Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"All day I've faced a barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water

Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water

Cool, clear, water

Keep a-movin, Dan, dontcha listen to him, Dan.
He's a devil, not a man."

Did you ever hear the Sons of the Pioneers sing this song? Dad loved it.

I would expect that from Leonard Slye who became my childhood hero as Roy Rogers.

I remember working the ground "above town" as we called it and getting hot and thirsty. Dad would take me to the field tile near White Oak Creek where the water was running cool and clear. If it wasn't running it was a bad year.

You didn't dare drink the creek water, it was too polluted. The tile was safe compared to that.

Now they say tile water is polluted. I am glad I don't have to drink tile water anymore but I would trust mine more than a lot of other sources if I needed it.

I wonder if people's minds aren't polluted?

They can't sort from fact and fiction.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Crop

This crop is bothering me.

I did a good job planning for it and getting it growing but now the weather has went from not letting it mature to not letting it be harvested.

Farmers have lots of bucks on the line, including me.

It is still cold and damp here and it doesn't look like it will warm up soon.

Farmers have to have all the faith required to plant a seed, watch it grow, nurture it and try to make a living from it. They spend that living in their community which is why I call them the backbone of this country. That is because we are the backbone of this economy.

Without food and shelter, we all know we wouldn't be here long. Farmers provide both, food and shelter.

Our crops are eaten and stored and transformed into many foods. Our crop provides the timber to build our houses.

Today my tree crop will be used to warm my house and it is not October yet.

Ed Winkle

Monday, September 28, 2009

Art Schlichter

We have many fine people in southwest Ohio and many of those are farmers or grew up farming.

One of those families is the Schlichter family(pronounced shleester) near Washington Court House Ohio, only a half hour northeast of here.

I saw Arthur, Art Schlichter play football for Miami Trace High School in the 70's. They were really good. They pounded and burned neighboring teams.

I thought, this kid is good and so he was! It didn't take Woody Hayes long to have him signed up for Ohio State. He led his high school team to 29-0-1 in three and a half years. No one around here could beat them.

"Schlichter continues to be Ohio State’s career leader in passing yardage despite the fact he played his final game in scarlet and gray more than a quarter-century ago and passing attacks have evolved greatly since his career ended. By way of comparison, Schlichter’s career total of 7,547 yards is more than Rex Kern, Kirk Herbstreit and Cornelius Greene – combined.

Additionally, he remains the only quarterback in school history ever to have a 400-yard passing day, shares the single-game mark for completions at 31 and is just one off the all-time career record with 497 completions."

There is one little problem though he shares with the great Pete Rose. They became addicted to gambling. Art and Pete will never get all the accolades they earned because of this addiction.

Art has served his time now and is signing his new book, "Busted."

It should be a good one!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Value of Music

After church today I was thinking about the value of music in our lives.

It is quite a gift when it is pleasant to the ear.

I searched the subject on Google and came up with an explanation I thought was pretty well described.

" Music offers an opportunity to experience the pleasure of self-expression at a new level, opening exciting vistas of self-satisfaction. So much of our educational system is "impressionistic."

Students are given the material and the better they can repeat it, the higher the grade they get. There is little chance to "create" or add a personal touch to the assignments. In fact, individuality is often discouraged.

Music class is a place which is "expressionistic" and students are encouraged to put their own thoughts and feelings into their music-making. This offers a much-welcomed change from the normal learning process.

The veteran musician knows that music speaks to something more subtle than the intellect; it speaks to the very soul of human kind. Music is woven into the fiber of our life, our spirit. We are moved, changed, alerted to a new sense of knowing by experiencing music. Think of your reaction when you hear Handel's "Messiah," or witness a fine band marching down the street at the local parade or feel the heart-wrenching plea of a talented blues singer. We know there is happy music, sad music, music for celebrations, and music to soothe wounded emotions. What else can generate such feelings?

Music stretches one's understanding of self, which in turn helps us understand others. And every musician will quickly tell you it stimulates a part of the mind which opens our imagination, bringing about a highly intellectual activity we have come to call joy. "

I think we all love good music. I know I do. The Ohio State Marching is one of those groups that really inspire me and have since I first heard them live in 1968.

It must be the brass and the Military aspect that bring that music to life for me.

I listened to my parents and their families talk about the band.

I grew up playing trumpet in a small school and I remember the hours and hours of practice.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


"Calcium has always taken a back seat to the "big boys" of soil fertility. The industry buzz is usually nitrogen and new forms are frequently being released to the market. Referred to as a secondary nutrient behind nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, calcium is finally starting to take its place in the ranks of important plant nutrients. It is true that NPK is used in greater percentages than calcium, but calcium is used more by weight and volume than any other nutrient.

