Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Days

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. Do you use that old rhyme? I still do and realized tomorrow is the first of October, not Sunday like I had been thinking all week! In 30 days, I hope we are well into harvest but the crop is still green. It's showing the fall browns but the fields by the house are still pretty green as one is double crop soybeans.

A lady LuAnn met yesterday has a novel idea for service. She said our election system has become such a farce, we should have elections like the jury system.

When your name comes up for a jury trial, you serve with a group of strangers that determines the fate of a trial that usually determines the fate of the people involved. If people can be found to be competent enough for such a big decision, why couldn't they serve for a public office?

It makes good sense from county commissioner to congressman. You serve the four years or whatever term is appropriate and go back to your old job with no punishment or gain except for the service to your country.

I know it will never happen but it sounds like a novel idea for today. I was so interested in the idea I proposed it on NewAgTalk's Boiler room where farmers tear ideas down to their core. It has gained a lot of readership in a few short hours.

I for one would be willing to serve my country this way. It would take away all the monotonous campaigns and all the fraud and lies that go with them.

I guess it just makes too much sense, aye?

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A poster asked this morning on Crop Talk whether or not the CCA is worth keeping? That is a good question.

The Certified Crop Advisor Program was initiated in the early 90's to certify those of us who serve farmers or farm ourselves. It's a way to track and prove education, something always valuable, especially if a lawsuit arises involving such parties in the industry.

It is quite a task to take and keep track of the classes and categories although the American Society of Agronomy does a good job of administering the program. The burden of proof is on us, the license holders to take the classes we need and record them in the four categories of requirements.

Today I have no idea where I stand in renewal but I have participated in many classes this summer. It takes a lot of time and diligence to document the classes by those who put them on and those who take them.

As I teach some of the classes, I get credit for the class as well as though who listen so I get wrapped up in the presentation versus the recording of them.

I think the program is worth it and I use my certification to keep myself upsated and share with others but I can see where it is a pain for all involved. Is it really worth it?

I see another poster found that GMO corn did not pay over his non GMO corn on his farm. I never found GMO corn to be advantageous to me. The LL trait has helped my soybean production though.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Fall is falling apart around home. It is damp and wet and gloomy, not the pretty fall days like I showed in the picture Autumnal.

To Bobby, thanks for the comment. Feedback keeps me thinking and and keeps me going. Blogging gets boring for me without feedback. I am writing my response here because I have tried three times to make a comment under your comment.

I am not very happy with blogspot as they have tried to keep spam out. It has become very user unfriendly. I think Budde is right, we should have went Word Press or bought our own sight. I never dreamed I would want to do this every day nearly three years ago.

Sable has a birthday Sunday that coincides with a very important date for me too. Lots has happened since that day and Sable and LuAnn and I have seen a lot of change since that day, mostly for the good and mostly how we look at them.

The markets have been falling too and I wonder who is manipulating these crop and stock markets. They are so volatile you don't know when to buy or sell.

It is selling time for us as we don't do much buying except for next year's input. What I sell is down and what I buy is up. I can't do a thing about it today.

The weather feels like it is falling apart although I can't see the trend for October and November, it looks wet or more like winter.

I will just have to take it one day at a time.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God and Father, we worship you and give you thanks and praise your for your Glory.

That's what I am thinking right now. I just wrote a letter to one of my friends and that is what we are working on today. Maybe it's the joy of another new grandchild, maybe it is the wonderful weekend we had enjoying Nature as our crop finishes up for the year but I see God's Glory everywhere. I see it in you and me if we just let it.

I am very thankful for another day on this earth putting God's Will first, not mine. I know He wants us both to be happy and I am. When I catch myself thinking of things not so good I quickly admit it and let His Will take over while go through life's daily tasks.

Some of my family and friends are working at the Brown County or Little State Fair and others are at work. I have time to give Thanks and write this blog.

One farmer on Crop Talk this morning asked how much high calcium lime he should put on? I answered from my soils and my Midwest soil test that if my base saturation is below 70%, one ton, closer to 60% two tons and below 60%, which some still are, three tons.

Three tons is most economical to spread as we don't often get a chance to lime and I doubt if we will this fall as wet as it is looking here. We will be lucky to get the crop out without too much compaction as it is but that is my thumbrule that works for my soil with my soil test, here.

That's it for today but don't forget the Glory and how we need to work for it and with it.


Monday, September 26, 2011

No. 10

We had the best start to our day today. Becky called and they are expecting another child, grandchild number 10! Madison, Liam, Brynn, Corbin, Claire, Tyler, Caoilin, Finn and ? And, two of our children don't even have children yet! I even have ten little apple trees growing, one for each grandchild.

They also got their house sold here, which will be a big worry gone from their daily routine. They are all very blessed in their careers, families and business. Thank you, Lord.

I was talking to a lady today and she asked me how farming was. After about 3 if's and's and but's I threw out she said her dad was a farmer and asked me what 4 farmers talking in one of their basements were? I didn't know so she quickly told me it's a wine cellar, and that is whine cellar!

I guess we whine about the weather, the crop. the prices, the land prices and rent, the banker and everything else. We are fortunate to farm under one of the lowest interest rates in my lifetime, though.

Trump is talking about his discussions with Romney and Perry. He is right, China has sucked our jobs right our of our country and we let them do it. We stopped at a leather goods store and I looked at a belt and it had China stamped on it in RED. I couldn't get out of that store quick enough.

Well, I am going to be a grandpa again, what do you think about that?


