Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rainfall data

Bill Northcutt at Spatial Rainfall Consulting sent me my updated rainfall data for April. It's not as much as Cincinnati reports but it is enough to keep us out of the fields all month and the upcoming days in May.

"I ran your report and said Holy Mackerel! I hadn't paid that much attention to rain in your territory - no planting anytime soon.

Here is your report and I'm attaching a map from NWS on a visual - I noticed they screwed up on the scale - but your area is in the 8-10" range and some in the 10-15" range and the numbers below support it.


Date B Farm H Farm New Farm Home Farm L Farm/M Farm
4/1/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/2/2011 0.12 0.09 0.13 0.28 0.29
4/3/2011 0.02 0.01 0.02 0 0.01
4/4/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/5/2011 1.34 1.43 1.51 1.63 1.49
4/6/2011 0.01 0 0.01 0 0
4/7/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/8/2011 0.05 0.07 0.06 0.01 0.01
4/9/2011 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
4/10/2011 0.29 0.35 0.35 0.37 0.4
4/11/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/12/2011 1.18 1.31 1.23 1.34 1.32
4/13/2011 0.79 0.36 0.38 0.11 0.14
4/14/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/15/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/16/2011 0.67 0.48 0.49 0.51 0.51
4/17/2011 0.06 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.04
4/18/2011 0 0 0 0 0
4/19/2011 1.23 0.74 1.52 0.61 0.76
4/20/2011 1.09 1.29 1.96 1.73 1.76
4/21/2011 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.07
4/22/2011 0 0.02 0 0.01 0.02
4/23/2011 0.82 0.75 1.14 0.93 0.92
4/24/2011 0.69 0.73 0.44 0.49 0.52
4/25/2011 0.33 0.37 0.17 0.31 0.37
4/26/2011 0 0.04 0.04 0.13 0.18
4/27/2011 0.11 0.06 0.11 0.15 0.16
4/28/2011 0.63 0.52 0.56 0.29 0.25
4/29/2011 0.13 0.11 0.16 0.18 0.27

Total 9.66 8.83 10.38 9.19 9.53

Every year is a challange for farmers and this one is no different but different in the amount in one month. We received 1/4 of the year's rainfall in one month!


Friday, April 29, 2011

I Am Still Alive

Yes friends, I am still alive.

Sorry I have not written for awhile but I have been away from the computer for 30 days. I am setting some new priorities in my life and the computer was not one of them.

I know, strange for me but it was needed. I made 10,000 posts in 10 years on NewAgTalk and that figures around 3 a day average. That's obsession.

I have learned a lot about myself after 61 years of living and it was time to reassess where I am at.

I suppose you know we broke the record for rainfall for the month of April for the Cincinnati region and third time wettest month in recorded history. That's bad for farmers but I didn't use it to sit behind the computer.

Some of our wheat looks good and some of it is sitting in water. I am not sure we will keep that and may plant it to soybeans. I have to go ove the crop adjustors report and I haven't had time too yet. Pretty soon it will be as tall as the wheat in the picture.

Here is an article I participated in you might enjoy.

I have had some amazing classes and experiences in the past month and will have some more before I get active again. LuAnn tried to help keep the blog going but we just had too much going on in our business and in our lives to keep up my goal of a blog a day. It's been good for me.

Thanks for all the calls and email and letters, they are greatly appreciated.

I am still alive and doing well.

I hope you are too.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Go Fly a Kite!

This windy warm Sunday a kite flying festival was held in nearby Waynesville. Daughter and Son in law took two of our beautiful granddaughters to fly kites. I heard all about it from daughter Shannon. She just sounded like she was stil flying as high as her kite.

What made this special for me was her memories of kite flying when she was a child. Each Easter our kids got kites from the Easter Bunny. Some might think that is odd but this mother of three understood the consequences of unlimited candy on a day when my kids also had to sit still for Mass and then dinner at Grandma's. The kite just seemed the better idea....and a great transition from those frilly fancy Easter clothes to outdoor play.

