Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Specialty Crops

My friend Ben in Iowa asked about growing white corn for Frito Lay type markets. My dear friend Dave in SW Indiana gave a really good response from his experience that explains in part his view in dealing with white corn.

"alfrotoxin is what we got docked for when white corn was plentiful...worked great here for 4 years, then as Bookmark stated we had to hunt for a market...At first buyers said we could always sell our white corn as yellow corn, if white corn market went down=not so...and aflotoxin was a big thing, test a trailer load and get a widley different show of damage each time, and that's the way it was...Aflotoxin varies, likes broken kernal, although we didn't have a problem meeting damage specs, 3% stress crack was normal here, but we put a lot of effort in meeting that...Not a problem but more work, some may not like that...40 cents a bushel is worth a lot more when yellow is 1.67 than 6.71...

Higher yellow corn prices makes a person rush harvest more to save ear drop and other yield loss...15 years ago the in thing for white corn was it was Non GMO...Be sure to ask a lot of questions...When they had the telephone question survey for specialty corn last year it didn't take them long to cut me off...I asked too many disappointing questions...If all suits you, get the answer to your questions on paper, on your contract, we were able to contract acres, not bushels, = big plus...

But get all important things written in the contract, you will probably be dealing with the firm that buys from the elevator altho you will never know it...The elevator will take care of themselves before ever thinking about what happens to you, and we had the best markets-elevators around, just that things don't always work out...180 degree plenum would usually dump 120 degree almost dry, important to let the hot corn sit for a day and cool it slow...

Seasons can make a difference in aflotoxin, broken kernals, and stress cracks too, 'here' there are never two seasons alike...We didn't want to have to separate our crop so we went all white corn for five years...We had it great for 3, COC wasn't the best idea either, should mention it was COC absolutely no till...

Ed said I was headed for a train wreck and it came to be true about half way into the fourth year, and hit hard in the fifth when white corn got to be the thing to do, and everybody done works if you have more questions."

My train wreck was a low yielding non GMO soybean I had on 170 acres last year. It didn't like drought stress and shucked a bunch of pods even though it was beautiful, dark green all summer. I got the $2 premium but it didn't pay for the extra chemical to control the resistant marestail and other weeds on that farm and it sure didn't cover the yield loss.

RR beans planted double crop a few weeks later yielded more and I didn't have near the expense in growing them. And, I had the wheat off the fields first for extra cash which paid even better.

We need to really watch the crops we plant and rotation of them and the chemicals used on them for top profit while maintaining and improving the farm.

Ben asked a real good question and got a real savvy response.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have used this picture LuAnn took of me behind our house as my avatar on a lot of sites. It is taken on our land, something we treasure with a beautiful crop I grew there.

"I'm guessing it was cash or close to it. They could have been growing there money with Mf global or better yet given it to there stock broker. No one will steal your land. It can be passed on to your childerns childern(with a little tax, but thats another subject) you can touch it, see it, smell it, even enjoy it on a daily basis if you like. Much more than I can say for most investments. It may well be worth half what you pay for it next year, but over time its a beautiful investment one can always be proud of. LAND"

A farmer wrote this on Crop Talk yesterday and it was so good I had to use it in my blog this morning. We have talked a lot about buying your first farm this year or the merits of owning land and I thought this summarized it nicely.

He is replying to a poster who claimed that over $10,000 per acre for a farm that sold in Illinois may be too much. Maybe it is, depending on the buyers situation but someone, at least two people thought it was worth enough to bid over $10,000 per acre for class A, prime farmland in Illinois.

In Ohio, it wouldn't bring that much unless it was an awfully prime location amongst wealthy land owners who are expanding and protecting their land base or investors who may know something about the future of that land we don't know.

The quote summarizes how I feel about land versus other investments. I can touch it, feel it, see it every day and grow valuable crops on it, something I really enjoy doing. You have to make your own conclusion, I am here to encourage you and not get you into something you don't need or want.

It is a known fact none of us are going to "take it with us," but we can enjoy it while we are here on earth and put it into hands who will take care of it as well or better than we did. "Someone farmed it before I got here and someone will farm it when I am gone."

I guess we need to talk about estate planning one of these days. That is a topic I am not prepared to tackle.

Have a good day, it is still raining in Ohio.


Monday, November 28, 2011

16 inch bin fan

Anyone got a good price on 16 inch bin fan this morning? I had one go down yesterday, blades have hit the cage a little and the bin is full of wet corn so I need to get it going today.

I have a used one laying here I never took to the shop to check out or get rebuilt so I don't have a spare. I usually try to have a spare laying around but this one snuck up on me.

The last one I bought was a year ago and it was $800 for a complete, new Brock AX-16 inch fan and cage. I wouldn't be surprised to find it is half again that much. I tweeted and facebooked my plea so I will see if any "friends" have one laying around to get me going fast until I can price a new one.

Ebay has 3 at a decent price but they are all less than 16 inch. I guess that is why they are so cheap because everything I have is 16 inch.

Another interesting day. It was an interesting weekend with Thanksgiving dinner with two other couples and the grandkids here Saturday and one staying over night. It was all good but it went too fast.

Here is a ditty for you from my friend Steve from Mark Seed, Iowa.

"# The U.S. Dept of Labor is proposing amending the Fair Labor Standards Act to increase safety requirements for young farm workers, our kids. Wallace's Farmer explains, "DOL is proposing rules prohibiting hired workers under the age of 16 from working with certain animals, handling pesticides, working in timber operations, and working in or around manure pits and storage bins.

Further, the new rules would prohibit farm workers under the age of 16 from participation in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco, and from using electronic devices while operating power driven equipment. The prohibition against use of electronic devices includes talking, listening or participating in an electronic conversation (i.e. sending and receiving text messages, accessing the Internet, or entering data into a GPS system.)

The department is also proposing a new non-agricultural hazardous occupation order that would prevent any child under the age of 18 from working in grain elevators, feed lots, stockyards, and livestock exchanges and auctions, unless their parent owns or operates the business."

It won't matter if kids took safety courses or not, disallows them from riding or let alone, operating tractors, or operating farm machinery. They couldn't help brand, castrate, herd or vaccinate livestock. The DOL has asked for public comment. We could start with, "Stay the he _ _ away from agriculture." This is exactly the sort of thing that gives the Tea Party validity and purpose. It is an overreach of government.

