Friday, April 30, 2010

Ag Math

I was doing a little ag math this morning on the garden. I know my lbs per acre but converting that to lbs per square foot or part of an acre gets a lot of people confused.

I checked my figures with the boss, she is great at algebra. I said I spread 50 lbs of fertilizer on the garden and plant beds. I would guess I spred about 40 lbs on the garden alone.

I said the garden is 32 by 78. That is 2496 square feet or about 2500. Divide that by 43,560 square feet in an acre and you get .0573 or about .06 or 6 hundreths of an acre.

She said OK, 50 lbs. X .06=X : 1.

X= 50 divided by .06.

Figure that up!

That is 833 lbs per acre spread on the garden and the flower beds and the landscape trees.

Let's get a better number for the garden.

The estimated 40 lbs spread on .06 ac. equals 666.6 lbs per acre, still a lot!

I think I over fertilized a bit? About 13% of that was nitrogen so .13 times 666 equals 86 lbs per acre N so that is shy on the sweet corn, OK for every thing else but really not needed on legumes like peas and beans. So I will sidedress some more N on the sweet corn for a total of about 150 lbs. per acre, pretty common on corn farms regardless of type. The other nutrients are phosphorous and potassium so I really didn't over fertilize. My soil test results are low to sufficent, not excessive so I should be right in line.

I use ag math or farm math everyday.

I hope you do too!


Thursday, April 29, 2010


Politics one day and pollen the next, that's pretty good, isn't it?

Feeling stuffed up, sniffly or sneezy?

I would guess about 1/3 of the people I talk to lately are suffering from the same thing I am. Allergies.

It hits me hardest at dinner time. Is that because my body has been fighting it all day and it finally is being overcome fighting the allergic reaction to pollen?

Better learn to deal with it, experts say. (Yeah, I have been dealing with it for nearly 60 years!)Now that winter is behind us, we've reached that time of year that aroused male trees begin to shed their pollen in hopes of birthing more trees.

The spores in the air, meant to inseminate the females, put our immune systems on the defensive. This creates lots of runny noses and general malaise for the 15 percent to 25 percent of the population that suffers from allergies.

Many sites have measured over 1000 grains of tree pollen per cubic meter of air for weeks now, the most severe measurement so far this year has been over 2000, maybe a record?

Allergy season has arrived with a vengeance again this year.

“It's mostly forces of nature. Trees are going to do what they do regardless of what we want,” said Timothy Thorne, a microbiologist with the city of Houston, who monitors pollen levels.
About 1 million trees dot city property with countless more in homes and gardens throughout the city.

Other cities have dealt with pollen problems by replacing male trees with female trees, which don't produce pollen. But many city trees, which include lots of pines and oaks, have both male and female sex organs, meaning there's no easy solution. No different out here in the country, just more trees!

“Move to the Sahara?” quipped city Forester Victor Cordova. “I don't know. No clue.” Pollen has been high on ships in the middle of the ocean!

An extreme solution would be to kill all the trees. But that wouldn't get rid of all the other things that produce allergens, like weeds, grass and mold.

In any event, it might not be fair to denounce trees for your sniffles, said Pete Smith, with the Texas Forest Service.

“People blame the trees because they see them, but the pollen can move for hundreds of miles,” he said. “Can we pave over everything to solve the problem? No.”

Some allergy sufferers, like Adrian Zavala, 31,buy lots of Sudafed and Benadryl this time of year. But many of those products are good sleep aids at night so they make us drowsy! Even Zytec does that to people.

But if your symptoms are minor, suggests Dr. Stuart Abramson, an allergy specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, you can try washing your eyes and nose out with a saline solution several times a day. That helps, I have done that throughout my life.

If allergies really get you down, go see a doctor, Abramson said. I am going tomorrow again. My head feels like a big melon and I don't have my normal energy.

If you look at all the things we are breathing it is no wonder many of us are sniffly sneezy. Hair, grass pollen, algae, mold, dust, it it worse inside most people's houses!

Excuse me while I go blow my nose!

Have a non sneezy day,

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Petty Politics

Two nice guys are running for our Ohio Representative district. I know them both. One is a family friend and came to dad's funeral 9 years ago. The other has worked with LuAnn on Turning Point projects. They are both good guys. Dave is on the left and Clyde is pictured on the right.

Does an election race make you act like kindergartners?

"Panel finds fault with both Daniels, Evans campaign

A panel of the Ohio Elections Commission on Monday found probable cause of fault on both sides of the Ohio Senate 17th District race in the Republican Primary between Ohio Rep. David Daniels and Ohio Rep. Clyde Evans.

The panel found probable cause for an investigation on three allegations that Daniels made false statements in his campaign for the Ohio Senate seat.

Meanwhile, the Daniels campaign reports that a commission panel found probable cause to investigate claims about Daniels made by Evans in campaign mailings. A full investigation will take place and the final hearing will be held on Monday.

Gene Pierce, manager of the Evans campaign, said the Daniels’ campaign is now under investigation by Ohio’s independent campaign accuracy advocate for the following:

• His statement that he was “The only candidate in the 127th General Assembly awarded the Watchdog of the Treasury for his commitment to fiscal responsibility.” Evans says there were at least 16 winners of that award that session, including Evans himself.

• Daniels misrepresented his own position and that of Evans on “pork barrel spending.” Evans says Daniels cast at least four votes for the same “pork” projects he criticized Evans for supporting.

• Daniels wrongly accused Evans of voting for the federal stimulus spending bill.
Pierce said Daniels could be referred for criminal prosecution if the full commission finds he made these false statements with knowledge or with reckless disregard of the truth.
“When our campaign made an unintentional error in a mailing nearly two weeks ago, Mr. Evans issued a public, written apology within 36 hours,” said Pierce. “Mr. Evans has always aimed to act according to the highest standards of ethics and personal responsibility in public life.”
Daniels said his opponent needs to be held accountable for what is printed in is campaign material.

“I am glad the elections commission has found probable cause that Clyde Evans lied about my record in his campaign piece that said I support sexual predators,” Daniels said. “He needs to be held accountable for his reckless disregard for the truth. I have confidence that the voters will see past the political dirty tricks and see that I am the only true conservative candidate in this race.”

That Pierce guy sent out a mailer with falsehoods on it about Daniels. Daniels retaliated by filing a complaint to the elections commission. Pierce found dirt on Daniels and here is what you get.

Petty Politics, pure and simple.

Has our election process failed us? Or has our sins failed the election process?

I think they both want that cushy state job, don't you?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Managing Fertililizer

I see we have a new follower who works in nitrogen management. I know we have several consultants and followers who work in lime and fertilizer management. It's a big task for all of us, especially farmers.

Basically, you can't optimize crop growth without nutrient management. I go back to the 17 known essential elements for plant growth. They are all here in some form or another but the farmer has some effect on them and wants to maximize his farm and return a profit to him and his family.

For over 100 years now we have used soil testing to find out what nutrients we have to work with and what we can afford to add for a good return. I always balance my needed nutrients within my budget and to stay environmentally friendly, sometimes referred to the spoon feeding method. I exlplain this as giving a dose when needed and when you can afford to buy the nutrient and put it on. The tissue test helps me to verify the soil test during the crop growing season. Wheat and cereal grains, lawns, pastures and hay crops are prime to be tissue tested now.

As we have changed to less tillage with more residue on top of the soil to hold it in place and feed to the soil organisms, we have changed the way we fertilize to some extent. Basically I soil sample when I can, usually in the fall, and try to address the macro and micronutrients with a fall broadcast. That didn't get completed in last years wet weather so we have been behind in finishing it this spring. That cause a huge rush this past dry month and the articles I wrote on bone tired.

Everyone has their own take on the the macronutrients most often applied, usually every year unless you don't fertilizer soybeans after corn. Those are the three numbers on a fertilizer bag, NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.

Let's look at nitrogen first, the one most applied this month in amount and cost. I imgaine most corn growers have at least $50 an acre in their nitrogen cost and the bills are rolling in for a crop we will harvest this fall.

