Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is It A Good Day To Sow Wheat?


I sowed 10 acres tonight to get the drill calibrated. I think it was putting it on too thin. It's a 2 year old JD notill drill and it plants less than the chart says. It always has since the day it was new. You would think they could get the chart right, wouldn't you?

This seed is only 16,000 seeds per pound so it is very small, dense seed. I set the drill at a higher setting and it still isn't putting quite enough on so I increased it two more notches. Of course, I put SabrEx on the seed and in the seedbox. I am also sowing 1-2 pounds of radish seed per acre with it.

When radish sprouts the root exudates seems to limit damage from nematodes. The radish gathers available nutrients from the soil and gives them all back when they die over winter. If they didn't die, the Harmony Extra in the spring would kill them anyway.

I don't usually plant on Sunday but it was fun. It wasn't work at all to me but other religous sects disagree and I respect their view. I am more curious if it is a good time to plant wheat? It is the full harvest moon and I usually don't plant at full moon, either.

But since I believe in planting something as soon as you harvest, I am harvesting and planting at the same time.. I am pretty sure this is the first time I ever sowed wheat in September in my life. That's a first. I have always wanted to because my notill wheat gets off to a slow start compared to worked up ground.

Record low acres of soft red winter wheat were planted in Ohio a year ago, mainly because of the wet fall. The high price of corn and soybeans and the lower price of wheat contributed. The stocks report Friday showed we are low in everything and even though there is 2 billion bushels of wheat in storage, that is not enough for world demand. Russia had a failure and Australia is working on one. Some think we will see $25 wheat. Right now all I want is a cover crop.(Curious question, do you like short hyperlinks like that one or longer ones? I have been guilty of full paragraphs links even though they look tacky.)

I saw some neat tips in the NoTill Farmer Magazine I just recieved. I will try to share them tomorrow.

It's been a wonderful month and week, I hate to see September go, but here comes October! Will winter return this year?

Sure had fun with 5 grandkids yesterday. Did you ever see a one year old in a pink tutu carrying an ear of corn as big as she is?

Ed

Saturday, September 29, 2012

College Debt Revisited

Please Include Attribution to OnlineCollegeCourses.com With This Graphic
Internships Infographic

Remember when we discussed the huge college debt crisis a few months ago?

A young lady wrote me and asked what I thought of the logo displayed today. I was honest with her and told her I like the data but I didn't care for the graphic. I am not a graphic artist but many of you have good taste. What is your honest opinion of it?

I said it may appeal more to the age I believe it is aimed at and that I may be too old and set in my ways to appreciate it. I think that's a fair assessment. Do you?

College debt and college expenses have been in the news more since that earlier blog. Here is a summary I took from the link I just posted in the sentence before, a general google search on college debt news.

" With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households — nearly one in five — with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor.

The analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That is double the share in 1989, and up from 15 percent in 2007, just prior to the recession — representing the biggest three-year increase in student debt in more than two decades."

I don't know how the graphic will turn out since it is large. I will post it and see how it looks and if I get time I will try to tweek it. Jeff in Minnesota just sent me a movie of trying to scrape ears off the ground with an IH cornhead. I saw the field in our trip and Jeff was able to put ears on corn that nearly died early this spring.

We are not scraping ears off the ground today but we are shelling corn across the covered bridge. It is testing about the same moisture and yield variance we saw here at the house a week ago today.

Soon the grandkids will be here and none of this will matter!

Have a great weekend,

Ed

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mennonites on the Roof

I have Mennonites on the roof, Amish too. Since they have moved into Southern Ohio, they have taken over the roofing business, at least for me. They aren't the cheapest but they are about the only group I trust with my roof. "Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

The storms the last few years have brought them too often for my liking. The insurance companies really don't like it, either. Living on the hill sure has its cost. We had a leak near one valley and now its repaired but the shingles are brittle and doesn't have the right underlayment.

The neatest day was when they hung like monkeys on ropes off the steep barn roof pulling nails and screwing down the metal. So many nails had rusted the roof was coming off. We really need a steel roof on the house also but couldn't afford it 8 years ago and can't afford it now.

The Brown County Fair ends tomorrow and I don't think we will get to go down to my old home fair this year. "I got mtart in 4-H" at that fair in 1958 with my prized Holstein heifer. I wish I had pictures of my projects like my kids do.

They always have a good crop show there because it's late September and because they have held the tradition. The biggest pumpkin weighed 569 lbs this year. They had an inch and a half rain Monday night but it hasn't seemed to hurt attendance. I heard they had a real good tractor pull last night.

Here are some discussions I liked this week.

The Republican Party is Dead.

An interesting view of Michelle Obama.

Anyone else get a letter for a refuge audit?

French GMO study.

Landlord wants to hock(hook) onto my tile.

Arsenic in rice?

Moose in the corn field.

Why didn't I go away from no-till sooner?

And you MUST read this farmers serious question, is there a guide for women? It's hilarious and pretty true!

Your old writer better rest up for the grandkids tomorrow!

Good night,

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Overjoyed

I am overjoyed that I have my picture uploader back. The simple things in life! I have no idea whether Google fixed their blogspot problem or MicroSoft sent an update that formatted Explorer to blogspot again. I complained to both. I don't care what happened, I am overjoyed that it did!

I also give great gratitude to God for not sending us too much rain. My friend Lew in southern Indiana got over 5 inches and a friend in southern Illinois got 7. We are probably less than one which is great at harvest/planting time.

I must remind myself that whenver I harvest I must plant again. I got my dry fertilizer program applied to my harvested field before it rained but didn't get my cover planted yet. I might be able to do just that next week. Gratitude!

"Soil was meant to be covered" has become an important phrase to me. We always did that when I was a kid and it is still true today. Soil IS meant to be covered. A seed dealer called this morning to make sure I have enough to plant. Thanks, Matt, all of you. I have talked to 3 different Matt's the last day or so.

I was on the way to WalMart to take my new broken broom back. It didn't last an hour. No thank you, China. The one from TSC is still pushing but it is hard to find a broom that will last. I found 2 and they both walked away. I forget who I ordered them from online. Pretty bad when a push broom walks away!

I never go to WalMart but Lowe's had none and TSC had one so I felt forced to go to WalMart nearby. I don't like the company, I don't like to shop there and I do not like their food or junk. I know, they have some good stuff and some good people but they never appear to me. The breakfast sandwiches sure smelled good though while I was waiting on the UPC code so they could give me another broom! It fell off too!