The EPA is being effectively beaten back from the idea of regulating agriculture. The DOL is now in need of similar lessons. Next thing you know, they will make it illegal for my 11 year old to shoot his 22. Parents are responsible for kids safety and do a lot better than the government who obviously doesn't trust them.

# 78% of U.S. families reportedly bought organic foods. . . really? They did that on purpose or by accident? 48% of families buying organic food believed it was safer. That means that they have fooled almost half the people, but not quite. It is too bad that while the economy is in recession, that consumers are needlessly spending more for organic food that could be spent to better purpose.

# The EPA never had any plans to tax cow flatulence and dropped any inklings early on of regulating farm dust from serious considerations. Yet the "myths" spread like wildfire in the country as "Yep, that's what the government intends to do." Claims that when denied one believed it. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley did a good job of bringing EPA administrators to the country to show them the folly of any plans to regulate farm activities. I think that it worked.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hybrid Striping

Bigmoe asked this morning on crop talk about hybrid striping.

"I was reading the post from last week or so on planting multiple varieties in the planter at once. I understand the reasons and why a guy would do it but was wondering if you planted an 86 next to a 90 day corn hybrid will they both benifit from the extended pollination or just 1 of them. I am thinking of trying this with a 90 and 92 day and with a 86 and a 90 day."

Here is what I replied with:
"All I know is it yields 7% more and some of my neighbors do it. I quote the 7% from old USDA research that was duplicated at SDSU and other research facilities. Grandpa did it on open pollinated corn to get hybrid corn. Dad did it with hybrid corn and I have too.

I would use nothing more than 4 days apart of different ancestry. I think you get less boost from similar hybrids planted together but I don't know. I think it helps both hybrids but it make sense that a longer pollinating hybrid needs more pollen flow. Some plant the longer season to the wind, others the shorter season. This was dubbed Operation Stripe years ago and I have done it many times, not every time.

The down side is perhaps what you bring up but more the visual of having the looks of two different hybrids in one field. Some landowners and some farmers want the field to look and yield the same. It never does yield the same, so much variation in a field and I would rather have the extra corn than the pretty looks usually but there is much to be said for one beautiful field that all looks the same.

I really care more about the extra yield but the moisture variation or one hybrid falling down and the other one not poses risks. I guess you have to weigh out the risks and make your own conclusion.

It is not all about pollen flow, every plant acts a little different with different neighbors and I have never seen weeds increase yield so you don't want to plant a weed next to your corn but it does yield more and I have proven it to myself and so have many others. There is a synergistic effect between some hybrids more than is explained by pollen flow.

That's my take on it. Try it and report back or leave it on the shelf as an idea never tried. It may explain why strip plots yield better than the hybrid does planted by itself in one field."

What do you think? Have you ever tried Operation Stripe or Hybrid Striping? Or do you want your field to all look the same? I think it comes down to that.

Living or dead cover crops have an effect on fields and most likely yields. I am trying to increase my yields, not hurt them. Striping takes a look at the one crop growing in the field and I know it does increase yield.

The idea is to increase yield, not problems in your field. The picture is one of my best looking fields ever. It didn't yield as much as the fields with different hybrids planted side by side in them.

Which do you want?


Saturday, November 26, 2011

12 row

A 12 row corn head just passed right in front of my office window. The boys are up and early this morning at 7 AM as it is just getting light outside. I saw two friends shelling yesterday as we were hauling soybeans out of bin number two.

The cart is right behind because you can't go very far without getting a bin full. That is the blessing here today. We got rain all summer and have a good crop. A couple of guys broke their all time record and I know there were some 270 bushel corn across the road.

That is the pedigree in AgriGold 6533 and LG 2620, owned by the French Seed Giant Ag Reliant. Fortunately though they sold the female in that mix to other seed companies as well as Monsanto did even though they bought Holdens Inbreds so both the male and female are "public" and other companies have that cross, too. That male is a good one and used in a lot of popular hybrids today.

I plant it as Porter Hybrids 4514. It was a good one last year and it is pretty unbeatable this year. The new "app" on LuAnn's Droid from USDA Soil Web says that soil is Russell Xenia and Crouse Miamian series and it likes that hybrid. Every soil type we have had it on says the same thing.

There is still a lot of crop out in southwest Ohio. We are all anxious to get this crop "under roof" as it keeps getting wetter and wetter with no freeze in sight. "Warm in fall, no winter at all" has taken place so far where we live.

The 17% moisture soybeans we put in bin 2 came out at 13% so using those few fall days when the temperature and humidity added to 100 or less like last night really helped the fans knock the extra water out of the beans.

I had a really rough day yesterday. Anxiety must have set in over the Holiday. I think farmers tried to enjoy Thanksgiving around here stewing over their crop while it was too wet to run so we did not work on turkey day.


Friday, November 25, 2011


"The turkey got stuffed, now we are." That's what one of my soil consultant friends tweeted yesterday. LuAnn stuffed ours with apple and celery and it stayed very moist. All I know is an 18 pound turkey is gone.

It was a good day to just rest, eat and talk. I think LuAnn finally had a turkey day she didn't go to bed exhausted. We finally paced ourselves a little better.

I wonder who is out shopping while I am writing this? Some of our kids were going to but we did not participate. That is one activity I have never taken part of. There are a few items I would like to see at the Equipment Superstore and Tractor Supply today but it is no big deal if I don't.

Tractor supply doesn't get very high ratings among farmers anymore. They have become the "dog and pony show" amongst farmers. The Cafe had a discussion on that very thing this week. Farmers can't buy much of the things they really need at TSC anymore.

A friend at the Cafe told his Thanksgiving story of where he was 43 years ago near Saigon during the Viet Nam War. Another friend asked if all the subsoil drainage tile being put in across the midwest would decrease the water in our tributaries. It is a lively discussion and just goes opposite of what I believe.

Tomorrow the kids and grandkids come for a non traditional Thanksgiving Feast of chicken shishkabobs and ribs on a grill. I am have the last blast of summer grilling before winter since the weather this year was so fickle.

So I will be heading off to Sam's Meats this morning to pick up some fresh ribs and chicken while LuAnn goes Krogering. I am out of pink grapefruit for breakfast. I think I have eaten 6 half gallons of grapefruit this month. There are about 10 whole grapefruit in one Del Monte half gallon of fruit and juice.

It's 40 degrees this morning so I think it is going to warm up and rain again. More water we don't need now but will need in August.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving is time for farmers to stop and reflect on the year they had. I am doing that this morning and wondering if you are, too.