Sunday, September 25, 2011


It's a beautiful Sunday morning after a nice Saturday. It was so beautiful the Apple Fest nearly shut down the town of Lebanon. The Amish were making fresh pretzels and the line was backed up a block for them.

The beans need every degree of heat they can to maximize their size. I can clearly see what I have done this year and in the past to make them as beautiful as they are. I know what I need to do this fall, too, if I can get it all done. It will be what it will be.

One friend said he could easily tackle 1000 acres of corn with a one row picker in the past but in our present years we doubt what we can get done. We have to keep the faith and work in God's time. It will all work out in the end, one day at a time. Yes, I am speaking to you but especially myself.

CBS had a piece on Rin Tin Tin, the famous German Shephard who was on TV when I was a child. We think Sable is from very similar bloodlines as she acts like he does in the movies.

The word is harvest is moving very slowly out west with no lines at the elevator yet. I don't know what we will run into but we are prepared as we can be for when that day comes.

Our Gospel readings were from Phillipians 2:1 and Matthew today about the son who said NO to his father and went and did the work anyway. The second son said yes, sure, and never did it.

Which are we?

Have a great day and week,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Last night I had a new pork dish for dinner, new to me at least. It was pork medallions wrapped in bacon, grilled to perfection. The pork was a tad pink inside which is a no no the way I was raised but it had the most delicious flavor you can imagine. Then I dipped it in the barbeque sauce provided and wow, it made it even better!

I had LuAnn dipped her grilled chicken in that sauce and she agreed, it was one of the best we ever tasted. Maybe even better than our favorite at Werner's Pork House near Washington Court House! I will find out what that sauce is and get some to my friend near Filley, Nebraska who is a pork specialist.

LuAnn also got a cup of baked potato soup which would make a meal by itself with bread. I will share the recipe with you when I get time. We are going to make a pot the first chance we get to cook when the cold weather sets in. It had Colby cheese in with the cream, little red potatoes that tasted baked, bacon, green onions, celery and a big yellow onion chopped so fine you could barely see it.

I also had one of the best fish sandwiches at Werners this week you ever tasted and one night he cooked me an 8 ounce sirloin steak to perfection.

With my subject of pork today I could go into a rampage about pork spending and a whole rash of subjects related to pork but today we are resting and enjoying life and food.

We are eating well down on the farm.

How about you?


Friday, September 23, 2011


Yesterday we started the third season of the year, autumn. Much has been written about it, but we most often think about fall and the equinox when both axis of the earth is the same distance from our sun and the equator of the earth is closest to it as it is in spring.

We think of fall colors, too, and they are starting to show their glory in Ohio. The trees are starting to show color as they have received over 50 inches of rainfall here this year. They also got the very warm sunshine when we tied the record of 17 consecutive 90 degree Fahrenheit days this summer.

The early beans and corn are showing their yellows and reds along with the trees. Round Up Ready and Liberty Link beans are showing all shades of these two colors as they race to produce fruit before winter.

I called a friend in Kentucky and one in Illinois yesterday that I have written to but never talked to on the phone just to say hi. I ran across their phone numbers in email and just felt the urge to call. The Internet has brought me many friends around the globe.

The markets plunged yesterday as the comet Elinin passes through our solar system and the United Nations considers a stand on the lands of Israel.

Me, I am just thankful for another day as we stopped for a short visit with new grandchild Ariana and her big brother Tyler. We need to see Liam and his family on Lake Erie as we prepare for harvest. The day started rainy and dark and ended in brilliant sunshine and warmth.

I am thankful for another harvest season as we quickly approach a new year that will be here before we know it in three short months. Sable has a birthday on the first day of October when she will be three or 21 years in human years. She has grown into one fast, powerful dog that stays by our side.

It's another season of change upon us as my autumnal years shows gray in my hair. A little bit of wisdom is welcome after a roaring 61 years has past.

I wonder what the future holds? Right now all I can do is stay steady in my faith and take each task one day at a time, enjoying that little bit of rain and the warmth of that sunshine.

Tomorrow will take care of itself so I will just focus on today.



Thursday, September 22, 2011


Yesterday's topic leads right into today's, mycorrhizae. If I type that a few times, maybe I will remember how to spell it! It took me a few months to learn to spell trychaderma.

Mycorrhizae are part of the beneficial soil fauna that live in healthy soil. They colonize on plant roots and help the plant taken in water which contains the nutrients they need to grow and prosper.

These terms have become more mainstream since no-till farming was reinvented with corn planting in Kentucky in the early 60's. Many of us throw the term around trying to explain the benefits of no-till but few of us have any working knowledge of how it works.

I mentioned on NewAgTalk's Crop Talk that I met Larry Simpson of Mycorrhizal Applications Inc at Farm Science Review this week. He challenged me that he could make me even more money than T-22, SabrEx and America's Best Soybean inoculant has. Now that is a tall order but I am willing to take the challenge.

Matt Hintz of Amherst, Wisconsin added this story to the discussion and made me wanting to try it, too.

I have to focus on harvest first, and getting my dry fertilizer and maybe gypsum on. If I am lucky I want to do this before the notill seeder plants rye, wheat, oats and/or barley to sustain my soil. That's a real tall order all by itself but it made me think.

If I an increase mycorrhizae on these new seedling roots, I can improve my soil all winter before planting again next spring. Trychaderma has added bushels of corn, soybeans, wheat and barley to our income. Maybe mycorrhizae can add a few more?

