Saturday, October 31, 2009


We had a big storm last night. I was hoping it would stay west of here but it moved right over on top of us. I dumped 1 inch out of one rain gauge and 2 out of another.

The creeks are full, the lowland has water standing. Maybe not as bad as Illinois but too much for us! It looks like a lake from Martinsville to Blanchester again.

We were just getting into harvest real well. Now we are stopped again. I hear this same situation all over the country.

Did you see where a farmer tried to pull his combine out of the mud with the grain cart behind the tractor? Never do that! You have to take the time to hook the combine to the tractor directly. He pulled the axel right out of the grain cart and split it in half.

Lots of good machinery is being destroyed in this challenging harvest.

We are trying to keep everything in one piece.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Be Careful!

Too many accidents happening!

I saw this post on NAT and I would say this man's Guardian Angel kept this man from harm.

The way the tailgate went through the drivers are you would think he should have been beheaded!

I bought an almost new Ford F-250 diesel in 94 I think it was and coming home on the Norwood lateral. It was light rain and the roads were greasy.

A gravel truck came flying west, lost control and I could see him sideways, tires pulled off the truck, he rode the concrete barrier with concrete flying everywhere. I had one lane because my inside lane was under construction.

I tried to miss him and he just nicked my brand new to me truck. It a few thousand miles on it.

It was not totaled but that truck was never right again. I did not miss it when it finally left a few years ago.

The barriers to my right caused the damaged. Blew out my tires, driveshaft, exhaust were gone. What a mess. The paint of the truck looked sandblasted.

The concrete blew out my windows and the truck was full of pieces of concrete.

A driver behind me came and said sir are you OK? Not a scratch. One chunk on the head and I would be here writing this!

And some say there are no modern day miracles?


Thursday, October 29, 2009


I see people really struggling this, especially farmers.

The emotional roller coaster I have been on has caused me much struggle. The times we live in, morality, weather, so many things have made this year a real struggle.

That flu concerns me. I saw my friend post a story about a young girl with heart problems who contracted the H1N1 and never made it home from the FFA convention.

"INDIANAPOLIS -- A Kansas teenager in Indianapolis for the FFA national convention died from complications related to the H1N1 flu, school officials said.

Lauren Merklein, 14, from the small town of Kiowa, Kan., died Sunday at Riley Hospital for Children, where she was diagnosed with the H1N1 flu, said Brad Morris, the superintendent of South Barber school district, where Merklein was a high school freshman.

Merklein had a pre-existing heart condition, but showed no symptoms of the flu before arriving in Indianapolis for the conference on Tuesday, Morris said.

The teen collapsed in her hotel room Friday night and remained in critical condition for the rest of the weekend, Morris said.

According to Merklein's obituary in the Kiowa News she was a cheerleader, an honor roll student and was involved in band and choir.

The National FFA Organization held its national convention in Indianapolis last week."


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I really think this world is going nuts! I read the news and cannot believe what I read!

I never wanted to see my children and grandchildren go through this!

I talk to farmers all over the world and we are all going through this. It is so stressful.

I saw a grain truck upset in another accident yesterday on the way home. I felt for the farmer involved. His beautiful grain laying all over the place and people nearly killed who hit him.

I think we are all moving too fast.

Arson, murder, drugs all over the news.

I wanted to be at Steve Groff's notill cover crop field today. Just could not get there.

Dave Brandt just called and told me Ohio is changing their philosophy to more notill and cover crop, just like I learned many years ago. I said that is great news David!

Les rolled out many big truckloads of beautiful corn yesterday.

We can work through this if we just work together!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Harvest

Think I counted 12 semi trucks full of corn we loaded out today!

The yields dropped to 198 bushels per acre.

Not the sweet spot I expected but Jim driving Les's Gleaner was priceless.

The grain cart broke down and we had to drive to the semi and unload corn.

It started to drizzle rain.


What do I do today?

Lost my cell phone, all my contacts were in there, over 100 I think.

I may have ran over it or Sable might have carried it away! It had her teeth marks on it anyway.

We shelled 6 loads of corn this morning!

The wheat and barley is coming up good.

We have to get this good crop out to pay our bills and move on!

This is one crazy harvest!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Neighbors helping neighbors

My neighbor boys came over to mow my lawn so I can harvest! That bad fuel we got plugged up everything, even my lawn tractor!

They have a big John Deere with Kawasaki engine, they fly with the wind and it sounds like a jet!

I think they cut my beautiful 5 acres in about a third the time it takes me! What a sight to see!

It is so good to have good neighbors. They are all so polite and quiet I cannot get them to talk much but they do smile at me now!

Nine children on one farm! That is like the Winkle's of old, when they had 15-16 kids to work the farm. Dad had nine in his family. Only three in mine.

I need you youngsters come help the old farmer out. Old man is getting tired but have had a really good year. I will teach you everything I know like it was passed down to me.

They have Llamas and New Hampshire chickens my dog likes to chase. I had to scold her hard. I picked the boys up one day to stack wood and left her home to keep her away from the chickens and when they opened my truck doors to get in there she was!

I have to get a kennel to keep her in when I am gone.

Some people don't like her or are afraid of her.

She has been a good addition to this family but a real challenge!