Woodchuck posted this on Crop Talk this morning.

No-till vs. Conventionl Tillage

East central Iowa

In the last week I have had the pleasure of putting down NH3 on just short of 1000 acres. All with in 5 mile area. Let me just say, I didn't know I could burn 11 gallon/hour through my JD 4640 pulling 7 mole knives. Ground was mostly fall chiseled and worked ahead of planting corn or beans. Holy Crap, I could have run in the road and pulled with less effort.

My ground is long term notill and is like runnig on a pillow. This NH3 application was done for three diff. farmers all consideered to be good. I wish guys with big 4 wheel drive tractors would take a trip across thier fields with an old 2wd tractor and see what they are doing to the ground. The best conditions where on notill ground, Beans in sod of 5 years, 1.5 mph faster and sealed great in same gear.

My long term no-till is like running on a pillow. We won't even discuss all the G@#@@m gullys. I truly believe those ripper disk chisels, and big HP hooked to them, is a losing battle, those are just covering up real issues. Long term. PURE NO-TILL on continuos basis may not be the whole solution but Maybe some people in my region need to sell the chisel, buy some grass seed for buffer strips and waterways, buy some tile and learn how to work WITH the soil they have. According to some I may go broke no-tilling but atleast at my farm sale my tractors will still have a front axle.

O.K I'm done complaining now.



I say Voila, Eureka! He has seen the light! I have had the pleasure of digging in thousands of acres of pillow ground in southeast Iowa on farms where they have also seen the light. These farmers get good yields and refuse to farm the way the neighbors do. They are pioneers, they are innovators.

These diggings have refined my notill practices, changed my planter design and allowed me to buy a farm and expand my farming operation. I have shared the good word with as many farmers as I can from New Zealand to Maine to Russia. Literally, this message needs to be spread around the world.

To that I add, Happy Thanksgiving from me and LuAnn!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Another holiday is upon us, Thanksgiving. It is truly a time to give thanks for all we have when so many around us have less. The word holiday is derived from the words Holiday Day.

The cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people is up to a whopping $49 now according to the USDA. This was mentioned on last weekend's US Farm Report. That seems cheap to me compared to filling up LuAnn's car which I can burn in one day and not get near as much joy and good from.

Yesterday marked the 48th anniversary of the day I was sitting in the eighth grade classroom and our principal sadly came in and explained to our class that our new, young President had been shot in Texas.

The country has never been the same since and I think some people mourn the innocense lost since the 50's when we were children.

Farmers still have crop in the field here and it is hard to concentrate on Thanksgiving when your profit for the year is still out in the field. It's rained so much now Ohio is officially a mudhole and it will be tough slugging the rest of the crop out.

Farmers north of Interstate 70 are somewheat finished but there is lots of crop left in NW and central Ohio, too. The farmers that are done had a shorter crop to take out and had more drought than we did. It varies in 100 and even 10 miles.

One farmer said "they got a two inch rain 6 miles up the road and the same corn planted the same day made 50 bushels per acre more." I don't doubt he is right but that shows the power of one rain event.

We are over 60 inches of rainfall now for 2011 and have broken all recorded records. The wheat crop was poor but the beans and corn were good here. They still are if we can ever get them out.

We do have a lot to be thankful for and I am reminded of that this morning.

I hope you find reason to give thanks, too.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Small Business Saturday

There are 260 dairy calves in this little barn I took a picture of yesterday. I support small business and this is a key part of a small family farm I visited.

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday. You aren't allowed to go shop at Walmart or big box stores. If you shop you need to go to the smallest store that has the item you are looking for.

That is not the whole truth but you get my drift. It is a promotion to remind us all to support small business. Many have started in the past year in this very difficult economy and we need to give them every chance to survive and make good. Success of small business is a key to economic survival.

If you read this page you know I am pretty passionate about the little guy. We are all little guys and if we don't help one another, things won't get any better. They will get even worse. Many have given up and just accept that.

We started HyMark Consulting in 1994 and expanded our farming operation in 2004. We are small business people.

Some media keep pointing out that 47% of us don't pay taxes. I assume they mean Federal Income Tax. Others point out that the richest need to pay more. For the life of me I can't figure out how almost half our population fall off the income tax radar screen. You and I never did. I have always felt I paid my fair share of Federal Income Tax. LuAnn and I sure did last year and a few years ago.

The total of the two years is enough to put one of our grand kids through college. Most years we can live with the large amount of income tax we pay but the last ten years we have had two where we just couldn't keep that amount down, although we tried.

We are thankful we made enough to pay that much but the whole tax structure is flawed and definitely not fair. I am reminded that if life were fair, "I would be dead or behind bars," a saying I heard in a discussion this summer that had impact on me.

So remember the little guy if you shop this weekend. Tractor Supply and the Superstore have big sales on I hope to take time to look at. I am always looking for those special toys for the little ones.

If this doesn't put you in a good mood, maybe this will! It is really good. I tried it but they all just ran away!


Monday, November 21, 2011


I had to write about children today. It's been on my mind since staying with the grandchildren in Cleveland Friday night. Jesus spoke regularly about protecting and raising children and anyone dare not keep them from Him.

I have always loved children. I love being a child myself. I told LuAnn I am enjoying my childhood again through our grandchildren.

Caring for children is the most important job on earth. I saw that today when I visited a young farmer with seven beautiful children. The two oldest boys hung onto my every word and I spoke so they could understand me and gave them a lot of attention. They understood what I was talking about with soil and tissue testing, corn hybrids, manure and killing weeds.

The young farmer is not satisfied with his notill yields so he asked me to help him bring them up. I can see he is spending too much on traits and fertilizer and not enough on nutrients. His soil tests are all low in sulfur and micronutrients so we developed a plan to put them on and test for them next spring. I will teach the boys how to tissue sample the crops and guide them through adjusting the nutrient plan.

Practically every farm I work with could use gypsum as a soil amendment. Gypsum addresses the sulfur and calcium problem while increasing soil air and water movement and SO many good things. This is a brand new article I received from the American Society of Agronomy yesterday.

I suggested some corn hybrids for $120 that I know will out perform the $300 stuff he is planting. He will change his herbicide program so he doesn't have the weed blow up he had in his corn this year which reduced his yield to 100 bushels per acre. Boron will really increase his soybean yields, too.

