Friday, August 31, 2012

Quite The Trip

We have been blessed with many trips across our great land but this one was special because we included our neighbors to the north, Canada.

We had hoped to camp in Alaska earlier this month but we got to figuring up and we did not have enough time to go and get back in time for all the things we have planned in September.

September is one of our favorite months with the Highland and Brown County Fairs, the Corn Festival, Farm Science Review, and many more fun activities. We also have many grandchildren now and it is hard to be away very long from their birthdays and activities.

So, we headed west two weeks ago across Indiana and Illinois to our friend Keith Schlapkohl's farm near Stockton, Iowa. I have mentioned his 200 pod soybean plants to many friends and forums. They are awesome. I always learn something in Iowa.

Then we headed north up Interstate 380 to Minnesota where we caught Interstate 94 this time, a little farther south of US 2 we took once but north of 90 we have taken more often. The biggest thing we noticed was the oil business and they have baled every sprig of grass across the north, even the little drainage area's off the cloverleafs. I mean everything is baled.

We did not have the insect problems in Minnesota and North Dakota we usually do and Montana is always big sky country. I don't see how anyone could not like Montana except for a few who have to tough it out there in the winter. This time we caught Teddy Roosevelt National Park in the badlands before we got to Montana. It has a nice 35 mile loop through it and we enjoyed every minute of it.

The next day we got to Livingston, Montana where we met an old friend for lunch and camped that night at beautiful Steelhead Lake at the west base of Glacier National Park. We could have easily stopped right there and headed home today.

Instead, we crossed Going to the Sun road across Glacier and did not mind the one lane road construction that backed things up. Sitting at 5000 feet looking at that National Park is no bad deal for me and we had lunch up there, too.

We found the campsite we camped at 11 years ago but headed to the new visitor center on the east side. We crossed over to Alberta for the first time and viewed the Canadian Praire full of wheat and swathed down canola, mile after mile. We camped at Daisy May and celebrated at A&W Root Beer. That 5 oz sirloin is a tasty meal!

We visited Calgary for the first time, though we missed the big crowd at the 100th annual Stampede in July and found the campground where you camp and they take you to the Stampede. That would be the way to do that for us. We drove on to the Banff and the Canadian Rockies and camped at Jasper National Park.

I will stop right there for now as I downloaded a picture from the Xyboard we took. That is enough for tonight.

Happy Labor Day Weekend, America!

Ed Winkle

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Field Day Frenzy

We got to visit two of the sites for Field Day Frenzy in Iowa and Minnesota. If you can thre next week, I very highly recommend that you do. It could be the most important day ever off your farm or business.

You will get to see what I saw and here what I know. Things are going to change vastly in this country and we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg with this drought this summer and the weather pattern that has already broken some farmers the past three years.

The Entity is real and is rearing its ugly head but there is a bandaid for it. That may be all you need to get through the challenging times ahead. Each field day will present the problem and how it is being handled at this time by one group. I saw the results and it works. I hope it works for a long time.

Click here to view the Field Day Frenzy brochure.

September 4th from 9am - 3pm: 1st Annual FHR Field Day
2510 Highway 63 NE
Stewartville, MN 55976 map

September 5th from 9am - 3pm: 4th Annual Mike Lewis Field Day
2471 340th St
Osage, IA 50461 map

September 6th from 9am - 3pm: 7th Annual KV Mud Creek Field Day
24956 20th Ave
Stockton, IA 52769 map

Featured Speakers:
Dr. Don Huber Keith Schlapkohl Jeff Littrell
Dr. Arden Andersen Dr. Michael McNeill Rob Heyen
9:00 am Dr Don Huber
Corn struggles in the last 3-4 years? What is going on with GMO crops?
Bring corn and or soybean samples for Dr. Huber to review.
9:30 am Dr. Arden Andersen
Farming, let's get back to basics
10:00 am Rob Heyen
Risk management (crop insurance) tools that work.
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Dr. Michael McNeil
Corn Germoplasm
11:30 am Jeff Littrell
Product review
12:00 pm Lunch
12:30 pm Keith Schlapkohl
Review from the field
1:00 - 3:00 pm Plot tours and in field discussion

Thanks to our sponsors, there is no cost for this event when you pre-register
by August 22, 2012!

Phone: (877) 907-1444
Fax: (507) 533-1058

Don't worry about the August 22 date, that will be taken care of. Just be there and get up to speed what others have found out.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Entity

I have a clearer idea of what is wrong with corn now. Dr Huber calls it "The Entity." That is a good description of it at this point. Dr Andersen thinks it is bacterial and viral in effect.