"Whatever its source, nitrogen (N) is essential for achieving optimum yields of grain, forage, and other crops. The same is true of phosphorus (P) and other nutrients. Applying too much nitrogen or phosphorus to cropland, however, can have adverse effects on the environment. Achieving optimum yields without applying excessive nutrients should therefore be a goal of all farmers. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in surface waters and nitrogen in groundwater cause eutrophication (excess algae growth) in surface waters and health problems in humans and livestock as a result of high intake of nitrogen in its nitrate form. "

Some use those big white tanks you see on county highways and in fields and apply a gas called anhydrous ammonia or NH3 and let the soil convert it to the ammonium form, NH4. Some use it as the sole source, others for a starter and apply more later for various reasons. This year I put on the crops need this way for cost and time savings. I will evaluate this method as the corn grows and make more decisions later.

Many farmers put the safer, liquid form of 28 or 32% UAN or urea ammonium nitrate on with the corn planter and/or the herbicide application as a weed and feed program. Others spread 40 plus percent urea form of nitrogen or a mix of different forms for the crops needs.

Total nitrogen applied to corn will vary from 100 actual pounds plus to over 200 lbs depending on soil, yield goal, and budget. 140-180 lbs of actual nitrogen are pretty typical in my area of southwest Ohio. Wheat will get 50-100 lbs, soybeans usually little or none since they make most of their own, other grasses will vary.

In Missouri, one researcher says "Research throughout the Corn Belt is providing increasing evidence of the value of producing corn without tillage. With most soils and rotations, yields and profits from no-till corn production are similar to or exceed those of conventional tillage. Reduced soil erosion has always been a convincing argument for no-till production. Yet some management problems persist, limiting acceptance of the practice. The broad spectrum of herbicides now available has eased some of the challenging weed control problems in no-till. Research has also identified solutions to potential problems related to no-till nitrogen management.

The soil environment in a non-tilled soil is vastly different from that of a clean-tilled field. Previous crop residues left on the soil surface are one obvious difference affecting many other soil properties and processes. One difference is the effect on soil nitrogen. This publication discusses the effects of surface residues on soil nitrogen and methods of managing fertilizer nitrogen to improve the efficiency of its use in a no-till cropping system. The focus is on corn production; however, many of the management practices can be applied to grain sorghum, wheat or other crops requiring nitrogen in no-till systems."

This explains what I do as well as many farmers across the country. The bottomline is we all approach fertilization from the way we farm and the fertilizers we have available and the money we can justify to spend on them.

And this is just one nutrient that a crop needs out of 17 or 18 known essential elements!

And they say farming is easy? I don't think many people believe that anymore!

Have a great day!

Ed Winkle

Monday, April 26, 2010

Healthy Eating

When my sister and neice and one year old nephew visited Saturday, it wasn't long before we headed to the Winkle traditional trip to Frisch's Restaurant. A Big Boy, onion rings, cole slaw or salad is a favorite in my family. Dad took us all when we were little. And, we love a day off from healthy eating!

One time my hereford steer won Reserve Champion at the Brown County Fair and Mr. Frisch bought it. But he gave it to my 4-H Club Leader Fred Stivers and he showed it all over the east coast after the fair!

I am sure that steer ended up on a bunch of people's dinner plate but my 4-H Advisor had fun with him first. Now I am older and have to eat more cereal and less beef. Sometimes that is just plain hard to do.

We liked the Museli in New Zealand and got back to our eating of Hodgson's Mills Golden Flax Cereal on cool days for a hot, healthy breakfast.

Some of you are Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics and I am close enough I don't want to be one.

Here is Hodgson's Mills take on gluten free foods for health and diabetes:

Living with Diabetes
Our featured article was contributed by diabetes expert Terri Miller, RN, BSN, PHN, CDE. Terri was very compassionate about helping people live a normal, active life with diabetes because she herself had Type 1 Diabetes for 30 years.

MNT: Medical Nutrition Therapy
As I was driving to work last week, I started thinking about the diabetes diet. For some reason, I began saying the words out loud, Diabetic Diet. I noticed something immediately. There is no way to say, Diabetic Diet with a smile on your face. In fact, I almost had to frown just to say the words correctly. What a pain to know that it is impossible to even say the words without a bit of depression in one’s voice! Possibly that is why the American Diabetes Association has thrown out the words, Diabetic or Diabetes Diet. In its place, the new way to think of this healthy diet is MNT, or Medical Nutrition Therapy. Now, this makes perfect sense to me. After all, I have been teaching diabetes for over 20 years. In all the years, I have known one very important fact. Every person with diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2 are all unique.

The truth is, if everyone reading this article were to eat the same size apple all at the same time (that includes people with and without diabetes), and we all checked our blood sugars exactly one hour after eating that apple, every single one of us would have a different blood sugar response. This is caused by the way the sugar (or glucose) is absorbed into our bodies, the blood sugar control we have before we eat the apple, the time of day, the medications we take, in fact, even all the other health conditions we have. Due to all of this, it has been recommended that the meal plans suggested to patients are unique and individualized.

I recently attended the annual American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, which brings Endocrinologists and other specialists together from all over the world to discuss diabetes. One of the talks I attended was on the new ADA guidelines for meal planning. I wanted to share a few of the recommendations. First, we now follow evidence-based nutrition principles and recommendations. We look at large scale studies and expert consensus. That is, what most diabetes professionals believe to be true. Here are some of the recommendations:
Blood sugar control is now more important in the beginning over weight loss. We will attempt to get blood sugars in control first.

5 to 7% weight loss is all that is needed to help short term effects of blood glucose (sugar) control. It does this by helping the cells be more sensitive to the insulin therefore making it work better.
When we "add protein" to our meal, it does not slow the absorption of carbohydrates.
A carbohydrate is a carbohydrate regardless of the type of food eaten. Woo Hoo! Wait just a second! Before you go buy a 3 pound box of chocolates, or buy a dozen donuts, take heed on a warning here. This idea has been out for some time and I got really excited about eating just about anything as long as I calculated it into my carbohydrate serving. HOWEVER, I found out that processed foods, such as white rice and white bread make my after eating blood sugars SOAR! So, how can you tell if a carbohydrate is truly a carbohydrate for you? Test your blood sugar 1 to 2 hours after eating. If the results are less than 150 mg/dl, you win! If over, try whole grain breads and pastas. Oh, and remember, even if your blood sugars stay in control after dining with Tony the Tiger or Captain Crunch, processed foods with lots of additives rarely have a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. A favorite statement I like to tell people when choosing healthy is, “It is healthy if it goes from the Farm to the Face.” In other words, fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains are chock full of good nutrients!

To get the best outcomes with Medical Nutrition Therapy, weight loss and increased activity (exercise) are also important.

To decrease heart disease, a person should consume 3 grams or more of soluble fiber from whole grains. It is best to have 7 grams or more of soluble fiber. 25 grams per day of Soy Protein can lower LDL by 10%! (Not to worry, there are other ways to get soy other than the squishy white stuff you find floating in your Miso Soup at a Japanese restaurant!) Try Hodgson Mill Soy Flour or Organic Soy Flour and mix half and half with your regular flour. Or, my favorite way to get soy is by eating Hodgson Mill Multi Grain Cereal w/ Flaxseed every morning. (mine too!)

Weight loss, exercise, and consumption of Omega 3 will raise HDL Cholesterol (That’s the good one…we want to raise it!) and lower LDL Cholesterol (And that folks is the BAD one!) Check out Hodgson Mill Milled Flax Seed which provides you with 2600 mg of Omega-3 Oils in each serving!

Veggies also lower Triglycerides so be sure to eat all your vegetables!
Finally, please remember that the meal plan outlined for people with diabetes is also a PERFECT meal plan for EVERYONE in the family. So share all these good tips with those you love. Best of luck on your meal plan. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to the nice folks over at Hodgson Mill.

