant and watch how they grow. Then figure out how to put them in your rotation.

Next was Alan Sundermeier, extension agent, Rafiq Islam, soil scientist and David Brandt showing slide after slide the numerical and physical impact my talk could reveal. I thought it was really good.

ABN Radio interviewed me live on their Ohio network and Lyndsey and I talked about what I was doing and what I have learned. It was a good exchange. Lyndsey and Andy really know agriculture and it shows on their network, website and the Broadcasting award they just received. Andy was the DJ at my oldest boy's wedding and was one of the best State FFA officers I worked with. Class act.

Then the fun began, a group discussion with David, Steve and I answering farmers questions. If we didn't know we shot the answer to someone who did. I knew it was going to be fund and it worked out well. Dave kept teasing my about backhoe'd soil pits. I said that is my old soils instruction, dig a pit you can walk into with the soil at eye level. Many have not seen this viewpoint.

The NoTill Awards were presented and then my friend Dr. Mark Loux gave a really good rundown on herbicide choices for 2010. Lots of us are looking at Liberty Link soybeans so Liberty herbicide, not sold in a concentrated form called Impact, started many discussions.

It was a good day. You can't beat a meal at a Der Dutchman in Ohio. Good ole farm cooked food, roast beef, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and homemade bread. MM good!

And those pies!

Sorry Doc, I ate too much again but it was worth it!

Ed Winkle

Waldorf Salad

We picked up our FFA Fruit last night. I have never seen Golden Delicious shaped like that. They are shaped like a pear and so crispy, nothing like local Golden's. I wonder if it is a new variety? The box said Golden Delicious and I took a look and asked Matthew are you sure?

I love apple salad with soup or chili or about anything.

4-5 apples sliced, apple slicer works great
almost a stalk of celery, I love celery
walnuts and/or pecans to your taste
enough mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to just wet it, not too heavy, maybe a cup or less.

Back pocket recipe, serves one, me for about two days. Lots of recipes on the web under apple salad or Waldorf salad.

Don't forget the lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown but I usually don't have that problem!

Since we received our FFA fruit last night, it is time for apple salad.

"Waldorf salad [WAWL-dorf] Created at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 not by a chef but by the maître d'hôtel, (dining room manager) Oscar Tschirky, the Waldorf salad was an instant success.

The original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became an integral part of the dish. Waldorf salad is usually served on top of a bed of lettuce."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ah, Winter!

The first snow arrived this morning, road is white, cornstalks are white. Pretty, I know, but a long way til "Ah, Spring!"

The best part of this area is the change of seasons. I guess that is why I never wandered too far from home. Sixty years in this part of the country!

The county salt truck just went by for the first time this winter. Visions of last winter just went through my head.

Mother Nature is getting the soil ready for another planting season without much help from us. We just sit back and watch and try to enjoy.

I need a picture of my rotting cornstalks with next years fertilizer applied versus the stalks where no fertilizer is applied.

The rotting stalks are turning dark and crumbly for a better break down. The untreated stalks are bright, glassy and shiny just like they came out of the combine weeks ago. Which one do you think will be better to plant into?

I know, I have been there these many years.

Sable and I just took another batch of Christmas Cards and invites to the Martinsville Post Office. The place is full of packages, people must really be shopping online! There are almost overwhelmed in that little building but they are managing it.

Since they closed down the Midland Post Office 5 miles to the west, the Martinsville office is almost overwhelmed with work. I guess that makes for efficiency and the lower cost we all demand but I know the older folks in Midland sure miss their Post Office.

USPS is really strong here, I don't see as much UPS and Fedex and of course DHL Express is gone.

At least we have our Post Office still and I have a big pile of dry firewood on the porch and two tons of wood pellets and 60,000 bu of corn to heat with so I can just sit back, think, plan, feed the stoves and enjoy.

Sable has been waiting on the mail lady now since she has been giving her doggy treats. One day she went to the truck to give her one and she wasn't there. Where is your dog? She is in her crate, Karen, she got into the garage and tore up the garbage again.