"The cause-effect relationship between high reproductive failure and this new microbial entity has been established, but the research has not yet been published. The reason for the delay is because they really do not know what the organism is… It’s not a fungus. It’s not bacteria. It’s not a mycoplasma or a virus – it’s about the same size of a small virus; you have to magnify it from 38 to 40,000 times. They have pictures of it … You can see the interactions with it. They can now culture it. It’s self-replicating and cultured. It doesn’t grow very well by itself.

“What is known is that it’s an entirely new entity, previously unknown to science, and it’s definitely found in genetically engineered corn and soybeans. It’s also been established that it causes infertility and miscarriage in cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and poultry. … We can anticipate with that broad spectrum of animal species, which is extremely unusual, that it will also be with humans. We’ve seen an increasing frequency of miscarriage and a dramatic increase in infertility in human populations in just the last eight to 10 years.”

These findings are not some conspiracy theory, this is science. Let us see if Congress or USDA steps up to the plate and decides to do something quickly rather than let things proceed according to the whims of errant men of business trying to make profits and avoid any mention of wrongdoings to protect those profits rather than simply correct what is wrong. You would best advised to do some research on GMO food, infertility and this organism, and make dietary changes accordingly if you want to have kids in the future without fertility treatments. Who knows what else it is doing?"

More on this later.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


We are in a corn field in Minnesota for the night.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Voyagers National Park

We got visit Voyagers National Park today. It is a long way from anywhere. We are north of Duluth.


Sunday, August 26, 2012


We made it to Yorkton in the high winds yesterday. Whenever the road turned south a bit, it felt like it was taking the camper right off the truck. It's a good thing it is securely attached to the truck frame.

Today we drive to Winnipeg and start our way back down to the states. I would like to see Voyagers National Park if it isn't too far out of our way.

God Bless you all on Sunday, we feel very blessed.


Saturday, August 25, 2012


We drove though high winds today across Saskatchewan. It felt like an inland hurricane like we had in September, 2008 when Hurricane Ike blew across the midwest. Thankfully it was not that severe.

The oil and grain business is booming in the province. The oil towns are crowded and the country side is golden wherever they can raise grain.

It gets 40 below zero in this area. I couldn't live here, I am not tough enough. For an August day it was very cool for us "southerners."

Gasoline is $1.25 per liter in this are and the lowest we purchased was $1.10 in Alberta. Food is about a third higher than what we are used to from restaurant to grocery store but I would say beef is a better buy here than in America.

We shopped at a Sobey's last night and it was beautifully laid it with fresh food. It was very attractive and looked more like a European store but the cost came with it.

We are having a good trip but today was a little unnerving. It is no fun to drive a truck and slide in camper through high winds.

Have a great weekend,

Ed and LuAnn

Friday, August 24, 2012


Alberta is beautiful with all the swathed grain to the Canadian Rockies. The Rockies near the ice fields is crazy traffic but we got through unscathed and got some good pictures I hope to show later.

Most of the grain is swathed, especially Canola, but some is direct cut like we do in the states. Not much swathing done in the states as we are in a different environment and the weather will usually cure the crop standing in the field.

It is interesting to hear the talk of farmers selling their own wheat instead of through the Canadian Wheat Board as they did in the past. Farm management has obviously changed in Canada.

It is almost cold but we are enjoying it. I couldn't get the Xyboard to let me type under the picture below so I loaded both separately. Long time readers have heard the challenges I have reported using Blogspot this last year.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steelhead Lake

We camped on beautiful Steelhead Lake west of Glacier National Park last night.

Glacier is still my favorite national park.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

4000 Cattle

I think we met a ranchers daughter or granddaughter yesterday at Albertson's grocery in Miles City yesterday. She lamented the drought and the loss of 4000 cattle to wildfire.

Many farmers are lamenting losses to drought but some are surprised at what rop tney are finding.


Monday, August 20, 2012

110 Bushels

That is the yield ProFarmer came up with for their annual tour in Ohio.I think we can beat that.

We visited Teddy Roosevelt National Park today. It was unique!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Answer Is

The answer to yesterday 's question is Stockton, Iowa.

More later,


Saturday, August 18, 2012

200 Pods

I thought 50 pods were good, but today I found plants with 200 on them.

Guess where we are?


Friday, August 17, 2012

Where Would You Farm?

I thought this was a great thread in the Cafe.

"I've always been a grass is greener on the other side kind of guy in my head. always wanted to move somewhere else to farm when i was younger. Thought it would be easier to get started. I've now realized that i have enough trouble with all the help i get from my family and neighbors now, i would be a failure if i just loaded up a trailer and moved somewhere and tried to start farming......

just for fun though, tell me where you would consider moving to to try and start farming, and why?