Wow what a great day. I just keep sending my grain to the Ohio River. The world wants and needs our product.

Possibly speaking in New Zealand In February. I am so excited!

You farmers keep rolling. You non farmers help us keep rolling.

We have to help our neighbor.



Isn't it great being happy? I was a happy person most of my life, I feel happy now.

Some people just bring me down.

Blair emailed me from Sascathewan and he is right. I cannot get the Tumbling Tumble Weeds out of my head. That gets depressing!

I learned the Catholic chants in college when I was 19. I hear a chant and it all comes back!

The best thing was Becky bringing Liam and Caoilin over for a visit. Caoilin and I are new to each other but I toned my voice down and she giggled and wiggled at me

We played and rolled around and got hungry. Got any frozen berries Papaw Winkle? Sure do!

We ate frozen blueberries until we had blue faces and hands! I think they came from Carla next door. Her family picked them at Rouster's who I helped in the 80's. You have to balance calcium and keep the soil a lower pH than corn or soybeans.

Today maybe dear Lord we can finish sowing wheat and keep running hard on corn shelling so we can get back home and finish this mess I created up! Then we need to finish our soybean harvest.

I am trying to work through this...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Holy Mass

" Read the misselette"
- Collapse Tthe little book that's in the pews contains the rough "schedule" of how the mass will proceed. Find the date (and possibly time) for the specific mass you're at. That will show you the 2 readings, hymn, and gospel that will be performed that day. They will also contain what are effectively stage directions for when to sit, stand, kneel.

In another section of the book is the list of prayers that's done at every mass, again with stage directions. It will take a little bit to get acclimated to when you do what, but it eventually becomes instinct.

In general, and from what I remember.
When you get to church, quickly genuflect towards the alter as you select a pew.
Kneel as you say a quick silent prayer to yourself
Sit and wait for mass to begin.
When the entrance hymn begins (there should be a flyer or placard or sign somewhere telling you all the hymns for the day), stand. The priest and other mass participants will come out to the altar.
Continue standing until after the priest's opening remarks and/or prayers, until he says "please be seated" or motions you down.
Sit through the first and second readings.
Stand at the gospel hymn.
sit for the gospel and homily
Stand in preparation to receive communion
File out of your pew, receive communion
Return to your pew, kneel until the tabernackle (the chest that contains the eucharist) has been closed, then sit.
Stand when the priest asks you too
Stand for the closing hymn.

I might not be 100% correct on all of those, it's been a while since I attended mass regularly. In fact, I'm quite sure there's one more kneeling in there somewhere, but I can't remember where.

You don't *need* to memorize any prayers - they're all in the misselette. However, some that would be good to know so you're not constantly flipping pages:
* The Lord's Prayer (aka The Our Father)
* The Nicense Creed ("We believe in one God, the father the almighty...")
* Glory to God in the Highest
and a few that are sung:
* "Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us (x3). Lamb of god, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace"
* "Holy Holy Holy Lord, God of power and might. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Higest"

And there are a few standard call-and-responses that you'll hear every week too. When the priest or another person at the altar or podium says a certain phrase, the congretation responds:
"Peace be with you" => "And also with you"
"Lift up your hearts" => "We lift them up to the lord"
"Let us give thanks to the lord our God" => "It is right to give him thanks and praise"
"This is the word of the Lord" => "Thanks be to God"
"This is the gospel of the Lord" => "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ"
"Pray, brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty father" => "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his church"
"This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper. " => "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed"
"The mass has ended. Let us go in peace to love and to serve the Lord" => "Thanks be to God"

This is awesome! I have been confronted this week by two good non Catholic friends and they do not understand the Mass.

I tell ya, they got the real Eucharist! LuAnn and I have been waiting a long time. That little tabernackle has the risen saviour. The Holy Spirit descends on me every time it is open!

Non Catholics do not understand. Only 20 percent of Catholics understand and that is one faith.

If you believe in God you believe in God.

I know there is one, I cannot prove it!

Want to go Mass and pray to my Heavenly Father.



I have many wonderful cousins.

Sheila McQuitty was the oldest, always treated me like the brother she never had. Then I think it was Susan and her dad gave me my Morse Code test for my ham radio license. He was real careful not to act like he just gave it tome. WN8RQQ arrived in the mail box before harvest in 63?

Then I think it was me.


I think that is right but might be missing one! I love older age! I am still here kicking and fighting and helping like my cousins.

Susan died of breast cancer last year so are all dedicated to that mission. It almost got Linda and Sherry but they are fighting it off. Three of those special cousins and one is my dear sister!''

It was so much fun to be with them last Sunday. I know why Winkle's stick together. They barely survived the times and HAD to stick together.

Mom's family did too, the Carringtons. They ran away from great Irish potato famine. I took Marky to their family reunion one day and he said wow dad, what a tribe!

Well I better go now, have to get ready for Mass. If any of you have a good idea, it could be on here. People like reading my stuff for some reason.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let's get simple

Becky brought over Liam and Caolin last night and we just had fun.

Caoilin will be bigger than her mom I think! I talked to her and she just cooed. She is surely different from her big brother!

I see my life in that boy. Blonde, blue eyed, asks the same questions I did when I was little. What do you think is doing that papaw Winkle? Same thing I said 55 years ago!