The neighbor boys helped me finish the last bins yesterday. We hauled out bags of infested grain sweepings, vermin and trash onto the field. There is still a lot to do and it always seems there is around here. I wish Bill would come help me replace a pencil injector in one of my diesel engines.

Ha, I called him and he had no excuse not to come! Just maybe I will see him this afternoon!

Blogging is great, it makes me think what I need to do while I am writing to you. It's even better when the image button shows up on blogspot!

Ed

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

IRM, Not IRS!


One of the first messages I read on Crop Talk this morning was from a farming asking if anyone else got a late IRM Audit notice. Another farmer asked to explain what IRM is so I tried to answer his question with my post below.

IRM stands for Insect Resistant Management as most of you know. It's an audit of your GMO corn refuge but has nothing to do with an IRS Audit.

"They tell me one out of ten farmers or so are selected randomly by the major seed companies who own Bt corn traits. Those majors must comply with EPA regs they agreed to in order to market the trait. They do this with IRM Audits.

The trait sheet and refuge requirements are huge now, I would post if I could easily.(I did post the sheet here.)

The letters are normally sent out after planting, this seems like a wierd time to get such a letter.

Various seed associations and other groups are hired to audit the list of farmers to audit the majors give to them.

The inspectors or auditors are trained on what to ask for and how to fill out the paperwork and deal with the farmer.

The inspector is given a list of names with a requirement of so many for each major company and recalled names from last year where the numbers did not come back right.

The inspector calls or shows up at your door with paper or computer to sit down and go over your refuge for the traits you bought that got pulled.

It's not too difficult if you understand what you bought and how you kept the refuge for those traits being audited.

It's scary if you don't know what you planted where or how you kept the refuge for it.

This is about as simple as I can put it early this morning."

Since most readers don't have to comply to these rules, what do you think of them or the process I described? One friend was surprised to see EPA involved with corn traits. For those who do grow GMO corn, what do you think of this process I described?

It would be a hassle to receive an IRM audit during harvest. All of mine occur during the summer months as I have blogged about in the past.

It's too wet to harvest and too wet to plant as rain moved across the midwest and Ohio this week. It's a good day to look at catalogs and websites like my friends in Pennsylvania like the ones my friends just put up at Keystone Ag Group.

I went to like that and there was my full editor back on blogspot! I thought, what the heck? Thank you Google or MicroSoft or whoever made this happen in my many reports and queries! I can share the pictures on my hard drive once more!

Have a great day,

Ed

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Healthier Soils Survive Drought Better


I have been digging in my soils after my ninth crop season on this farm, wondering if I have left it better than I found it. It's a "notiller's dream" with its rolling hills and once rich soil but it is also a real challenge to keep in place, control the weeds and still make a profit, let alone improve.

I came across this video on today's subject and there are three of my friends! I think each one will tell you I shared something with them that was taught to me that has helped their farm. Now they are on YouTube in a USDA NRCS promotion! That kind of stuff just warms my heart.

Why would my curiousity lead me across so many great people's path? What did I say that made a difference, why did they even listen? That's got to be God working because I am really a pretty common person. My thinking might be a little out of the box(don't ask my family about that) but I am just an ordinary person like you.

This farm has let me try my ideas and you know darned near every one of them make money! Some of them just make more than others! Continuous notill corn would be very profitable now but I like the change of seasons and crop rotations. I like corn, soybeans and cereals so well that is hard to pick one. They will all make money next year.

For soil improvement, wheat makes the most sense. 70 bushels times $9 is a decent gross income for the investment. Then you have time to apply for drainage improvements, lime, gypsum, weed control, cover crops and a host of things. Double crop soybeans work so well for me they usually end up being too attractive to pass up instead of those other opportunities.

Soybeans are the "hardest on the ground" but I have neighbors nearby who have raised soybeans every year for 10, 20 and 30 years. They have nice machinery and don't seem to be hurting for money. There soils are harder than mine but they still have a lot of earthworms.

I know a longer rotation adds diversity so 2 years corn, 2 years soybeans and one year wheat or barley is about as far as you can rotate successfully around here. The third year often causes problems, like they used say you had to notill for 3 years before you saw real problems. After 5-7 years the soil structure improves enough you can't afford to go back.

That is unless you have these notill trees I am getting hammered with. I call them sumacs but I really need to look them up. Here is a good outline I need to read and follow. Perennials have thrived the last 3 years and outgrow annual crops in years like these.

I don't know if these trees are a sign of a healthy soil but no one around here seems to have the problem I have.

My quest for healthy soil has led me to a lot of good people including you my readers. I think we do share that in common.

Healthy soils do survive drought better.

Ed

Monday, September 24, 2012

What The World Thinks Of US


Thanks for the inspiring messages and email everyone! My dear sister summed it up nicely with this:

Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way that you can quickly understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper Prager Zeitungon.

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America.

Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president."

LuAnn and I have been to Europe and we have been to Prague. I lost touch of a great Czech friend I met in our trip in 93. I can just hear Jorge and I having that very conversation. Pretty sad isn't it? It's so darn true it is humiliating. Talk about rigorous honesty, that sums it up not so nicely!

This what I was alluding to yesterday. It's our culture, our me first, want it now but can't afford it attitude, at any cost! It is also what I was alluding to in my blog about QE3. Although we follow Keynesian Economic Theory, QE3 does not address infrastructure like WPA did during the Great Depression. We have interest down to zero while our infrastructure falls apart.

I just read about the Olmsted Lock on the Ohio River failing, causing big shipment problems. It would have cost $880 million to repair in 1988 when it should have been done but now will cost $3 billion in 2020. Billions of dollars in goods move up and down the Ohio and barges are less full. The locks couldn't hold back enough water due to the drought.

QE3 dilutes the dollar so low in hopes of being able to afford the interest on our debt. We will make Greece look like childs play, maybe we already have.

That quote just sticks in my gut and makes me mad. Everyone I know and trust doesn't behave that way.

Has the silent majority become the angry minority?

Ed



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Has The American Experience Failed?

LuAnn and I talk about a lot of things but since we are grand parents and very caring Americans, we are concerned about our country and our problems. Driving down the road today, LuAnn made a very profound statement that has stuck with me all day.

She asked "Has the American Experience failed?" I googled that phrase and found some young people's view of the American Experience. I know, it's a liberal piece but those people are about 50-50 with us conservatives, we just happen to live near more of those conservatives here.

We have both studied history like most Americans and most people in the world. Many people we visit in foreign countries seem to know more about us that we do ourselves. Our forefathers came here for a new identity, a new start. Winckel became Winkle and LeBeaux became Bow. They brought their cherished traditions and many of them we still honor.