3 places i always considered were
1. North Central Missouri, where my grandma is from. for years i would read info on there about land prices that were half of ours, but as i grew up i realized how much year to year varied. it always seemed like they were 2 days away from a flood, or a complete disasterous drought. and the terraces.... my grandpa worked very hard to take out trees and fence rows on our farm allong with us. and i shutter when i drive out there now and look at all the crooked field edges and terraces to farm around.... though i still get the "bug" when i go out there to visit. its a good thing my family doesn't own any ground out there still, or i'd likely be BROKE!
2. Western kansas, i always thought that if i had irrigation i would be set. our water table is too low in my county to irrigate and i thought that if i lived in western kansas that i would have it all figured out. but after these last few years i have realized that sometimes no matter how much water you throw at it you can't combat mother nature.

3. Norfolk Nebraska..... a friend of mine from college and I thought we were going to set the world on fire. i work in a steel mill here in indiana and in norfolk there is a mill i could have tranfered to. My friend was going to get a job at the mill in indiana with me and we had a plan to work there long enough to transfer to nebraska. where the ground was 1/2 as much at the time. we thought we;d be able to buy a cheap house and live dirt cheap and invest all our money in ground..... luckly for him he didn't end up taking the job at the steel plant in indiana and is faming full time with his family. as for me i would have likely gotten home sick soon!

I've since realized i'm much like other young part time farmers trying to make there mark on the world. more times then not patience is more important that anything......

So, where would you farm and why?


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Day

Through all the turmoil I am going through trying to finish consulting and farm projects so we can go camping, I had a great day!

My son Matt took our grandson Corbin for his first day of kindergarten(where did that time go?) and had business in Wilmington so we got together. Since he showed me his awesome Pioneer 93Y92 soybeans, I wanted to show him the best beans I have seen around here. It turned into a 25 mile scouting trip.

I have 500 acres of food grade soybeans I have been watching that really look good. We counted an average of 50 of what looks to be like harvestable pods on 15 inch rows. We started looking at Croplan, Seed Consultants, Becks and Biogene soybeans in comparison. We found 25 pods per plant on 180k stands up the 50 pods on the Porter Hybrid eMerge soybeans. It is unusual food grade beans would be that so competitive with RR and LL soybeans. They were all very clean fields.

The best beans had a very long tap root and he had to pull them out because I wasn't strong enough. My arthritic fingers don't have the grip they used to have. Nodulation was best on the higher pod counts and were non existant on the low pod counts.

I am already planning in my head where I would plant these beans next year and what might work and what might not. I can use my old faithful Jacob beans in the worst conditions but I would like to see if I can grow some food grade beans as good as what we found today.

That gets my mind off the flurry of things I have to do before we leave. Tomorrow will be one frantic, frustrating day if I am not careful.

I need a few more distractions like I had today!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do You Believe?

Do you really believe these accusations are true? We are getting bombarded in Ohio by every form of media from one party or candidate to another. The mudslinging is going to get really, really bad so it would be a nice fall to go camp in the wilderness until the election is over. Seriously.

Our blog reader friend who bought his dream farm east of me just sent his tissue test results as promised. I think he learned more from reading this blog than I can apply to my own farm! His beautiful soybean crop is deficient in nothing and sufficient in everything. "Don't guess, soil test, and back it up with a tissue test." It works!

I plowed the weed patch, I mean our garden under this morning. That soil is in beautiful condition. I wish I had 10 ton of manure and sand to put on it but it is pretty darned good as it is. I am going to sow all of our left over seeds and get a good cover of wheat, barley, rye and radish. I need to be vigilant on these pigweeds.

I couldn't find any earth worms and the population was low this spring. The heat and the drought sent them deep. There has never been enough rain like last year to find dead earthworms on the sidewalk like you always see in waterlogged soil. Some friends were concerned but I said not to worry, just keep feeding them plenty of vegetation year round.

Yesterday we talked about tall waterhemp and palmer pigweed in Ohio so the battle is on. Farmers better use every tactic they can read and apply. You have to fight this weed all year long and I have never seen so many pigweeds in Clinton County since Basagran came out. That pretty well took care of them back in the 80's. What goes round comes around they say.

David Brandt showed me sunn hemp cover crop yesterday at the field day. He said Ed, you have to plant some and get others to try them. He is getting great results feeding grass crops with sunnhemp. The nodules in the sad little plot they stuck him in was impressive. That piece of land has been bulldozed and pretty much destroyed and Dave had a good healthy cover growing on it.

I see Adam Lemler picked up on my blog from yesterday. This is a really good blog topic, too, especially if you win the $320 million powerball drawing tonight.

Forget the politics and the lottery, do you believe what I am saying? Take the tidbits from today's blog and go do something about them, would you?