Shannon's memories are good ones. She reminded me of the different places we flew them and the different models and colors. I would never have dreamed that she would recall those times. Being from upstate NY we had more than our share of Easter Sunday's with snow for our kite flying day!

It made me more certain that "EB" (as we called the Easter Bunny) was a pretty sharp old rabbit. He knew that kids would never remember on chocolate rabbit or one peep or one egg or one basket of goodies. But EB knew that spending time with kids builds everlasting memories.

And, even better, it creates a tradition that gets handed down to the next generation. I love the idea that those sweet girls will someday take their children kit flying.

Your traditions are important and if anyone ever tells you that a video game or another piece of plastic or a basket of candy is more meaningful, tell them to "Go fly a kite!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Best Friend

Since Ed has asked me to cover for him for a while, I am in wonder of how he comes up with new and interesting topics every day. I need to get a life 'cause I just don't have a wide range of interesting things that I feel the need to expound upon. Gosh, how does he do it and remain interesting and relevant? It has to be the gift of a natural born teacher in him.

Anyway, Ed is my best friend. I am sure that many of you would probably consider your spouse your best friend, too. Other than Ed, I can count my dear, loyal, "I-can-tell-her-anything-and-she-will-still-love-me" friends on one hand with and have a couple of fingers that are not used.

I always told the kids I would rather have one or two good friends than a thousand acquaintances. A real friend is a real blessing. The bond between the two of you transcends time and distance. A real friend is one that you might not see or hear from for months and pick up the phone and the conversation flows as if you had spoken just yesterday. It is as if no time at all had passed.

Friends come in all shapes and forms, all ages and backgrounds. But there are a couple of characteristics that a genuine best friend (it IS okay to have more than one best friend) MUST have.

Sense of humor: This is the person who knows all about you and remembers every detail of it and can bring you back to reality with just one tiny story about prom night in the 70s when leisure suits and disco were in.

This is the person who could see your feet when you were nine months pregnant and you hadn't seen your feet in six weeks! This is the person who looked so much like you that your own mom could not tell the difference without her glasses when she was hopping mad about the illegal fireworks at 3 AM that set off all the car alarms in the neighborhood...WHOA!..that is a whole 'nother story.

Honesty: Your best friends will really tell you if your wheat should be killed and used as a cover crop since it looks so bad. Your neighbors will probably just chuckle behind your back and watch the combine aimlessly circling around the field looking for grain come harvest time. Your friends will tell you when the color of your new truck reminds them of calf scours. For our non-farm friends that is NOT a handsome color. They will tell you that you definitely should not date that girl or guy much less marry them! That takes guts.

Finally, my best friends may not be farmers but they "get it". When I have to cancel plans when the sun finally shines after a week of rain and there is work to be done, they forgive and forget, welcome me the next time and never lay on the guilt. They get it when my house looks like a thrift store on days when I haven't gotten to the laundry or the dishes or putting away the groceries. They get it when I am worried or broken hearted or angry or disillusioned.

A good friend is a blessing and a treasure. If you have one or two, take a moment to remind yourself what you value most in your friendship then TELL them what they mean to you.

The old saying is, "To have a friend, be a friend." If you are having a bad day, take a moment to get to know someone. You never know...that blessing and treasure could be a future friend just waiting to be introduced.

I think I will give Jill a call tonight....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sad dog Sable

Filling in for my dear blogger, I must apologize for missing the post yesterday. I have been pretty busy with some unexpected challenges.

Among them is Sable. Sable has had a rough week. On Monday she got a split/tear in the big pad on one of her front paws. The first night, I thought it would heal itself even though it was still bleeding lightly. I patiently mopped the floor whenever she was inside and hoped for the best.

The second night, the porches had little bloody paw prints all over them and I knew this split was not going to heal on its own. After mopping little red paw prints for the third time, I ran down to the barn looking for duct tape (after all, duct tape can fix anything, right?) but NONE, NONE!! on this farm anywhere. Not in the shop or in the trucks or in any tractor tool boxes. I could not believe it.