LuAnn's meat pie, my sauerkraut, so many traditions we kept. We gather together as a church and work together as a community like our ancestors did. Yet so many things have changed.

I could see dad and grandpa looking over our first harvest of the year. My corn went through 3 major stresses and still turned out a great yield and the price is more than they could have ever imagined. But the cost and way of living is so different. We hop into our car to go the grocery with things they never imagined but at a cost they never dreamed of. $4 for gas, and I can buy ethanol at that pump at the grocery made from my corn?

Our society is fast, so "advanced," we have seemed to have strayed from the reason our forefathers came here and set up this new experience. It's been a great one for me and I wouldn't change it for the world though I am sorry some things have happened like they have.

I may write more about this but I ask my readers, do you think the American Experience has failed or is failing? I have written for nearly 4 years now about the successes and the failures, mostly my own. I treasure your comments, email and views.

Here's your chance to post your views. An important election is upon us once more so it is important to go the voting booth knowing the issues and voting for what we believe in. Complacency isn't acceptable.

Unlike our Congress we need to come to a conclusion and do something about this. The time is now.

Thanks,

Ed Winkle

Saturday


At the last minute, we decided to go see the kids and grandkids in Cleveland. LuAnn has so little time with everything she has going on and it is harvest time and there is so much to do here.

I am so glad we went. It was a dreary day at home anyway, so we enjoyed the trip up I-71. The gas prices seem to be keeping the traffic down so we cruised right up and right back in record time.

LuAnn and Caoilin have a special bond, it is so neat for me to see. She's a little sweety and loves to cuddle and read with LuAnn. The special thing for me was Finn really took to me and we read 5 little books about 20 times. He would grab a book and hand it to me and say Papaw read. He cried like crazy when we left and so did Caoilin but they are little and we keep that in perspective.

My buddy Liam made it all happen. He is so mature and independent for his age, we laid out our plans when we got there. We told them what we would do and he let us spend more time with his brother and sister. I can't wait to do something special for him.

He went to Mass with us and took it all in like an adult. He loves the music, like me, and he respects our tradition. It was a very special time for us. There was a dove descending in the stained glass beside the Crucifix and I could feel the Holy Spirit descend on us. Words can't explain but some of you know exactly what I mean.

Becky is only a few weeks from delivering the new baby, another big addition to their family and ours. Will is doing better after surgery and I can see that I need to bring him a load of firewood. We have plenty, we just have to keep cutting and splitting. He said wood is $300 a cord there near the city but its only $120 or so here.

I know LuAnn has plenty to do here and I do too but the kids grow up so fast I hate to miss a minute of it. This was a special treat for me and I just hope I can make it up to all who made it happen this week! Taking Will's lead, I made our first fire today in the living room fireplace we rarely use so that was one little thing I could do.

Next week we get to see 3 more families at our house so I hope the weather is good in a week and we all have a blast like we did this weekend!

This has been a special week thanks to a lot of special people in my life. A 12 row header, big grain cart and several semi trucks makes for a quick harvest! There are a lot of rows to go but some of the most important ones are history!

Ed

Friday, September 21, 2012

First Day of Harvest


I survived the first day of harvest on the Winkle farm. We don't feed livestock and our corn is worth more for grain, thanks to the rain. These boys in North Dakota do though and they chopped one giant pile of sileage! I wonder if that is a Hutterite Colony?

It's beautiful weather, the corn is yielding well but I understand what I did, a little out of tune with nature. Planting date, planter setup, pest control, fertilization are all involved. I saw Keith's and Jeff's corn and I can do better. Some guys will have 200 bushels and sold it for $8. I could too and I was very close.

At least I didn't find these guys in my cornfield. There are plenty of shady characters around and I'm glad we've got Sable the German Shepherd to help sort them out! I have to make sure she gets enough attention though so she stays near me at harvest when I can and I took her to go test my corn samples.

Can you believe one sample tested 1.5% different in moisture at 3 locations and one pound test weight variation? I got the same results myself so I am fairly satisfied with the results. The grain varies so much from stalk to stalk and cob to cob. Those vines patches sent the moisture up 2% and the test weight down. There was some 200 bushel plus corn though so it all equals out.

Another surprising thing was the similarity in 3 completely different hybrids in the same field. First Choice 695, 805 and 835 were very similar in yield, moisture and test weight. I know I gained the 7% yield advantage I see planting 2 completely different hybrids beside each other and maybe more this year. The 12 row blocks really helped each other.

The kernals are deep thanks to the rains effect on my management program and there was no aflatoxin so many have in Illinois. We live in a good area for little mycotoxin and corn and soybean quality. We are very blessed with that.

Our soils were generally plowed too long so erosion as taken its toll and remains quite a challenge. Our water holding capacity is so good we need tile in every field in Ohio and lime is right there with it thanks to clay subsoil. Cover crops improve our soil but add a whole new realm of management, one that is not written in the books very well. It's hands-on experience and the Internet helps share the rapid exchange of information.

I am working on posting pictures from my camera but I am still writing from my office computer and uploading pictures from another one my camera does not have access to. A good picture adds a lot to blog and I miss not being able to do that.

Have a great weekend!

Ed

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Moon


We have entered the tenth lunar cycle of this year. A friend asked yesterday, what is going on with the moon? It has been especially dark this week and an easy week to notice the stars. There has been no moon light. It has been especially dark but it has been very clear since it cooled off this week. It's the coolest at night since April.

In two days we start the Autumanl Equinox. Most of us hate to see that cycle come but it's all part of nature, I believe in God's Creation.
"It is the summer's great last heat,
It is the fall's first chill: They meet."

It's been a good cycle for me. My belt is in its last notch and I am wearing my smaller pants I haven't worn in awhile! I walked more the last two days than I have in a long while. I have made a good turn around since my big debacle nearly a year and a half ago. Remember? I did not write this blog for a month, yet you and I are still here!

Harvest has started in southwest Ohio. It's time for me, my first corn has been in the ground over 5 months. It's time to come out. Early harvest reports are all over the board but yesterday's corn ran 16-19% with 59-62 pound test weight! That is high quality corn!

We are blessed compared to those any direction from us. I met a young man selling cover crop seeds yesterday in deep southern Illinois, even farther south than my friend Kelly Roberts near Benton. He said he had corn that would make 100 bushels where others didn't make 20 and he said cover crops made all the difference.

Agricultural Science is in the news today just like Farm Science is this week. Agricultural careers are also in the news. What would you like to be when you grow up?