Practically speaking, calcium is rarely considered as a nutrient at all! Instead the focus on calcium has been more as a soil buffer to help adjust pH. Calcium is of huge importance to both the plant and the soil in many more ways than simply moving the pH scale. It plays a major role in the physiology of the plant, strengthening its physical structure and helping in protection from disease attack. In the soil, the importance of calcium is many fold, including the reduction of soil compaction and helping to provide a better environment for the proliferation of beneficial microbes. Some research even suggests that calcium plays a role in decreasing weed populations."

I researched calcium again as I understand its importance in life and its effect on soil productivity.. I have tried to apply lime containing calcium to plant producing soil whenever needed. It is difficult to get enough calcium on the ground in many midwestern and other soils like Ohio has.

If you own your own ground, I think calcium is a pretty obvious nutrient and substance to add to improve your soil productivity.

If you don't own your own land you have to look at the lease and how can you justify spending the money to bring the calcium up to an affordable level that will pay off in the term of the lease. This is especially true in short term leasees. You never know when that lease might end. Too many farmers have been caught in this situation and that becomes their number one concern when I recommend more lime for their field.

As a landowner, calcium is your friend and needs to be applied according to soil test. I also use a tissue test on a crop and make sure it is getting enough. Many I took this year came out low. I call it too wet and too cool for good mineral uptake. The magnesium content in Ohio soil is so high that it rarely comes out low or deficient, usally calcium does first.
Test your soil and look at your lime content. Look what calcium does for your soil.
It will make up for lots of things out of your control and is in your control.
Ed Winkle

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Cost of High School Dropouts

As an educator all my life, this article caught my interest.

"Dropouts Cost Oklahoma $3.8 Billion In Additional Income.

The Ada (OK) Evening News (9/24) reported, "If the students who dropped out of Oklahoma's Class of 2009 had graduated, the state's economy would have benefited from more than $3.8 billion in additional income over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new issue brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education." The economic losses are due in part to lower earning power, and also to the more limited job prospects that accompany a lack of diploma. The brief also argues that "everyone benefits from increased high school graduation rates," not only because of higher earning potential, but also because graduates "live longer, are less likely to be teen parents, and are less likely to commit crimes, rely on government health care, or use other public services such as food stamps or housing assistance. At the same time, the nation benefits from their increased purchasing power, collects higher tax receipts, and sees higher levels of worker productivity."

This is just one example in one state of the value of getting your education.

We all know good people who dropped out of school for various reasons and made a productive impact on our society.

I think of three men immediately. Bob Evans, Dave Thomas and Ralph Stolle. Since I knew and met all three men, I learned they were way ahead of their time and didn't fit in our traditional educational system.

Bob figured out how to use sausage to make him famous, Dave made Wendy's square burgers famous and Ralph invented the pop top for cans.

I know that is still possible today for our youth to accomplish similar or better feats but it looks to me like the odds are really stacked against you without proper education.

I found an Ohio State Buckeye cap at the Iowa 80 truckstop that really fits my head and I really like to wear it. Of course people like to comment on it. When they do, I tell them that the education I got there really helped me in life.

As an educator and parent, one of the most difficult jobs I ever encountered was how do you help a young person find their possibilites and become successful?

That is a job that will never end and always will keep teachers and parents employed.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are these my memoires?

I have been encouraged by many people to keep writing. LuAnn challenged me almost a year ago to put my stories on the Internet.

Yesterday a friend I haven't talked to in years emailed me that she wanted to see me keep writing. I don't know why.

I am just a person like you and I try to help other people. That is the best I can make out of life.

I am so blessed I hate to quibble. Some things get my ire up and I have to take a stance.

Today, no, I am just happy. Happy to be alive, happy to have a life. happy to have a good family, and happy to have one of the best crops I ever grew.

I saw a lot of things at Farm Science Review yesterday that I can't afford and surely can't justify.

I got in a creative mode and probably called ten people to bounce my ideas off them while I was at the review.

Sable was happy when I got home, she just wants to be with me and be scouting out in the fields. She is so happy out there, like me.

I wonder what being cooped up in this old farmhouse this winter is going to be like for my new pup and me?

We are soon to find out but I just want to enjoy every day of this fall. It has been such an unusual year, much to my liking though.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ohio State's Farm Science Review

This is one of my most fun days of the year, the Ohio State Farm Science Review.

I was in meetings all day yesterday and last nights big get together at Southwest LandMark, one of our suppliers and partners was a good way to finish off the day. The green beans and roast beef were so good but there wasn't anything bad there.

The best thing was we got to talk to family members of the family we bought this farm from. It was pretty neat.

The main thing I noticed was we are getting old. Most of the farmers there were my age or older. There were a few young guys there but not enough.

Some say it was always that way but I bet not when this territory was settled. We call yesterday anicent history when this farm was only established just over 100 years ago. That is modern history to me.