This a different picture of healthy hyphae compared to the one in the linked article. It makes me think about what I can't see under my feet as I don't work over a microscope.

There is always something new to think about!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The Tillage Radish craze is spreading. I see more and more farmers trying radishes to improve their soil.

I even sowed some with my double crop soybeans and will be anxious to see the results. They deifinitely loosened up the soil around the beans after pounding rains in April and May but I think there is more to it than that.

It seems that when they sprout they give off a gas that reacts with the soil or some chemical that retards plant and insect growth yet benefitting the crop they are in whether it is corn, soybeans and wheat.

A sure fired way to more notill corn is to plant wheat, harvest the wheat, plant radishes at a few pounds per acre then notill into their dead carcasses the next spring. They loosen up the soil and capture and release any nutrients they could scavage during their growth as the root hairs and tuber interact with the biology of the soil. They set a deep taproot over 60 days of growth that is ideal for the next crop to follow them.

I usually find an earthworm at the bottom of each decayed radish, too and I am all for earthworms. The more earthworms the merrier in my soils.

I didn't see them being pushed as hard at Farm Science Review this week as I did lime and gypsum and even tile plows. But they were there and many people were available to speak about using them and growing them.

It looks like my double crop beans are podded heavier where the radishes are planted but the combine will tell the whole story on yield difference, if any. I have gotten 12 more bushel of wheat interseeding radishes and I think I can get 5 more bushels of double crop beans with them, too. NoTill corn after radish is a good 10-12 bushels and I have seen 20 plus.

Everything I do to improve my soil physics, chemistry and biology usually works and I won't know unless I try.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I normally am a loner when it comes to Farm Science Review. I don't go in a group like some guys do, I like to set my own pace.

Today, though, I took a friend who wanted to farm when he was little but never had the chance to do more than raise a garden. He's a good gardener, too and helped save ours this year.

He told me the last bucket of tomatoes I took him reminded him of the old fashioned tomatoes and was as good as any as he had tasted in a long, long time. I said we can do better but yes it was the best crop I have had out of this garden.

They really liked the heat we had this summer and we got just enough water for juiciness and flavor. I think our crop is that way, too, really grew in that wet soil we planted into and just enough rain for a really good crop.

Seeing Farm Science through his eyes was interesting. After pricing lots of machines one crew said hello and asked if they could answer any questions. He popped off and said, only if you have a psychiatrist on hand! I thought what the heck, then he added I have watched this man price equipment and you have to be nuts to farm!

So we were nuts, and still are. There is some truth in what he said. Who would borrow a million dollars depending on Mother Nature to give you a good crop to pay it back and maybe make a little?

The lime and gypsum dealers were everywhere! I never saw so many. The importance of calcium is finally getting through to farmers after all these years! I mentioned gypsum in my first talk at NNTC in 2000 and 11 years later people are getting on the band wagon.

I showed my friend how planter row units have not changed since the first Max Emerge in 1968. It was designed for dried out cloddy soils after plowing and disking and we still have the same row unit, just some attachments hung on it. I showed him the IH answer that is superior in notill but they never got a good seed delivery system like the White.

We ate the popcorn and peanuts vendors give out and had my favorite sausage egg sandwich. We even had some free samples off the Holland grills they were pushing.

It was a good day, cloudy and cool and damp but by the time we left it was sunny and warm.

Another 22 growing degree days, just what this crop needs!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Farm Science Review

I got a sneak peek at Farm Science Review Saturday. Sales people will be there today with all their literature and final sales props for the deluge of farmers and students Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I tried to look at planters, sprayers and harvesters, our main compenents in our farm machinery lineup. There really isn't much new in that lineup but more bells and whistles on the same principles farmers have used for 40 years.

The planter row unit is really no different. It was interesting to see the new White 36 row planter available on rubber tracks instead of wheels and even a pull behind sprayer that had them.

They all did have their own version of row cleaners, trash whippers or residue managers, whatever you want to call them. The White looked closer to the Martin setup but only the IH had the long row unit with the big dimpled gauge wheel tire, just like in the past.

The majors have addressed issues of seed delivery from a bulk hopper into a little seedbox and GPS add ons more than they have trying to change the row unit for minimum or notill planting.

Strip till bars were everywhere, I don't know why, we haven't adapted them in Ohio like they have in the states west and north of us. I saw more lime and fertilizer spreaders to address nutrient and soil amendment application than I did strip till bars though. Maybe that is because they can be wheeled to the show easier but I think it is because of farmer demand in Ohio.

Narrower rows abounded as Ohio has been a leader in narrow rows and notill due to our research programs here. Still, 30 inch corn rows, 15 inch beans rows and 7.5 inch drill rows dominate our market. I haven't seen the need to switch from those setups.

AGCO had the best combine display with the new Super 6 sitting on a pile of sloped mulch shelling corn. That depicts all the corn planted on our rolling hills and the slight minority of flat black ground we have with the price of corn and its demand for every acre.

The new S series Deere combine was there but I didn't take time to look close because I know we can't afford one. A big difference is the the Deere 9770 STS we are using is 6000 lbs heavier than the Gleaner R-75 and that looks to be a concern on every acre this fall. The weather forecast has been changed to rainy and cloudy all week and soils don't dry out that much in the fall.

The grass is green again so I have been mowing grass as the late beans use up the added rainfall. Kernal depth is good in the late planted corn.

There is a little corn ready to shell in the FSR region but I expect record crowds with farmer optimism, a little extra cash and most crops not near ready for harvest.