I had to take Liam upstairs and do our secret. Jump on my bed! No more monkeys jumping on the bed! Don't fall off and hit your head!

Just keep it simple, Life is too complicated for us all. A good job, a good garden, happiness from simplicity.

I just like simplicity. I love technology but those engineers over complicate things!

A hundred dollar part stops the combine for 4 hours in a year we cannot get the crop out!

Time has become such money.

Do I have to revert to Amish to simplify my life?



Boy that last blog got me in trouble! I had calls from across the nation.

Tim in Wisconsin knows me pretty well and said Ed, I can see you are depressed. Some of my friends can read my words and tell what state I am in!

I am manic depressive, thank you mom and grandma, but yes I know that. Now how do we deal with it? I plan to get a brain scan at the Lindner Center of Hope and try and figure this out.

I am willing to try any therapy they think works but I am not looking for the next big thing.

I am very sensitive to drugs so I won't take everything they prescribe unless they convince me it works. Then I try it and see what it does my body. I ask lots of questions.

I just get too happy and too sad, my whole life.

Basically I am very happy and you can read it in all my blogs. When I get too sad, I cannot write. I will just be staring in the living room and LuAnn walks in and there is a commercial on depression selling some drugs! Yes depression hurts, just help us!

It is alot the aging process and why this country has the health insurance discussion.

I don't care what they do, just treat me right. I busted my tail for umpteen years for all of us!

One farmer called and said Ed I am in the same boat. He said you have become the wise old owl of the FFA we need. I was astounded.

My whole personality has changed the last year.

I suppose that is aging?



Dear ole dad, hope you had one half as good as mine! I got to missing him last night and posted this on NewAgTalk in the Cafe.

We parted in such good circumstances, January 3, 2001.

The same day my best friend at church had a brain aneurysm and wrecked the grain truck. The family turned him off after a week. Good heart, no brain function left. Maybe Danny's funeral did this to me, my age.

I am listening to the Tumble Weeds by the Sons of the Pioneers. Dad loved that music.

Then his only brother told me he had all their songs on CD's.

I know I wear my heart on my shirtsleeves.

I am a teacher by trade so I can farm.

I will stop the tractor and look up to the heavens and ask dad and grandpa if I am doing the right thing. This peace just comes over me.

I am sorry to talk like a slobbering fool but I miss dad. I thought that was done.

I meet so many farmers who have the same problem. I was taught if you can just help one person..

Gotta go check the bins.

Hope I helped you.

Do I dare hit the Submit button?

Ed Winkle

Friday, October 23, 2009

Settle Down

Just settle down Ed, just settle down. I have to remind myself every day.

I just got the best email from next door neighbor to keep this up, they are reading my posts, by golly! My English teachers are proud again.

My purpose for being here on this blog is because LuAnn saw my potential and dared me to do it!

Easy me, I am doing it!

I saw where Grandpa was serving the community and made a living farming. I saw how much he taught dear old Dad and passed it on to me.

As a society, we must pass it on. The good things, not the bad things which are hard to avoid.

I just want to be the best person I can be. And to that, I must be good to my neighbors and they will help me in time of need. I must say Martinsville has been really good to me. I just seem to fit in here.

This blog has been enlightening to me and many people. LuAnn said, start your own blog Ed. So I started it for my New Year's party, dedication.

Someone told me you keep writing better and better. I replied, I am in a good spot! Show me the next spot!

I am not going to be here forever, nor you, where is the next good spot!

Ed Winkle


Farmers worked like crazy yesterday. Our crew ran until 2 AM. Didn't quite get all the wheat planted but maybe it is close enough? The soybeans came out good quality and good yield.

Talk about crazy, I was asked to speak to the Ohio notill conference on fertility for cover crops and the National NoTillage Conference in Des Moines January 14? Then the New Zealand NoTill Association emails me to speak during their field days the last of January through the first of February.

Then the North Dakota NoTillers call and ask me to talk to their farmers Jan 12 in Minot. I talked to the president, Mark, for half an hour and we both learned we are so much the same.

He is also a banker and farms 2700 acres, about our size. We had so much in common. I told him yes but please schedule a backup speaker just in case I cannot get there. He agreed.

I call to LuAnn and explain my situation and she says you cannot do all of that. Maybe not, but I am willing to try!

I am almost 60 years old and burned the candle at both ends all my life. I saw my grandpa and dad struggle and they would not let me farm with them but sent me to college. I had to teach 31 years to get my dream. I have shared my experience and knowledge with many people.

I am living my dream but the candle is glowing shorter.

It is just really nice to be appreciated for your work.

I have worked so hard for that like every farmer I know.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tumbling Tumble Weeds

That tune from the Sons of the Pioneers has been in my head for weeks. I got real thirsty one day and I remembered dad singing, Cool Clear Water and then my brain went to the Tumbling Tumble Weeds.

Maybe it is because LuAnn I just visited the land of tumbling weeds but I know I miss my dad. It will be nine years January 3, 2010.

He was such a good man and father. His children and grandchildren miss him.

I thought I was OK but maybe I was just being too strong.

I often stop the tractor or truck and look up to the heavens and ask, Dad, Grandpa, am I doing the right thing? Then this peace just comes over me.