Living With Diabetes: How Hodgson Mill Can Help
Along with many diabetics, many doctors and licensed dietitians recommend Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastas and other products to promote patient health and assist in diabetes management. Whole Grain foods are often recommended as part of a diabetes-management dietary plan. Read more about Whole Grain Foods and Diabetes ~ full of great health facts about whole grain foods.
I am what I eat and I feel better when I keep these things in mind.
Hope you do, too!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


How did you like yesterday's blog? I personally thought it was my best one this year so far. There was a little something for everyone and I got a lot of response from farmers on the video. Some think I left notill but we had to repair a lot of fields by ripping the compacted ends and running the McFarland disk reel an inch or two deep.
I need to do more of the videos. I should have taken a video of Joshua. My sister and my neice and my first Great Nephew came to see us yesterday and he really had a good time. He is a busy little boy and easy to make smile and laugh. We did the Winkle family tradition of eating at Frisch's and he sat there as good as gold while we talked and ate.

We live 100 miles apart so we haven't seen each other over the years like we would like but in our "older years" with grandkids we are doing better at that. My sister is real important to me, one of those rocks I count on for support.

My neice reminds me of my youngest child, they have a lot in common, the eight cousins were something else at Christmas at dad's house. Becky and the kids couldn't come because of allergies and colds. We have really had the allergies this month as the pollen count gets higher and higher. Tree pollens are record high.

We got a light shower last night after a few drops of rain the last day or two. I think we have enough to melt the fertilizer, make the herbicides work and start the seeds off germinating. Tomorrow's planting progress will be interested. The county agent thinks corn is 60-70% finished in the county and that is probably close, at least it is for us.

What's for breakfast? Bacon and eggs after a week of cereal. The Seattle style coffee was really good, too. The Florida strawberries from Driscoll's really topped it off.

LuAnn took the ham bone from the Easter ham and is cooking ham and bean soup. That fits the weather pretty well today, too.

She is getting lots of questions on the Bicentennial Barn Quilt tour and the county barn quilt trail you can visit any weekend you want to come. She has a nice group of ag lady friends on Women in Ag on AgOnline. It is so popular that Ag Talk even put up a Kitchen Table forum.

Saturday is May first. Can you believe that? Another month has flown by. Our goal was to be finished planting by May 5, our usual optimum yield date and we are right on target.

That's it for Sunday, May 25. Hope it is a great one for you!


Saturday, April 24, 2010


Today is a hodgepodge of thoughts and ramblings. First, my body hurts. My arthritic fingers hurt so much I can barely type. My tennis elbow flared up real good too. All those seed bags this week took their toll but now that good seed is in the ground!

My brain hurts from thinking and focusing. Yesterday I forgot to ask one vendor to bring six bags of seed corn to make sure we could finish one farm. So there me and Sable were, heading for Wilmington to pick up more seed at dark so we could finish in the dark. Thanks to the cataract eye I can't see worth a darn at dusk and dawn, not enough light but it's planted and nothing was crashed or broken.

Looks like the big rain the locals forecasted busted. We got a few drops off and on yesterday and NWS and Weather Channel predicts a lot less rain than the local TV stations. Their fancy Doppler and weather models have failed us again. I hope we get enough to activate the fertilizer and herbicide and bring the seeds to germination so the roots can go looking for moisture. I have this feeling they will be doing that all season.

I talked to my old friend Dr. Elwynn Taylor at Iowa State this week and he said this year is like 1983 so far. I agree. All I remember from that year was the infamous PIK or Payment In Kind program from USDA and crappy crops. We had bins full from the previous years, the farm financial fiasco was hitting the farm hard and the government tried to help a few stay in business.

The only farmers who made money that year were the ones who signed up for PIK, didn't plant some fields and took the money. LuAnn said they didn't farm that year and went camping. Silly me I taught school and watched the bean beetles eat up the soybeans. The corn was piddly here. I never got involved with government programs until we bought this place in 2004.

Oh well, it is what it is. We did get the new farm planted to corn and this farm planted to soybeans. Soon I will start scouting and try to assess pest and crop condition to get us a reasonable return this year.

LuAnn returned to her northern NY potato growing history. One of our dear friends donated 20 sacks of seed potatoes and they were planting like crazy when we went out for lunch Thursday. Turning Point is going to have a record potato crop and LuAnn is the new potato queen! Some corn and beans would be good with those potatoes, dear!

I did take time to go to the Bicentennial Barn Quilt Tour Meeting scheduled for June 12 and 13. Our farm is on the tour, silly us again. They have a really good tour planned so if you want to take a trip that weekend or any other time, drop me a note and we will get you a brochure and work out the details. We need one more good idea to demonstrate what went on in 1810 around here. Diane suggested early toys but I am at a loss on that one. Any ideas?

Come on Mother Nature, bring us some showers. Everyone is bone tired around here. Any farmer or anyone who services farmers are worn out. We just pat each other on the back and keep going. Larry commented they were working seven days a week like it was some inconvenience for me to call for seed at dark. I said but your whole year is dependent on what you sell now. He didn't answer. The guys who drive the tractors, sprayers and trucks are really tired, don't want to see any accidents!

My friend Darren Hefty in South Dakota has a new blog. Take a look and become a follower!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Grant Day

Tomorrow is U.S. Grant Day in Georgetown, Ohio, his boyhood home and my boyhood county seat of government where my family did business and us kids all showed livestock at the Brown County Fair, known as the Little State Fair. There is a good video about him on the News Democrat website.

Attorney Stan Purdy is an old family friend, I use to do chores for his mother Annie Stephans when I was a boy. Ned Lodwick is a veterinarian in Georgetown and my brother dated his sister in high school. I met her again at the Fayetteville Perry FFA Banquet Tuesday night and now her daughter is a member of Matt's chapter and she is the Equine Judging Team coach.

Grant Day is April 24 in Georgetown

Historic Georgetown, Ohio will host the 14th Annual U.S. Grant Day, Saturday, April 24. The celebration is organized by the U.S. Grant Homestead Association. Grant lived in Georgetown for 16 years until he attended West Point in 1839. Grant's boyhood home and the school house he attended will be open to visitors.The daylong program starts with a walking tour of Georgetown's historic sites.

The morning program includes a session about the Civil War soldiers' life presented by Civil War re-enactors. Other sessions include a presentation by Mike Miller, as General U.S. Grant and Terry Kidd as General John Hunt Morgan. The morning program is located at Grant's boyhood home on East Grant Avenue.Civil War re-enactors set up a Civil War camp on the grounds. The 70th Ohio Volunteers Infantry will conduct a memorial service for members of the unit who died in battle.

The programs are very interactive.A Civil War Era Ladies Tea takes place at 1 p.m. at the Floral Hall at the Brown County Fairgrounds.The afternoon program moves to the Courthouse Square at 2 p.m. with a band concert, singing and a re-enactment of Morgan's Raid on Georgetown. The actual raid took place July 13, 1863, when 200 of Morgan's Confederate Cavalry arrived in Georgetown.The Grant Day re-enactment includes mounted Cavalry, local residents portraying business and government personalities and a local militia. The 45-minute program includes many of the events that occurred during Morgan's Raid through Indiana and Southern Ohio and is presented in an entertaining and informative manner.

The day concludes with a Grand Ball at Floral Hall at the fairgrounds. Civil War Era costumes are required.General admission is $3 for adults and children 12 and over. Admission to the Grand Ball is $15 per person, $5 for students.For more information, call (937) 378-4119 or (937) 378-3087.

It sounds like they have a good day planned tomorrow. There is a ballot from the Ohio Historical Society Ohioans can print and mail in to enshrine President Grant in Washington D.C. which ought to help keep his picture on the fifty dollar bill like I think it should.

Dad said Morgan raided our farm near Sardinia. He said the Bare family hid their valuables when they heard that Morgan was coming through. They looted and plundered everything they could.

I will write and link some more when I get time. I have a meeting at the county Historical Society to plan for the big BiCentennial Celebration and County tour of barn quilts June 12 and 13. I am back and the links are up!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

I am celebrating Earth Day by planting the world's food and fuel, corn and soybeans.