Salesmen, man your stations!

Ed Winkle

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Young Blood

Yesterday LuAnn and Sable and I went to the big Extravaganza Antique Sale at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio. We let LuAnn go shop and snuck down the road to peek at the machinery at the Farm Science Review!

Wow! Farmers fantasy and bankers nightmare! That is what I thought when I saw the millions of dolars worth of new machinery line up and down the streets of Corn and Soybeans and the Avenues of Friday and Wheat! More on that this week.

After a few hours I thought we better head back for the fairgrounds to pick LuAnn up and Matt called and offered to pick me up to go the Enderle pull at Urbana with him and Corbin.

I couldn't turn down the offer to visit with my younger blood" so we got to the Champaign County Fairgrounds just in time for the first hook. It wasn't long before one of our favorite tractors, the real Young Blood pulling team hooked in the Grand National Super Stock Enderle Pull Offs and made a pass like he has for five years in a row and won the class.

The Shramek family farms around the Williamsburg, Missouri area and has built the first non red or green super stock that wins. That is quite an accomplishment and honor. We love to see innovative farmers do good with different ideas on different machines than mainstream farmers use.

Many of us had to dare to be different to exist. That's the only way I know because I never had the money to buy much new at retail price. Everything has to be a bargain!

It's worked out well for me and many and our young blood ideas are passed on to our new blood so they can have a start and try to carry on the tradition. Starting farming from scratch today is near impossible so Mission Impossible would be a good name for a new pulling tractor or a new farm or business.

I got to thinking, I watched almost every one of those "old" pullers start and remember their first pull when they had no name!

Wow, that can make your blood feel old!

Special thanks goes to the Lustik Family of Silver Bullet fame for the team hat for Corbin, whom they know at first sight on a first name basis! I told them I remember taking Corbin's dad to watch Rich pull the Super Steeler 30 years ago.


Saturday, September 17, 2011


After giving Thanks for another day, I woke up thinking about what I have done this year and what I have to do.

This crop needs another three weeks or enough time to mature before it freezes, whenever that is. We aren't promised it but we have to have enough Faith to let it happen or whatever is going to happen and go from there.

I did some outreach yesterday with some friends and then stopped at FSA and Soil and Water and Extension to work on ACRE and conservation and pick up my Farm Science tickets. The budget cuts gave Extension the excuse to be closed on Friday, the Friday before the big event, in my home county and neighboring county.

The cuts are going deeper, closing some of our dear Post Offices in the rural areas of this country and even the city as they announced the closing of our big Cincinnati mail hub in Queensgate this week along with all the closings of little rural post offices.

When our elected officials spend twice as much to make a penny or a nickel than it is worth in trade and they finally start waking up to the fact Americans are tired of this and start cutting, this is what we get. I would give up my nickels and pennies to keep the post office open.

I wouldn't give up my Faith, though. Some days that is all you have left. As I was pulling weeds and looking at our crop, LuAnn called and reminded me of the Farm Mass near Greenfield. We went to the tent in the field and settled down for another visit with the Eucharist. It was cool and we got chilled quickly but the setting in nature in front of a big corn field ripening was so spiritual it warmed the soul.

Three geese flew over right before the ringing of the bells, representing the Holy Trinity. My mind quickly went back to the time recently when a big flock of geese flew over dad's grave as I was giving thanks and praying for dad and all of those who are no longer with us here on earth. Everything seemed to be in God's Time, not mine and everything was right with the world for a moment.

After the bread and the wine was communed, we went to the garage for 35 pizzas and drinks and more desserts than I ever saw in a garage. It was a modern day farm feast. I went to the farm field and pulled an ear of corn and it was a whopper, on a highly eroded field where they don't get 100 bushels some years.

The ear had 18 kernals around and 50 long, that's 900 kernals. 700 is a really good number. That just confirmed my Faith that if we apply what we have been given and have faith, we will survive and prosper some years like it has always been since the first man.

Take time to give Thanks today and work a little on your Faith. That's what I am going to do as it works for me.


Friday, September 16, 2011

More Change

It's a chilly 45 degrees in southwest Ohio this morning. Nothing like the freezing temperatures some of you readers have depending where you live.

We are thinking about all the green crops left after a late planting season and now we are half way through September. What in the world are farmers going to do with all this wet corn?

A small elevator is for sale a few miles east of me. It can be bought for $65,000 but we had the local grain bin company look at it and it needs $8000 worth of dryer repairs to get the 500 bu dryer up and running to make the 70,000 bu elevator work.

We have 1500 acres of corn here to run through the combines and store and deliver. I can't see it being much below 20% water when we start and it may not get that much below 20. That's a an awful lot of wet corn to deal with not even considering the beans. We can handle all the wet beans with air drying and storage but a dryer would help on problem fields and late, unpredictable weather.

Propane is $2 a gallon for drying but that looks cheap compared to 40 cents plus shrink at local elevators and we only have 3, two are smaller and every farmer is going to want them all.

I have been reading about the surprises in farmers fields in the midwest from 200 bu corn to much below 100. The thing is we have good corn if we can get it dried down and managed.

The pictures shows First Choice 3995 LL soybeans planted in early may versus early June. Most everything around here is more like the second picture or even greener.

There is a lot to think about on the farm today just from year to year seasonal change. It is upon us.

I imagine Farm Science Review will be PACKED next week as no one can work on anything except harvest equipment and bins before the big rush this fall.