When Uncle Roy was down here he told me he had all of the albums of the Sons of the Pioneers on CD. Wow, dad loved the stories of the west and we got to see it!

Fred took him to the Red River Valley one year to buy bulls. I think that was the farthest west dad ever got.

Dad your kids and grandkids miss you. Now you have many great grandchildren who would have loved you too.

Love you Dad.

Your Son,


Really Complicated!

With my stupidity last night I had one auger off and sheared the bolts on the PTO tractor and burned the belts on the whole continuous auger system. Pllugged the whole thing up, what a mess. Lacked 200 bu of unloading the semi. But we did finish that new farm to us.

Now we are almost done reseeding those rolling erodible hills to wheat and barley. I have to give my to Crop Production Services who stepped up and help me do this. Farmers need good suppliers and buyers.

I think southern Ohio may be half done on soybean harvest but just started corn harvest in a few places. Yields are good if we can just get them out.

I needed five semi trailers tonight and finally found two, thank you friends. The old buyers came through for us.

My friend John told me tonight you actually got off the podium and practice what you preach! I don't think I have not planted a crop since I was in FFA in 1964. I never dreamed we would be doing all of this. That was the first time dad let me plant corn. I was so scared, I did not want to let my dad down.

We have 1000 acres plus harvested but 1700 acres left to go. I think we will do this in reasonable time and weather. Getting this crop moved around to the right spot is a real challenge!

I feel bad for the farmers who don't have my situation. I have heard some horror stories. The harvest in the upper plains sounds rough.

Farming is a huge risk these days but one I think I know enough about I am willing to accept the risk.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Man has just made this world too complicated!

I try to keep it simple but to survive I think you have to follow the complication to your level of comfort. High tech this, high price, that, my dog is chasing her tail!

Farmers are lucky in southwest Ohio to get done what we have.

We are toying with the idea of simplifying our lives and just enjoy our family and friends.

No big farms, no big rents, no big machinery, no hassle for LuAnn trying to take Ex Cons and third generation Appalachian welfare folks to the next level for survival. Just time for me and her to really focus on what is important to us and that is not money. We both were raised frugally anyway.

I did get invited to speak about notill in New Zealand so we could be gone another month next year! We had so much fun together just enjoying life and being husband and wife last month. Or was it two months ago?

Man just makes time race. We need to go slow and easy.

What do you think?

Ed Winkle


What a harvest today! We could be finished harvesting soybeans on one farm tomorrow and it all be planted to barley and wheat!

Farmers, imagine 71 feet of headers running in one field! I have watched the Stahl harvest videos but we are not the Stahl's. 11 families working 25,000 acres just west of here at last count. They are good guys, had some of the family in my ag classes before I retired.

Here is my post on NewAgTalk:

We ran a leased CNH combine today with 36 foot draper today, honeybee draper.
I was pretty impressed.

It did spread the residue a little better than the R-75 with 35 foot head. We have to spread this residue better.

The CNH guys quizzed me on what we like and what we need. Well that, yellow combine scheme, yuck!
What color you want Mr. "silver seeder?" Well CIH red would be an improvement!
Dead silence. Then I said we all need a machine that will pay for itself in efficiency. I liked the speed and grain quality but that young man had it tweeked.

The thing was smooth as silk but better at that price. They had the right guys there who made it sing like a song.
People stopped and stared!

In another field we had the Deere/Martin air drill seeding, looked like big timers, LOL. I just stood there amazed on the phone keeping trucks rolling.

The combines were hitting hard today in SW Ohio. The lots are empty due to sales and rentals!

Ed Winkle's friends cutting 71 foot a pass, I just couldn't believe it!

Give the machine a chance, it passed my test. Hopper little small at 315 bu, the twinkie lights come on at 75% capacity which was happening often.

Now it has to pass the financial and longevity test.

Can we afford that test?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


You know it is almost as warm as it was back in our record cool July!

This possible global cooling we could be in is disconcerting to people. We really never a miserably hot weather day all year!

I remember it being so hot some years we actually fried an egg on the sidewalk just to see if it was truth or myth.

This could be our Indian summer. Farmers love it, it looks like we might have a whole week of harvest at one time!

"An early American writer described Indian Summer well when he wrote, "The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest."

"The term "Indian Summer" dates back to the 18th century in the United States. It can be defined as "any spell of warm, quiet, hazy weather that may occur in October or even early November."

Indian summer is a valuable time to harvest and prepare for the coming winter here in North America.

Everyone was out yesterday and I mean everyone. It felt great to me to do it and see it, feel it and experience it.

Loads of firewood are going in, the freezer is full, the ground is prepared for next year's crop.

Just think, if it weren't for farmers, there would be no grocery store to run to!

I think we take our food system for granted.

What do you think?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Our County

From my guest blogger and wife, LuAnn Winkle.
"Our county unemployment rate is 16.3% (Ohio Labor Market Information, Sept 2009) which is over 50% higher than the national average. We are the second highest in the state and Ohio is among the worst in the nation. That figure alone is devastating.

Another recent study (Ohio Assoc of Community Action Organizations) stated that over 67% of the kids in our county's schools are RECEIVING free lunches. And that does not count those who are eligible to receive them but choose not to. This statistic is very telling. People do not want their kids to go hungry. This is probably the one social program that shows some real level of honesty in terms of need.