Tomorrow I hope to report on the Ohio NoTill Conference late in the day. I need to be in Plain City, Ohio before 10 and give my talk on cover crops and nutrients.

Dave Brandt, Steve Groff and I on a panel answering questions should be a hoot. We all three think and farm pretty much alike. The moderator emailed in a panic and said we will have a full house and may have to turn farmers away! Boy has that changed over the years and a good problem to have!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Heisman

The Heisman Trophy used to be something really special. It is so hard to single out one player for this prestigious award, maybe it is not so appropriate now?

The team concept was always important but it used to be, I think easier, to single out the performance of one player. Maybe it isn't now?

I never saw candidates performance come down to one game like it did yesterday.

I felt a little sorry for Tim Tebew, he gave his heart and soul and came up short. Colt McCoy is a good player but I am not sure he is worthy of the Heisman.

That defensive player for Nebraska impressed me as much as any one player and that Inghram for Alabama really sealed the deal for them this year.

I don't know, glad it isn't my pick.

When you look back at past winners you find great players, has beens and even a known murderer in the bunch. I guess that is going to happen over time.
2007 Tim Tebow Florida (Quarterback)
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State (Quarterback)
2005 Reggie Bush USC (Running Back)
2004 Matt Leinart USC (Quarterback)2003 Jason White Oklahoma (Quarterback)2002 Carson Palmer Southern California (Quarterback) 2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska (Quarterback) 2000 Chris Weinke Florida State (Quarterback)1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin (Running Back) 1998 Ricky Williams Texas (Running Back) 1997 Charles Woodson Michigan (Cornerback) 1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida (Quarterback) 1995 Eddie George Ohio State (Running Back) 1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado (Running Back) 1993 Charlie Ward Florida State (Quarterback) 1992 Gino Torretta Miami (Quarterback) 1991 Desmond Howard Michigan (Wide Receiver) 1990 Ty Detmer Brigham Young (Quarterback) 1989 Andre Ware Houston (Quarterback) 1988 Barry Sanders Oklahoma State (Running Back) 1987 Tim Brown Notre Dame (Wide Receiver) 1986 Vinny Testaverde Miami (Quarterback) 1985 Bo Jackson Auburn (Running Back) 1984 Doug Flutie Boston College (Quarterback) 1983 Mike Rozier Nebraska (Running Back) 1982 Herschel Walker Georgia (Running Back) 1981 Marcus Allen Southern California (Running Back) 1980 George Rogers South Carolina (Running Back) 1979 Charles White Southern California (Running Back)1978 Billy Sims Oklahoma (Running Back) 1977 Earl Campbell Texas (Running Back) 1976 Tony Dorsett Pittsburgh (Running Back) 1975 Archie Griffin Ohio State (Running Back) 1974 Archie Griffin Ohio State (Running Back) 1973 John Cappelletti Penn State (Running Back) 1972 Johnny Rodgers Nebraska (Wide Receiver) 1971 Pat Sullivan Auburn (Quarterback) 1970 Jim Plunkett Stanford (Quarterback) 1969 Steve Owens Oklahoma (Running Back) 1968 O.J. Simpson Southern California (Running Back) 1967 Gary Beban UCLA (Quarterback) 1966 Steve Spurrier Florida (Quarterback) 1965 Mike Garrett Southern California (Running Back) 1964 John Huarte Notre Dame (Quarterback) 1963 Roger Staubach Navy (Quarterback) 1962 Terry Baker Oregon State (Quarterback) 1961 Ernie Davis Syracuse (Running Back) 1960 Joe Bellino Navy (Running Back) 1959 Billy Cannon LSU (Running Back) 1958 Peter Dawkins Army (Running Back)1957 John David Crow Texas A&M (Running Back) 1956 Paul Hornung Notre Dame (Quarterback) 1955 Howard Cassady Ohio State (Running Back) 1954 Alan Ameche Wisconsin (Fullback)1953 John Lattner Notre Dame (Running Back) 1952 Billy Vessels Oklahoma (Running Back) 1951 Dick Kazmaier Princeton (Running Back) 1950 Vic Janowicz Ohio State (Running Back) 1949 Leon Hart Notre Dame (End) 1948 Doak Walker Southern Methodist (Running Back) 1947 John Lujack Notre Dame (Quarterback)1946 Glenn Davis Army (Running Back) 1945 Felix Blanchard Army (Fullback)1944 Les Horvath Ohio State (Quarterback/Running Back) 1943 Angelo Bertelli Notre Dame (Quarterback) 1942 Frank Sinkwich Georgia (Running Back) 1941 Bruce Smith Minnesota (Running Back) 1940 Tom Harmon Michigan (Running Back) 1939 Nile Kinnick Iowa (Running Back)1938 Davey O'Brien Texas Christian (Quarterback)1937 Clint Frank Yale (Running Back) 1936 Larry Kelley Yale (End) 1935 Jay Berwanger Chicago (Running Back)


Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Day

It looks like a typical December day in southwest Ohio.

Temperature is in the 20's, cloudy, harvested cornstalks out the office window.

Busy with farm management, marketing, taxes, planning 2010 etc. Lots of good college games on today, wish the Crimson Tide could upset Tebow and company but that is just me. I like to see number two beat number one, unless it is the Buckeyes of course!

The Elf was very tired last night but laughed out loud when she saw my elf family picture. I couldn't find a good elf picture, anyone got a better one?

I have seen better ones at Grant's farm when I visited or dressed as Santa. My deep voice tends to run some little ones away! I developed quite a voice over the years trying to keep my students in line!

Matt got his Ohio apples in, peanut brittle and Barbeque Sauce. His Florida citrus comes in tomorrow. He and Danny and Jason will take Danny's forklift and pull the pallets off the semi fresh from Florida into the cool shop so the students can start making deliveries tomorrow. It makes perfect sense to an old teacher who unloaded many a semi over the years. Amazing what FFA and other non profits will do for fund raisers.

We started selling Florida citrus my first year of teaching in 1971 so Ohio FFA is close to 40 years of selling it for fundraising activities. You wouldn't beleive all the things that profit buys for youth and other nonprofits.

LuAnn is having an open house for my 60th birthday on December 19th, 1-4 pm. You are all invited! We need to get invitations out today but you read it first on HyMark High Spots!

The best thing Matt said was he couldn't come because he would be with his Parliamentary Procedure team in Columbus that day for the state finals! They won District 9 Thursday night at Western Brown. I said tell those young people to win one for me!
Now if I can psyched for the Ohio NoTill Conference in Plain City Tuesday. Hope to see some of you there!
Ed Winkle

Friday, December 4, 2009

Elf Mode

LuAnn is in Elf Mode. You should see it but you probably have somewhere.

Elf Mode is people who are so tied up in Christmas they just go head over heels in decorating.

I got back home from scouting and the whole house was different. Cleaning, new decorations, you get the picture.

The scouting trip was good. The wheat and barley looks good though it is planted a little late from where I would want it. Still, it looks good.

The farm fields look so good in the 30 mile trip. Heavy corn fodder, good soybean residue, new wheat and a few barley plantings.

We had a good year. Even more enthusiasm for Elf Mode.

I stopped at John Deere and got a backhoe for one of the grandsons. 1/32 scale mind you, not the full sized model.

I picked up her laptop at work because her computer died. Blue screen of death. I warned her but she has to get there to fully appreciate my so-called wisdom.

Mr. Computer Tech, where are you after I called you last week?

I need to get into Elf Mode, lots to buy yet for my favorites. I have been in farm management mode since harvest and now into Presentation Mode. I hope Tuesday comes out OK, have even dreamed about it. How can I convince the audience on the need for balanced fertility, let alone for a cover crop, so the next crop comes out better than expected?

That is what I am thinking.

What are you thinking?

Your comments have been few lately.

Is anyone listening or am I speaking to a Black Hole???