My eyes settled on black electrical tape. Hmmmm.....

That tape and a gauze pad and a wresting match with an uncooperative Sable left me out of breath and covered with mud and glasses had dog nose all over them and I was in a bad mood.

But it worked! For one night. She left the tape alone and I thought we were on the road to healing but the next night, she still had a slit that was bleeding and she was licking her way around the tape to get at the sore spot. She began to hang her head and not want to eat....all over a slit paw??? Why don't they make dog bandaids in beef flavor?

Well, her best buddy has been pre-occupied so I think she was lonely, too. I offered to take her to work with me on Thursday, despite my board meeeting that morning. Immediately, in Ed's truck she perked up...I could just imagine her thinking, "Now this is more like it." At work the little bloody paw prints appreared and I could not have that on the office carpet....not good....

My plant operations manager got some duct tape and we got that drip covered. The limped around with flourescent orange duct tape on her paw, getting all kinds of attention and treats from people extending sympathy. It really was kind of funny to see how she just ate up that attention. She can milk it.

After work I took her to TSC and we bought some medicine that heals splits in hooves and paws. Back home, it was another tussle to get it soaked on saline solution and dried and treated. I really need to get in shape if that is all it takes to get me out of breath....but she is really strong. And stubborn.

Today, she is zooming around, taking nips at me and acting like a little stinker again.

I am glad she is back to her old self....I think.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Noah's Ark

LuAnn here, again, filling in for my dear blogger. I was driving home from work tonight and there was a lot of standing water from the storm that blew through here today.

I drive the same state routes twice a day, five days a week, and I have gotten to know the landscape pretty well.

I watched sadly after the DHL closing announcement as homes went up for sale; I watched as people planted their gardens in the spring and harvested in the fall; I have seen the same kids get on the bus every morning for seven years and watched them grow from kids to young adults; I have watched the farm fields turn from spring to summer to fall to winter year after year, crop after crop; I have seen garage sales and new campers, new roofs, and new learn a lot by observing the passing landscape.

By far, my favorite thing to watch as I drive each day is the animals along my route. Cows, sheep, horses, geese, llamas and some ornery dogs inhabit the farms and fields that I pass each day. This morning I noticed an adult horse, all curled up, laying down sound asleep as I drove by. I always thought horses slept standing up so it was quite a site to see this one all cozy in the grass. The other day, I saw a baby, brand new baby foal. Adorable! It, too, was alseep in the grass.

Tonight all the pastures were flooded and the fields were empty and the sky was dark and dreary. The wind was blowing and in places my wipers could barely keep up. There sure was not time or safe place to observe the countryside.

I don't know whether it was the rain or the image of the animals the last couple of days, but my mind wandered to the story of Noah's Ark. Now, whether you are a believer or not, you have to admit it is a pretty darn good story.

Did anyone happen to catch the movie a few years ago?? It was a blast! Let your imagination run for a few moments...suspend your disbelief for a few moments and try to picture this mammoth ship, every animal imaginable, the rising waters, the cacaphony of animal sounds, the animal smells, and the FOOD it would take to keep them all fat and happy for forty days and forty nights! Doesn't it just stretch your imagination to the limits to try to picture it?? I love it! And so I thought about Noah and his brood as I drove through the rain.

Well, soon I pulled into the driveway to one very wet dog who was very happy to see me...charged past me into the house....shook all over before she dove into her crate....tracks leading the way for anyone who might not be able to follow their nose and the wet dog smell to find me you could find her with your eyes closed by following the wet dog smell!!

So, no, Noah I am an-e-mule (as Ed loves to tease me by saying) is enough for me....I heard the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Clean Up

Some places are too wet to tackle but others are just right for moving things to more convenient locations and getting rid of the accumulation that comes with running the farm. Old seed bags to be burned, metal and iron loaded up for the scrap yard recycling, firewood stacked and gravel spread on holes and wet spots in the barnyard took a big chunk of the day, but, WOW, it sure looks better.