Ed Winkle

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SWOGA and Rhizobia Survival

The Southwest Ohio Corn Growers Association annual Agronomy Field Day was interesting today. My friend Bill Lehmkuhl stole the show with his root pit and the ears laid out from 17.5 feet or 1/1000 of an acre of 30 inch row corn.

He found 31 plants from a 34,600 seed drop with 28 harvestable ears and two nubbins that might fall through the stripper plates on the cornhead. He also found 3 major layers of compaction in the profile, pancake roots, the tractor wheel prints that pulled the 4 row planter and the side dresser marks.

Most attendees saw the ears and said or thought, hell, my corn sure don't look that good, compaction or not. The site received more rain than most attendees farms did. He made some very good points though that I always try to keep in mind.

We must find a way to get the same amount of soil with the same amount of density above each seed whether we no-till, strip till, rip, or whatever. It is important to have each plant at the right depth to send nodal roots down deep for moisture in a dry summer.

My corn doesn't look that good either and I probably got as much rain as they did but I am close and I know exactly what caused everything I see in my fields. This year marked 50 since I planted my first in 1963 and God gave me the chance to challenge 300 bushels per acre and I blew it. I will be happy with half that much, very happy. My April 17 blog only tells part of the story but it is all in this blog, somewhere.

Then I got to talking about soybeans and the talk led to inoculants and did they die in the heat. Here is a timely quote from Ohio State's CORNewsletter:

"The dry weather of 2012 has given cause for worry about many areas of crop production. On a recent trip to Ukraine, it became obvious that high soil temperatures and dry surface conditions there have greatly reduced rhizobia populations. This is a country where soybeans are only recently being established, first year soybeans even with inoculants applied are suffering from lack of nitrogen due to the lack of rhizobia development. While we in Ohio have a long relationship with soybean and rhizobia, conditions this year may lead to concerns for next year.

Soybean rhizobia bacterial cells survive best when they are in a moist soil environment and an ambient soil temperature of 40-80 degrees F. The drought throughout the Ohio in 2012 has resulted in the top six inches of soil becoming extremely dry and very hot in many fields. Either a very dry soil environment or a very hot soil environment causes the rapid death of rhizobia cells and the combination is lethal. Therefore, we would expect a reduction in the population of residual soil rhizobia cells in many Midwestern soybean fields in 2012 due to those soil conditions.

Although many cells will survive the extreme environmental conditions, those cells will have evolved into survival mode and will have lost much of their potential to provide nitrogen to soybean plants in 2013. That means the surviving rhizobia population will likely be less productive next year than in previous years. That reduced productivity should translate into increased yield responses to inoculating soybeans and other legume seeds in the spring of 2013."

Think about that for awhile! I sure will be!

I finished the day talking to my cover crop guru friend, David Brandt from Carroll, Ohio. I will have to continue this talk tomorrow.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Non GMO Soybeans

I think I have my fields cleaned up well enough I can raise non GMO soybeans again. I have been scouting non GMO soybeans that will be sold for seed or for food into the Asian market the past two months.

John Schillinger's eMerge 389 soybean is sold locally as Porter Hybrids 4389N. It has purple flowers, gray pubescence and a brown pod with a yellow hilum. Usually yellow hilum beans don't yield as well but this one looks like it will do well this year where we had some rain. I wonder what it looks like in droughtier conditions.

"Yellow Hilum Food Grade Varieties are highly sought after from end users and exporters for their advantages in certain food manufacturing applications. Soy milk, tofu, and miso manufacturers prefer yellow hilum color varieties. This trait is only part of the decision-making process in selecting a variety for end use applications as many other factors help to make a higher value and more desirable food product.

Many characteristics can influence a buyer’s decisions. Some of the most notable factors can include: protein level, taste, protein functionality, lighter color, seed size, and seed shape. eMerge Genetics varieties are screened for all of these traits before the sampling starts to end users and exporters to increase the acceptance of new releases by the markets and create those variety specific programs that bring opportunities to all."

"eMerge creates a unique situation for growers with its incredible field performance and defensive traits and being sought after by end users because of its 42% protein and high yields. 389F.YC is a great choice for spec production with its low risk due to performance and its opportunities to the market because of its quality." There are some of the new 3510 soybeans around here also but I have not been assigned to a field of those for comparison.

My old standby, Jacob, looks good also and my friend Coup in central Illinois says it looks good there behind wheat. It has a darker hilum so it doesn't command quite the premium the yellow hilum varieties do. It will make 40 bushels in about any conditions and 60 in very good conditions with August rain like we have this year.