I also got to stop and see Jim Longenecker from AgTalk. We had a great discussion but when he asked me about my radishes in wheat and double crop soybeans, he lit up and caught fire. I bet he rigs up a broadcast seeder on his Great Plains notill drill to sow radishes with his crops. We are thinking outside the box on soil biology and Jim is one of the few who can help me refine my thinking from my findings.

Take good care of those children, they are precious!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Balmy Weather

It is very balmy out this morning. The weather has been fluctuating like this all fall. I guess it is this back to back La Nina the weathermen and climatologists keep talking about.

I am trying to maximize my in bin grain drying and it is hard to do in this weather.

The temp plus humidity went to 152, dropped to 70 and back around 120 this week.

I am leaving the fans on the corn all the time "until you can jump into it to your waist like the one poster said, safety rope and two men of course.

The beans are stable around 12-13% but the corn is closer to 20% so I leave the bean bins off in high humidity and leave the corn bins on and turn the beans off.

I have one big bin with two fans on and they are mismatched, one new fan and one old and that bin howls, doesn't sound right. I think I should put one of the new fans off a bean bin on that bin and put that older fan where the new fan was and see if that stops the surging sound.

I should have had my visitors this year look at the bins when they were here but time is so short during our visits I don't get all the bases covered.

Hope this makes some sense, I keep asking and thankfully you all keep replying.

So how are things in your world? Farmers keep pecking away at these good yields but the weather changes so fast it is hard to get much done.

Rain is coming and you can sure feel it this morning.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I just returned home from the land of planes, trains and automobiles. This time it was Cuyahoga County, Ohio, or Cleveland.

One of our children bought a house there and I stayed overnight with the three grandchildren. We had a blast.

I crashed on the couch shortly after 9 PM and woke up before 5 AM to the sound of trains crossing just to the north of the house and near the lake. I guess Lake Erie's ships weren't too far away, either!

I did make it to the guest room though and the city lights and noise were far enough away to easily go to sleep.

Cleveland Municipal Airport is nearby also but the house is not in the flight path so they didn't wake me, the trains did. Interstates 80, the Ohio Turnpike and 480 are also nearby so it is easy to get to off Interstate 71.

The urban deer population is huge and of course you aren't allowed to shoot any. I could have easily hit a buck on the way home on Interstate 71 near the I-80 split. It just stood in the median watching traffic. Someone had one go feet first through a windshield this week and the hooves cut up a young girl.

The traffic was heavy into Columbus today for the Penn State Ohio State game. I feel for both teams with what they are going through. Posey may get to start today after sitting out 10 games over tattoos and jerseys.

Penn State's problems has over-shadows every sport in the country.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Organic Matter

A fellow directed a question to me, soil life and others on Crop Talk as to why he wasn't seeing his organic matter go up on his Maryland farm.

I answered the best I could but I am not sure how you communicate all these ideas via word and print.

In his rotation he is chopping off more residue than he is putting in, even though he adds manure and a cover crop to his rotation. He is on low organic matter, non glaciated soil much like I have here at the bottom of this farm on the glacial moraine.

We hear of farmers actually increasing their soil organic matter like gardeners can do but in his circumstance he can't get ahead of the game. It sounds like he must have a lot of microbial activity but the microbes are eating up what little residue he puts in his rotation to feed the next crop.

Soil is a vast, deep and interesting subject. A young farmer friend showed me an "app" for his droid connected to Soil Web that shows the soil type on your farm via the GPS connected to the soil survey. It knows where you are and looks up the mapped soil type where you are standing. I thought that was really cool.

I was surprised to see we were talking above Blanchester Silt Loam, a very low organic matter soil that is very old, over 100,000 years old the soil scientists think. It was a low area but really a higher elevation swamp and probably was a lake many centuries ago.

This location is over 1000 feet elevation above sea level. Increasing the soil organic matter on this soil would be about like the fellow in Maryland. It would be slow and difficult in one man's lifetime after centuries and eons of other practices.

That is why farming is so exciting to me, there is so much to learn and so little time. I am still learning this week so I guess you could say I had a good week overall.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chasing The Wind

One of my favorite readings is the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. It is a book of wisdom to me.

Solomon was the richest, wisest man that ever lived and learned the folly of our seeking wealth for wisdom and happiness.

This has been so evident this year as farmers raced to plant and harvest in a strong agricultural marketplace while the economies around us crumble. It feels like we chased the wind all year, literally and figuratively.

I knew there was some preventive planting west of me where it rained hard on even wetter soils but yesterday I saw thousands of acres of radishes and peas planted on those old Clermont Silt Loams! What a crop and what a stink it is going to be when those things die in a few weeks.

I teased some of the farmers about the stench they are going to have to explain and their answer was nothing seems to make the neighbors happy so we guess this is just one more thing we will have to go through. One said he gets a visit from the Ohio Department of Agriculture every time he does and operation on his farm behind a certain house.

I could smell the gases from the radishes as they are approaching maturity and going to seed just before they will freeze and die. When they die though there will be a few days of really smelly gas emitting from those fields. Grandpa said if you run out of manure, and no one had enough to ever cover all their ground, then plant a green manure crop!

That's what these guys did and I think they have set themselves up for some great notill crops next year. I would notill corn on every acre of radish and peas but soybeans would do fine too if it gets late for corn. This year it never got late and even corn planted in July made great silage. Who would have guessed?

Today I am reminded to do my chores and make my visits without chasing the wind. I have a good message to discuss on resistant weeds that is timely and profitable for both parties. This is another way HyMark Consulting can serve its clients and friends.

It is easy to get caught up chasing the wind, just like Sable chases her tail some days but today I won't do that and enjoy the friends I get to visit with.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We went to Brynn's Fall Preschool Program last night. Once again, the auditorium of the biggest church in Wilmington was packed. There is one larger, a mammoth church just outside city limits.

The little ones were all dressed by class as Indians, Pilmgrims or Turkeys. It was a pretty cute program and I think every person came out happier than they went in which is really good for any get together.

They got every one to sing words off the screen to My God to the tune of My Girl by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The whole program couldn't have come off any smoother and I am sure the teachers and children are talking about it this morning.

I was looking over rebate programs for bundling agricultural products we farmers use. Does anyone like rebates? I don't think I have ever met anyone who does. They always seem to want to bundle some product I don't use but occasionally they do.