I see my neighbors planting gardens, that is good.

The soil is working so nicely and they are calling for rain this weekend. The weather and signs look good for growing. Winter is over and it is time to grow again!

The fertilizer dealers have been working full speed ahead and I heard most are still 20,000 acres behind because we all want service at the same time in this unusual spring!

We are around three inches shy of normal rainfall around here for March and April but there is plenty of soil moisture to plant.

I met a young lady who is handicapped this morning. She told me she had a stroke at age 34. I told her I would pray for her. My sister's friend Ann is fighting cancer, Paul and Erin are struggling, Shelley is struggling, Richard is fighting cancer, so many to pray for. So many blessings to be thankful for, too. That is life on Earth Day 2010.

Today, April 22, 2010 is the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day. Before 1970 factories could release black clouds of toxins into the air or dump toxic waste into rivers and streams, and it was perfectly legal. In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a ways to "force this issue onto the national agenda." President Nixon and Congress established the Environmental Protection Agency in response to an increasing public demand for cleaner water, air and land; this agency would be known to tackle environmental issues facing the United States and world today.

For teachers Earth Day 2010 can be a great opportunity to help your class learn what they can do everyday to better the environment. Here are some Earth Day activities and lesson plans from the website:

To see what Earth Day 2010 events are going on in your community check out's Action Center.

Today is all about providing meaningful opportunities for celebration, education and action. To have people remake a commitment to acting for the good of the environment.

Here are some Earth Day activity ideas:

Clean up your neighborhood, yard, trails--whatever area is around you that needs a little TLC, restore your area by picking up garbage, planting seeds.

Write a Petition/Letter to your local politician, let them know that Earth Day and living in a clean and healthy environment is really important to you and the community.

Scavenger Hunt, this will give people an opportunity to be active and learn along the way. For prizes give seeds, cloth grocery bags, etc.

Ride your bike or walk to work. (Sorry, I will drive my E-85 powered pickup and biodiesel tractor)

If you have any other ideas or ways that you celebrate Earth Day 2010 please share in the comment section below!

Every Day is Earth Day for me. Happy Earth Day!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

U. S. Grant

A person wrote this in a local newspaper:

US Grant does not deserve this dishonor

In Our Opinion: Hogwash!

Where is Ed Bearss when you need him?( I don't know who he is)

The profound, vividly descriptive speaker and Civil War historian would be a wonderful front man to put down this coup of Southern lawmakers who want to take our beloved Ulysses S. Grant off the $50 bill.

This Southern uprising needs to be put down in dramatic style. There are no shams in the Land of Grant. We know perfectly well the strengths and weaknesses of our beloved president and Civil War General. Grant served his country with great honor during one of the most perilous times in history. We really don't want to put down President Reagan.

He was a marvelous man, but there are many who do not agree that his "historical significance" qualifies him to get his face on a $50 bill. Congressman Patrick McHenry, R-NC, put the legislation forward, H.R. 4705, that would redesign the face of the $50 bill to include the likeness of 40th President Ronald Reagan. "Every generation needs its own heroes," congressman McHenry told one news outlet. "One decade into the 21st century, it's time to honor the last great president of the 20th century and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy."

Many presidents are worthy of recognition. You see their names on federal and state buildings. For example, Reagan's name is on an airport and on a Cincinnati highway.

Replacing Grant disgraces the honor, service, and years of his life that he dedicated to preserving and fighting for his country. After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Grant became the most recognized person associated with the North's victory in the Civil War. Grant also led reconciliation - on the North's terms ­- during his presidency.

There are other options for replacement. Why is Thomas Jefferson on the $2 bill and on the nickel also? Some will argue strongly that, after all, he did write the Declaration of Independence and that deserves heaps of adoration above all others.That seems like an obvious place for change. Reagan would look good on a $2 bill. There are plenty of other options, so we have to wonder why Grant? Why now?

William McKinley is on a $500 bill and Grover Cleveland on the $1,000 bill. Neither one of these presidents compare well to Grant. How would they fare compared to Reagan? But, how many $1,000 bills have you seen in your lifetime?

Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton, is the author, most recently, of "The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008. In Thursday's op-ed piece he wrote: "To honor Reagan's genuine achievements by downgrading those of Grant would deepen our chronic historical amnesia about the Civil War and Reconstruction, the central events of the first 250 years of American history, and their legacy of nationalism, freedom and equal rights.

It's hard to imagine that Ronald Reagan, whose modesty was part of his charm, would have approved of such a disgraceful act toward another president."In reality, it all comes down to what history book you are reading. In our book, Grant deserves to remain on the $50 bill. Our representatives need to move quickly to quash this uprising and keep Grant where he belongs.

I totally agree. People are messing with sacred tradition too much to fit today's immoral standards. How about jobs, stupid? If this keeps up no one will see a $50 bill or it will become the value of today's dollar. Neither one is acceptable.

I have a good friend who is a descendant of U. S. Grant. He carries the Grant history very well and it is a good one, a troubled one like all of us but a good one. I would rather have that name on that bill than any other.

In God I trust,

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Came To Run A Farm

A good farmer wrote this touching piece:

"I want to share a little story from my life with you.In faithfulness (imperfect at best) to His call and leading I have worked at three farms since 1990. No words that I have ever written have come from deeper depths of my soul than the following.

I Came To Run A Farm:

I came to run a farm, I tried to run three over the past 30 years, but.....Authority to make final decisions was never something He gave to me at any of the farms. So, I learned to farm without it. Money was never given to me sufficient to farm correctly, but I found it wasn't so important when good labor was at hand and I learned to farm without it, depending on good labor instead. Then good labor was taken away from me but I found it wasn't so important and I learned to farm with out it, depending on good equipment, management skills and networking carefully with others instead with modern communication.

Then good equipment, management and networking were taken away but I learned to farm without them, depending on my own work ethic and personal drive, and a highly inventive mind. Then poor leaders and deceitful worker were given to me to farm withbut I learned to farm around them by being an example and working harder than anyone else, and depending on the few high quality, healthy, personal relationships alone, (with wonderful staff I had personally prayed in), to get things done, and doing it the right way in spite of higher orders.

In spite of all the adversity, I learned to get things done anyway, I could dance around any difficulty that was thrown at me, there was always a way, I truly thought I had developed the ability to dance around any circumstance successfully, It was a glorious, victorious dance that overcame all odds abd all adversity. It was a strange dance, but it felt good,

Then He took the good relationships away and left me only with the bad, with my enemies who He says I have to love, and those who opposed themselves and always did the opposite of what they should have, who would never listen to my advice, and my farm started to die, all the animals began to suffer, and die, boy is the wages of sin death! So......He reduced me to nothing, and I completely let go of my farm, my beautiful farm, and gave it up to Him, it was like going through a divorce because I loved this farm, but He extracted my heart from it and it doesn't have my affections anymore.

I thought, "All I can do is sit here by you (the farm) and hold your hand while you die."And I found, you can't dance by yourself, without a partner, and no one wanted to dance. He left me with nothing to farm with, I could tell it was His own hand that did it. Everything I depended on to run and operate a farm was taken away, everything, even my affections for the farm itself, I couldn't understand why He took everything away, and people were still expecting me to run the farm, "It's impossible!" I thought.

But I forgot.........Jesus, He wanted to dance, Jesus, He was waiting for His turn to dance over the farm with me, waiting for me to get finished trying all the others, I found that Jesus wanted to be my partner first, He didn't want me dancing with anyone or anything before Himself. So finally, after all the struggles, I was ready to dance with Him alone, and we danced a while.....

Then, He reminded me of my wife and kids, they all wanted to dance, they were just waiting for me to show up and show 'em how, Jesus told me to get started dancing with them, they're really good too it turns out, we've started doing life together again.