The new scouting truck is ready to go but I am still driving old red. With the new, oversized tires on it and fluids changed and everything checked, it is a really nice truck to drive. LuAnn likes to drive it and it is a 4 door and handier and much cleaner than the old "fur bucket." Sable is a shedder!

I got a good surprise with it when I filled it up this morning, it got 20 MPG with 30% E-85 under some hard driving! It holds 22 gallons unlike old red and I will be able to go 400 miles on a tankful.

Lisa Jo just posted the cutest picture of Joshua pedal pulling at the county fair. This is what my kids liked to do.

It's been another busy, good day from sunup to sundown. I hope yours was, too.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Catching Up

Today the Summer Olympics end in London. We have enjoyed the few hours we have been able to watch them. What was your favorite event or something that happened at the events?

Mine was Mo Farrah. I don't know why. He and his running partner Galen Rupp caught my attention the day they ran the 10,000 meter. I enjoyed the 5000 meter showed last night almost as much. The look on that man's face was priceless both times, but I admit he looks like a skeleton to me!

I was skinny when I was a runner but I don't think I was ever that skinny? I was known as one of the fastest kids around Sardinia and my speed went with my personality. I can get bored easily.

Mass was wonderful today. The Mass readings are always to the point and ways to live as they were today. Forty days and forty nights is a long time until you go through it yourself and you get more understanding what all those Bible references point out.

We got home and put together enough stuff for LuAnn to make vegeterian Lasagna. I can't wait for that but I think I won't be able to turn down the pizza party for Brynn's birthday. Brynn was 6 yesterday and we haven't seen her in awhile. We have been spending time with the others because we usually see her more often.

I feel like I am catching up a bit but about the time I think that I will be far behind again. I realized this morning after looking at those nice, refinished Ollies at OVAM yesterday that I need something more practical. I need a good 80 horse utility like tractor to replace the 1655's. I can't believe I am even thinking that but it's true.

It has to be one I can climb on and off easily like my 24 horse Farmall I use for a real tractor too much. It's a glorifed lawn mower and that's it. I have a lot of mowing to do and I haven't done a good job around my fields this year. Thankfully the county, state and township has done an excellent job for me. The drivers must sense I am getting older because I used to do what they are doiong for me now.

My corn has awesome ears on it. I am really blessed. Did you know we consume 25 corn plants per day per person in the United States?

It's a totally beautiful day here in southwest Ohio with temperatures in the 70's and blue sky. It is really, really nice.

I hope it is for you, too.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, August 11, 2012


We just got back from the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show or OVAM as they call it now. The grounds have been expanded and they were plowing with horses when I got there. The weather was perfect, one of the best in years and the crowds proved it. The exhibits and grounds have been greatly improved over the years.

An older gentleman had a team of three Belgiums pulling an Oliver two bottom plow converted to one bottom with steel wheels and a horse hitch added to it. I asked him if it was a Raydex bottom or Super Raydex bottom? He looked at it and said "I have no idea, do you?" Everyone gathered around as I looked at the moldboard and said "I think it is the older Raydex bottom because it doesn't have more twist in the moldboard like the Super Raydex does."

I think dad got a Super Raydex plow around 1957. You pulled it about one MPH faster and it threw and broke up the soil a little more. Sometimes you could plant right into the plowed ground but we usually disked it once with a spike toothed harrow behind. If it rained, you had to disk it again to break it back up.

They also had a field for steam engine plowing and farm tractor plowing. Plowing is almost a lost art now and people like to see how it used to be done to produce our crops.

I found Corbin's Cub Farmall beside the tractor pull. There were a ton of Cub's on the grounds but I liked the classic Oliver and Farmalls best. There was a like new 1555 gas sitting beside a 1550 gas. There were other Olivers in the pack but in the middle was a new looking 1586 backed up to new looking 1486. The new red and green paint looked good together.

The crops look good around here after the rains. There was water in the ditches on Hamer Road on the way to Georgetown. At least farmers will have a decent soybean crop around here, I believe.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Cell Phones

Maybe this should be entitled "the effect of media on our society," or something like that.

I just pulled out on SR 28 behind people in 3 cars, one pickup and a semi all talking on the cell phone as they went by. When I got behind them, another pickup came toward me and he was on a cell phone, too! What is up with that? Are we that lonely or dependent?

What did we do 30 years ago before cell phones? My life wasn't so chaotic and fast paced and interrupted by a telephone. Is this part of the downfall of man?

I know cell phones have saved many lives but how many got killed because of them? Cell phone accidents have over taken DUI or DWI incidents.

It struck me how our lives have changed since cell phones, Internet and computers took over most of our lives. I am not sure how good it is but that is sure the way it is.

We got another good rain and people are talking the drought may be over. I hope so. Many farmers need a good bean crop to make up for the lost corn crop. Lord knows we the people who pay taxes don't need our government paying out anymore crop insurance losses.