I hope my legs can carry me around today because I just hate to say I am old enough or lazy enough to ride a UTV around the grounds. You miss so much driving but it sure gets hard on your feet.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


After months of absolutely gorgeous weather, we have a cool rainy day here in SW Ohio. I knew that the summer had to end sometime but the rain made it more real. Corn and beans are dying down and we, along with our neighbors, are getting ready for harvest. In the past week I have seen mums in some yards and a few pumpkins. And, after all, it is September 20.
When autumn rolls around my thoughts naturally turn to two things: food and sweaters. Beyond the beautiful colors and aromas of fall, for some reason those two items are what I associate with the season.

Necessity drove me to organize my cupboards yesterday and one whole shelf seems dedicated to chili making ingredients. I scanned the freezer to see if I needed anything to make a pot of stew or soup. Our favorites are Mom Dean's vegetable soup and my own corn chowder.
If I had to choose a favorite among the three (soup, stew or chili), I would have to choose soup. Nothing beats the aroma of a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Some warm bread and maybe a small green salad and you have a meal.

Of the three do you have a preference? If it is soup do you have a favorite?
On the sweater association, my tastes have evolved over the years. In my 20s and 30s it was turtlenecks. In my forties it was "twin sets" (LOL). This decade my preference is great looking, uniquely patterned cardigans. Whether the pattern is emphasized in the stitch or the wool or simply the color, I love the look of a fall cardigan that can be paired with slacks, Dockers, jeans or a skirt. I usually add one or two each year and donate one or two of my lovingly worn favorites.
Do you have a particular association with fall that you look forward to and enjoy? Cider and donuts? Halloween? Colorful leaves? Football or soccer? Please share.
Fall is my favorite season as I would imagine it is for many farm women. It is our family’s opportunity to reap the benefits of our labor and put closure on this year's crop season. It is our chance to stop wondering "if the crop is good this year maybe we can...." and learn if that project we have been dreaming of can become a reality. It is the culmination of a year of planning, worrying, praying and working.

I wish all of you a safe and bountiful harvest. LA

I am hungry for Mom Dean's vegetable soup...


Monday, September 21, 2009

Barn Quilts

We finally met with Diane Murphy last night and signed up for the county Bicentennial Barn Quilt Project. The old barn on Martinsville Road should look even better with the barn quilt pattern we picked.
Can you imagine the pattern that will be displayed on this side of the barn? I don't have it to upload at this time.

It is an eight by eight foot hand painted mural of a popular quilt pattern from years gone by. The one we chose was Optical Illusion which should be interesting viewed from SR 28, the old Chillicothe Pike.

"Mission statement: The mission of the Clinton County Bicentennial Commission is to promote awareness of our rich heritage, encourage citizens and communities to plan activities and sponsor events in celebration of two hundred years of history, and to envision the promise of the future."

The mural will be blue and gold like the Grange and FFA colors I spent my life with. There is still nothing like a Blue and Gold FFA jacket to me.

Diane reminded me at the end those aren't the Scarlet and Gray colors of my Alma Mater, the Ohio State University. I felt the dread move up my spine as I know my Buckeye friends would tease me. But this design is because my lifetime involement in FFA, the most important organization I have ever been involved with, not just Ohio State.

I can see neighbor Gary getting a good chuckle out of it every time he heads for work as those colors are the ones used by Moeller High School, Notre Dame Univesity and god forbid, the team from up north.

We tried to come up with one that would symbolize corn or corn and soybeans but nothing came together. This pattern just stood out to me and LuAnn had it in her top five patterns. At least she found the pattern first.

"All's well that ends well," so we will see how this works out.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Farm Science Review

This week is Farm Science Review for Ohio farmers. It takes place on permanent grounds north of London Ohio, thanks to beneficiary Molly Caren.

It has become one of the premier farm shows in Ohio. It draws over 100,000 people each year.

It has always been one of my favorite things to do each fall. I took students and farmers to the Review by the busloads for most of my working life.

This year I will focus on pesticide spraying equipment. It is time for us to look into spraying our own crop. Spraying is one of those high return on investment jobs farmers can do themselves.

It takes a permanent staff and thousands of volunteers to put the review on. It is a major effort, is a really big deal for those involved whether you are working or viewing the exhibits and asking questions.

The review is not for the week, it takes at least a day to walk the 40 acre exhibit area unless you literally run past the exhibits. Many older and disabled farmers attend thanks to the many devices allowed to access the grounds for those who can't walk the entire display.

If you try to watch equipment in operation across the 1000 acre property it takes more than one day to accomplish that while visiting the exhibits.

It looks like there is some rain across Ohio, it is almost raining here now. If it doesn't rain, farmers could be starting harvest and if it does rain at the site you can't see much equipment in operation.

Agriculture is highly weather dependant and the review is no different.