Out of control social programming contributed to our economic problems and out of control social spending is not going to solve them. The waste and abuse in Workers Compensation, Unemployment, Medicaid, SS Disability, Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing and Transportation, FEMA, etc., helped to create a situation whereby it was cheaper to send our jobs overseas.
When you have 50 % of the population not paying taxes and 35 % of the population receiving some type of public assistance from the list above and you lose your manufacturing base and your economy is based solely on service industries and people cannot afford the services, or are too afraid to spend on anything more than necessities, there will never be the kind of recovery that we have had in past recessions.

"They", and I am actually at a loss to define who "they" are, (media, politicians, social reformers, Hollywood types, political commentators, whoever) have us afraid of losing our jobs, afraid of losing our health care and afraid of losing our homes. With all the economic engineering going on in DC to "fix those problems" we have another whole segment of the population who is afraid of losing their freedoms.

When you have a nation functioning in fear and basing its hopes for recovery on a serviced based economy, a full recovery seems remote.

Without sounding overly pessimistic, it is bad here and I don't see an immediate end despite what DC wants us to believe. Just because the stock market is above 10,000 does not mean that we are turning around. What I see there is those who can afford the risk are making huge amounts of money driving the market up to another inflated level that does not reflect the true economic picture. Many, many folks are making millions on this market while the folks who just want to get back the losses from their 401K will never see it.

I bought a tiny amount of three stocks in March. The cumulative gain on those three stocks is over 189%! If I had much larger amounts of money to risk ( a million dollars to a multi millionaire is nothing to risk) I would be making money hand over fist like those folks are. This market is building wealth and creating wealth. And these folks will get out before the inflation hits and makes their gains worthless. The common folks will see the gain in their 401 K disappear when inflation hits.

Consider this, the market bottomed out at 6500 last spring after an all time high of about 14,000 a year ago right before the crash....a 54% drop. Since bottoming out, it has risen to a high last week of over 10,000....a 54% gain from its lowest point. Is there anyone out there who believes that our economy, with continued unemployment gains, continuing foreclosure gains, only modest increases in housing starts and less than 1% improvement in production output, has improved to the extent that should justify a 54% gain in the Dow Jones since last March?

Getting off my soap box, I believe the best way to help our fellow citizens who are less fortunate is to contribute to food banks locally. We have had three tractor trailers full of food brought in to our county from charities out of state and the lines to receive that 65 tons of food stretched for blocks. People need help to hang on. Also, clean out that closet and take it to a free store.

While I fully support the work of the Salvation Army stores and Goodwill, some folks cannot even afford that right now. Donate those extra blankets, linens and small appliances. Donate that extra fridge or stove. Donate gas cards to folks who need help with transportation to job interviews or social services or medical appointments. Those are concrete things that can really make a difference."

Can you believe this? Somehow we are making it day by day. I do all I can but want to help more. As an American Farmer and I am doing a lot.

Our people need all the hope we can provide. You wouldn't believe what neighbors and family and soup kitchens are providing! I have never seen anything like it in my life but mom and dad always said watch out for it.

We are trimming down and giving things away. I need love and hope, not a big fancy house full of stuff I don't need.

The old dishwasher died, it was a good one. Laid it out by the road, it was gone in 24 hours.

These are exciting but tribulous times!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Today is Tyler Cleveland's baptism.

What a wonderful and glorious event! The sky is so crisp and clear this morning, it all just seems to work together!

"Baptism happens not only to the individual, but also to Christ's body, the Church. That's why the rite insists that we celebrate Baptism in the Christian assembly, with the community present and actively participating. It is the community, after all, who is welcoming the new members, journeying with them, providing models for them, supporting and nourishing them. Baptism begins with God's love and care revealed to us through Christ. It continues with us, the Church, living and enacting God's love and care through Christ to the world. That's a serious commitment."

Got back home this evening. It was beautiful. It was good day for a glorious event!

We had a get together at Tyler's new home after the event.

Eric even got a new TV for his new home! Pretty good for $ 800! Ours are antique, we will have to do the same thing.

The one TV I won in a contest around 1990! It served me well!

The baptism will serve Tyler well.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Corn Plots

One of my duties is evaluating corn hybrids. We harvested one today for a farmer for the National Corn Growers Association contest.

It is a way for us to compete and learn.

We thought it might break 300 bu per acre but it wasn't quite there. The participating agronomist told me it never saw enough fertilizer in the 10 years he has been here so I think it did outstanding.

You have to pick 1.25 acres out of a minimum 5 acre plot by NCGA rules.

He also said a farmer near brother in Cedarville verified 335 bu per acre! Wow, that is awesome.

I thought we had the potential but not quite there.

I remember driving through there this summer and thought wow that is good corn.

Now just to get it out!


Friday, October 16, 2009

This stinks

This really stinks. You just can't harvest anything right now or plant that new cover or winter crop. That just stinks.

Talked to a friend in Pa this morning, same thing. We are commiserating with each other trying to figure out what in the world do we do next?

Another friend in Missouri calls while we are on the phone. Same thing. His cover crop radished and turnips are dying, laying in water. Seriously.