I have seen some awesome beans this week and one of them belonged to my own son! Good job, Matt. You have learned a lot about growing soybeans. It is one thing to teach it but a whole 'nother deal to do it!

Jim Porter took me to see 500 acres of awesome looking non GMO yellow hilum beans that will be shipped to Asia for a $2.15 premium. They probably have 80 bushel potential and with this rain should break 60 bushels. Even the double crops look worth harvesting now, a week ago they looked like gonners, I mean cover crop potential.

We just got back from visiting baby Katherine, what a joy! Three weeks old today! On the way, one of our corn buys called and told us we sold some fall corn for $8.25. LuAnn thinks we did good.

Do you?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mr. Wilson

After 15 years of posting and emailing, I finally got to meet Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson is Hay Wilson or better yet, Bill Wilson from Texas. He is a retired military man who has spent his time since raising alfalfa and grass hay. He became active in the American Forages Council activities and has become extremely knowledgeable on the production of forage.

Bill has sent me more soil chemistry via email than any other person. If I would have printed out each page, I would have volumes that would be priceless to a novice or experienced hay producer. I would say he has forgotten more than most people understand about alfalfa and hay and calcareous soils but I don't think he has forgotten one thing. He is still learning.

He and is dear wife Jean stopped by for a visit yesterday on the way to their B-52 reunion at Wright Pat. I asked him when was the last time he flew one and he quickly answered 33 years ago. I am sure he knows the day and the hour. That became his life while Jean raised their daughters and worked the farm while he was flying.

We talk to a lot of the same people so we had lots to talk about but we pretty much focused on their lives and our place. Our place has a lot of history and we were sure to look at the barn quilt on the old barn so I could tell them the story how that happened.

We went to the Lynchburg diner as I take many of my visitors and we had a really nice lunch before they headed off to Dayton. Time goes so fast when you are talking to interesting people. It was like we had known each other for years and were filling in the dots by actually being together in a new place. It was quite wonderful.

LuAnn was at work so she didn't get to meet them. We are going to have to take a camping trip through Texas some day and pick up some of those National Parks down there we have not visited. Wow, I didn't realize there were so many!

The Internet is a wonderful thing if you use it. The technology we get from activities from the Mars rover is amazing if we apply it. Bill at not one but two GPS sitting in his Ford Fusion.

It was great to finally meet in person, Bill and Jean and we hope to do that again someday!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

$2.5 Billion Well Spent

The Mars rover Curiousity hasn't gotten much news with the Olympics finishing up this week but it was big news to me. I will never forget the look on those scientists faces looking at each other in disbelief that it actually worked! It was so complicated any number of things could have gone wrong.

But they didn't, science and calculation out trumped disaster this week. So many jobs were created right here in America with this project and it was so challenging I don't think we have a clue what all good will come from this. That' my take on it, what is yours?

This post on Facebook caught my eye and you can easily spot the knowledgeable readers in the thread:

" I think it was worth it. Unfortunately, $2.5 billion isn't a lot of money these days. For example, the player salaries paid by the NFL in 2010 totaled more than $3.4 billion... and while it wasn't "taxpayer" money, we still paid for it to be entertained."

"Curiosity Mars Lab created 7000 jobs and only cost tax payers $7. That is a good way to spend tax money. Thank of it as a donation to science so they can explore the Universe and tech our kids and get them excited about Science. So they can help this country get out of our innovative slump. Then we save money paying welfare because they will be educated and inspired not complaining on how the government is spending money."

"All those folks who think the space program is a waste of money should immediately throw away their cell phones and home computers, since we wouldn't have them if it wasn't for the technology spinoff it has created."

"The USA is getting blown away on Science . NASA is helping inspire the future as it always has. Engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, so we can enrich lives on Earth. And YES, the government is responsible for cell phones, computers,, GPS, weather sats, and most of the technology you use every day directly and indirectly. Remember how innovative the USA was during the moon race? Job creation starts with innovation. Let's keep finding ways to explore and discover, I'm l in. If you think Space is silly and a waste of money that's fine, just do not be upset and ignorant about it."

"The $2,500,000,000 was spent in the USA and created jobs. More productive than sending it overseas. The main point is not to discover life, but, create a situation and SOLVE it. During this process we create and discover. Do people that thi...nk this is a waste refuse to use the technologies created? No. Everyone is not going to get excited, just like not everyone is going to work in factories. But to say a waste of money, is an extreme opinion. This is why we have everyone spending money on non-silly things. We would be left behind."

Today's blog is dedicated to my son-in-law Will Peters and all of his friends and co-workers at NASA. I believe in this program and see it as a great investment for America's future.