Change and more change, it's an every day event.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


The winds of change are blowing, figuratively and literally. That big cold front is on our front porch step and it's cooled 30 degrees in 24 hours. The good thing is crops still keep growing at 50 degrees because growing degree days are figured from a high of 86 and a low of 50.

I wonder if that should be changed? Can these new genetics still grow above 86? They act like they do to me, I never saw crops grow so fast in 90 degree weather in June.

This morning we got to see change in our lives. Madison is 8 now and doing things in the third grade we never did 50 years ago. I told the principal I started teaching here 40 years ago and ten years ago I was on the board when we hired him. We both just shook our heads in amazement.

Putman is the Elemeantary many of us dreamed of. Nine straight Excellent Ratings and just won the US Blue Ribbon School award that goes to one tenth of one percent of the schools! Way to go, Todd and Staff and everyone who made this school what it is. No wonder the high school has the largest freshman class in history with disgruntled Wilmington parents sending their children to "Blan."

40 years ago it wasn't that way. Blan was the dumping ground of the county sitting on a 4 county line but I saw that as an advantage and sure enough, it has worked out in that favor.

The hard thing is that in ten years this could be the roaring twenties and we will be living the greatest depression.

I can't even think about that.

Change, it's here to conquer or it will conquer us.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missing Blogs

When I logged into BlogSpot today I saw 1007 posts but if I go back into the log, there are only 997 listed. I am sure I posted The first four days of January, 2009 but the log starts January 5. I know my New Year's Day first post is gone and I think 3 days after it are too. Maybe I have deleted 10 and that is the difference in the number but I don't think so and I am sure the earliest ones are missing.

I did post on BlogSpot's forum and got a couple of nice replies that made sense. I need to check back but these days the hours pass so quickly trying to get everything done.

I emailed Budde yesterday and so we have been investigating. I thought I better get my Blog Book published but still haven't heard back from Shared Book. They can only handle 1500 pictures in one book and I have published over 1900 since I started this!

That's what I get for not buying my own webspace, I don't own this bandwidth, Google does. I should have started with Word Press or hired someone to keep my own space for my intellectual property. There I go again, LuAnn,giving my property away!

That's a Laugh Out Loud around here but kind of painful sometimes when its gone and you have nothing to show for it. It comes from my nature of sharing and teaching but this is something I wanted to hang onto since I have put so much into it and gotten so much out of.

I did some scouting yesterday with my friends and we were comparing my LL beans to RR beans. In every comparison across the road in similar soil I had as many or more pods with LL than RR. The best thing was how easy mine pulled out of the soil with a 12 inch taproot hanging on with a big clump of dirt around the roots full of organic material and nodules. Those precious nodules that convert Nitrogen in the air to nitrate for my crop that fills out pods and beans.

Pod counts were 38 to 48 on the Round Up Ready beans and 48-58 on the Liberty Link soybeans although the breeding lines are different. Usually planting date makes a big difference but most of the crop couldn't be planted on time so planting dates and weather has bunched the crop closer together. I have May, June and July planting dates and the same bean is near the same pod count on all three. That is unusual.

I may not find my missing blogs but I don't want missing beans like I had last year. Behind the house I had 60 pods on a 160,000 plant stand but by the time the hot, dry summer was over I had 45 pods with one and two beans in some of those pods.

Things look better this year but we need more sunshine and rain and a delay of Jack Frost.

I was just talking about Wayne Longnecker last night at Krogers and today at lunch pulled in Jim Longenecker or Jersey Jim on NewAgTalk.

Great to meet you, Jim!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harvest Moon

Last night was a beautiful, full harvest moon. The problem is there is nothing to harvest except the garden.

The garden has been a good one this year. I picked two full buckets of tomatoes again last night. That 40 by 50 piece of land has produced over 1000 pounds of produce this year. The freezer is full of tomatoes, corn and beans and we have more tomatoes, onions and peppers to harvest. I didn't get a fall garden planted, that could produce even more.

The garden got saved this year thanks to my friend Steve who offered to come over and help me till it before we left for Pennsylvania. His big wheeled push cultivator took the weeds out of the middles and we pulled all we could in the rows. The garden took off and never looked back after that, around the first of July.

The early planted field crops need another 30 days and most of the crop needs another 60 days. It isn't going to get 60 days so it will be whatever it is to be the day Jack Frost does his job.

There is going to be a lot of wet corn to deal with in Ohio and I hope farmers are ready. I was thinking this morning I need to get a crew of LuAnn's guys in here and clean all the bins and spread insecicide. They are calling for that big Canadian cold front to really cool things off to where it wouldn't be so bad working in the bins.

The more I get done the more I think of to do. I just realized blogger said I have 996 posts instead of 1003 and I went and looked and the have deleted the first 4 posts I made. I hope someone has them on hard copy as I don't.

If any of you do, I would sure appreciate them but I should have done it myself.

I just never got around to it. Now I remember Zig Ziglar's Round Tuit wooden nickle I had 30 years ago once more.


Monday, September 12, 2011


We had a surprise thunderstorm form at 4:00 pm yesterday. I was in Blanchester and suddenly it turned dark with lightning and thunder off in the distance to the east near the farm.

The road wasn't wet until I got to the edge of the farm on SR 28 at the curve at the bottom of the hill where the newer Wisconsin Glacial Till soils start. There was a rainbow to the south and east as the sun was shining behind me.

I got home after 5 and LuAnn said it hailed for 10 minutes of pea sized hail, enough to turn the road and lawn white. That is pretty unusual for this time of the year. It was 80 degrees though so it didn't last long.