We are starting harvest here at home and yields are better than my counts thank Goodness. The moisture is 19-22% and test weight 57-58 lbs wet which is excellent. There is no aflatoxin and it is high quality non-GMO corn. I took the same sample to 3 different buyers and got 3 different moisture readings. I tested the same corn myself and got 3 different readings so the variation in kernal moisture is greater than normal.

You can see it in the field with a few green spots, too. A few stalks are still juicy but most are dry. That is pretty common compared to what I have looked at around here. The stalks are fairly even in diameter but not as much as they would be in a better year. This crop got stressed hard at least 3 times, at planting, at belt high and right after silking. All things considered, it's good.

Keep your eyes to the sky and your ears to the ground. There is a lot going on!

Ed

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farm Science Results


It was another gorgeous day in southwest Ohio, reminding one of the weather on 9/1/1 once more, clear blue sky day! It was so nice it almost made one feel guilty for walking around a farm show but you couldn't have better weather to do it.

The crowd responded, they said there were many more times the people there were in that gloomy weather yesterday. There seemed to be a lot of students there either way, so many schools had picked Wednesday this year.

I did see lots of my friends there and got to chat with a few. Everyone wants to know what yields are and they vary so much it is like talking about the weather. I did see plot results from nearby Jamestown and the hybrid I thought was very good again this year for the 5th year in the row was at the top. That is the genetics in LG-2540, AgriGold 6533 and Porter 4514. That plot was around 145 bushels per acre and was over 200 bushels last year and the year before.

The red white and blue striped Massey combine was getting lots of photographs as expected and the sign said 165 years of progress right beside John Deere's popular exhibit that said 175 years. John Deere wasn't popular here until the 10 series tractors came out in the 60's and has grown ever since.

Gypsum, lime and cover crop exhibits were everywhere as expected as well as the machinery to apply them with. The planting and row unit displays are always meaningful to me but today Marion Calmer's cornhead displays really caught my attention.

I showed some friends his 7 patents hanging in his well designed and laid out booth. He showed the advancement of corn seeding from 46 inch rows to horses to his 15 inch row cornheads today. The single chain gathering head impressively shows the smoother action of gathering stalks and more ears.

I talked to my friend Ronnie Holt at Martin's and he told me Johnny had a field of corn that made 40 bushel and right up the road the same hybrid planted the same day made 140 bushels because of a couple of timely rains. So it is this year all over the U.S.!

He talked about his first job selling AC 333 notill planters in 1969 when I was studying agriculture at Ohio State and working on the OSU farm. The old AC to the newest planter with Martin Till has been demonstrated over the years, all the way to harvesting the crop from it. I told him about how much better the stands were this year with his planter attachments. Many fields averaged 10,000 more plants per acre without coulters! There is so much experience at that review!

I was thankful for my many friends today and all that I have learned and shared. Sometimes it seems I've gotten back a lot more than I have given, and that is good. I just enjoyed the beauty of the day and friends and saw many enjoying the same thing. It was wonderful.

What did I learn today that I can apply to my farm and to others? Cover cropping and calcium is key to any success next year so I have to stick to the basics. There is a better way to feed crops and I saw it in action during our trip and reflected today.

Here is a hidden piece of information in Seed World that may explain the huge interest I am seeing in biological products for crops this year.

"So might these biological products make our crops more efficient during the hot and dry seasons such as growers experienced in 2012?
Streit: There’s only one piece of research so far on that question. That was done in Robert Kremer’s lab at the University of Missouri by a post-graduate PhD student. In lab work, the student found that certain traits bred into corn hybrids actually doubled the rate of water usage by the plant. And when we’re working on better water utilization by our corn hybrids, that is absolutely the wrong direction. Unfortunately, virtually all University researchers are forbidden to test that sort of question. Why? Because it might reflect badly on some of the genetic engineering traits already bred into the system."

My quest for pure non GMO lines and biological activity continues.

Ed

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farm Science Review


Today is the opening day of the 50th annual Farm Science Review near London, Ohio. That show was always my fall favorite and my outdoor teaching assignment for 16 years at Blanchester and 8 years at Clermont Northeastern. The other 7 years inbetween, I had to actually work as an extension agent and it wasn't nearly as much fun!

The last 10 years have been more enjoyable but 3 of those years I worked at the Little Miami Watershed booth at the Gwynne Conservation Center. The 3 years I was in college I helped plant the crops for the review and helped out in the animal science, agronomy and agricultural engineering displays. It's been a great education.

The evolution of outdoor farm shows really starts with the county fair in the United States. This is where farm families got together to share their results for the year and what they learned on their farm. That was a big part of my growing up, too.

In 1953, Prairie Farmer Magazine put on the first outdoor farm show that I know of. The purpose was to demonstrate the rapid change in farm equipment in the early 50's. This was in response to the movement from small, general farms to the grain and livestock farm specialization we know today.

By the grace of God, no one ever got hurt on my field trips but we had some close calls. The first year in 1971, one of my new student's dad drove us up and he commented he wasn't sure that bus would get us there and back. It didn't.

The engine blew near the Pickaway County line on I-71 and there I sat with a busload os students deep off the side of the road waiting for another bus. They never sent me in weak bus again and I often got new ones.

I would always assign a major research project for each student in each class and those who stayed home to play sports got to finish without the benefit of the field trip. I got a lot of compliments for keeping my students busy but I really wanted them to think and learn at this great opportunity!

Now our oldest son does the same thing like so many do. The FFA is in action at the review and as a side note, thanks to all those great companies who support the National FFA, they were just named as the top ten places for students to achieve college scholarships!

I hope to see some of my friends at Farm Science Review but there is so much to do there! Since its inception, the review sees a lot more equipment for no-till, gypsum, lime and cover crops. There is a new seed company I intend to look up, Spectrum Seed Company out of Indiana.

See you at the Review!

Ed

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quantative Easing


I am getting a lot of questions regarding QE3.

"Quantitative easing (QE) is an unconventional[1][2] monetary policy used by central banks to stimulate the national economy when conventional monetary policy has become ineffective. A central bank implements quantitative easing by buying financial assets from commercial banks and other private institutions with newly created money, in order to inject a pre-determined quantity of money into the economy. This is distinguished from the more usual policy of buying or selling government bonds to keep market interest rates at a specified target value.[3][4][5][6] Quantitative easing increases the excess reserves of the banks, and raises the prices of the financial assets bought, which lowers their yield.[7]"

Read the whole link if you have time. It's all about the manipulation of money so it is above the average person's head. It is important to every citizen though, especially those of us in business whether we are farming or not.

It affects us greatly in agriculture with our petroleum based economy affecting everything we purchase from diesel fuel to propane to the fertilizer we use and the parts shipped for our equipment.