I probably bought enough products the last three years to get rebates but I really never paid much attention to them. I have enough difficulty just focusing on the big picture of making a profit by raising good crops and rebates just destract me from that.

Still, I am looking as $250 here and $250 there soon add up to real money. Once again the big picture in farming is marketing and anyone who didn't sell some corn and beans the day they were $7.11 and $14.22 this fall really missed out on some sales. It seems like you never have enough to sell on those kinds of days.

I am also narrowing down my corn hybrids for next spring. I can get one pedigree I want with the seed treatment I need for under $150 per unit. I need at least three and want no more than five different hybrids to deal with.

One larger farmer/retailer I know is closer to $100 a bag so again quantity matters.

It's hard to plan and focus though when you still have crop in the field.

So it is in farming.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I spent the day talking about glyphosate resistant weeds yesterday. Many farmers are still in denial whether or not they have them and I can assure them they are here and will get worse.

So what do you do about them in soybeans? The easiest answer is LL soybeans. They really worked. I had no typical resistant weed issues with LL soybeans this year. I had very good yields. I have pictures of fields that "crashed" in this area this year like there are all over the south, east and midwest.

Marestail is very difficult to kill here under any system but Liberty Link. There was not enough time to spray 2,4-D this year and even if you did, could you get a good kill? I didn't see anyone who did.

If you used a full rate of residual, you could have planted non GMO soybeans and gotten a premium. I got an email yesterday that a friend demo'd a new yellow CNH combine with MacDon head for a farmer near Bloomingburg and he got 87 bushels per acre and a $1.50 non GMO premium on top of that! Talk about hitting the soybean lottery, that would be it!

I did well but I didn't do that well. I did control all my broadleaf weeds with Ignite. I had no resistant Marestail, Lambsquarter, Giant Ragweed or Common Ragweed. I had some grasses and continue to learn how to control them.

If you are sitting on the fence and don't think you have resistant weeds, think again. If you don't have them, you will if you continue a RR program without residual chemical and any breakthrough weeds will enlarge the patch of resistant weeds.

It is easier to take measures to control them now. I took this picture just down the road from one of our farms. I think that farmer is in denial.


Monday, November 14, 2011

70 And Windy

LuAnn made it home safely and had a great week with her family. I even got a call from her mother thanking me for giving up my wife for "the best week in her life." That is awesome, but it was not easy!

I got by "baching" for a week but I don't like it. I can see why seniors get in trouble when their mate passes. It is hard to make yourself cook for one. I got tired of diners, shopping, and cooking. That's to make me appreicate all she does even more, doesn't it?

LuAnn is off to work and I need to get to work. Looks like a chance for severe weather this evening as another storm system blows through. I hope it isn't too bad for chance for heavy rain and damaging winds. That is never fun here on the hill.

Living on a hill sure has its challenges but so does any place. Some places are just easier to get by with than others. My old house was on the flats and kind of blended in with the topography. This place sticks out like a sore thumb or a proud showplace depending on the weather. 1120 feet is higher than normal elevation around here. Good place for a cell tower or a wind turbine, but we've already been through that in past blogs.

It's Tuesday morning and the storm blew through with walls of water last night. I don't know how much we got yet but I know some places got over an inch.

There were tornado watches out near by. Old saying is "warm fall, no winter at all." I don't know if that will be true or not this winter as it is only a few weeks away by the calendar. Nothing blew away yet that I know of but I guarantee you there are dead Pecan limbs laying in the yard this morning.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Five Talents

Todays sermon was from Matthew 25 about the servant who was given five talents. He went out and traded and doubled the gift to ten talents. Another servant was given two talents and also went out and traded and doubled his gift. But the third servant was fearful of his master as he knew he never sowed where he reaped and buried his gift in the ground. He was "tossed to the wolves" where there is weeping and gnashing or grinding of teeth.

The pastor said there were two kinds of people in this story, risk takers and care takers. He asked us which are we?

I have always been a risk taker and I think every farmer is. I took a risk planting those 4.1 soybeans July 2 thinking they would be mature enough to cut by now. They aren't. So I have tried my own patience taking this risk and have to wait a little longer, even risking the entire crop on that farm.

We dare not reap where we have not sown though in a literal sense as we can always do better with what we have and what we plant. I see I could have this year. But nothing ventured is nothing gained. I have gained much by taking calculated risks but risked failure when my calculations were wrong or I just went a did it without thining it through first.

There is much to think about in this parable as there is throughout the Bible. We all bury something in the ground for retirement but what do we have to show for it? If it was stocks or mutual funds, we took a big loss 3 years ago. So is our real God given talents. We dare not hide them under a rock or bury them for no one to see.

The moral of the story for me today is we are all in this together and we can only make it by helping each other. It's almost Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for. Our church has barrels at the back of the building to put canned goods and non perishable items in for those less fortunate than us. Most churches have done that in one way or another since their inception and it was never more needed than it is today.

We take risks and the harvest bears its fruit. Some harvests are better than others but we all have something and if we don't, we need to go find it.

I hope we both find ours today and give thanks for it.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beans Won't Cut

You would think one of these $400,000 combines would cut anything, wouldn't you? Guess what, they won't!

We are down to 50 acres of double crop soybeans left. I have been waiting for weeks to try and get them out before it gets any wetter because this farm is flat, Clermont Silt Loam, Illinoian Glacial Till, commonly called crawl dad ground around here.

I planted the rest of my 3.9 LL seed and a 4.1 I used last year around July 2. They grew well and looked really good all year but I had problems killing foxtail in all my double crop soybeans. It was sprayed with generic Select or Clethodim herbicide with the Ignite or new foumulation of Liberty herbicide. My fall panicum problem came back on me, too.

It's like the plants froze in time the first frost and all the leaves are still on the plant and they are really tough. The sickle bar will barely cut them off and they won't feed properly through the machine. So I have around 50 acres of valuable soybeans still sitting in the field after waiting and waiting.

I could second guess myself on what I did but they are what they are and I can't change a thing now but wait and get them when they will cut. Another lesson learned and farming is one big lesson after another. No wonder some farmers don't change practices much. I experiment on my farm before I recommend it to someone else.

The combine was able to cut the beans that had the radishes in them when the soybeans were planted and they yielded really well. They were making near 70 bushels per acre on the monitor but I haven't weighed them yet. They loosened up the ground a little but I think they had more impact on plant growth and pod set. I wonder if that was because of some nematode control from their root gases. These radishes never cease to amaze me.