It shredded a few of the corn leaves, splitting them in half. It also blew some holes through the soybean leaves, probably bruising pods and corn kernals. I would say it was light damage but it was some damage.

The beans were a bright colored dark green with a white aura around them. I wasn't able to snap a picture before it was gone. It did push the tallest heaviest plants down so the canopy looked shorter and not as full as when I left.

I got my NEXRAD rain report for the week and it said this farm got almost an inch all week and the new farm got 1.32 inches, five miles to the east and south. It didn't have last night's rain total in it and I imgaine that added a couple of tenths to the total.

Date Total 09/05/2011 09/06/2011 09/07/2011 09/08/2011 09/09/2011 09/10/2011 09/11/2011
Bull Farm 1.40 0.60 0.15 0.17 0.40 0.03 0.00 0.05
Hershey Farm 1.10 0.52 0.08 0.11 0.29 0.02 0.00 0.08
New Farm 1.32 0.80 0.10 0.12 0.29 0.01 0.00 0.00
Home Farm 0.97 0.29 0.11 0.16 0.40 0.01 0.00 0.00
Ledford Farm 0.97 0.29 0.13 0.16 0.38 0.01 0.00 0.00
Hacker Farm 1.70 0.97 0.08 0.27 0.36 0.01 0.01 0.00

Bill is working on new tools for his website.

This works a lot better than me chasing down rainfall data from rain gauges over the area we farm.


Sunday, September 11, 2011


Are you tired of the coverage of 9/11 or can you not get enough of it?

The coverage started last week and really ramped up Friday so I didn't watch much. It's been too nice to be indoors and we will all be stuck there soon enough.

What interests me the most is all of the great things that have happened to people near those lost since that tragic day.

It's proper to honor this day that changed the world, especially in the United States. I am not sure if it should be named a National Holiday like some suggest but it did earn recognition of those who died that day and to all of those who have died in the war on terrorism since that day.

The local paper invited local response so I sent in my thoughts about that day and a picture of the Shanksville site LuAnn and I visited this summer.

A couple we know got married yesterday. Robert said he wanted it on 9/10/11 so he could always remember it. LuAnn said what are you going to do on 9/10/12 and the following years? They like to tease each other.

It was a beautiful evening for an on farm wedding. The place was beautiful and so were the people involved. The sons drove the guests on 4 seater golf carts to the courtyard where the wedding was held. The food and fellowship was wonderful and it really turned out great. It couldn't happen to two better people, either. It reminded us of our wedding day ten years ago.

Whether it was 9/10 or 9/11, it was an important, life changing day for someone.

Have a great week and a special thanks to those of you who have read all 1,000 blogs. Thanks for following me through the ups and downs of life.


Ed Winkle

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Corn Fest

After my good day in Indiana we went to the Clinton County Corn Festival last night. It was a nice evening with Hurricane Lee finally leaving the region. People were happy everywhere we went and had a good time.

The most popular thing there is all the local food booths. Every club and organization has a booth at the festival with every kind of food you can think of and its better than fair or carnival food. The profits all stay in the county.

It's the best bargain in the county, too, with a weekend pass only costing $5. Even the Highland County Fair is $8 and it is 17 miles away from the farm. The county fairgrounds is only 8 miles up the road.

As soon as I got there I spied an older gentlemen reducing his antique inventory due to his health. I bought an IH 706 in the box and a Case 600 1/16 scale model for $50 total. I didn't expect to buy anything and I don't carry enough cash with me so I have to go to the bank and get some cash and pick it up.

Next I saw our neighbor Bobby Quigley, the largest Oliver collector in the area with his 55-99 model Oliver tractors on display. This made me feel good because he used to have one row full to himself and hasn't been back to the show in years.

The antique tractor pull was going on while we ate and talked and looked at the many booths and displays.

It was a great way to end the day and start the weekend.


Friday, September 9, 2011

First Choice

I took a little trip to Rush County, Indiana today. I visited with my friends at First Choice Seeds at a dairy farm where they had corn plots planted. The old farm has had a rough year but the hybrids looked good for June 7 planting.

My new friend Mark Denzler of Denzler Seeds merged with my friend Leon Bird to form First Choice Seeds. It'a powerful match up with talents and now Mark has a whole crop of bright young people to learn the trade and grow with him.

There is no way I could buy seed anywhere else. I was never big enough to get the eye of the majors and now that I am they can't get my business because they didn't earn it when I was smaller.

I have been on him to put SabrEx on all his seed and he finally admitted today he had an order from Ohio for 700 units of seed corn IF he would put SabrEx on it so I guess he is going to learn how! Every bag of wheat he sells should have it but he's not quite on that technology bandwagon yet.

No wonder he isn't, trying to keep up with all the corn traits and herbicide programs. It has driven many good people nuts and out of business or worse. So I have to chide him on and keep proving it to him it is best for everyone.

I took soybean and corn samples with SabrEx and America's Best on the beans. I hope they were quite impressed. I came to try and start to figure out what to plant next year and they were all so good I am more confused now than when I started.

If you want really good seed and service at a fair price, give Mark a call at First Choice.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smoke Test

We always used the words smoke test when firing up a new or overhauled engine. My friend Jules sent a really good cover crop email that includes a link to a smoke test in soil where tile and cover crops were used and you can see the smoke from the Jimmy Diesel engine blowing its famous smoke into the pressurized tile and out the macropores into the air.