I guess we are lucky in Ohio to have what we have. Talked to another friend in the farthest NW County of Ohio and he cannot cut a thing. He is a really good farmer and one of my role models.

We were talking about preventive planting crop insurance and the consequences.

If you take it and plant and it fails, you cannot plant another crop next year and receive the payment. Bummer.

If you take the preventive after the planting date of October 20 I think we are OK. That would be $29,000 on one farm I need to make this whole thing cash flow. I promised my banker I would do a good job and I will, if the weather just works with me a little.

My son Mark called and said Dad you must be going crazy with this weather. He knows farming and chose a job with Coca Cola. He got a raise and perks because he just about worked himself to death for them and they appreciated it. Good for Mark. I have six great kids who work really hard to make this a better world for all of us, just like we raised them to be.

Back to the harvest update, it stinks. We just need good weather.

We have these beautiful crops in the field and we can't get them.

Ed Winkle

Continuous Soybeans

I have been asked to do another presentation on soybeans in Des Moines, Iowa in January.

I was thinking I could lead off with a picture of a neighbor's great looking soybeans. I think it has been in soybeans 30 years or. I mention that to corn farmers and they just gasp. You are supposed to use crop rotation but sometimes that doesn't pay.

I need to call him this morning and ask permission for a picture and a story for my Power Point.

The man really knows how to farm and works hard at it, but he makes it look so simple!
It isn't that simple.

I would say lots of fertilizer and notill has helped him a lot but not sure. You don't see him tilling, you see him planting and harvesting lots of acre

His weed control is really good this year where other neighbors have weeds out the wazoo.

These resistant weeds to RoundUp Herbicide and misprays have been a real nemesis this year.

Paul Reed taught me to speak with your fields. That is how we help each other. This man is really speaking, he has a great crop and I can see him slyly grinning ear to ear.
He earned it.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Sable is trying my patience. I really need to go to school to learn how to train her but I don't have time right now.

Overall she is doing good.

LuAnn put a harness on her and a quick lead and we worked about 15 minutes each day. It really helps her obedience training.

She is one year old and loves affection as most pets do.

I let her out of the truck to see the overhead door man, Mr Bronson and here comes a big red dog out of nowhere. They looked at each other, smelled each other and I thought they were going to fight. They didn't but I had a hard time getting her back in the truck. I thought it might be brutal.

I try to take her everywhere I can but she is trying to show her dominance yet be like I am training her. I am pretty soft by nature and she sure picks up on that.

The pack dog behavior has pretty much stopped. She just wants to be loved like everyone else.

A good friend told me Ed, you really want a German Shepherd? He is wise and I am foolish but here she is. LuAnn says go see your buddy Sable and she almost knocks me down.


Old People (Revised)

You better get ready for us old people becase we are here.

I neve dreamed about being an older person but I am here!

Older people will annoy you but we have so much experience to share with the younger generation if we can just communicate!

I miss dad and grandpa somedays, they taught me so much about farming about life. I guess I tried to mimic them.

I am a third generation former school board president! Our family always gave to the community and school boarding, well now that is one tough job but I did it!

The day I retired from school boarding they hired my friend and son in law to be the ag teacher where I started in 1971! That was so special!

I can see this young generation needs our experience, knowledge and wisdom. How do we communicate? I am trying to help train a great young farmer right now and I know I upset him somedays by telling him the truth. Everything is not all glory like they show on TV!

You young folks better treat this older generation good.

We own everything!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bittersweet Harvest

This has been a bittersweet harvest so far. I hope it changes but I don't see it coming.

Farmers are doing everything in their power to get their good crop out of the field now. The lower input shaft broke this afternoon in heavy corn. It rained off and on all day so the fodder got really heavy.

The moisture is high enough that the farmer takes a big hit on drying it or paying the elevator to do it. The yield is good if we can get it out, the moisture isn't because of this crazy weather.

I am sure we will all talk about this year for years to come.

It felt like snow all day. I saw Stanley's pictures on NewAgTalk of snow in Cherokee County, Iowa. It made me shudder because we aren't far off from that. We were just through there a month ago.

I expect low acres of cereal grains in this region because you can't get out what you have, let alone a new crop. All my talks about cover crops seem frivilous right now because of this weather.
Oh I guess it will all work out. It always does whether we decide to participate or not.
Every day seeks a record in farming.

Record good, record bad. I prefer the record good.

We all want normal but it just doesn't exist. An average is simply the high minus the low divided by two.
What is normal these days?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rough Harvest

Farmers are going through a rough harvest around the midwest, the breadbasket of the world.

We are the epitome of entrepreneurs and the backbone of our economy which was established over 200 years ago.

All new ventures have come from the farmer who provides for himself and everyone else.

Look back on my post with the population increase since farmers became successful and established long ago growing the food we depend on.

You need us and now we need you to make enough money to provide what you need. You don't have to do a thing but keep shopping locally and buy locally grown food.

If you buy Oreo cookies, Ohio wheat. If you buy milk to dip it in it must be from this region because you can't afford to ship milk that far or people won't buy it. This is just one small example.

If you really think about it, all of today's society is based on farming. If you don't eat, you don't live. We have really taken that for granted!