If you are a local reader of this blog I hope to see you at the review.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This week went quickly. I know LuAnn had a lot of catching up at Turning Point and don't know where my week went! We are almost ready for harvest but there are always last minute details.

We went to Farm Mass Friday night. It is always special, Mass on a farm out in the open. The Holy Spirit came down and I saw grown men with tears in their eyes. We are all pretty thankful for our blessings this year.

Three of the grandcildren came for a visit yesterday and it was very special. The little ones change so quickly. It is very interesting to see your children become parents too.

Last night a German band from the Black Forest region of Germany played for the church Oktoberfest. I really enjoyed the music.

Next week is Farm Science Review and some important business meetings. It is almost time for the Brown County Fair, too, the Little State Fair in Georgetown!

I went to an auction yesterday to bid on a wagon and the beans were almost ready to cut there. My first field of corn is dead dry, the green is gone from it. Won't be long now!

Ed Winkle

Friday, September 18, 2009

Drug Dogs

LuAnn works in an are where "drug dogs," a special type of police dog is warranted.

She mentioned one dog that could tell if the person had drugs in their system before the urine test. The dog would lay right beside the person who had drugs in their system.

"People often wonder if dogs sniff out hidden drugs because they want to eat them, or because they're addicted to drugs themselves. In fact, the dogs have absolutely no interest in drugs. What they're actually looking for is their favorite toy. Their training has led them to associate that toy with the smell of drugs.

A dog named Breston uncovered a shipment of marijuana in heat-sealed Mylar bags, inside plastic-lined crates sealed with foam sealant, inside a closed storage garage.

The toy used most often is a white towel. Police dogs love to play a vigorous game of tug-of-war with their favorite towel. To begin the training, the handler simply plays with the dog and the towel, which has been carefully washed so that it has no scent of its own. Later, a bag of marijuana is rolled up inside the towel. After playing for a while, the dog starts to recognize the smell of marijuana as the smell of his favorite toy. The handler then hides the towel, with the drugs, in various places. Whenever the dog sniffs out the drugs, he digs and scratches, trying to get at his toy. He soon comes to learn that if he sniffs out the smell of drugs, as soon as he finds them he'll be rewarded with a game of tug-of-war.

As training progresses, different drugs are placed in the towel, until the dog is able to sniff out a host of illegal substances. The same method is used for bomb-detection dogs, except various chemicals used to manufacture explosives are placed in the towel instead of drugs.

A story recounted in "Dogs On the Case," by Patricia Curtis, tells of a drug dog that was a little too eager for a game of tug-of-war. While walking along a line of cars waiting to enter the United States from Mexico, one of the dogs alerted to the smell of drugs, slipped her leash, and ran down the line of cars. Before her handler could find her, she trotted back into view, holding a large brick of marijuana in her jaws. Although the border patrol had no way to tell which car the drugs came from, the dog still got her tug-of-war. She did her job and the drugs were off the street."

I always knew dogs had a good sniffer but that is pretty good sniffing.

We had a drug bust at the last school I worked at. One of the teachers bought a Corvette at a good price and the dogs hit all over it. It turned out that a former owner was a drug dealer.

The next time your dog goes to sniffing, think about the implications.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Field Days

Today is my friend's Pioneer Field Day.

Looks like beautiful weather for it. I was the extension agent there for a time so I always get treated special. It is a good thing to have and appreciate.

The plots are always on our main road, the Chillicothe Pike that connects Cincinnati and Chillicothe.

The food is always excellent, barbeque pork cooked by one of the local truckers and he always does a great job.

The wife will have all the side dishes in deep cafeteria sized trays.

Bruce is one of the smartest CCA farmers I know of and you always learn something new. CCA stands for Certified Crop Advisor and there are thousands of us in this country.

Pioneer is lucky to have him in their employ. The Liberty Link program looks good to me as an answer to all of the glyphosate or Round Up resistant weeds around here and most of them are also resistant to ALS herbicides which makes up most of your chemical availability.

So farmers don't have many choices and this looks to be a good one to me. I have several friends and clients who are also interested in the program since Bayer Ag Science has a good line up of Liberty tolerant soybean varieties.

The fields of resistant Marestail stick out like a sore thumb again this year. We have to do a better job of controlling weeds.

I like a good field day on a day like today and meet with farmers and friends. There will be a good crowd, there always is. It is one of those you know everyone there.

Next week is Farm Science Review near London, Ohio so crop performance is at the top of the charts at harvest. Might even have a little money left for machinery!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We haven't even been back one week and it seems like we were never gone.

At least we missed some of the allergy season but it is still here.

Ragweeds bother a lot of people, they tear me up. That is why I always worked so hard to control weeds, I can't stand them, literally.