I would rather have the whole farm finished, though. It's been a really tough year and for me it isn't over yet.


Friday, November 11, 2011


Some are making a big deal of 11.11.11, today's date expressed digitally. This is the first time in history most people connect 11.11.11 with a date in history. I don't even use dots or periods in dates, I use dashes or hyphens when I write the date that way.

11 November or 11 Nov is more like how this date has been written over the centuries. And remember, most people could not even write until very recently in the past 2000 years.

It is an important date to me though as we honor American Veterans today. I would not have the freedom to write this blog today without the sacrifice of millions of soldiers the past 235 years. I don't take that lightly and that is the primary reason I voted Tuesday. I want to keep these freedoms for my children and grandchildren and generations beyond.

It is also a significant day for LuAnn and I. 12 years ago today she made her first trip to my home and we started dating every weekend until we were married June 22, 2001. Happy Anniversary, LuAnn! She has been in Phoenix all week with her mother for her brothers 60th birtday.

So I have been "baching" it all week and trying to leave the place better than she left it Saturday. I think I did pretty well except that big wind blew the smoke out of the chimney into the house and it smells like woodfire inside the house. A friend helped me clean the house yesterday so it doesn't look like the house she first saw in 1999.

It's 29 degrees outside with a breeze so it is really chilly. It was 18 degrees in 1973 and 76 degrees just a few years ago so you can see the highs and lows in this area this time of year.

Election day is over thank goodness and Drew Hastings is now the Mayor of Hillsboro so everything is right in the world(sarcasm intended.)

We hope to finish soybeans today or tomorrow and concentrate on corn. I need to get a picture of two soybeans I saw, one loaded with marestail that probably cost 20 bushels or near half the yield. The other has some marestail in it and shows the problem worsening over clean fields to the tune of around 5 bushels loss per acre.

It looks like the heavily infested field only had glyphosate on it and perhaps the lesser infested field had 2,4-D sprayed this spring or a residual chemical at planting time.

Neither one is acceptable and it confounds me why some farmers keep using the RR soybean system when glyphosate no longer controls their weed problem.

That's the way it is Martinsville, Ohio, November 11, 2011.

Thank you veterans, sincerely, I can never repay your particular sacrifice but I can do my part.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making Amends

The first thing I had to do this morning was go make amends to two dear friends.

I gave an interview this summer to a lady I trusted. I rarely turn down interviews to get out the good message on agriculture, notill, conservation, cover crops or whatever the subject is that I have some experience in.

I haven't seen the article yet but I was informed that it had misinformation in it. I don't know how it happened and it really doesn't matter, it happened and two friends didn't get credit for their ideas.

Another good friend read it and called to congratulate me and thank him for business I sent his way thanks to this blog. I told him to read the big message but some of the details were incorrect.

I really trust my circle of friends and they have to be able to trust in me. When something is not the truth and I find out, I must stop and address it immediately. Is it true, accurate and best for all parties involved?

Life is full of amends because we are humans and we make mistakes. We must see those mistakes when they come to us and try to improve upon them. That is what I do in making amends as I don't want anyone carrying around resentments about me when I can correct the issue when I find out about it.

Amending soil is about the same way. It is not perfect but it is the substance of life. Without soil, we as humbans would have no life as we know it. We haven't perfected aquaculture or space travel yet so our food comes from the soil.

Our spiritual food, peace and happiness comes from doing the right thing.

I did the right thing this morning and I hope you do, too.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We have had a few good days now. I got the dirt piles on Horshoe Road flattened out thanks to Jack Ficke at Terra Excavating. There was more sod in there then we expected so some of the piles didn't flatten too well and will need more work. It is amazing what we can do with his Caterpillar style Bobcat.

We got a tree moved and some holes filled but there are several tile holes or "blow outs" to repair. I want to dig into them just to see the soil, how the old tile was installed and which way it runs.

I don't need rain and no one around here does but if I get some, it might get my dormant rye seeding started I sowed with the fertilizer. That could be good or bad but I imagine most of it will peak through in March after the snow melts. If this year is anything like the last two, and it sure acts like it is, there will be snow on at the end of winter.

But who knows, the last thing I can do is predict the weather, I just have to spot trends and work with it. That is why farmers are working so hard to get their late crop out in Ohio. Some have made really good progess and I assume that is most but I don't know anyone who is finished.

The harvest has been slow enough I haven't heard a problem with lines at the elevator anywhere in the country. Of course you guys in the midwest are finished and already planning for next year. We aren't but still doing some planning and not running into any real snafu's.

We are thankful for this decent weather and the low amount of rain predicted this morning then it will get down to freezing again tonight.

Time to fire up the woodstove!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NoTill and Biology

A college student emailed for permission to use my picture of the Mr. Young NoTill plaque that stands in Kentucky. It is amazing how the Internet and blogging has changed the exchange of information.

A farmer called last night asking if it was OK to put soybean inoculant on his fall cover crop seeding. Some farmers inoculate their winter wheat seedings to help improve inoculation of the double crop soybeans they are going to plant next summer after wheat harvest.

I would prefer to have some soybean seed with the mix to get them up and growing in Virginia or Ohio but it is getting late. Today is our last warm day before the temperatures really drop again.

Our friends in Missouri are having their cover crop field day today. It is raining there so I wish they had better weather but any day is a good day to talk cover crops. Steve Groff had his in SE Pennsylvania last week and I haven't heard a report yet but I know it is always good.

Alan from DelMarVa is in Phoenix for a talk where Dr. Jill Clapperton is speaking. She is a farmer authority on soil microbiology, something farmers know very little about. Her talks are always revolutionary.

Maybe I will add more tonight but the sun is up and it is time to get crackin'.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Crazy Day

It's two more crazy days here before the rain hits again. More beans and corn are gone. The fertilizer man was real happy to see me this morning with checkbook in hand, too happy in fact.

I have some fields that call for 200 MAP and 200 Potash plus ammonium sulfate, zinc and boron and you get $200 per acre in dry fertilizer in these fields! That's a lot of money to me but I own them so I will never meet my yield goals if I don't follow my soil test recommendations.

I did a good job probing those fields and feel confident with the recommendations. The farm I spread 2 tons of high calcium lime on last fall actually went DOWN a little in pH which means little to me but calcium level went up and I had a good crop on it. It is there and will be released the more I farm it the next few years.