LuAnn began the annual kitchen spring cleaning today, It was about 69 degrees so she opened the windows and enjoyed her task. She always calls chores like that "just puttering" but she sure accomplishes a lot for "just puttering".

The garden and the flower beds are calling to her. I figure the lawn will need to be mowed within a week if it stays dry. It is getting high and needs rolling but that will have to wait another year.

Sable has worn a circular path around the perimeter of the house. It has LuAnn a bit annoyed but we know she is just doing her job which is to stay as close to us as possible. Seems like she follows us as we move from room to room, always on guard at the door closest to us. That must be generations of breeding that makes her so protective.

One of my favorite Bible verses is "To every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven." This time of year always reminds me of the wonder of God as the seasons change and the colors of spring come out to meet us after a long hard winter.

Maybe we are going to leave winter behind finally....maybe it is time for spring. Enjoy the rebirth of earth....I always do.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Final Four

Good Evening, it is LuAnn here, filling in for my dear blogger. I am sneaking in this post while I am watching the Final Four in NCAA Men's Basketball. Ed and I always look forward to March Madness. It makes a long month, when a farmer is just dying to get into the fields, go a bit faster. We pick our brackets and compare. We are both very competitive so we really try hard to outdo each other! We pick "game time" foods and eat in front of the TV for the entire month. It is a fun time that we enjoy each year.

This year, Pitt and Louisville goofed me up right from the start. Then Duke and NC let me down. Of course, Ed went with the Buckeyes all the way and we all know how that went down. I knew my beloved Xavier Musketeers probably would not advance too far but I never dreamed that they would be knocked out in the first round.

Once my bracket was destroyed, I begin to cheer for the underdog in every game. There is something about an underdog that just makes you want to see them succeed. They seem to play with more heart, more enthusiasm and you know that they are going to leave it all on the court when the buzzer sounds at the end.

I tend to be a champion of the underdog in real life, too. I believe it is a Christian mission to care for the least of our brothers and sisters. Whenever I get discouraged or stressed in my work, I think of Jesus admonishing us to feed the hungry, house the homeless, visit the imprisoned and give hope to the hopeless. Mind you, I am not a bleeding heart liberal, I believe in teaching the less fortunate how to take care of themselves but I know that there are some who simply cannot do it.

Right now I am filled with compassion for the Japanese. You can see them fighting for control of their situation and trying to be brave and strong but you can also see the anguish in their faces. Right now, they are the underdog in a fight on a scale that we cannot even begin to imagine. They need our prayers and compassion.

You might be wondering how I got from the Final Four to the Japanese earthquake tragedy. That is how my mind works. Drives Ed crazy sometimes but I can follow my common thread even when others seem lost in my random

Tonight, if you are enjoying the game, are cheering for the underdog, are watching young men give their whole heart to their game, remember there are underdogs in real life fighting against really bad odds on the other side of the world. Give them a moment of your time with a prayer. And if you are inclined, give to an organization of your choice that will help them win the battle they are in. God Bless.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I never like April Fool's pranks. It always turned out to be and your the biggest fool at last! It got so bad as a kid I dreaded April 1. It was enough to make you not go to school.

I know it's all in fun but I don't have that sense of humor. I don't pick on people and sure don't want to be picked myself.

It really died out as I have gotten older, maybe it's more of a kid thing or more of the era at that time. Wouldn't you know the day originated in France.

"The history of April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day is uncertain, but the current thinking is that it began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25 - April 1 (new year's week) to January 1.

Send invitations to nonexistent parties and have other practical jokes played upon them. Communication traveled slowly in those days and some people were only informed of the change several years later. Still others, who were more rebellious refused to acknowledge the change and continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1.

These people were labeled "fools" by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on "fool errands," sent invitations to nonexistent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a "poisson d'avril" or "April fish" because a young naive fish is easily caught. In addition, one common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke."

So don't be fooled, it is really New Year's. At least it was until the Gregorian Calendar was accepted.

I think I will say Happy New Year's to someone today. They will really think I am a fool then!