This is a very good email I will share with you if you are interested and I am sending it out to my contact list today. Just email me at if you would like a copy.

The email includes the introductory video also has a description of the soil pit where the experiment was performed on lake bed soils in Northwest Ohio, Williams County on the Overland farm recently. This should help the farmer, landowner and agronomist/consultant see the value of cover crops, especially in tiled land.

The speaker is Frank Gibbs of NRCS in northwest Ohio. I met him at the soils class held at the Coshocton Hydrologic Station in August. This all ties toether with my trips and blogs in August to various field days where we are trying to improve plant health through soil health. Part is physics like macropores, part is chemistry inclduing fertilizers and lime and part is biology, the tons of living organisms found in healthy soils. Healthy soil, healthy plant, healthy animal, healthy humand is the concept, just like I taught in my ag classes all my life since 1971.

Gardeners can improve their soil right now by sowing radish, wheat, oats, rye or whatever they can get their hands on into their passing summer garden. This can be plowed or tilled in to improve soil health, tilth, and structure. Farmers have already done this or soon doing this by flying cover crop seeds into stand corn and bean fields or have them up and growing where they harvested cereal crops this summer.

Its an old technique of keeping the soil covered that was never more viable or needed than today.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pink Leaves

I found pink corn leaves in a field of green corn yesterday and got a picture of it. I promptly sent it to our State Extension Plant Pathologist and he asked for samples.

We shouldn't be seeing pink corn leaves on this 90 day old corn. It doesn't match Anthracnose or any of the known corn diseases except Goss's Wilt. I will keep you abreast of what becomes of this.

We are getting tropical storm showers off Hurricane Lee as it slowly leaves the state. This is much better than Hurricane Ike that came up the Gulf and blew of roofs and barn doors 3 years ago while it scorched every plant in its path.

The weather people are calling for a chance of rain all week, 70% today and 30-40% the rest of the week. That is good news for soybean farmers, in fact, I think it is God answered prayer.

All the market prices took a tumble yesterday except for the ones we consumers buy. Gas is still $3.75 at the pump. This volatile marketplace really makes you wonder what to buy or sell and I think people and companies keep buying and selling just what they need to, if they can.

Farmers are trying to finish mowing and slowly get ready for harvest and fall soil preparation from cover crops to ripping to fertilization.

That's all I have for now, have a great day!

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Through Little Eyes

Do you remember anything from when you were two? I doubt it, few do. We got to take one of the two year old grandchildren to the Highland County Fair yesterday.

It's fun to see the world through a little one's eyes. We rode a hay wagon shuttle from the parking lot to the entrance and headed up the hill to the livestock barns.

It was all new to him so he liked them all. The beef cattle, sheep, goats, dairy cattle, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. We asked him which one he thought he would rather have and he thought he would prefer a goat. Good answer, they are easy keepers if you are an animal person and can keep them out of trouble. You know they like to chew on anything.

He really liked the pumpkins, I guess that's natural for a two year old. Round and orange is attractive but his dad and grandma barely caught him before the eggs, jar of pickles and train display were left, not in working order.

Like most guys he really liked the tractors and machinery. We had to check them all out but we found a toy candidate for Christmas, the John Deere toy string trimmer. At the Country Clipper booth the salesman asked if it was OK if he started a real trimmer and we laughed. But we let him try it and they have a trimmer that starts easy for us older folks, so easy even a two year old can start it!

He had to try that several times and we all got a kick out of it. What a sales pitch!

It was his first time to the fair and it felt like it to me by really watching what he saw for the first time, through his eyes.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Check Out

We finally got everyone checked out after the auction last night. Wow, what a day. I talked at length to people I haven't seen in a long time.

We had about 300 items, not the 700 I reported earlier so I stand corrected. It looked like 700 but it wasn't. The categories for accouting were 100 through 700 but they weren't all taken.

The H pedal tractor and the 6 bags of seed corn brought a lot of new bidders in. So did the little tractors and the neat bicycle that was donated. Bidding got fast and furious the last hour as we counted down to 7:30 last night with people standind 3 deep around the tables.

The totals should be very good as the seed corn alone brought over $700 and the pedal tractor brought $250. The other 1/16 toy tractors totaled several hundred dollars.

One buyer asked if we took plastic. No, only cash or check. I told him what I learned about plastic this week. One night I wanted some ice cream so I ran up to the Martinsville Mall and we got to talking about credit cards since I was fumbling for enough cash. I happened to ask what Discover charged them for a swipe and they told me 75 cents!

They didn't have what I wanted so I stopped at our other gas station, Marathon and asked them and they said Marathon charged them $3.00 for every swipe! Wow, that is highway robbery. No wonder Congress has been acting on credit card use charge limits.

All in all it was a great learning experience we don't need at our age but the church was in need so LuAnn stepped in and that means me too.(LOL)

That committee needs revamped for the auction to continue or it will soon fall by the wayside like so many festivals do.

Remember my blog about overworking the work horses the other day?


Sunday, September 4, 2011


Today is the church festival and the silent auction will be over when I post my 998th blog tomorrow! That's a story in itself, almost 1000 blogs in 2 1/2 years!

Someone consigned(donated) an old bicycle that goes back 70 years ago or more in the history of the church. The pastor road around on the bicycle we were told and I think LuAnn has her eye on that item for me to ride!

It has no gears and the big balloon tires on it. Since we bought her a brand new bike for $20 at a yard sale, I think LuAnn wants a riding mate! I haven't been replying to her comments on that.