So, we're dancing today, Jesus and me, and the wife and kids, all over this farm, it's unbelievable. Some of our good friends here are joining in too, didn't even ask 'em and they won't take any pay, say they just want to dance with Jesus here a while, I never knew the dance could be so wonderful, and He specializes in the impossible. Some of the old enemies might just want to start joining in when they see how much fun we're having,Which would be alright, sometime enemies can make real good friends after they repent, guess that's kind of how it was with me and Jesus anyway,first His enemy, then His friend, Have you ever known what it is like to run around with Someone all the time who can do the impossible any time He wants to?

Glory! Does it get any better than this? So, we're now running the farm, Jesus and me, and the wife and kids, and it's getting better every day, my only job is staying in step with Him, I just pray a lot now, all the time in fact, really that's all I have left to farm with prayer, and it's working out okay, I'm happier now, my family likes that, no worries anymore, He handles all the hard stuff and I just watch. He's teaching me all the new steps, like praying with authority in His name, He claims I'm actually sitting on His throne in heaven with Him as one, really truly!

We work the devil (and some of his helpers, human and otherwise) over pretty good every morning now, guess I've got the right to if I'm sitting on the throne in union with Jesus! This really is a beautiful way to farm, in fact, I wouldn't want it any other way. It really is the only way to run one without loosing your mind, or, your soul which is far worse. Guess I'm a slow learner and had to come to this the hard way. Take a lesson from me if you like, if you're gonna do life, or farmin', or anything else for that matter, start depending on Jesus from the beginning and it'll be a lot easier.

There's 30 years of pain in what I've written, hope someone can get the benefit of it, catch a ride on my learnin' curve. And we'll keep you posted on how the dance is comin' along. To paraphrase another's thought: Farmin' reduced to dancin' with Jesus makes the complicated simple.

Now there is true faith! I wonder if dad and grandpa ever felt that way? Dad just danced all the time so I think he was born with it. I wonder what he felt like when he made that last payment on that farm? He was near 80 years old and danced all his life on a piece of ground his dad rented when dad was 2 years old in 1918!

Now that is some fancy dancing!


Monday, April 19, 2010


Gee, I missed posting on Sunday! How did I do that? We ended up in Springield, Ohio for an antique show at the fairgrounds that happens every once so often.

We found a nice oak workbench that LuAnn can transform into her dream kitchen island so she has more counter space and doesn't have to bend over so much when preparing food.

I found a nice little cabinet we can mount in the hallway to the garage and keep our keys, stamps and other everyday things on. I also bought her a nice little sewing cabinet that carries from the center but folds out into three stacked drawers on each side. I have never seen anything quite like it. It had more thread and spools in it valued at more than I paid for the whole thing. Happy Mother's Day early!

The weather has everyone scratching their heads. Many farmers have planted corn and even soybeans and some of it is even out of the ground already! Others think it is too early yet and have held off planting, remembering those times they planted in April and had to do it all over again. It is rarely as good the second time as it should have been the first.

Is the weather switching over to LaNina already? Sure acts like it. Cool and dry. will predict a big soaker for the second week then the next time you read the maps, it is gone.

Then we have the big volcano in Iceland, spewing up to 750 tons of ash PER SECOND and cancelling air flights all around the world. They say that is costing the airlines over $200 million a day besides all the other extra costs to people. Air freight is at a standstill.

Many wonder how this amount of ash will affect our weather this year. Farmers quickly remember the tropic volcanos and the resulting weather with "no summer" that really affected crop growth. Some experts say it is too far north to do much damage and has to get into the jet stream at 30-40,000 feet to have much effect. You know how we don't trust "experts" anymore.

I don't know, I really don't know. I think that amount of ash is going to affect weather somewhere, if not the states, then surely Europe and continents east of there. Who really knows?

So we make our best call and keep plodding along.

We hope we are in the middle of the road somewhere and at least halfway right!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Turned Cool!

It is still going to be a warm April but the temperature dropped 16 degrees before the showers yesterday until after they stopped. It was 76 yesterday before the rain and it is 54 degrees now. The wind feels cold.

Three brief downpours came within two hours. the last one had water running down the barn driveway. I wonder how that will affect the new corn seedings? Farmers don't like cold rain on newly planted fields as they often fail to grow properly.

Several fields were planted within five miles of the house and some of that is wet Clermont soil, which really dried out last week. I counted many fields planted and many planters in the field between here and Greenfield this week. It is a small percentage of total acres but it is a start.

It is about ideal for wheat and grass and they both really grew this week. I could mow the whole lawn again, it is growing so fast. I got most of it mowed before the rain again. The dandelions are popping up like popcorn.

The soybean and wheat markets closed up higher yesterday which is a good sign. This bean market will surely go down when the big South American crop hits the market but their transportation problems have really slowed delivery. Many say there aren't as many beans as some people think there are.

Corn has been flat, I don't have a feeling which way it is going but there must be new money in the market again to keep it level and increase soybean and wheat prices. Buyers must be speculating. Farmers speculate every time they plant or sell. We are the majority of the risk taking factor.

Some are stopped planting today because of the rain, others got very little. It was spotty again.

Such is life on the farm!


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

These two pieces were sent to me today and leaves many unanswered questions but the trend looks like clear:

By David Gutierrez, staff writer
Natural News
(NaturalNews) Drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has admitted that there is no way to stop the uncontrolled spread of its genetically modified crops.
“Even the best practices can’t guarantee perfection,” said Mark Ferguson, the company’s defense lawyer in a recent trial.
Two Missouri farmers sued Bayer for contaminating their crop with modified genes from an experimental strain of rice engineered to be resistant to the company’s Liberty-brand herbicide. The contamination occurred in 2006, during an open field test of the new rice, which was not approved for human consumption. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Don Downing, genetic material from the unapproved rice contaminated more than 30 percent of all rice cropland in the United States.
“Bayer was supposed to be careful,” Downing said. “Bayer was not careful and that rice did escape into our commercial rice supplies.”
The plaintiffs alleged that in addition to contaminating their fields, Bayer further harmed them financially by undermining their export market. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the widespread rice contamination, important export markets were closed to U.S. producers. A report from Greenpeace International estimates the financial damage of the contamination at between $741 million and $1.3 billion.
Bayer claimed that there was no possible way it could have prevented the contamination, insisting that it followed not only the law but also the best industry practices. The jury disagreed, finding Bayer guilty of carelessness in handling the genetically modified crops. The company was ordered to pay farmers Kenneth Bell and Johnny Hunter $2 million.
“This is a huge victory, not only for Kenny and me, but for every farmer in America who was harmed by Bayer’s LibertyLink rice contamination,” Hunter said.
According to Hunter, the company got “the wake-up call they deserved.”
Bayer is still being sued by more than 1,000 other farmers from Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Sources for this story include:
Barb’s note: Now let’s get Monsanto!

A much bigger cat is "out of the bag" with Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops. Many farmers and scientists are finding nutrient tie up in soils where glyphosate was sprayed. This is beyond what consuming GM foods does to some people:

SPECIAL REPORT-Are US regulators dropping the ball on biocrops?