"Come late summer, some 10 to 20 percent of Americans begin to suffer from ragweed allergy, or hay fever. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat and trouble sleeping make life miserable for these people. Some of them also must deal with asthma attacks.

All this misery can begin when ragweeds release pollen into the air, and continue almost until frost kills the plant.

What Is Ragweed?

Ragweeds are weeds that grow throughout the United States. They are most common in the Eastern states and the Midwest. A plant lives only one season, but that plant produces up to 1 billion pollen grains. Pollen-producing and seed-producing flowers grow on the same plant but are separate organs. After midsummer, as nights grow longer, ragweed flowers mature and release pollen. Warmth, humidity and breezes after sunrise help the release. The pollen must then travel by air to another plant to fertilize the seed for growth the coming year.

Ragweed plants usually grow in rural areas. Near the plants, the pollen counts are highest shortly after dawn. The amount of pollen peaks in many urban areas between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., depending on the weather. Rain and low morning temperatures (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit) slow pollen release. Ragweed pollen can travel far. It has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere, but most falls out close to its source.

These annual plants are easily overgrown by turf grasses and other perennial plants that come up from established stems every year. But where the soil is disturbed by streams of water, cultivation or chemical effects such as winter salting of roads, ragweed will grow. It is often found along roadsides and river banks, in vacant lots and fields. Seeds in the soil even after many decades will grow when conditions are right."

I don't know about you but I know it is more than ten percent of the population affected and more than twenty in my mind. There were five of us yesterday in the barnyard and all were affected but one.

Then I had an asthma attack at bedtime. I had to prop myself up on the couch.

That never happened on vacation.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Parks

I have been wanting to write this one for a long time.

Thanks to the trip we just completed, our list of National Parks visited grew. The year is the year the park was established.

Acadia National Park Maine 1916
Arches National Park Utah 1971
Badlands National Park South Dakota
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Colorado 1999
Bryce Canyon National Park Utah 1928
Canyonlands National Park Utah 1964
Capitol Reef National Park Utah 1971
Carlsbad Caverns National Park New Mexico 1930
Crater Lake National Park Oregon 1902
Death Valley National Park California, Nevada 1994
Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska 1971
Dry Tortugas National Park Florida 1992
Everglades National Park Florida 1947
Glacier National Park (part of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) Montana 1910
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Alaska 1980
Grand Canyon National Park Arizona 1919
Grand Teton National Park Wyoming 1929
Great Basin National Park Nevada 1986
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Colorado 2004
Great Smoky Mountains National Park North Carolina, Tennessee 1934
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas 1966
Hot Springs National Park Arkansas 1921
Isle Royale National Park Michigan 1940
Joshua Tree National Park California 1994
Kings Canyon National Park California 1940
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Alaska 1980
Lassen Volcanic National Park California 1914
Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky 1941
Mesa Verde National Park Colorado 1906
Mount Rainier National Park Washington 1899
North Cascades National Park Washington 1968
Olympic National Park Washington 1938
Petrified Forest National Park Arizona 1962
Redwood National and State Parks California 1968
Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado 1915
Saguaro National Park Arizona 1994
Sequoia National Park California 1890
Shenandoah National Park Virginia 1935
Wind Cave National Park South Dakota 1903
Yellowstone National Park Idaho, Montana, Wyoming 1872
Yosemite National Park California 1890
Zion National Park Utah

I am a pretty lucky guy to see all this beauty. My top four would include going to the sun road to Glacier, bear tooth pass to Yellowstone, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Parks. I like mountains, streams, and landscape.

We keep the color brochure from each park and each on is a treasure. I have 24 on my office wall and we have enough to do another 24. It is fun to look at.

They are all beautiful in their own right.

Visit a National Park, I highly recommend it.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Glacier Bay

One of the prettiest stops on our trip was Glacier Bay, between Juneau and and Skagway.

The Swedish captain Gunnar parked the ship right beside Wharton Glacier on one of the prettiest days they have in Alaska.

I had reservations at La Trattoria, the Italian restaurant onboard with big picture windows facing the glacier.

It was so unusual the staff stopped to look too. It was a very special moment.

They had a local expert explaining what we were seeing and how it was formed.

"Welcome to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve!

The marine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, ocean coastlines, deep fjords, and freshwater rivers and lakes. This diverse land and seascape hosts a mosaic of plant communities and a variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife and presents many opportunities for adventuring and learning about this unique and powerful place.

Dynamic Change

Glacier Bay's story is one of dynamic change in the wake of dramatic glacial movements. Glacier Bay collects many glaciers flowing from the tall surrounding mountains with abundant snowfall. As recently as 1750 a single glacier thousands of feet thick filled what is now a 65-mile long fjord. This glacial retreat has exposed a resilient land that hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life. Here is an opportunity to see how the physical world shapes the biological."

We just sat there and enjoyed great food with one of the best scenes you could look at.

