Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I love crop scouting. Crop scouting is the walking or riding of crop fields to examine the crop from a big picture and to examine closely for insects, disease and weeds.

Weeds have always been the number one problem in Ohio but the control of them let us focus on insects and disease.

I started scouting crops as a child but I got good enough at it that I could earn a fee for it in 1985. I took my kids scouting. It was a great way to bond while we learned from each other.

There is a program called Weed Free Straw for landscaping and I was trained in it Satuday. I know how to identify the weeds, I just needed to know what they expect on certification.

The Buckeye Express Pipeline Project running through the north end of the county has brought a huge demand for clean landscape straw. Now local farmers can benefit from the sale and I can certify it.

The big thing in straw is being free of Canada Thistle. That stuff spreads like wildfire and people don't want it in their plant beds or where the pipeline runs through their property.

I had a friend who accidentally got some Jerusalem Artichokes in soybean seed. He fought that pest for years, his soybeans looked like a sunflower field. I am sure Ronnie took a lot of razzing about that one.

We inherted a great crop of Poison Hemlock on this farm. I have been fighting it now for 6 years. It is not in my field but it is still on the field borders, stronger than ever this year.

Crop scouting has been a great mental and physical relief for me. I love walking and I love crops.

The crops are absolutely beautiful right and it is not even the 4th of July.

I will have more corn tassled by then. This has been one crazy year.

Ed Winkle

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