The problems down here on Earth won't end but scientific discovery and advancement always helps mankind.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cobs Without Kernals

A friend and I were talking about these stalks with a cob but no kernals on them. One fellow posted a picture of a bunch of them on NewAgTalk this week. We wonder what failed, the pollen, the silk or both?

Farmers are trying to identify what possibly worked this year and what failed miserably. I have seen farm after farm with 20 bushel corn here and near 200 right next to it. It is not just soil type but often linked to hybrid.

We know that some hybrids require a lot of heat to make corn, AgriGold 6533 is one popular one. That hybrid has been at the top the last five years and looks to be again this year. The male inbred in it requires a lot of heat to make corn. We had way too much heat across the US this summer to the point many fields have no ears or no kernals on the cob.

Other hybrids do better in cooler years and it was of course, way too hot for those hybrids. We can see why they failed. But what caused the blank cobs? Not enough or no live pollen or no live ovules or both? On the hybrids I know, which are the only ones I really work with, they pollinated, even in extreme heat in most cases. If you didn't have rain and then had a week or more of 100 degrees then it is more understandable why a hybrid failed.

I think farmers are going to be surprised when they run the combine. They are going to see what worked and what didn't. The biggest surprise is going to be less corn out there then the experts expect. It isn't out there. There are failures here where we have had rain and only 5 days above 100.

It's going to be an interesting harvest for sure. Some areas say 75% will get combined and 25% won't. It will all be harvested here but huge chunks of the I states are disking up or chopping corn stalks because they have been zeroed out by insurance and the farmer wants to move on.

It was great to meet a long time reader today on his new farm. He hit it good like me and has a beautiful stand of soybeans, one of the best I have seen. He needs more rain but we all do. I haven't heard of anyplace with too much rain.

The sick corn and failed corn has me puzzled though. I have a lot of answers but not all the ones I am looking for.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Thanks, Readers

Thanks, readers, and thank you AGCO. I just recieved this in my inbox so my readers are the very first to know!


On behalf of AGCO we would like to thank you for your entry into the AGCO Farm Sustainability Blog contest. You have been chosen as a winner and will be featured on the AGCO blog! (AGCO does reserve the right to make minor changes to your blog post based on content sensitivity) You will also have the opportunity to select from four different organizations and AGCO will donate $500 on your behalf! Please respond to this email within 5 business days with your selection of organization. Once again we thank you for your story and submission, it was greatly appreciated.

Organizations to choose from:

National FFA Organization
Farm Safety 4 Just Kids
Instituto Agronômico de Campinas

Thank you,

AGCO Corporation

Seasoned readers, which one am I going to pick? Each comment will add to my readership count, so chime in, anonymous or not!

Here is a link to the winning blog if you did not see it.

Thanks again devoted readers and thanks to AGCO. This is the best prize for my blog so far. How did you like yesterdays? Did I cop out?

I think you would rather have me write a story or tackle a problem like resistant weeds or what is wrong with our corn?



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hot Links

Here is some of what I have been reading about that interests me:

1. RFID in our credit or debit cards.

2. What percent of your pickup truck is not made in America.

3. What percent of a house is made in made in America. In one report they took out everything that wasn't and all that was left was the kitchen sink.

4. The Red Hot Chili Pipers

5. Terrifying Corn Supply and Demand Situation Forming

6. "My soybeans have no pods."

7. Do you think this is a fair race?

8. We really enjoyed this race and the story behind it.

That's enough links for today. Which story is your favorite? Which one interests or intrigues you most?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

State Fair

I finally took LuAnn to the Ohio State Fair today. It was my first time in a long time and her first time period. It is not the same as it used to be. We came to watch Madison show her Division I Champion Market Barrow from the County Fair.

That pig was almost good enough to win. He was a bit short in the rib compared to the two that narrowly beat him and the first place pig went on to be Reserve Champion. That is pretty good! I know I never did that well in my first year and never won that show but I tried.

Sister Brynn finished at the top of the peewee showmanship. That girl is quite a charmer and a good young showman. Her pig also got a second in his class. Those girls are going to be quite fomidable in the showring because they already are!

I showed LuAnn the agriculture building where I used to bring pickup loads of vegetables, hay and crops for exhibition. I even had a bumper sticker made in 1982 that said Blanchester FFA and Crops Are Tops! The chapter was first in the state chapter contest and we won more crop classes than any other chapter. That was my peak at Blanchester where Madison and Brynn are now students!

I asked a fellow at the bee exhibit what happened because I remembered the honey exhibits was near the crop exhibits. He looked like someone who might know what happened. He was a jolly fellow but he also lamented the loss of the crop show and said that was the last year he came to the fair until now. The fair sure doesn't have an agricultural flair to it now with rides, carny food and junky articles for sale everywhere. LuAnn commented how poor it was compared to the Iowa State Fair.