You know why? Farmers never fail to produce food. People are going back to their farming roots. There was an increase in gardens here again this year. People are looking for security

If you have food, shelter and heat, you have security.

Maybe I just feel that security shaken when it rains too much at harvest?

Tell me your thoughts.

Ed Winkle

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dad's Family

We spent the day yesterday with dad's family. It was good.

My oldest cousin had a surprise birthday party for her husband and just about all of the remaining family was there. It is so hard to get family together.

My wife noticed we act like siblings instead of cousins when we take pictures and talk to each other. I thought that was interesting. I never really noticed that before.

Out of nine children in dad's family there were only 10 grandchildren. Dad had three and there is only 7 more from 8 brothers and sisters. Dad was the one who took over the family farm when I was born. Three sisters never had children.

My uncle came down from Columbus with my youngest cousin who has became close after all these years we were separated by work and distance. We went by the family farm where he was raised and of course we talked all the way and learned from him family stories and history of the family and that farm that has been in our control for almost 100 years. That is pretty good for tenant farmers.

I have humble pride in my family name. Winkle means "shop" from Germany and Holland. I guess I am trying to keep the "shop" open for family and business.

It is amazing how families transition from hundreds of years ago and some keep the name alive. My cousins are always interested in how got from there to here.

That is the fabric of life that keeps family together or separates them.

Is your family still together?

Ed Winkle

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Wheat has been mans staff of life.

From Wiki:

"Wheat (Triticum spp.)[1] is a worldwide cultivated grass from the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (784 million tons) and rice (651 million tons).[2] Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour for leavened, flat and steamed breads; biscuits, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereal, pasta, juice, noodles, and couscous;[3] and for fermentation to make beer,[4] alcohol, vodka,[5] or biofuel.[6] Wheat is planted to a limited extent as a forage crop for livestock, and the straw can be used as fodder for livestock or as a construction material for roofing thatch.[7][8]

Although wheat supplies much of the world's dietary protein and food supply, as many as one in every 100 to 200 people has Celiac disease, a condition which results from an immune system response to a protein found in wheat: gluten (based on figures for the United States).[

I planned on a big wheat crop for next year but I can't get it planted. The ground is saturated and I don't see how I can get it planted in this record year of weather. Rain all summer, record cool July here.

The world has a glut of wheat in storage now so the price is low but I really wanted to plant wheat, protect rolling hills from erosion and "compost" the straw to build the soil for future years.

So now we go to plan B, preventive planting with Crop Insurance.

I think most of the soft red winter wheat region is in the same boat. Literally, it is almost a boat as it is that wet through the belt.

We are all focusing on harvesting what we already have in the fields, corn and soybeans. Practically no corn has been harvested and not many soybeans.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Moving Day

Anyone who has moved more than once dreads moving day.

Today we helped one of the children, now young man, move into his new home.

He has worked so hard for this, as they all have, he was so excited.

I am not the help I used to be so my old arms and moral support was all I could give.

It is such a blessing to see your kids do well and achieve their dreams.

You find out who your true friends are, some of his didn't return his favor. I had to because moving here May 31, 2004 was a huge job and I couldn't have done it without him and the rest of the kids who were able to help. They did a yeoman's job after 4o years accumlation of stuff that had to be moved.

It is so exciting to move into your next move up but so strenuous and tiring, too.

Our pastor said you give the first ten percent of you spendable income to your church, you put the next ten percent into your investment and you ought to be able to live off the 80% left.

If you can't, something is wrong, you are living above your means. I agree.

I wish more would have taught and learned that!

Maybe our country wouldn't be in the financial mess it is in.

Ed Winkle

Friday, October 9, 2009

To My Friend

Daniel Earl Ehlerding

"Daniel Earl Ehlerding, 59, of Port William, died Wednesday (Oct. 7, 2009) on Stone Road, Clinton County, as a result of a farming accident. He is survived by his wife, Mary Winke Ehlerding. They were married June 30, 1973.

Mr. Ehlerding was born Feb. 13, 1950, in Jamestown, son of Rosemary Moeller Ehlerding of Port William and the late Dr. Howard “Doc” Ehlerding. He was a farmer. In addition to farming, he had a passion for blacksmithing, antique tractors and tractor restoration. He collected rare and unusual tractors, trucks and machine tools. He always was on the go, traveling across the country in search of old iron piles and finding steel wheels, engines or rare tractor parts. In the tractor community, he was known across the country as an expert in pre-1930 tractors.

He was a member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Wilmington, Clinton County Antique Power Club and Ohio Corn Growers Association. He graduated in 1968 from Wilmington High School and in 1972 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in business production.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Shawn W. (Joy) Ehlerding of Port William; a daughter, Lisa-Marie (Justin) Reinhart of Columbus; a brother, Fred (Judy) Ehlerding of Hilliard; three sisters, Mary (Brian) Davenport of Vienna, Va., Greta (Joe) Miller of Vienna, Va., and Sylvia (Steve) Myers of Sabina; and several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Columbkille Catholic Church, 73 N. Mulberry St., Wilmington, the Rev. James Wedig officiating, with burial in Maple Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at REYNOLDS-SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 327 N. South St., Wilmington. Memorial contributions may be made to the Edward Huber Memorial Association Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 6010, Marion, 43301-6010. For more information or to sign the funeral home’s online registry of condolences, visit"
I have so many friends. Dan was one of those. He really knew tractors and iron and I respect him for that. More than that he was just a good person and a really good farmer.
If you google his name you can see what I mean, especially the one steam engine group.