Here is what we shared in one email:

"I was doing some research on QE and its affect on gasoline prices.
2010: Gasoline in my area was $2.85 a gallon this week.
2011: Gasoline in my area was $3.41 a gallon this week.
2012: Gasoline in my area is $3.98 a gallon this week.

Fact: The United States has used 6.5% less fuel as a nation in 2012 compared to this time in 2010. Despite us using 6.5% less fuel as a nation, fuel prices are 39.6% higher. This QE thing is great for some, but breaking the back of the enduser. Many businesses were screaming higher for the past ten weeks or so until this week when gasoline touched $4.00 a gallon. Now things are slowing again.

I would get into a long drawn out version about how this could backfire on the FED this time but I don't think wasting bandwith is worth it. If money continues to exit treasuries like it did this week, the FED will have taken us to the gates of hell. If Bernanke miscalculated which direction interest rates are headed with this third round of QE, I can only say GOD PLEASE BE WITH US."

All I can say we really need stability in this country and this world needs for us to be stable economically and politically. I see too much uncertainity and too much unrest.

I really can't wait for this election to be over but I do fear neither side will bring the stability we need it and it could well be the match that lights the raging fire.

I also really don't like to think about this but I must put my business and my family in the safest, best working order I can.

What is your take on this? You can't spend forever money you will never have and playing with money markets is dangerous business.

It is definitely going to affect our future and our grain markets right now. The dollar dropped like a rock Friday with more coming. Traders are wondering with the bond market going down, will interest rates go up as usual or stay down?

Thanks,

Ed

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mechanization


It's another beautiful day in southwest Ohio. I hope Woody was proud of his team yesterday but they did make a lot of mistakes. He would have a lot of coaching to do this week!

Joel Gruver shared his slides for one of his classes at Western Illinois University on Crop Talk. It is about the History of Agricultural Mechanization. That has always been a fascinating subject to me. I was privileged to complete 19 quarter hours of Agricultural Engineering at Ohio State while Woody was busy coaching the football team.

What do you think are the most important agricultural mechanizations? Probably one sticks out in your mind but many made life more enjoyable. It sure stirred up the need for mechanics!

My family and most farmers I knew were crop and livestock men, many of them were really animal husbands who had to grow crops to feed their stock. I think dad and grandpa were that way but both had a great interest in agronomy because good feed is necessary for good livestock.

These farmers also needed lots of labor on their farms so family became so important they really had to be good husbands! My dad's family is the last generation to have a big family in order to have enough help on the farm. As machines were adapted to the farm, many farm families dwindled in size, too. Not all, but my family did.

The tractor was the most important tool when I was a kid. I was tractor crazy! The tractor wasn't worth much though without a tool to pull so all kinds of tools were invented to pull behind the tractor, steam to combustion engined.

We had a tractor, a plow, a disk, a harrow, a drill, and a corn planter. The corn was husked by hand until the corn picker came to our farm, then the wagons changed shape from flatbeds with sides to gravity beds the grain would roll out of. One neighbor bought a pull type combine and he cut our wheat.

The one tool that seemed to have the most effect for change on our farm was the notill planter. This was 1976. Soon, all those other tools sat rusting in the barnyard. I remember when moldboard plows brought less than scrap iron price at farm auctions.

The drill never fell out of favor on our farm though and the notill drill probably has saved more soil than the sowing of fescue in the south. Fescue is credited for saving millions of tons of soil from not eroding into watersheds.

Take a look at Joel's presentation and leave your comments, please. I enjoyed it and I think you will also. I have several books on the subject in my personal library.

I am looking to taking a friend to the 50th annual Farm Science Review near London, Ohio this week. There we will see the latest in farm inventions and many of them in actual use in the demonstration areas.

It's sure to be a good week!

Ed

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Woody


Wayne Woodrow Hayes remains as one of my heroes. I was reading my last issue of the Ohio State Alumni magazine featuring the history of Ohio State football coaches. Of the hundreds of wins of Ohio State football teams since its inception in 1890, Woody's record stands out.

205-61-10 is his record. That is more than most of the other Ohio State coaches combined. But the man was more than that record and I got to witness it first hand.

I started my college education in the summer of 1968. The fervor for the great '68 team was vibrant. I would have not missed my student tickets for anything in the world! That was a great privelege I received with my tuition as part of my Alma Mater.

1968 was a great year for me in the middle of changing times. Both Kennedys had been murdered along with Martin Luther King. It wouldn't be long until the Kent State shootings and pandomonium across the country with the Viet Nam War protests.

The 68 team took that all away. It seemed every Ohio State football season overshadowed whatever was going on in the world to those of us who appreciated Ohio State football.

"Woody got off to a rocky start, but he eventually transformed the Buckeyes into a national powerhouse, winning more Big Ten Championships, National Championships and games against Michigan(16) than any other Ohio State football coach.

To say that Hayes preferred to run the ball is a wild understatement. Incredibly, in 1956, the leading passer was not quarterback Frank Elwood but left halfback Don Clark, who hit three of seven passes for 88 yards. Elwood passed for only 86 yards.

Hayes could be demanding, but he was also a genuinely caring man who left a deep impression on his players. Many of them remarked on the grief they felt at his passing.

In his last season, Hayes earned $42,000."

The part for me was that he was a generally caring man. That is what I saw in my father and always tried to emulate myself. That is why men like Woody and dad are such important heroes in my life. It's pretty neat when your dad and your football coach is your hero!

I always wish the Buckeyes the very best but Wayne Woodrow Hayes was the man that made that all happen.

Ed

Friday, September 14, 2012

Archuleta!


Archuleta! I am venting my frustrations before I write this blog. The cheapest gas I saw in 200 miles yesterday was $3.82 in my own little town so I filled up. I headed for Wilmington this morning for errands and there is gas down to $3.55! Argh! I mean Archuleta! I also forgot Extension is now closed on Fridays so I couldn't get my Farm Science Review tickets presale!

Ray Archuleta is a unique USDA NRCS soil scientist who is really breaking down the old walls of tillage and corn soybean rotations. I missed him at dear Lake Darling last week but I got to see him at Dave Brandt's giant field day yesterday, the Ohio No-Till Field Day.

I forgot how to get there the quickest way so I was a little late. They are tearing up one of the best roads I travel, Greene Road to repave! I wonder what in the world is wrong with that good road? When I finally turned on to Western Basil Road in Fairfield County, you could see the hundreds of cars and pickups glistening in the morning sun!