To read this story in PDF format, click here:

* Growing calls for independent scientific crop testing
* EPA may reassess key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup
* U.S. Supreme Court to hear GMO regulation case April 27

By Carey Gillam
COLUMBIA, Mo., April 13 (Reuters) - Robert Kremer, a U.S.
government microbiologist who studies Midwestern farm soil, has
spent two decades analyzing the rich dirt that yields billions
of bushels of food each year and helps the United States retain
its title as breadbasket of the world.
Kremer's lab is housed at the University of Missouri and is
literally in the shadow of Monsanto Auditorium, named after the
$11.8 billion-a-year agricultural giant Monsanto Co. .
Based in Creve Coeur, Missouri, the company has accumulated
vast wealth and power creating chemicals and genetically
altered seeds for farmers worldwide.
But recent findings by Kremer and other agricultural
scientists are raising fresh concerns about Monsanto's products
and the Washington agencies that oversee them. The same seeds
and chemicals spread across millions of acres of U.S. farmland
could be creating unforeseen problems in the plants and soil,
this body of research shows.
Kremer, who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Agricultural Research Service (ARS), is among a group of
scientists who are turning up potential problems with
glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and the
most widely used weed-killer in the world.
"This could be something quite big. We might be setting up
a huge problem," said Kremer, who expressed alarm that
regulators were not paying enough attention to the potential
risks from biotechnology on the farm, including his own
Concerns range from worries about how nontraditional
genetic traits in crops could affect human and animal health to
the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.
Biotech crop supporters say there is a wealth of evidence
that the crops on the market are safe, but critics argue that
after only 14 years of commercialized GMOs, it is still unclear
whether or not the technology has long-term adverse effects.
Whatever the point of view on the crops themselves, there
are many people on both sides of the debate who say that the
current U.S. regulatory apparatus is ill-equipped to adequately
address the concerns. Indeed, many experts say the U.S.
government does more to promote global acceptance of biotech
crops than to protect the public from possible harmful
"We don't have a robust enough regulatory system to be able
to give us a definitive answer about whether these crops are
safe or not. We simply aren't doing the kinds of tests we need
to do to have confidence in the safety of these crops," said
Doug Gurian-Sherman, a scientist who served on a FDA biotech
advisory subcommittee from 2002 to 2005.
"The U.S. response (to questions about biotech crop safety)
has been an extremely patronizing one. They say 'We know best,
trust us,'" added Gurian-Sherman, now a senior scientist at the
Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit environmental

The World Health Organization has not taken a stand on
biotech crops generally, simply stating "individual GM foods
and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis."
And while many scientists around the world cite research
they say shows health and environmental risks tied to GMOs,
many other scientists say research proves the crops are no
different than conventional types.
With a growing world population and a need to increase food
production in poor nations, confidence in the regulatory system
in the leading biotech crop country is considered critical.
"One of the things that we think is important to do is to
have regular reviews and updates of our strategies for
regulating products of biotechnology," said Roger Beachy, a
biotech crop supporter who was appointed last year as director
of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
"We want to look carefully to see that they are logical and
science-based but still maintain the confidence of the consumer
to ensure that the projects that are developed and released
have the highest level of oversight," added Beachy.
So far, that confidence has been lacking. Courts have cited
regulators for failing to do their jobs properly and advisers
and auditors have sought sweeping changes.
Even Wall Street has taken note. In January, shares in
Monsanto fell more than 3 percent amid a rush of hedging
activity during a morning trading session after a report by
European scientists in the International Journal of Biological
Sciences found signs of toxicity in the livers and kidneys of
rats fed the company's biotech corn.
Monsanto has said the European study had "unsubstantiated
conclusions," and says it is confident its products are well
tested and safe.
Indeed, farmers around the world seem to be embracing
biotech crops that have been altered to resist bugs and
tolerate weed-killing treatments while yielding more. According
to an industry report issued in February, 14 million farmers in
25 countries planted biotech crops on 330 million acres in
2009, with the United States alone accounting for 158 million

Confusing? You bet, especially for the farmer who knows something about this. But the trend seems clear, GM foods do affect the soil they grow in and the humans and animals who consume them. How harmful are they?

Is it too late to straighten this out?


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drew Part II

Last night we enjoyed the Highland County Ohio Chamber of Commerce banquet. They saw another record breaking crowd as no one wants to miss out on the work of Katy Farber and all the businesses that support the Chamber's work.

A taste of Highland County was the meal again this year with eight catering operations from the county presenting chicken in every form imaginable, prime rib and ham and fruit and potatoes of all kinds to go with it. That was the best piece of cake I have had in years and I am not a cake eater.

The entertainment was Drew Hastings again this year, this time rather somber at the record high unemployment in the county, even since last year. I don't think Drew cares for this big government, like most people in the audience.

Drew writes in his blog:

Let’s get clear – when a conservative writes, it’s a “rambling manifesto”. When a Liberal writes, it’s blogging.I awoke from my nap a little while ago drooling on the pillow – a humbling and unbecoming experience. So here I write in an effort to forget my oral bedwetting experience….A few years back, we in Ohio were required to get mandatory automobile insurance. It was “for our own good”. Everyone would benefit, they said.And every year I look at one of the largest charges that make up my insurance premium: a charge for Uninsured Motorists.I’ve always thought of this as vehicular welfare – I’m paying for all the people that don’t or won’t get insurance. With this Healthcare Bill, It’s deja’ vu all over again.

It was good to see LuAnn's friends and associates again. Overall it was a good affair although the weather just made you think of all the things you didn't get done at home and on the farm!

Today is sunny and warm with a high expected over 80 degrees. No wonder corn planters are starting to roll even though it is just now tax day!

Have a great day,

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More on GM Crops

This came out in my daily vocational education newsletter:

The New York Times (4/14, B3, Pollack) reports while "genetically engineered crops have provided 'substantial' environmental and economic benefits to American farmers...overuse of the technology is threatening to erode the gains," according to a report from the National Research Council. The document, which "is described as the first comprehensive assessment of the impact of genetically modified crops on American farmers," concludes "that the crops allowed farmers to either reduce chemical spraying or to use less harmful chemicals. The crops also had lower production costs, higher output or extra convenience, benefits that generally outweighed the higher costs of the engineered seeds."

Similarly, NPR's (4/13, Harris) "All Things Considered" reported, "A report released Tuesday by the National Research Council committee finds that crops produced through genetic engineering are on the whole beneficial for farmers who plant these seeds." However, the report "cautions that the technology could lose some of its power if it's not carefully managed in the future."

It is interesting to see how non-farmers perceive this report released yesterday by the National Research Council.

I am sure each one of us has our own view on it depending on our experience or lack of it.

GM crops have been debated pro and con since the day the Plant Variety Protection Act was modified in 1994 and GM crops released in 1995.

Some countries like New Zealand will not allow the seeds into their country where 85% of US crops are genetically modified so the reaction to GM crops has been all over the board.

Now we have limited research that even though glyphosate is safe to humans it really ties up nutrients in the soil, particularly the "rhizosphere" and some American farmers have stopped using glyphosate entirely. That doesn't leave many chemistry's left to control weeds.

I guess every technology has its pluses and minuses.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coyotes woke us out of a dead sleep last night at 2 AM. They were howling right outside our upstairs window that faces the garden to the east. It was if they were tempting Sable to come outside. I am glad she was inside.
They have been hunting the field voles in my notill corn field behind the house. We have seen them cross the road for the creek and woods a couple of times but this time they got too close.

There must be a bunch of new pups and they were all howling outside the house. I think this is the closest they have been but they were about that close one other night, too.

They are pretty unnerving in 2 AM silence. I can see why some farmers trap them, animals would not be safe and possibly easy prey.

Here is a good description from Mr. Swope I found on Google. I hope you enjoy it more than we did them last night.

The Coyote

The coyote, or "little wolf" as the Native Americans call
it, is a member of the dog family. It is the topic of many Native
American folklore tales. Its name comes from the Aztec word
"coyotl." Its scientific name is "canis latrans" which means
"barking dog."

The coyote, usually associated with the open lands of the
west, is now found throughout the United States. Not native to
Ohio, its presence here shows the animal's ability to adapt to
new environments. Coyotes' good sense of smell, hearing and
vision, along with being sly, enable them to even live in some
urban areas. For example, a pair was found in New York City in
the Spring of 1995. Presently coyotes can be found in all of the
88 counties of Ohio.

The coyote has the appearance of a medium-sized dog or a
small German Shepherd. Coyotes are about one and a half to two
feet tall and between forty-one and fifty-three inches long.
Weight ranges from twenty to fifty pounds. They have a bushy
tail that is tipped with black. Most are grey, but some show
rust or brown coloration. Coyote tracks are more elongated than
dog tracks.

This nocturnal animal is most active at night, but if not
threatened by man they will hunt during the day. The coyote is
omnivorous. They will eat fruits, grasses, and vegetables along
with small mammals. The coyote has a bad reputation for killing
sheep and other livestock, but studies show that livestock
accounts for only 14 percent of the coyotes' diet.