I feel for the family. It will seem to some he didn't live long enough.

Believe me he did, one farmer called him 100 MPH Dan. That is the way he lived his life in a good way. He did things most of us couldn't do.

I am down to 40 MPH or so I think.

Dan was a good guy and I hope they can say that about me.
Once I won a tractor pull in Hamilton , Ohio with my Oliver 88 and got lucky and beat everyone on a wet sand track. You good really balance the old 88 with 100 HP. I beat everyone in the class including Dan's V-8. I remember Dan telling me you can't beat a good 6 cylinder on a track like this with a big V-8.
I have never seen so many pickup trucks and cars on South Street, US 68 in Wilmington for his visitation tonight. What a tribute to a good man who raised good children, took care of his wife and helped others.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Farmers Lung

"Farmers lung has always concerned me. I am subject to it so I try to be very aware of it.
Farmer's lung, not to be confused with silo-filler's disease, is a hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by the inhalation of biologic dusts coming from mouldy hay or other agricultural products.[1] The immune response is most often initiated by exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes, which generates IgG-type antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream. Following a subsequent exposure, IgG antibodies combine with the inhaled allergen and form immune complexes. These complexes are deposited in the lung and generate an inflammatory response typical of a type III hypersensitivity response."

The question came up on the Crop Forum of NewAgTalk and I thought that should be my subject today.

Here is what I replied to one farmer.

"That is the problem Ken. We don't know how badly crop mold affects the farmers lungs.

All molds scare me but don't keep me from farming or eating. My cousin married a lung doctor but he is too busy helping those already infected to give much advice.

I don't know how you farm unless you live under a mask and none of us are willing to do it until we get really sick. Then some won't do it.

I have done a good job protecting my workers when they will listen to me. Most figure something is going to kill me so they keep on doing the wrong thing or they are less subject to mold etc. That should be the subject of my next blog."

Grain dust and farm allergens have always been a problem and I think they always will.

I remember getting cortisone shots as a young man when my lungs would plug tight and you would think you were dying.

Still, I love farming so much I can't quit. Some day I may have to.

You can't run to the city or Arizona to run away from your problems.

People have to eat and someone will supply the food.

I love supplying that food.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hedge Apples

A farmer asked about planting hedge apples for a pasture fence row.

"Before the invention of barbed wire in the 1880's, many thousands of miles of hedge were constructed by planting young Osage Orange trees closely together in a line. The saplings were aggressively pruned to promote bushy growth. "Horse high, bull strong and hog tight." Those were the criteria for a good hedge made with Osage Orange. Tall enough that a horse would not jump it, stout enough that a bull would not push through it and woven so tightly that even a hog could not find its way through! After barbed wire made hedge fences obsolete, the trees still found use as a source of unbeatable fence posts. The wood is strong and so dense that it will neither rot nor succumb to the attacks of termites or other insects for decades. The trees also found use as an effective component of windbreaks and shelterbelts."

I don't know if grandpa or someone before him planted them but they grew like wildfire on the farm I was raised on. They became a pest like multiflora rose.

They make a fast windbreak but the thorns on them are really bad and many an old cow has died with a hedgeapple lodged in her throat. They make great firewood too but those thorns!

I guess if you have track vehicles they wouldn't be so bad but most of us run rubber tires that pop at any suggestion.

The fruit is kind of pretty but I just pointed out the pitfalls of the tree that produces them.
I have taken out a few around here and don't miss them.
I will miss the ash tree though.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Beautiful Fall Day

Sable and I enjoyed a beautiful fall day today.

LuAnn is doing well on her training of Sable.

It is like I have to learn to be her trusted owner, dog training is so time consuming.

No wonder so many let dogs rule the roost.

The combines were running hard today in this region, I hope we can again tomorrow.

So little time left for planting cereal grains and cover crops.

Farmers are over their eyebrows right not.

I need my ghost writers to come forth, not enough time for me to do this right.

I like blogging to share ideas but I have other things to do right now!

I saw that picture of snow in Oregon on NewAgTalk. We were just there a month ago!

Buddeshepperd, need your help right now, the wife and I are covered.

Neighbor Ralph, someone come forth and keep this little blog going!


Friday, October 2, 2009


I mean NO harvesting. Very little at this point and it is harvest month.

The very few fields harvested here are yielding really well.

How about 64 bushels for a farm average? That is what one local farm made.

Last years national soybean yield was only 39 bushels. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of poor fields around here and across the country and I am talking about one of the best fields in the county and in this area.

The farmers problem is usually not enough rain, not enough water.

This year we have a little too much couple with a very cool year that made these good crops too wet to harvest. If another person asks me why farmers haven't combined their crop...

You know where that is going. Many nonfarm people look to me as the source of their information on farming. That puts a big responsibility on me to give them correct information, a role I am usually up to.

Right now I just want to say didn't you almost get stuck mowing your yard?

Let us get the crop out and then ask us the hard questions.