I pulled into the drive and there must have been 40 ag science students to park us! I knew it must be a local chapter so I asked the students and found out they were from Liberty Union schools. I knew why the kids were there. In order to visit the field day, the teacher had to offer to park the cars but he had to bring the whole class. I have been there myself so I knew what was going on. 40 students in Ag Science II class! That's pretty good!

There were 350 chairs spread across Dave's shop and they were filled and probably another 100 people were standing. Gabe Brown from North Dakota spoke on cover crop diversity and Ray demonstrated his slake and other soil lab visuals so farmers could see the advantage of notill and cover crops. It was all quite impressive.

Wagons took visitors to the plots of various covers while a yellow spray plane sowed cover crop seeds across the various fields. It was quite a site and a beehive of activity!

Some notes to think about this winter:
The Phosphide Lipid Fatty Acid test is being used to study soil quality.

Gabe recommends all 4 types of cover crops in a mix, warm and cool season grasses and broadleafs but mixes can be targeted to a goal.

Non GMO fields are needed in Ohio for analysis of contribution to the phosphate algae problem in tile in watersheds.

Look at the LaMotte and Morgan soil tests to fine tune my older OSU-Midwest soil tests.

Number one killer of earthworms, soil life is cold hard steel because we let copatrophic bacteria destroy glomulin and other soil goodies(we knew that???).

Parts of Iowa, the Ukraine and Argentia share "the best soils in the world", the "Cadillac of soils" but we turn them into a Volkswagen in performance with tillage and monocrop corn/aoybean rotation.

Slake test showed a Cadillac turned into a VW with tillage and poor crop diversity, and a VW soil turned into a V-8 engine with cover crops and notill.

NoTill soil held more water and fertilizer and showed in the drought.

1% Organic Matter holds 19,000 gallons of water.

Organic Matter is 58% Carbon and tillage releases it.

40 year NoTill plots at Coshocton(now shut down by our government due to "budget restraints") averaged 38 inches of rainfall per year:
NoTill plots lost almost 7 inches of that 1580 inches of rainfall in 40 years
Conventional tillage plots lost over half that rainfall and over 10 tons of soil lost per acre year.

In summary, I know to notill and how to use it. I neec more diversity in my crop rotations and the easiest way I can do that is through cover crops but that is not easy. It requires more work and money but is worth the investment.

To all of this I say Archuleta! Keep preaching and teaching Ray as many are listening and we will work together to spread the good word!

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Best of the Week


I was going to call this Archuleta! but I had too many other things to share today. I will devote tomorrow to Archuleta!

I saw Ray again today and I think Archuleta is Spanish for soil health! That man is crazy about soil health and doesn't even farm but I will save that for tomorrow.

I saw so many good posts on Ag Talk this week I had to share them with you. The picture is 1000 moline's summary statement on his completed corn harvest! I hope his yield maps don't look like this but I think they are pretty much one color!

Should I really join Facebook? Ask someone who bought stock!

If you have ever driven a combine, you have to read "A Boy and His Combine" by Dennis O'Connor! I had the O'Connor brothers in ag class many years ago and they must be closely related!

Find out what happens when you try to run that combine in Kansas or Nebraska on a day like today! I always wanted to go myself and just happy today wasn't the day like Robert W. Grief.

Here is how my fall garden should look but I don't care that much for those kinds of greens!

Here is one of those thinking videos of what we are doing to ourselves today. Beware, but I am afraid it is true.

Here is a great invention that could save many unnecessary lost lives.

I still like LuAnn's, though, this could save our grandkids though our children aren't likely candidates for this accident but really anyone is.

"My farms bigger than your farm," would include this candidate. I bought gas in the town he said is his farm so I must have passed some of his crop.

Where do you stand on organic food? This is a pretty good discussion by farmers who mostly do not grow organically or like it "shoved down their throats."

For my friends in Holland and for my aerial friends, especially Rick Kettley, this link leads to a heart stopping video!

This is what I remembered writing yesterday's Blog.

Is this the best of the best this week? Did you like my picks? We could have a good conversation on just about any one of thes topics, don't you think?

If you run across any pain before tomorrow's blog, just yell Archuleta! real loud and when they ask you why you said that, you can say just read Ed Winkle's blog tomorrow!

Ed

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goodbye


I was going to title this death but I just couldn't do it. I was called to go see an old friend I have known for over 30 years. He is older than I but we always had a lot in common. He is a good farmer and raises good crops and livestock.

I found out he had a severe stroke two weeks ago and is in a nursing home. He couldn't respond and is barely hanging onto life. You would say he didn't know who was there but I know he knew I was there. I asked if it was OK to pray for him and his wife's friend who was watching over him said sure, so I prayed for healing and for God's Will for his life.

I told her who I was and how I knew him and some stories about us. She seemed happy I was there and I thanked her for doing what many people couldn't do. People like that are truly angels to the sick. She said she did it for her dad and that Jerry's wife had helped her through it and now she could return the favor.

The main thing I want to tell you is I didn't tell him goodbye. I told him I would see him again and I will. One way or another I know I will see him again.

She said most farmer friends haven't come to see him and I explained to her why and she already knew. The last place a farmer or anyone else wants to be is where Jerry is but we will all be there sometime, some way or another.

I told her I knew I had to see him for some reason and that I didn't usually do that either. I was just following what I felt God wanted me to do.

I do have a favor to ask of you though. If you would, say a prayer for Jerry and his family. I know they appreciate it. Thanks.

Another friend of ours is completing her master's degree in Zoology. Her husband asked me to complete this survey and it is quite simple. You can be as wordy or quiet as you want about your farming beliefs and operation. He asked me to pass it on to my friends so I am.

It's another beautiful day in southwest Ohio. It will be nice for the CPS Field Day just down the road and for Dave Brandt's Field Day tomorrow near Carroll, Ohio. I hope it is this nice for Farm Science Review near London. I wonder how Husker Harvest days are going this week?

Have a good week,

Ed

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11


Today is almost as beautiful as it was 11 years ago today. It's also Tuesday like it was that day, too. I didn't know it, but it was my last year of teaching in a public High School setting.

I remember it like yesterday. LuAnn and I were newly married and had taken our first camping trip across America. She was working for the Clermont County Planning Commission in Batavia and I was up the road at CNE High School.

She called during second period class and said a jetliner had just hit the World Trade Center. We both knew it was probably no accident so I turned on the classroom TV but it was wired to the school cable and I couldn't get a local station.

I got a clothes hanger out of my office and made a crude antenna on the back of the TV after unhooking the cable. I could get all 3 Cincinnati TV Stations. I got it on just in time to watch the second plane fly into the south tower with my juniors and seniors. Perhaps it wasn't right or moral or ethical to do that but that's what I did.