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Ohio apples are hard to beat. I made a trip down to A&M Orchard a few miles away and no one was there but me!

Their apples beat grocery store apples two to one.

I had the four brothers from that farm when I started teaching and they all earned the State FFA Degree. The oldest brother has run the farm for years now.

They raise red's, golden's, Jonathon, Fuji and Stayman Winesap among a few others.

Liam loves their apples and strawberries, remember that story this summer?

Family traditions are those special moments in life that bridge generations, and few traditions have greater impact than a family outing to the apple orchard.
We welcome your family to the orchards of Ohio:

Pick your own apples
Wagon rides into the orchard
Over 50 varieties of heirloom and traditional apples
watch the apples as they are pressed into sweet, delicious apple cider

From The Ohio Apples Website:

I see my friend Ron Irons is still at it:
Irons Fruit Farm Holiday Activities
Irons Fruit Farm
Make A Mini-Gingerbread House (Group Rate Available)
November 29-30
December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21
Hours: Saturday 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00pm

Ron was an active member of the Warren County Fruit and Vegetable Growers when I was Extension Agent there.

Adae's asked how our crops did and I told them. He said his field of corn went 269 bu per acre. It is tiled on 25 ft centers, the best money they ever spent. They got it in the ground in April when most fields were too wet to plant. We had a few entries that yielded that much but not the whole field. My best whole field is 245 bu in 2004 and soybeans 81 bushels in 2006. I will take the lower average on more acres.

I beat him on beans though, his went 54, ours went 58 on lots of acres. Farmers like a little friendly competition.

Enjoy an apple today and if you live in Ohio, make sure it is grown there.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Small World

We have all said the words, Small World. It usually happens when we meet someone from home when we are far away or we find out someone knows someone we know or is even related to them or us.
I ran into that today. I was scouting wheat before it started raining and found a deer hunter and introduced myself.

Finding any deer? No, but I am looking. I am Ed Winkle. Really, I am Ralph Stegbauer. I met Ralph and Rick many years ago near Fayetteville and have traded with their dad Jim.

We both have aged over the years but the resemblance was still there. A few words and it was confirmed.

We caught up on family and such. He was a John Deere mechanic than worked for Airborne Express until they closed.
The more we talked the more we knew someone in common to both of us.

I had taught agricultural education all my life, then extension and now am farming.

The world of agriculture has become such a small world. Farms are so large and there are so few people involved you can easily get to know people in your industry across the world.
Something like 10% of the farmers produce 90% of the commodities sold.

I share as much with my friends in Australia somedays as we used to with the neighbors who lived within miles of us 50 years ago.

It has really become a small world.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Automobile Accidents with Deer

"According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries.

The actual numbers are probably higher because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's figures for deer accidents, rely on inconsistent state reporting- there is no standard reporting of deer accidents in the country yet, and a "reportable deer accident" varies significantly between states.

In an insurance claims statistics study conducted in 2004-2005 the top ten states for deer accidents were listed. According to this study, Pennsylvania drivers experience more deer collisions than any other state. The number of accidents increases with the deer migrating and mating season which occurs between the months of October and December.

Worst states for deer collisions based on total number of claims filed with one of the countries largest auto insurers:

1 Pennsylvania

2 Michigan

3 Illinois

4 Ohio

5 Georgia

6 Minnesota

7 Virginia

8 Indiana

9 Texas

10 Wisconsin

Tips to avoid deer accidents:

1) Be attentive when driving! And Slow Down!

2) Use high-beam headlights when driving in deer territory to increase your vision and will increase your time to react to a deer hiding on the roadside who decides to jump in front of your car.

3) The use of car-mounted 'deer whistles,' do not seem to affect deer and may result in drivers being less aware. These devices don't work! Watch out!

4) If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, it is usually best not to swerve to avoid it, brake and hold the wheel straight. Turning the wheel to avoid the deer may result in a worse accident with another car, or cause the car to spin out of control resulting a in much more serious crash.