Think about it, if I spread the materials on top they only moved an inch or two in the profile. If I am probing 12 inches deep, the product amount is diluted in my sample. I would have to probe 3 inches deep to find the product applied and the data wouldn't mean much to me. I have done that before and only do it when I am looking for stratification of nutrients. I know I have them here as I did it that way. Each crop will get more of that product as the soil chemistry changes with the biology.

The phone is ringing off the hook so I will try to write more later. Please post comments and questions. I will be so glad when election day is over tomorrow so I don't have to sort good calls from bad.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


It's Sunday and a great time to list my gratitudes.

We have been talking farms all week so I am happy to be a land owner and still have the health and interest to farm it. We had a real trying year in Ohio but God took something bad and made something really good from it.

Local farmers are happy to have this break in the weather to hit the harvesting hard. More soybeans are gone each day and hopefully one of these days we will be done. I would be very happy to have that last farm harvested before the next rain.

It is windy and sunny and the temperature and humidity are less than 100. The fans have been running on the bins ever since that happened Thursday. This means we are getting more natural drying of the crops left in the field and every point of moisture lost in corn means another 10 cents or so profit from not having to dry it or take the dock which is higher.

I am very blessed with my wife and family. I am happy that Becky and her young family is in there new home as the church and other movers help them get everything situated. The little girls as we call them have a new black lab puppy they named Stella. I am sure Sable can't wait to meet her!

We are blessed with all have health and income during troubling times when so many don't have one or the other or both. We pray for those people and trust things will turn around for them quickly.

An old dear friend passed away on Matt's birthday Thursday and I met him because of Matt's pending birth in 1976. We were looking for a church home and found it at Marathon United Methodist Church. He is the third close friend from that church that I have lost in the last 10 years.

If Bill isn't in Heaven, most of us don't have a chance as they say. I can tell you he is there, waiting for the rest of us. I remember when he helped the pastor baptize the two boys in the creek beside his house. We cooked many pancake and sausage breakfasts Easter Sunday over the years and all sorts of fun activities. He is sorely missed, no doubt, but left a legacy of belief and works to prove it.

I have great gratitude for everything and no remorse about anything. That's a real good place to be on a sunny Sunday.

I don't like the time change but I don't make the rules, I just try to follow them.

Have a great day and a good week all,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soil Sampling

Before I bid on a piece of land to buy or rent, I really want soil test data. Soil testing is not exact but it is the best tool we have to start raising crops and gardens. Very few people I know do this though before they bid and you would be shocked by the amount of farmers and gardeners who never soil test.

Keep sampling easy. You can do it with a good spade or shovel. The basic concept is to take a representative sample or slice of soil in several spots in the garden and I like about one sample per acre in a field as a starting point. Slice down to plow depth or 6-8 inches deep and put that slice in a clean bucket. You can pry the soil over easier with a spade to get your thin slice.

An easier and more accepted way is to buy or borrow a soil probe. Probes come in many styles but they take a one inch or so round core as deep as you push the probe into the ground. The probe I am using now you can buy from Gempler's or other supply stores for about $100. It is stainless steel, takes 12 inch deep samples and has a foot peg to help you get those last few inches of tighter soil.

If I sampled 40 acres I have 25-40 probes of soil in the bucket. I air dry them if they are damp like they are here today and then crumble each core into loose soil. Thoroughly mix the soil which is generally darker near the top and lighter colored near the bottom. Fill the soil sample bag to the fill line and carefully mark the bag to match the paperwork you send in.

Most labs give the kits away to get your business. Mine comes in boxes of 100 sample bags and recording sheets from Midwest Labs in Omaha, Nebraska. You can call or order online or take it to your lab if it is nearby like Spectrum Analytic here in Washington Court House, Ohio.

I use Midwest as it uses the same chemical extraction method my former lab did, the ammonium acetate extraction. Most labs use Mehlich III extraction now but I prefer the older method. It costs $12 instead of $6 but the information is a little more exact. Either one is fine. The main thing is do it because it helps you budget and raise better crops!

This week might be the last week we have to get this done in decent weather so get it done, now. If you use Midwest, just write down my account number 11085, HyMark Consulting LLC and I will get a copy of the report. You can call or email me and we can discuss the results.

If a farm needs $200 per acre in lime and fertilizer over those that need $100 worth per acre, it makes a big difference in you budget and your expected yield. "Don't guess, soil test!"


Friday, November 4, 2011


Before we get into insurance today, I have a report on the expected increase in land taxes in the county due to reappraisal. It looks like my assessment of taxes going up on farmland due to reappraisal was right on.

Insurance has been an important part of our farm operation. When we bought this place in 2004, I had my lifelong company Nationwide assess the property and recommend a policy that seemed what we wanted but was very expensive. The quote was so high I asked around to see who the neighbors used and I was recommended to Ron Trusty at Trusty Insurance in Wilmington.

He came to our farm and walked the property and came up with an even better policy at about half the quote from Nationwide. Upon further verification, we decided to buy our policy from Ron Trusty. It was a good move.

We had a tornado hit our farm on Good Friday of 2006. It lifted the garage off the pad and destroyed it and most of the barn doors and damage the roofs. I spent the entire summer cleaning up from that storm and working with the contractors who put each piece back into place. It was very tedious work but the property came out in even better shape than before the storm. Ron came the morning after the tornado and assured us everything would be OK and after several months, it was. You don't repair that kind of damage in a week or two.

Then in September of 2008 Hurricane Ike blew through the Ohio Valley and we had similar damage to the tornado. This time it was easier as I found better contractors but the damage total was about the same, over $30,000 each time. Ohio Mutual Insurance paid every penny through the work of our agent, Ron Trusty. I was so impressed I even gave my crop insurance business to him.

Nationwide had insured me since I was 18 so it was a big move for me but it was the right thing to do. Every time I see one of those catchy Nationwide is on your side commercials I am glad it is Trusty on my side. The man earns hisname.

Look at the picture. Tornados are strange storms. See how the garage is pushed in but See Rock City wasn't touched.

The moral of the story is to insure your property carefully. Know who you are dealing with. Compare prices and service and beware the big companies where you can fall through the crack. That happened to me with Nationwide when I was nearly killed by a dump truck on the Norwood Lateral in 1994. My truck was not totaled out and was never the same that day I bought it and was driving it home.

I have written on these stories in the past so don't be afraid to go dig in my archives. I have been finding some amazing stuff myself!