Coyotes mate for life. Between January and March is the
breeding period. Most do not breed until they are two years old.
The female selects and maintains the den. They usually dig their
own dens but sometimes they use an old badger hole or fix up a
natural hole. Dens are usually hidden from view.
Females carry their young for over two months. One to
twelve pups are born in either April or May. Pups are born blind
and helpless.

Both parents hunt and feed the young. At three weeks old
the pups leave the den under close watch of their parents. Once
the pups are eight to twelve weeks old they are taught to hunt.
Families stay together through the summer but the young break
apart to find their own territories by fall. They usually
relocate within ten miles. Between 50 and 70 percent of the
young coyotes die before adulthood. Of the young that die, 80
percent is the result of human trapping, shooting, poisons, or
other control methods.

The coyote is capable of producing fertile offspring with
many other animals from the dog family. It occasionally breeds
with the domestic dog, wild dogs, and wolves. This mixed
offspring has created great confusion about whether a real coyote
has been seen. The only way to tell the difference is by
examination of the skull. The coyotes' skull is narrower and
more elongated than the domestic dog. In Ohio 98 percent of the
animals sighted, captured, or killed are real coyotes.

More often you will hear a coyote rather than see one. Its
howl can be very deceiving. Due to the way the sound carries, it
seems as though it is in one place, where the coyote is really
some place else. Coyotes have two howling seasons. The first is
in January and February. During this time they are trying to
find a mate by howling. The second season is in September and
October. During this period the female is calling to her
offspring. The young then call back in unison.

After the move westward by settlers, coyotes thrived on
ranchers' cattle and sheep. In response, the ranchers
aggressively tried to eliminate the coyote, and almost succeeded.
However, due to its intelligence and ability to adapt to changes
in its environment, it has not only survives but flourished.

Thank you Mr. Swope.

Ed Winkle

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bone Tired

Good evening. Your guest blogger, LuAnn, here. I am filling in for my dear blogger because he is worn out tired. "Bone tired" as we used to call it back when I was a kid and we had put up 1000 bales of hay on a hot, humid summer day when the haymow was about 140 degrees! Springtime on the farm brings days that leave you bone tired.

My dear blogger and I agree that physically tired is much more satisfying and healthier than mentally worn out. You know that bad mentally worn out feeling. The feeling like your brain is fried, you have 100 things going on at once and you don't know which way to turn next and you just can't think straight you are so worn out.

Physically tired is so much better. Physically tired can actually relieve stress. Mentally tired is the result of stress.

Anyway, lately, we chuckle at each other when one of us gets up out of the Lazy Boy and shuffles across the floor looking more like our parents than our kids. We still FEEL like we can keep up with people much younger than us but some days our bodies just can't keep up with the wishful thinking of our minds.

We are beginning to notice our aches and pains more frequently than not. Tennis elbow, rheumatic knees, and sore muscles from a hard day's work or a day's play. They say that 50 is the new 30 and 60 is the new 40. Right now Ed feels like the square root of the sum of the average of 30, 40, 50 AND 60!

Some evenings we find ourselves looking at the clock and hoping it is closer to 10 (bedtime) than it really is. We challenge each other to stay awake just another hour (or two) to make it to bedtime without dozing off on the easy chair. Gosh, we have become our parents!

Tomorrow is a new day with everything that sprintime on the farm brings. Planning, planting, tilling, spreading fertilizer and getting it all done around the weather's unexpected gifts of sunshine and rain.

We both will jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and tackle each day with a new energy and enthusiasm. Most days we don't stop for a full twelve or fourteen hours. That is springtime on the farm. We love it. It tires us out. It helps us sleep well. It allows our bodies to put our minds to sleep.

If you are having trouble sleeping, get out and get tired. Bone tired. Do something physical. Your mind and your body will thank you for it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Now It's Sunday

I was one day ahead of myself when I wrote beautiful Sunday. Now it is Sunday and it IS beautiful, just like Saturday.

I follow the carepages and have been reading the frustrations of the Steinlage's in Iowa. Rolan is not doing well and going through seizures and they can't find the reason why. The family feels blown off by the doctors, that is more than frustrating, it is scary. Pray for them. I continue to.

Sometimes you have so many problems yourself you can't pray for others. You can't even do for others and barely get by yourself. But I know it is so therapeutic if you can.

Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself. I have great neighbors, caring people who want to see their neighbors do well. I will have to call on two neighbor boys when my seed corn comes this week to help load and stack. They have been here several times and are of great help.

Another neighbor checks on the house when we are gone and keeps an eye on Sable. That takes about eight sets of eyes.

Sable hates birds, or maybe she just wants to play with them. She wants to play with every animal she sees and gets very lonely if she doesn't get enough play in. She loves to walk fields with me. Last night she just trotted along ahead of me pulling soil samples, happy as a lark as they say. She would take off after a lark, I guarantee you.

I think she is part kangaroo and part shitsiu. I think you get the shitsiu part. She leaps off powerful back legs like few dogs I have ever seen.

I caught her jumping after birds in the Red Delicious apple tree and she looks like she is hanging there. She isn't.

LuAnn got the dryer vent working, praise God. We dug a huge bird nest out of it because the vent flap is weak enough they can lift it and carry in straw for a nest. About a half trash can full, that is how much!

Have a great day and we will do the same.

Best Wishes,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beautiful Saturday

It was a beautiful Saturday. Highs were in the sixties today. I saw several tractors in the field in the eastern part of the county. Farmers were spreading fertilizer and doing tillage all the way from ripping the subsoil open to light tillage. I bet some corn gets planted this week with the call for 70 degrees every day.

It was cold enough that I burned wood the last two nights. It really felt good. I hope it is the last wood fire until late fall.

We sure have plenty of firewood now that we cleared 100o foot of fencerow trees out two weeks ago. There is a pile of logs to cut and split to take several days to complete.

I got soil samples pulled on the newest farm. The soil probe went easily to 12 inches with little clay which is a great sign to a farmer or gardner. I can't wait to see how much fertilizer it needs! I hope it is how little it needs, not how much!

It has been a good week though a cool one with not much rain. We have plenty in the soil right now. A shower after planting is always good though. We got wheat topdressed, equipment ready to go, soil samples pulled and lots of other good things.
The two week forecast looks good at least for this week, then, who knows. I like this weather site I found, it changes daily like the weather.
I am feeling better already. Now spring is REALLY here!

Ed Winkle

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crop Mobs

I have a former student who is now a chiropractor in DeSoto, Missouri. Looking at his Facebook and webpage I saw a link about crop mobs. I had never heard of such a term so I thought I would share it today with you.

crop (noun): something edible that grows in or of the ground.

mob (noun): a riotous crowd; a flock or herd.crop mob:

"young, landless, and wannabe farmers" who descend upon a small-scale farm on an appointed day and accomplish in five hours what it might take the farmer five days to do him- or herself. The phenomenon began in North Carolina about a year ago and received some high-profile New York Times treatment in late February. Now Missouri's gettin' in on the action. The first mob goes down this Saturday. Read on.

Sam Wiseman, owner of the two-acre Sunflower Savannah Farm out in Beaufort, is hosting the first mobbing on April 10. Wiseman grows cut flowers, tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes and an assortment of other vegetables for the Maplewood and Tower Grove farmers' markets in St. Louis. She normally works alone.

Saturday's mobbers will get to help clean out her barn, plant some cold-weather crops and weed the strawberry patch. "It could be really cool for me!" she tells Gut Check. "Or, it could be a total fiasco! We'll wait and see. You just hope for the best. All these people have good intentions but they are unskilled.
It's mostly people who want to support the local food movement and want to learn about sustainable farming, get in touch with the earth and are right now in a position where they can't do so."Sign-up is appreciated, since Julie Ridlon of Chanterelle Catering will be preparing lunch for all who attend. For more info on sign-up, check out the new Jefferson County Crop Mob Facebook page or Wiseman's blog.