I hope you get a chance to do the same if you really want to.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


How in the world does a poor old farmer manage all these pictures? It's gotten out of hand. I have thousands.

I finally got the new 1000 pictures from the trip downloaded and trying to sort them some but there are so many.

Sonny's program that comes with the CyberShot arranges them by time and date. That is good until you get pictures every hour of every day!

The first picture I will share is Keith's amazing soybeans. Building better soils that produce better yield crops that result in more profit are my passion.

Keith is a real personable farm boy like me. We have so much in common until you get into his fields then he blows me out of the water. He did his homework and fieldwork sooner than I did.

His farm and his machinery is nothing fancy but the earth under his feet is really fancy. There is very little of it on this planet.

Ten years of Power Lime at one ton an acre has increased his soil capacity greatly.

I have enough to write about from this trip for the next many months, past the time I will get sick of it and move on.

Balancing checkbooks and bills right now and anxious to put 09 in the bin and 010 in the ground.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


Last night we received a great compliment. We saw one of our landlords at the Clinton County Corn Festival and they said "Ed, that is the best crop that was ever raised on this farm."

What do you say when you hear that but "thanks?" The soil test was one of the lowest I ever sampled 5 years ago. I invested extra money into the fertility program so we could both make money.

When I rent a farm my first goal is to make it profitable. By doing this I have to spend money to make the money I want to earn. The landlord and I both benefit. You have spend money to make money but you must know were to spend it.

This is where the soil test I use comes into play. It really works for me. It is the same test I used as a child and many used before me. It's been around 100 years or so.

The next thing is crop rotation. I like to really mix up the crop load or "diversify your rotation like Dr. Beck proclaims. Sure would have liked to seen him when we went through Pierre but that was Labor Day.

All in all landlord relations are critical. That comment just made my day yesterday, that is why I rented that farm, to make a profit and be appreciated for doing it. Landlords do take notice of what you do.

Ed Winkle

Friday, September 11, 2009


No matter how far you travel and how much you see, there is no place like home.

Jason has the place looking really spiffy and even got the barn painted. We never mowed so much grass in one year.

I can't wait to share my pictures and I could load them right now but those 1000 photographs is more than I want to load onto this hard drive.

So I think I will join the Nikon website tomorrow and try to put them up for all to see.

LuAnn put up 4 buckets full of tomatoes today, she squealed when every canned jar popped. We need to put up about another ten dozen of sweet corn but we are about out of freezer space. With all those grandkids, you can't have too much food.

One jar didn't pop so looks like stewed tomatoes and home macaroni and cheese tomorrow, one of my favorites. I remember getting burned out on it as a child.

We went to the Corn Festival tonight. What a change from last year after the news that DHL was closing. It was terrible.

Tonight the mood was a little better after a long year of hardships for many.

The whole country got too big for its britches and we were no different in Clinton County.

The farmers here have a really good crop and that should help bolster the local economy. When the farmers hurt, we all hurt whether we realize it or not.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

I think we have seen too much along the way. Is that possible? Brain overload?

We keep thumbing back through the pictures and I think was that on this trip?

What do you think of a website like Nikon to store your pictures? Any users?

I need a new place to store all these pictures and that looks like the best I have seen. I don't like the other websites I have been on.

Another thing is I want to back up my computer on something like Carbonite or Barracuda. Does anyone have a good recommendation? Then I can start deleted some of this stuff I fail to delete and don't really need.

I have so many ideas I want to search each like these two I need a system of tracking my ideas. Kinda like leaving a legal pad to write down your thoughts when you wake up.

Maybe a recorder of some kind?

Let's here of your use of technology to better express and utilize your brain power!


Ed Winkle

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Signs Along the Way

We saw some memorable signs along the way of our trip.

Like South Dakota, "If you bring drugs into this state, expect to stay a long, long time."

Wall Drug signs were there as usual and lots of signs about Sturgis, South Dakota.

Some signs brought back good memories, this way to Glacier National Park, that way to Yellowstone.

Yogi is still stealing picanic baskets there I am told.

We saw huge herds of deer and antelop grazing in irrgated pastures and hay fields. LuAnn said there were hundreds in one field in Wyoming.

We didn't see much wildlife though other than those.

The old Burma Shave signs are all gone, we didn't see a one.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soybean Palace

You know, I have been thinking if there is a corn palace, why isn't there a soybean palace?

"Over 70 million acres of soybeans are planted in the United States each year, having a value of close to $20 billion. Ninety percent of U.S. oilseed production comes from soybeans, and the production value of soybeans is second only to corn.

The impact of this growth on the economy is substantial. Nearly all of the soybeans produced in the United States are crushed within the country or sold through export. Exports generate revenue and lead to economic growth within the country, while domestic crush creates jobs throughout the economy, starting with the crushing plants and moving through the production of the meal and oil into consumer products like cooking oil and margarine.