Tomorrow we need to go over soil sampling again before you buy or rent that farm.


Thursday, November 3, 2011


Wouldn't you know I would write a story about buying your first farm and I get a tax notice that day saying "your property has been reappraised and your taxes are going up!"

How can that be after the record housing market value slide the last two years? Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't.

The statements said our farmstead has gone down in value in the reappraisal, but our land values have went up! Actually they were both very close to the same, within 5% but the big question is CAUV value. The CAUV land value more than doubled since the last appraisal.

My Ohio readers and farm owners and buyers might want to read that link to our Clinton County Auditors statement on CAUV as our taxation on farmland is surely going up, it looks to be over double the last bill we paid if I read this correctly.

How much will this affect our tax bill? I don't know yet. I can call the Auditor's office or attend one of the five informational meetings around the county this month. One landlord warned me of this months ago, so he must have gotten his notice earlier.

Our taxation on this valuation is low compared to other states but even when taxes are "low" and then double, it brings a red flag warning. If you don't pay those taxes and get in arears too far, the land will eventually be sold at sheriff's sale at the courthouse to pay the taxes.

That reminds me of our family's tenant farm that had been past down to the grandson and his cousins, aunts and uncles and he had to file bankruptcy on apartment buildings he owned. To satisfy his debt, the home farm was going to be sold at sheriff's sale, even though he just had partial ownership in it. Our family was able to work with the other heirs and buy it outright before it sold at auction.

It is clear that housing values have went down but agricultural land prices have went up, even sky rocketed in some states. They have not in economically depressed states like Ohio.

Another thing has always been clear, death and taxes. Setting up ownership in a new purchase like a farm and getting your estate in order afterwards to meet your goals after you are gone is very important. Many people miss that and it is evident in this community as one farm family is going through it after the death of the father and the unexpected death of one of the sons.

Tomorrow we need to talk about insurance. "Keep the cards and letters flowing." I do appreciate the comments, emails and phone calls.

This keeps this interesting!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Buying Your First Farm

How many of you own your own farm? That would be an interesting statistic of my readership. One of you emailed that you want to own a farm and another emailed saying you bought one!

I wanted to own farm land since I was a child. We were tenant farmers so ownership seemed a long ways away. It was for me, Age 54 before we bought our first real farm! I can tell you the feeling of ownership is priceless compared from looking at the outside in.

A farm has been described as anything from an acre to 25 acres in some states. Most governments consider a tract of 10 acres or more as large enough to meet CAUV, or Current Agricultural Use Valuation, or $2500 or more farm income per year.

To me, 50 acres is a farm. 100 is larger, 200 acres is large enough for some diversity between fields and crops and livestock. Everyone has their own opinion.

Once you have decided you want to own a farm, how do you do it? Of course it takes money so $50,000 saved may not be enough to get you started. Our bank and many banks require 50% cash on bare land so 100 acres at $5,000 an acre would require $250,00 in cash or assets the bank can take a lien on for the loan.

Then figure your payment-$250,000 at 5% interest for example, on a fixed 30 years lowan is a lot of money. Taxes and insurance adds some cost but are negligible to me compared to the payment. I have to pay the payment first and I have to pay the real estate taxes second.

To be more exact, if I borrow $250,000 at 5% interest amortized over 30 years, annual payments would be around $16922 principle and interest. Total interest paid over the life time of the loan would be $238,770 or $7959 average per year. Total principal paid would be $250,000 or $8333 average per year.(Thanks, RS)

You probably can't rent that ground for $40,000 acre a year in my example but you can rent it for half that amount. If you are old or young, the payment is doable in today's economics. The difference in my situation is the cost of ownership, investing in something that is going to retain its value or increase over time. It is a good business decision for me today but remember that a five percent margin of profit is traditional in agriculture. "They aren't making any more of it" but you don't want to buy in a bubble, either.

I don't think we are in a permanent bubble where prices will stay deflated for a long period of time but I don't know either. Land was "cheap" when I started in 1971 but few had money to buy. The numbers have changed but the situation hasn't. Not that many people have the money or inclination to invest in land now but enough do that we have seen record high farmland prices in Illinois and Iowa, the two prime farmland states.

We have friends who have first right of refusal on 160 acres at $9100 per acre. It is prime farm ground, some of the best in the world and rents are as high as $400 per acre in that area. Because they are lifelong farmers and have little debt, they can borrow the needed funds at less than 4% interest. They will probably never get this chance to buy land adjacent to theirs. Thankfully, farmland is not quite that high in Ohio.

The main thing is to do your homework and build a network of people you trust. That includes your banker, a real estate agent, perhaps a consultant like myself who can help you sort out the right property for you.

Finding that property is the challenging but exciting part for me. We looked hard for two years before we bought this farm and now it is our home. Location, buildings and soil were important to us and we found the right combination for us. Great location, good soil and good buildings that needed some repair.

I am very excited for our two readers and it brings back the good memories of the past seven years here in Martinsville.

Comments and email are appreciated as we all work to help each other in our common interest, the farm.

I am thankful I am where I am but wish I could have started a little sooner like our two readers. I will be sharing more about our experiences over the coming days.

Best Wishes,

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

61 days

There are only 61 days left to this year! What a year it has been too, with rainfall and consecutive 90 degree days tied or broken. I think most of us want to put this year behind us but we aren't ready for winter, either.

Some people shelled corn yesterday and others cut soybeans. It was plenty damp for either operation with beans around 15% and most corn well over 21%. Everyone recognizes though our chance of getting a good harvest streak is reducing every day and soon winter will be here.

I am still hoping for a good week of Indian summer but every week that looks like it has some rain thrown in. Maybe that is the best we will get.

One of my young friends told me the zinc he priced was high so I mentioned he might post it on Crop Talk and sure enough another friend sold him some product at an affordable price he couldn't find in his neighborhood.

Like most soil test results I have read this fall he need, P, K, S, Zn, Mn and B on his fields. 300 lbs of these blended nutrients is about $110 per acre in my neighborhood and that is total spread, not total nutrients. That 33-52-60-21-1Zn-1Mn-1B for me, for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and the 3 micro nutrients.

Those fall seeded radishes are getting some size and storing all of those valuable nutrients. I wish I had them on every acre but I don't.

We had trick or treaters and guests last night and another full day. Today looks like another full day so I better get working on it.

Have a great day and God's Blessings to you all.

Ed Winkle