It's been 50 years since I rode a bike much. I spent a lot of time on mine, a green and white Schwinn I got when I was 5 or 6 and we moved to Stony Hollow road. I remember my first long pedal down the drive on it which ended up in multiflowered rosebush! I think they pulled thorns out of me for days.

The last long ride I had was an hour a couple of years ago on our trip through Michigan to the Farm Progress Show, the year we saw Pictured Rock on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. We rented bikes and rode around the historic island at Sioux Saint Marie.

My visit to Seed Consultants paid off two as Chris donated 6 bags of elite non GMO corn hybrid of your choice. One of the church members has planted his seed since he opened. That makes First Choice, AgriGold and Seed Consultant seed available for bidding, no Pioneer or Monsanto!

It's going to be a fun day but a long day depending how this weather hits. Storms are predicted all day. I hope it isn't a washout after all this work but like I always say, you can pick your day, you can't pick your weather!


Saturday, September 3, 2011


There are going to be a lot of UFO's flying around the country, soon. Those Unidentified Flying Objects are going to be farmers harvesting their fields.

My son has become neighbor and friend of an old, old tractor pulling buddy of 40 years ago. You have to know this man and what he has been through but he is a Viet Nam vet, now organic farmer which in itself is rare around here.

They were talking about machinery and my friend said there were three brothers who were known as the three dumbest boys in the county. One became the town cop and was called to investigate a UFO in a farm field. When the first "silver seeder", as John Deere lovers called them, a gray Gleaner A was purchased in the 60's, it also had lights on it, a new feature for combines.

The farmer was harvesting on a clear, dry night and the neighbors got scared and reported a UFO in a field. When the cop got to the scene he got a few rounds off, breaking the glass out of the combine and probably scaring the poor farmer to death, too. No one was hurt but I had to laugh and laugh hard at that forty year old story.

The silent auction has been no laughing matter. LuAnn has worked constantly for 3 days now entering in all the donated items to the data base. We cart all the items to the tent tomorrow morning for bidding and wouldn't you know we are going to get a storm to break this 96 degree heat. I have no idea how this will all turn out but if we all got paid $10 an hour for this labor of love and dedication to the church, the church would have several thousand dollars right there.

I was able to get a pretty little Farmall H pedal tractor yesterday for cost at the Equipment Super Store. They already donated a Steiger and Super M 1/16 collector tractor so I couldn't beg for more so now we have a real eye catcher for that booth. I told LuAnn that is the most I have begged for donations since I was ag teacher.

The crops really need a drink and it looks like someone will get some by Labor Day.

I just hope it doesn't blow the tent down!


Friday, September 2, 2011


It's September and it's Festival Season in southern Ohio. This will continue until it's too cold to be outside.

I suppose that's the way its been since the white man settled here 200 years ago. The county fairs started as a get together to enjoy the harvest and compare farming methods. The Highland County Fair opens Sunday but we will be at the church festival.

Last night was the first time we have been involved with setting up that festival. 60 people or so showed up after 6 pm to set up all the poles and prepare to fill them with the various games and exhibits that makes the festival a draw to church and non-church attenders.

It was pretty much no nonsense and get the job done type of work. LuAnn and Judy were busy typing in all the donations and bid and value amounts for the bid sheets and envelopes. I was pretty much in the way and I quickly saw I could really confuse the matter so I wrote down all the items I could recognize in the storage room.

Last year the silent auction netted $7000 and we had no idea how this would pan out until we started inventory on everything donated. There are tons of valuable coupons for everything under the sun but the acutal items is what draws bidders eye to the bid sheets.

I still think we need a pedal tractor for a draw so I am going to see what I can do about getting one today. There are lots of new patio furniture and decorations to catch country people's eyes. I think the bird house that looks like a racoon will be one of many good bid drawing items but the farm toys will be a good draw, too.

Today we finish freezing the sweet corn and harvest tomatoes, onions and peppers if we can get it done. It feels good to have a freezer full of fresh vegetables again and the church will get the best tomatoes for the dinners Sunday. Those dinners are a very big draw to the annual festival.

It's hot again here and the crops need the growing degree days to mature even though they really need a good soaking.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Over Doing

We have always over worked the work horses in America. It's Thursday and Judy from the Silent Auction committee cakked in a panic yesterday evening. The committee consists of only her and LuAnn and me trying to support LuAnn. Sadly I had to tell her we couldn't come help after work as we were going to Columbus to hold our new grand baby, Ariana.

Grandchild number nine in our family was born yesterday at 10;49. She is a tiny little girl, 5 lbs. and 12 ounces and 18 inches long. She will be every big a joy as Finnegan who was born about a year ago.

We have finally had decent weather to work outside although it's supposed to hit 92 here again today. April and May were shot for working outside so we have been playing catch up ever since.

I have visited with over 20 farmers for one project this summer and over 100 fields for another project. I have been tired every night and just enjoyed five months of not waking up in the middle of the night.

I hope we can get this auction ready for the big church festival in little Fayetteville on Sunday and we will in some shape of form or fashion. I just hope it is one we can be proud of. We got into a lot more work than LuAnn ever dreamed it would be.

No wonder people won't volunteer for committees anymore, let alone run for office in this great country. We overwork the work horses in this country. They always said try to get the busiest people to help because they will get it done. That is ever so true but more hands make work easier to a point and I see now we needed more help.

If some younger people don't step up, we are going to continue to lose some of the great traditions based on the principles this country was built on.