I think neighbor Mike has had a few of these mobs on his lavender farm but I never heard him refer to it as such.

We will need a barn mob to clean out the historic barn here before the big barn tour on June 12 and 13!

Anyone need a crop mob on their farm?


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Sky Has Dandruff!

It is snow flurrying at 50 degrees! That doesn't happen around here very often, in fact I don't remember if it has. There must be a COLD upper air mass up there.

It is supposed to get down to 34 overnight, hopefully our last cold night for the year in southern Ohio. I hope it doesn't get our new pretty flowers! I saw yellow tulips on the way back from the mailbox and I didn't even know we had any yellow ones! That bed was purple before. LuAnn did we stick some yellow ones in there? They weren't there last year!

The good news is we got the wheat topdressed with nitrogen and the price went up today. The bad news is we have to destroy 160 acres that just isn't worth keeping after much looking, studying, pondering and consternation.

I can plant the destroyed wheat back to non GMO soybeans and gain a $1.50 premium or plant high priced RoundUp Ready or Liberty Link soybeans and spray the cheaper chemical. I know which one is easier and I know which one makes more money.

I went to town to get my haircut and wouldn't you know they were closed. I hope they are alright. They only close on Sunday and Wednesday normally.

LuAnn has opened Turning Point II in Court House, short for Washington Court House, the county seat of Fayette county where my wheat is. I don't see how she does it all.

We travelled so much since August we are under stress trying to catch up. I hope we do. The time is now!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Ah, the joys of spring! I mowed all day. It was more like cutting hay. I burned a half tank of diesel and it normally takes a quarter tank.

I waited and waited because once you make that first cut, you mow all year. Clear into November last year.

A good mower that runs properly and sharp blades replaced regularly are the keys to good mowing. Mowing is essential to a good looking lawn.

My problem is mowing around house and garage, two barns, a grain dump building, 5 grain bins, a hog finisher building and one, two, three, four driveways, all in a triangle shaped piece of land. It is really narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, now what is that geometrical shape I forgot from 1965?

The result is Turn, Turn, Turn as the Byrds sang about that time I was in high school, many moons ago.

The grass was full of water so I had to mow the windrows two times on top of the first cutting.

It has been so wet and the recent warm temperatures have made the grass grow like weeds as they say. It looks pretty good for no fertilizer, I wouldn't dare do that, I would be mowing every other day. I let the grass smother the weeds out so no weed control is used either.

With our rich soil you don't need much fertilizer. The soil test says our soil is rich enough to raise at least 100 bushel corn and that is good enough for me for a lawn.

It's trash day too so had to clean out the barn and put the barrels by the road. We keep 4 barrels pretty full all the time.

Well that is how I spent my day, I hope yours was good.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What A Show!

Last night we had two spectular shows. During the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship we got hit with a spectacular thunderstorm with lightning that made the lights flicker once and the Direct TV system went down several times.

I haven't had time to check the rainfall totals or damage yet, I am glad we didn't get a direct hit on the farmstead.

Duke and Butler put on one of the best basketball games I ever watched. It was hard to see either team lose but one had to. Butler will learn great lessons from their feat I hope they can keep for a lifetime. Never say quit, prepare and do your best. What a fine coach!

When I saw Myles Brand name on the floor sideline I remembered what he did at Ohio State.

Myles Brand Biography
Myles Brand assumed his duties as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association January 1, 2003. He is the fourth chief executive officer of the Association. During his first five years, Brand has presided over passage of the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history - a package that refocuses the attention of student-athletes, coaches and administrators on the education of student-athletes. Brand has also changed the national dialog on college sports to emphasize the educational value of athletics participation and the integration of intercollegiate athletics with the academic mission of higher education. His tenure has helped reestablished the indispensable role of university presidents in the governance of college sports.

Brand was himself president of two major universities. From 1994 through 2002, he was president of Indiana University, an eight-campus institution of higher education with nearly 100,000 students, 17,000 employees and a budget of $3.4 billion. Brand also served as president at the University of Oregon from 1989 to 1994.

Born May 17, 1942, Brand earned his BS in philosophy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester in 1967. Brand's other administrative posts include provost and vice-president for academic affairs, Ohio State University, 1986-89; coordinating dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arizona, 1985-86; dean, faculty of social and behavioral sciences, Arizona,1983-86; director, Cognitive Science Program, Arizona, 1982-85; head, department of philosophy, Arizona,1981-83; chairman, department of philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1972-80. He began his career in the department of philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 1967-72.

Brand has also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of directors, Association of American Universities (AAU), and as board chair, 1999-2000; a member of the board of directors, 1992-97, and executive committee, 1994-97, of the American Council on Education (ACE); and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), 1995-98. He served too as a board member of the American Philosophical Association and of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, the umbrella organization of Internet2.

His academic research investigates the nature of human action. His work focuses on intention, desire, belief and other cognitive states, as well as deliberation and practical reasoning, planning and general goal-directed activity. He has also written extensively on various topics in higher education, such as tenure and undergraduate education.

Myles was so impressed with agriculture and the need for every student to have a knowledge of it, he recommended to the board of trustees that every student at Ohio State should have at least one course in agriculture for graduation.

Of course they turned him down. He was soon gone to his next venture.

What a guy, what a game, and what a thunderstorm!

Ed Winkle

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fence Rows

We got 1000 feet of fencerow cleared last week. Do you like fencerows?

The ones in southern Ohio aren't kept up like the beautiful hedgerows we saw in New Zealand. Each land owner hires a contractor to trim his hedges or does it himself.

Here they just grow out of hand with scrub trees and brush and block the sun from the crop. They often stop drainage patterns too so the field is wet and you can't plant ontime and that throws the whole schedule off for the year.

We have plenty of habitat for wildlife so it isn't like clearing jungles or rain forests or anything like that. But it costs money to repair what got out of hand.

A few farmers do it here but not many. It is expensive and time consuming.

This fence changed the whole appearance and usefulness of the land and gives a beautiful view of the land below.

Do you like fencerows with scrub in it? The fences are pretty much gone here because the livestock are gone.

I think it was a great improvement to this farm.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Lent is almost over and time for a new leaf.

I remember the huge train wreck in Sardinia when I was young, probably the late fifties or 60's. two 100 car freight trains collided at 60 MPH. It was the most amazing sound you ever heard, we lived a mile or two away.

I will never forget our tornado on Good Friday a years ago, no wonder I want to forget that. I would post links and pictures but don't time right now

The train wreck killed everyone on board. No one died in the tornado but it was too close for comfort.

You hate to remember a special day for the world with tragedy but it happens.

Have a safe and blessed day,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Boy is it windy today! I see where trees are down and lots of flooding in nearby states.

It was scary, barely saved the barn doors again, no big damage just some screws pulled out but items scattered all over the yards and fields.

No day for an Easter Egg Hunt, for sure!

Wind is very frightening to some people. Here is a good piece on this fear or medical phobia:

"Fear of wind, thunder and lightning :

The levels of anxiety in individuals are so different that it is not possible to offer a single series of exposure steps for all cases. Some wind and storm phobics just experience a good deal of anxiety when high winds threaten, while others spend most of the day listening to weather forecasts, phoning the meteorological offices, or organising companions to look after them when bad weather threatens. However, these suggestions would be worth considering for someone with a serious wind phobia:

Cut down on the number of calls to Met. Offices; or on reading or listening to weather forecasts
Listen to sound effects records of wind and storms, including thunder
Watch videos of storms
If you hide, try to reduce the amount of protection you use, for example using a smaller blanket, or leaving the cupboard door open a crack
If you seek companions, try to have them simply available at the end of an open phone line, rather than actually in the house. (If you fear ‘wires’ and ‘electricity’ this may be difficult, in which case it should not be an early step.)
Work up to not hiding, but with a companion present
Then to not hiding, with no companion there
Then to observing high winds or lightning etc. with a companion
Then to doing so alone.

Some storms and wind would put this fear in anyone!

Ed Winkle