Accidents are hard to avoid but many are preventable with good thinking and planning.

Ed Winkle

World record deer taken in Clarksville Ohio?

The story I heard is not the same as this one, but this one will make you wonder!

"On October 19th, 2009, an Ohio hunter took this spectacular non-typical which is said to boast nearly 320" of bone on his head! While the staff here at Bowhunting.Com slightly disagrees with these early estimates, we have no doubt he topples the 280" mark.

The hunter, who's name has yet to be identified, reportedly even has the match set from this buck after last years shed season, those antlers go 260"!

The hunting community as a whole is not yet sure on the weapon that was used, however early speculation is that the giant was taken with a crossbow.Little more information is known at this time on this whitetails chances of becoming the new world record non-typical whitetail buck taken with a bow.

The staff at Bowhunting.Com is dedicated to bringing this story to the surface and will hopefully be updating this story as it further develops. If you have any information on this possible record buck please don't hesitate to send it our way.

One of my grain truckers just gave me the rumor from his dad. Brandon is down in Logan, Ohio, tagging in four. He said he shot 13. I asked if he put a big slug in them and he said YES. They won't be running into our cars and trucks then.

Now if seems like cruel and unusal punishment to Bambi, let me tell you it is NOT. Farmers have had to incorporate farming methods to stay profitable that have just let the deer and other wildlife go rampant.

Are you willing to give your life, a family member or friend up to a rampant over population of wildlife?

I am not.


Monday, November 30, 2009


Monday, Monday, so good to me. Only if I will let it be!

Today is the first day of gun season for deer, hope they get a bunch.

I saw a good two year old buck, maybe three years old run out of my harvested corn field down to his protective nook by Brown's and Little East Fork. I hope someone gets him.

Fear not tree huggers, the wildlife population is on the rise! Why else would you see so much road kill? Farmers have had to embrace conservation as they invented it. You cannot affor to farm long term without providing a habitat for wildlife. We have done a good job and the numbers show it.

Car deer accidents continue to rise as flushed out deer run into the paths of automobiles.

We have had 3 such accidents in our own family in the last 10 years and we are cautious. We know they are moving at sunrise and sunset

Every taxpayer pays a little towards this debacle but automobile insurance holders pay the most. $50 per auto is what my insurance man told me, more or less. Only the insurance company knows and they don't usually share that information.

I don't feel bad at all about possible of extinction of wildlife or what I have done to provide for wildlife, as most farmers have.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday?

How many of you enjoy Black Friday? The one I remember is when the stock market tumbled in 1987. What a time to buy into the market! The few who did retired a long time ago.
I guess I see why retailers do it. A reported 20% of their Holiday sales are tranasacted in the wee hours!

For LuAnn, its mainly social, the thrill of hunting down bargains while kidding around with the kids.

Me, I don't function well at 3 AM. What I want to buyI hope to get tomorrow on Cyper Monday and let THEM bring it to me. Do you realize how important cyber sales are?

Cyber sales, or sales of merchandise continues to grow each year. It will be interesting to see what the totals are this year. I think they approach store sales very soon.

I thought deer hunting was the big thing here on the first Monday after Thanksgiving as gun season opens. Schools and churches are closed this week for hunting!

"Worker productivity could take a dip tomorrow in the Northeast.

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday - a phrase coined by the retail industry in 2005 for what’s hyped as Black Friday’s online equivalent - and the region is tops in the United States when it comes to those planning to use their work computers for holiday shopping.

More than 56 percent of Northeast workers with on-the-job Internet access plan to shop online for gifts this year, according to a National Retail Federation survey."

Have to do some shopping, I see some sales are already in effect!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Today

Finally had a long sleep after a long weekend. It felt good.

I woke up and saw the frost on the cornstalks.

I thought I zink Zee frost is on zee cornstalks. I don't know why that pops into my mind.

After some discussion, hmm, discussion, we decided to go to the Martinsville Lions Club pancake breakfast. We got there and NO cars. Sign said Nov. 21. I looked at LuAnn and said I know I sent you that community notice that said Nov 28 and she agreed she saw it too. Oh well, I wondered why they would have it on Thanksgiving weekend but I KNOW I saw it, probably a misprint.

