Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Day

I had a good day doing what I enjoy, passing on to other farmers what a few have taught me. I have an extremely knowledgeable network that makes me look smarter than I am.

I drove up to North Central Ohio for lunch with some farmers in that area. The drive up was no picnic as it was pouring rain and almost fogged over. My bad eye doesn't pick up too well in those conditions and it gave me a headache.

The trip was worth it though. I had homemade beef and noodles at the local diner with the rest of the guys.

These farmers have learned the value of calcium to balance soils and the value of wheat in a crop rotation. Most of them plant corn, soybeans and wheat in rotation. That is great for the soil and spreads the farmers work load.

I talked about no-till and cover crops into that rotation. They are naturally set up for the benefit of cover crops since they plant so much wheat and double crop soybeans like I do.

They want to use oats and tillage radishes wherever they can in that rotation. If they give up the double crop beans, I think they can grow most of the plant food the following corn crop will need.

We have to cut costs in the financial situation farms are in right now and this will help address that issue. We need to keep the soil covered and make it give up all that locked up phosphorous and potassium and other nutrients sitting in most soils ready for "harvest."

You could tell they were a savvy bunch by the questions they asked. They got right down to the nitty gritty of which radish to use and how and when to plant it. Thank goodness I have a good network that keeps me informed.

You wouldn't believe how the Internet is helping farmers. We trade a lot of secrets and beneficial ideas. About the time you say "that won't work in my soil" some farmer will speak up and say "that works for me and here is how."

I told them to be sure and buy the tillage radish. These were hand selected for growth and size for cover crops from forage radish. There are so many kinds of radish it is confusing.

I am sure I had no better day than LuAnn. She took Sable to work since I wasn't home so Sable got the royal treatment at Turning Point. She even got her first McDonald's double cheese burger. LuAnn cut it into bites and said Sable politely removed the bun and just ate what was inside.

Another day in the life of two farmers from Martinsville, Ohio. Thanks to the host we even got to eat at Bob Evan's tonight. I have to write and tell you about Bob sometime! Try their new Big Farm Salad, it is really good.

Ed Winkle

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