The Iowa State Fair is the best fair we ever attended though we have not seen many, not like National Parks or states. I wonder who does have the best state fair? Iowa has to be there but there surely are more.

Maybe we will get to see some of them, but I hope they are better than the Ohio State Fair! It was exciting in the 60's when I was a kid and even when my kids showed there but today? It was no winner.


Friday, August 3, 2012


We are in Cleveland today. The weather is hot and dry. On the way up I lost my billfold. I know I put it and the checkbook under my seat and it must have rolled out when I got out at the rest stop. That is the only place I stopped and I have looked everywhere.

So I prayed to Saint Anthony and Saint Joseph for my lost billfold. I got into the habit of doing that after learning what each Saint did in their lives and can do for us. I have had some amazing finds with my prayers for myself and for others. It even works over the phone. I have no doubt it is in safe hands and when I called Discover card nothing had been charged to it.

We got into Cleveland at dark after our long day of work. The kids were asleep so we talked to Becky and went to bed in the camper. This is our test trial to see if we can still negotiate the camper instead of the hotel beds we have become accustomed to the last few years.

That camper and truck are a good match. The camper is all the truck can handle but it does handle it. I even got 350 miles out of the tank of gas before the warning light came on. I don't want to mess around running out of gas with that rig or any rig.

Gas is back up to $4 in Ohio. The news credited that to sources who said there is a refinery down in Chicago and a break in the Canadian pipeline. You know what Americans think of that, any excuse to shoot the price back up 70 cents in the last wto weeks. We didn't make it down to $3 and I didn't think we would.

Will is recovering from his disc surgery. He is using a cane which is hard to watch a young man do but he did walk for an hour up the street and was walking better by the time he got back to the house. He has a long way to go in recovery but he looks to be making progress. I don't think the pain medicine is doing him any favors except to keep the excruciating pain down. He is lucky compared to many veterans coming home and at least he did come home with all limbs in place. We thank God for that.

We got to take Caoilin and Liam out to Bob Evans all by ourselves. That was fun just having the older two alone. They grow up so quickly. That Liam reads better than most adults let alone teenagers. I love to hear him read.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trait Wars

Monsanto has won the latest legal trade war with a jury granting them a one billion dollar settlement from DuPont Pioneer who were judged to have infringed upon their trait use agreement.

I wonder how much have attorneys made since the first trait was found and the Plant Variety Protetion Act was amended to protect that trait and those since? It has to be billions of dollars, if not hundreds of billions. Who pays for all of this?

You and I pay for these legalities, of course. We pay as farmers when we purchase the seed and we pay as consumers when we purchase food that was produced with that seed.

Biotech was sold as improved agriculture because less pesticide had to be used to control the pests the traits offer. Many people wonder, are we really better off?

That is a huge discussion and not the point of today's blog. I just keep thinking laws and lawyers raise the cost of living due to the lack of common sense. Scientific advancement isn't always what it is cracked up to be, either.

I think less pesticide has been used due to biotech but I am not sure if that has made us safer or our food more plentiful and less costly. We call that progress, right?

Corn yields have increased over time but biotech may not have had has much impact as hybridization of purebred lines. Soybean yields have flattened for several years and now corn may, too. Weather is blamed and often connected but I don't think it is the whole story.

Do you think biotech has increased yields on your farm or nationally? Do you think your food is safer with biotech traits?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Craig's List

How many of you have used Craig's List? I have been looking at it occassionally since our son Eric sold his Dakota quickly on it a few years ago. I should have bought his for the price he got, it was a little better deal than mine.

Farmers talk about Craig's List quite often on NewAgTalk. Often they make fun of the listings they find there, especially land for rent or those who want to rent it.

Before the Internet, I used the Trading Post. It was a regional weekly trading paper where I bought and sold a LOT of things. That paper got me started in my turbocharger business in the 70's when I bought out all of the chargers a guy had for sale. I turned a thousand dollars into about ten thousand on that deal.

Now I need to find a new home for the old Dakota. The Dakota has an interesting history. The first one was built in 87 and the last one was produced last year. It had a pretty good career for Chrysler but nothing like the Caravan that practically kept Chrysler alive.

I have a couple of friends in mind who need transportation right now and they both have some mechanical skills. I am going to let that play out and see what happens. Until then, it isn't winter yet and there is plenty of room here for another gas guzzler. Besides, it is a parts truck for its replacement, right? I hope LuAnn doesn't read that.

I guess I could always put it on Craig's List. They sure move a lot of stuff on there daily if the price is right.