My job quickly turned from teacher to counselor like it usually did. My students came to school with heaps of problems every day and I always felt like I had to counsel before I could teach. Maybe that's why the main office sent me so many troubled students.

The power of the moment reminded me of being back in Blanchester when a similar thing happened. My agricultural science class was watching the launch of the space capsule that exploded at the second stage and took all the astronauts lives. I did a lot of counseling that day, too.

We knew at both moments that life as we knew it would never be the same again, just like WWI or II or the stock market crash and so on and so on. We were watching history happen very quickly.

Life is much different now. Americans are much less trusting people, at least some of us are. Airplane travel will never be the same. America is different, the world is different.

Some things haven't changed, though. I am still scouting soybeans for seed. I was on my way to Xenia listening to coverage about 9/11 on EWTN on my favorite AM radio station. Those beans are almost ready to harvest but resistant weeds will slow that harvest and dirty the sample.

I saw Allen Collett shelling his dead Pioneer corn hard and fast and wondered what the samples were like. You know farmers are curious and I am really curious. I would guess 150 bushel plus, 20% moisture and decent test weight. I almost stopped to asked but I don't know Allen or his crew that well.

I did hear that a load from Clermont County got rejected for aflatoxin. That is not good news from my area but I also heard many are coming back zero so hopefully it's an isolated case.

Aflatoxin and ADM is in the news on Crop Talk and it is not good. We shouldn't have much if any here but anything is a possibility, especially with this sick corn I have been telling you about now for a year.

Just like 11 years ago, things are not the same from simple everyday life to very complex national world issues. Things have changed in my life and I am sure they have in yours, also.

Kudo's to the fire departments with ladder trucks, flashing lights and flags out. I do remember and I won't forget to pass this on to my grandchildren.

Ed

Monday, September 10, 2012

World Walker


It has been many years since I met the world walker, Steve Newman and now I live across the road from his brother and his family. I was sent this and and thought I would share with my readers since I have been to China and seen the Great Wall myself.

Comrades,

The China trip thus far has been astounding, even overwhelming.

...I've been welcomed with royal pageantry into the ancient walled capitol of Xi'an ( only done for a dignitary once or twice a year--the last dignitary being Bill Clinton). Can't describe the feeling of standing at attention as anciently clad warriors and high priests and drums and trumpets flooded my senses and then the drawbridge was lowered. Xi'an is the start of the silk road, the home to the world famous terra cotta army excavations, and a favorite of Marco Polo.

The press and television coverage has been unbelievable. I had no idea how much the Chinese would make a fuss over the worldwalker.
Turns out they knew of me all along and many were excited when they learned I was finally coming to China. I wish it hadn't taken 30 years to find out that I have an army of fans here half way around the world.

Tomorrow I speak to China's Harvard, Peking University, and hold a whole new round of press conferences. Then it's off to the earthquake disaster in southwest China. There I'll be personally handing out some 1,000 hiking shoes to the volunteer relief workers and rescuers.
When I tweeted to my Chinese Weibo followers the news, tweets flooded my iPhone at the rate of 20 per second for hours.

Everything here happens at mind-boggling levels. Even an excursion into the heart of China's "Appalachia" was a circus of media and officialdom.

I'm going to be forwarding to you the email letters I've been sending to my wife almost daily. They'll give you a good sense of what I'm experiencing, and why this may well be the greatest period to date in my post-worldwalk career.

Please feel free to share the "Letters From China" with the college.
They provide a distinctly insider look at a China that is nothing like our father's China. And even with all those letters say, there's just as much they don't say, due to time constraints. I'm constantly on the go here, as we build to my first walk on the Great Wall. Rumors are that I will have a small army walking with me on those 210 miles."

I would like to see China again myself. I read recently the Chinese found undiscovered lengths of the wall.

Enjoy as we learn how the world has changed since 9-11 which will be remembered tomorrow.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wheat Belly


In her quest for health, LuAnn came across the book Wheat Belly by a Dr. Davis in Wisconsin. He keeps talking about hybrid wheat changing wheat into this obesity causing grain. Does he mean strains? Hybrid wheat failed because wheat is a perfectly self pollinating plant. The average wheat variety takes 13 years from cross to enough to plant in farmers fields.

Help me decipher this mans book. I know there is truth in it but I am only aware of celiac disease allergy to wheat and America's lack of a balanced diet. I am not aware of wheat the cause of bellies in the U.S.

"Wheat: The Unhealthy Whole Grain
Book Excerpt: Wheat Belly
By William Davis, MD

Flip through your parents’ or grandparents’ family albums and you’re likely to be struck by how thin everyone looks. The women probably wore size-four dresses and the men sported 32-inch waists. Overweight was something measured only by a few pounds; obesity rare. Overweight children? Almost never. Any 42-inch waists? Not here. Two-hundred-pound teenagers? Certainly not.

The women of that world didn’t exercise much at all. How many times did you see your mom put on her jogging shoes to go out for a three-mile run? Nowadays I go outdoors on any nice day and see dozens of women jogging, riding their bicycles, power walking—things we’d virtually never see 40 or 50 years ago. And yet, we’re getting fatter and fatter every year.

I am going to argue that the problem with the diet and health of most Americans is wheat—or what we are being sold that is called “wheat.”

Documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans include appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins (the counterpart of internally derived endorphins), exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses. A complex range of diseases results from consumption of wheat, from celiac disease—the devastating intestinal disease that develops from exposure to wheat gluten—to an assortment of neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and the paralyzing delusions of schizophrenia.

The sad truth is that the proliferation of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists. Advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women. Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year.

So why has this seemingly benign plant that sustained generations of humans suddenly turned on us? For one thing, it is not the same grain our forebears ground into their daily bread. Wheat has changed dramatically in the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientists. Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre. Such enormous strides in yield have required drastic changes in genetic code. Such fundamental genetic changes have come at a price.

Wheat starches are the complex carbohydrates that are the darlings of dietitians. “Complex” means that the carbohydrates in wheat are composed of polymers (repeating chains) of the simple sugar, glucose. Conventional wisdom, such as that from your dietitian or the USDA, says we should all reduce our consumption of simple carbohydrates in the form of candy and soft drinks, and increase our consumption of complex carbohydrates.