The future for increased economic growth from soybean production looks bright as well. Increased use of soybeans for biodiesel and for new plastic compounds has increased the uses for beans. The bulk of soybean production occurs in the Midwest and corn belt states, so the impact is even greater in those areas of the country.

Because of the size of soybean production and the array of uses for the derivative products, the positive economic impact is great. This also means that in years of drought or flooding that lead to crop failure, the negative economic impact can be devastating. Farms can foreclose, production plants face layoffs, and overall economic wealth decreases. Like with all other major farm production, the economic impacts can be a seesaw effect because the success of the crop depends on factors that no one can control, like weather and natural disaster."

So why not a palace for the queen of the crops?

It should be centrally located, somewhere in the midwest I think.

I can't think of a better thing for soybean producers to invest in, so the American Soybean Association and Soybean Board should consider this endeavor when they are though fighting. Their disagreement did nothing but hurt us producers this year.

The Martinsville School sits empty but is still in good shape.

If I won the lottery, I would sure consider making it the first soybean palace.

It is an idea long passed over since China started raising them thousands of years ago and baby America introduced them to this country in the last century.

It is an idea worth considering.

Ed Winkle

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Corn Palace

We made it to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota today.

Some people might think the Corn Palace is "too corny." LuAnn and I love it.

It has a rich history.

"The Corn Palace serves as a multi-use center for the community and region. The facility hosts stage shows, as well as sports events in its arena. The World's Only Corn Palace is an outstanding structure which stands as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota.

The original Corn Palace, called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The third and present building was completed for it first festival at the present location in 1921. The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist. Come and Experience what the Corn Palace has to offer. Visiting is FREE."

This years theme is destinations and these include Cape Canavaral, the Statute of Liberty, the Space Needle, the Arch of St. Louis, Mt. Rushmore, The Capitol and others.

It costs $130,000 to produce each years theme and a local farmer supplies the materials and students at a local college do the designs. They are very good each year. The State of South Dakota funds the project each year so visitation is free.

We had another great day and are back in corn country. Oh, Lewis and Clark said this would never be good farmland so it was built by early pioneers to prove they are wrong.

South Dakota is expecting a record corn crop this year.

Ed and LuAnn

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Montana and Wyoming are Beautiful

I think Montana and Wyoming are about as pretty as we ever saw them. They got some rain this year and it didn't get so hot, just like home.

The ranchers still complained about the rain to make hay but there is hay stacked everywhere again. The cattle look in great shape.

The steaks prove it, they are really good! We ate at the Wyoming Rib and Chop place like we did years ago. The baby back ribs were really good!

King's Saddlery and Museum is a great stop here. Mr. King made saddles for many famous cowboys and movie stars. The museum is worth the trip.

My short list of most scenic towns in Wyoming includes: Sheridan, Pinedale, Jackson, Cody, Lander, Afton, Sundance. They are all right next to beautiful mountain ranges.

The big skies just make you want to sit there and watch.

"Like most towns in the western United States, Sheridan's early industries included cattle ranching, logging, coal mining, railroading, agriculture, and small factories including a flour mill, brewery, and sugarbeet refinery. Residents today find employment in many fields including nearby coal mines, education, coal bed methane extraction, health care, retailing, banking, law firms; city, county, and state government; real estate sales, hospitality, lumber, railroad, dude ranching, National Forest, home construction, and a large number of small businesses, farming, and ranching."

Of course we prefer the farming and ranching.

Our trip in a lifetime is quickly coming to an end. All good things must come to an end. Darn...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Finally made it to Montana

We are in Missoula tonight. We just had a killer meal at the Lolo Steakhouse in Lolo, Montana. I highly recommend it!

Idaho was beautiful today. We had rain through Seattle which is not uncommon, our third day of rain of 23 days.

We hit a really good strak of weather this trip, especially through Alaska.

The Wharton Glacier in Glacier Bay was awesome. Captain Gunnar put the ship almost on top of it.

We met so many good people on this trip, many new friends.

Budde I haven't read it all yet but "you did good."

Thank you.

Hope you all enjoyed Budde's Blog for me.