We then went to the Clinton County fairgrounds for an estate auction. The lady must have been Catholic. Crucifiexes and all kinds of Catholic stuff and some of the most beautiful furniture you ever saw. We bought a few things, came home and had breakfast for lunch.

I bought a typewriter and a box of junk for a buck, no one would buy it. LuAnn was just telling me how Betty had an old typewriter, a record player and a rotary dial phone in what is now LuAnn's office and craft room for her grandchildren to play with. I thought was a really neat way to connect your grandkids to your upbringing, they take technology for granted.

LuAnn looks at that typewriter and says that is going in the trash. Then she looks in the boxes and sees old wooden candle holders and she says you are redeemed, these are worth more than one dollar. One was victorian and matches three pieces of her furniture.

I tryed to type on that old Royal and the keys all stuck. Sprayed some WD-40 on the innards and voila, it works!

Breakfast for lunch. Bob Evans sausage, none finer with scrambled eggs and toast, none finer either. Then she put on a pot of turkey soup left over from Thursday with lots of celery, onions and herbs. That should be good tonight and next week.

LuAnn worked on the barn and new barn quilt with wreaths and a floodlights for the nightime tour in the county. It should look good.
Then I called Sis and wished her happy birthday. I ordered a Thanksgiving Birthday combo arrangement for her. She walks into the principal's office and there it sets. She says something like, who is the lucky one? The secretary says don't you have a birthday coming up? She doesn't catch on, like me, and sees her name on the card. Ha to you Sis!
She always uses Ha! to get you on her email. I liked it so much I started using the same thing so there, Ha! She takes it home and Fred says you got a boyfriend, knowing quite well I am sure, it came from me.

It was a pretty nice and exciting fall day.

Still farmers around here and all over are still trying to get in their harvest. Hope they get it in before the first snow but some of it is so wet they need a hard freeze to make those kernals dry down.

I hate to see next month's electric bill so I am burning lots of wood.

Ed Winkle

Friday, November 27, 2009


NewAgTalkers have this little buddy named Rolan Steinlage in West Union Iowa. His dad Loran calls him Popcorn.

We met up with his family at a steak house in Nevada, Iowa after the Farm Progress Show Two years ago. None of us knew what Rolan and his family were about to go through.

He was diagnosed with a pineoblast0ma in his brain last year. It was cancerous.

I don't see how the family did it all. I kept reading about them and thinking, could I do that?

I have followed his Care Pages daily and this is one late post:

Can you believe or deny the faith he has after brain cancer at 13?

"Thank You from Rolan

Posted 12 hours ago

I am sitting here and looking at some of the very first posts and the tears are running down my face, it is hard to read how many people cared about me and prayed for me. I am so thankful for all the people that is praying and posting on my carepages. I couldn't get through this without you all!!!

Thanks to mom, dad and sisters for always being beside me when I need them. Thank you to all my grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, family and friends you mean so much to me!! Thanks for all the positves messages you all put on.

This is one the hardest days so far because its hard to thank everyone and I have so much to be thankful for. My church family is huge part in my life and look forward to going. Thank you for all the people down at the hospital that have helped me get through this process. I know there are so many to thank and I want to thank them all.

This past year has proved that it is more than a day on the calendar it is something you should practice everyday, give Thanks for what you have!!!



This is what I sent to my family and friends:

"Rolan is the son of farmers Loran and Brenda Steinlage of West Union, Iowa. I can't believe what they have done the past year while keeping up their farm operation.

His letter and his struggle is sure an inspiration to me.

I am thankful he is still with us and I know he will leave a big footprint. Maybe you ought to read what he said again.

We met the family at Nevada Iowa two years ago before this all happened.

Pray for Rolan and I know where he is going no matter when, where, or how.

He had a great Thanksgiving. I pray he has many more."

Ed Winkle