Ed and LuAnn

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Ruminations From Budd E. Shepherd

I don't have a real discussion for Ed's Blog today. Worst of all I have no Photos. Today is a typical free-association rumination typical of The Lazy Farmer blog.
Our farm started in the 1940's when my Grandfather, three uncles, and one great uncle were encouraged to sell their farm at Monmouth to the Army so that the Camp Adair traiing facility could be built. For some reason they bought river bottom ground and later started a farm equipment dealership. Later they became Minneapolis-Moline dealership.
I don't know exactly how the coffee break at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. started, perhaps it was because Grandma's family were from Canada (I think) and they always had tea time.
So everyday it is coffee break at 10 and 3.
Yesterday the fairly well off fellow who owns most of the land we rent was there. He was discussing the economy. It was pretty interesting.
So, on the news we hear of the success of the stimulus package... In real life people are saying, prepare for double digit inflation and double digit interest rates. Oh, and stock up on ammo and gold. These are not the occasional crack-pot farmers that show up fairly often, these are usually well off, retired, landlord, sorts of solid citizens. And everyone is worried about the president. Except of course the local democrat farmers who either keep pretty quiet or have drank the coolaid for so long they just repeat the party line. Everyone else pretty much says, "yeah whatever" and walks out. Although there have been a few very heated discussions.
Speaking of crackpots.. Where have they all gone? This whole consolidation of farming and the loss of all the smaller farms has really cut down on the local color. Over the last few years we have lost all of the local bachelor farmers, those who didn't bathe frequently, were often closet inventors, had really strange and funny ideas, and provided us all with a lot of entertainment.
These new farmers do not provide the same level of amusement. Sure everyone likes to talk about them baling or spraying the wrong field, or if their crack-addicted employee rolled the truck, or speculate on when they are going broke. But, they really don't compare with the old dairyman who ran off his neighbor with a pitchfork, or the old bachelor farmer who built his own tractors and guitar amps.
I did find a photo for the post. I think it will end up at the beginning of the post and I'm not smart enough, and I do need to get to work so I'm not going to try and put it at the end.
We are getting ready to chop silage. This would have been more interesting for Ed. Perhaps he should swing by on his way home. Going to run his favorite tractor, the White 2-135. Can't run the Vista as the hydraulic pump scattered.
These two photos were taken a year apart in the same field. I think the 2-135 photo was from last year.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Combine for Ed

When Ed stopped by our farm a week or so ago he mentioned that this was the first time in over a thousand miles he had seen a White combine. Well here is a photo of run actually running.
We are just finishing our harvesting. This was a field of montezuma hay oats which I no-tiled late in May. They came form someone I was planting for and were left over from the year before. Lots of mouse damage and half-eaten seeds.
Then we got some heavy rain after the oats were up and the low spots in the field died. So, I found another pallet of seed that was mouse damaged. In this case it was Cayuse oats. I figured they were just going for hay anyway so what did it matter.
When the seed company that we were growing barley for heard we had the Montezuma oats they wanted them for seed. So, we had to combine the Cayuse seperately and also the transition areas where there was a mixture of Cayuse and Montezuma.
The Cayuse is really yielding well. One pass down and back and 1/2 way down again in a 10 acre field with a 16ft head filled the old 8600 White.
The White has been in line for an overhaul for a couple years. But, it worked quite well in the oats. I think the old Whites were pretty good combines.
But I guess it is kind of like my mother used to say, "Poor people have poor ways..."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I taught my daughter to drive

More from Oregon as Budd E. Shepherd continues the Ed Winkle Blog-
Yesterday I taught my daughter drive.
I needed to move the mower from one end of the farm to the other. Sadie was hanging out with me as her Mom had to start teaching school yesterday.
I looked over at her and said, "You want to learn how to drive?"
She said "ok"
And that was that.
Now she has been setting on my lap and driving for a while. I run the pedals and she steers. A couple weeks ago she steered the swather when we were swathing wheat stubble, so I know she can steer. I've been talking to her about driving with the idea in mind that she would one day soon want to drive on her own. Basically, whenever she can reach the pedals, and is not scared.
I sat beside her and gave her some basic instructions. How to start the truck, how to stop the truck, we practiced slamming on the brakes if there was an emergency. We practiced looking both directions when turning onto a road. I didn't teach her to back up as I'm a forward looking person...Well, that was a bad joke, I didn't want to give her too much information.
Then I got out and let her go for a while. She had a 30 acre field to drive around in before we moved so I let her get the feel of things on her own. The truck is a 1990 Ford F250 4wd with an automatic. I put the transfer case in low so it started out easier and top speed was limited, but I really didn't need to. She is a careful driver.
She was ready when it was time to move. She drove right down the farm road with no problems. At the next field I let her drive some more. It was kind of funny to watch her from a distance. She started and stopped and drove in circles. I could tell she was being careful.
We agreed to keep this whole driving thing low key but she was so proud of herself we had to tell Mom. We broke it too her slowly. To our surprise Mom was cool with it all. We did explain the practice sessions in the big fields, how careful we were, and that the truck was in low range.
Just the same, when it was time for supper, I was very surprised to see my white truck driving slowly down the road. Sadie had driven clean to the other side of the farm, navigating through a mudhole, down a steep hill, and through several turns with deep ditches beside them, all with no problems.
I told her she did a good job. I think the girl must have grown a foot. She is 8 years old.