Of the complex carbohydrate in wheat, 75 percent is the chain of branching glucose units, amylopectin, and 25 percent is the linear chain of glucose units, amylose. In the human gastrointestinal tract, both amylopectin and amylose are digested by the salivary and stomach enzyme amylase. Amylopectin is efficiently digested by amylase to glucose, while amylose is much less efficiently digested, some of it making its way to the colon undigested. Thus, the complex carbohydrate amylopectin is rapidly converted to glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream and, because it is most efficiently digested, is mainly responsible for wheat’s blood-sugar-increasing effect."

Here is a good review of the book and what Western Producer said about the book, thanks to our reader from Canada, Ralph Goff.

He said something like whole wheat bread has more glucose than table sugar. In my studies, I have not seen the changes in genetic code the last 50 years he speaks of. I am familiar with Dr. Norman Borlaug and dwarf wheat and the doubling of yield in my lifetime but not with dramatic gene changes.

"1000's of new strains have made it into the human food supply." The Malabar soft red winter wheat I raise is similar to the Cardinal wheat I raised 30 years ago.

I don't get it.

Help.

Thanks,

Ed Winkle


Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Dairy


This is a feel good story that many people liked in the Cafe. No it is not one of those mega Dutch dairies that went up in Ohio and across the land, it is the story of father helping his 19 year old son start a small dairy.

"Sorry no pics yet,kinda busy today. He is starting small with 27 milking and 13 to come in soon. He is 19 years and loves milking cows and caring for them. First milking is tonight at 5.30. Wish us both the best of luck!!"

We don't have much information, but enough to say Hooray! People like to hear of small farms starting in this day of megafarms and some people actually blaming them for their food!

I liked this story because I know many have considered the same thing to get started farming. I really studied starting my own dairy but I was far enough along in teaching by the time I figured out how to that I would have taken a big drop in income to do it and a new business is always risky.

I sure remember milking cows by hand and my first 4-H project was a very fine Holstein heifer that one many prizes. She wasn't a great milker but she produced many fine calves. One male calf I raised as a steer and got a check for it for $1300 which was a whole pile of money for a kid on a tenant farm in the early 60's.

I wanted to buy a John Deere 70 diesel for sale nearby but dad knew that might keep me from making it to college so he nixed the deal and the money went to the college fund. The feed was his anyway, I just helped produce it.

I saw a John Deere 70 today that looked like that one at the Clinton County Corn Festival. My favorite though was a Super 88 and Oliver 77 shown by Richard Smith of Blanchester. He yelled out, do you like those tractors? He knew I did so he just razzed me a little.

There were 100 or so nice tractors on the grounds today and I enjoyed looking at them. I did find 4 nice pedal tractors though, all of which I would like to own; an AC WD-45, and wide front end IH, White and AGCO pedal tractors. I could buy them all for less than a $1000 which isn't too bad for nice pedal tractors.

We finished the day at Grove City for Ariana's first birthday party. A good time was enjoyed by all, as they say.

Ed

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marestail


Marestail has farmers by the gonads. My friend Hud just posted about his trip around southwest Ohio and how many fields are loaded with them. I have scouted 1000 acres of non GMO soybeans so far for seed and Asian shipment and most of them were loaded with Marestail. They will really have to be cleaned with all that seed in the samples.

I know these guys aren't using enough 2,4-D in their burndowns or at the right time. Tillage isn't the answer for me because I loose too much valuable topsoil. I know they must not be using a full residual, either because the fields I know that have it are much cleaner.

A friend sent a worrisome article on 2,4-D and other chemicals being considered dangerous chemicals and could only be used with the new chemically resistant crops coming out and the tech fees that go with them! Read the PDF file on the first link to read the article.

Atill, my harping on resistant weeds goes un-noticed and it is costing us yield and quality. I think everyone needs to go back to weed school for a refresher and an update. They are teaching it in the pesticide classes I have attended but obviously no one is following their advice.

We went to Farm Mass tonight. We fought one whale of a heavy Thunderstorm from home to below Lynchburg before the roads were dry and no storms. The lightning was so strong and so close it made your hair stand on end.

We had a wonderful Mass in a farmers barnyard I went to school with, the Schwallie's. It was so nice to be so close to nature taking part in the body, blood and divinity. We really enjoyed it. Then we sampled everyone's best dish set out on a hay wagon inside the shop and ate too much. You have to do that once in awhile, don't you?

Archbishop Schnurr sure gives good farm homilies. He was raised in the country in a small town in northwest Iowa and got to close to farming as working on bean crews, hoeing, cutting and pulling out weeds like we used to.

Some southern farmers have resorted to this to fight these resistant weeds and I tell you friend we are not far behind. I never pulled so many weeds as this year and sprayed another tank of Banvel on vines and thistles this afternoon.

Die, weeds, die!

Ed

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pioneer


I just got home after dark after attending Bruce Goodwin's annual Pioneer field day down 28. I always learn something and have a good time because I was his county agent 25 years ago. That just doesn't seem possible. Most of his customers and attendees were my friends and I served them to the best of my ability.

I forgot to take the Droid so I don't have a picture handy but I took plenty and will try to upload one tomorrow. The corn wasn't as green as yesterday's aerial picture taken at Jeff Littrell's near Rochester, Minnesota.

The tastiest part of Bruce's field day is the slow cooked pork loin. It is always delicious. Add Carol's cheesy potatoes, the big pot of slow cooked, old fashioned green beans and a few fresh sliced tomatoes and you have a meal you can't buy anywhere.

I saw the pink leaves and the lesions on the stalks like I have seen in all of my travels. Some varieties are worse than others like everywhere else too but it has more to do with the gene pool that's been added to it, not the pedigree itself.

One smart young man I have been tutoring the last few years ran up to greet me and asked what I thought about this GMO thing. I said what to the leaves and stalks look like? Why, they are sick he answered. Yep, we walked across the plot and compared the pink leaves and lesions. He said I knew you would tell me the truth.

What do we do about it? Not one darn thing until the seed industry sees the next two crops perform poorly and start scratching their heads and wondering, what's happening?

There is one thing we can do though and that is give the plant every chance we can. We can do that with balanced soil, gypsum where we can get it, SabrEx on the seed, and a series of foliar sprays from Jeff's cookbook and some Procidic and other antibacterials thrown in.

I had several ask me about SabrEx because the word is out, the corn is better with it. That alone is a small part of the bandaid we will have to use before the corn industry figues out we have a major problem.

Problems aside, it was a very enjoyable evening with my friends. We talked for 3 hours. Pioneer has come along with their soybeans and Bruce's plot is excellent. But it also had a wierd leaf symptom, soybean veinal necrosis I think they called it. I have to look that one up.

Thanks Bruce and Carol and Randy and all your help for such a wonderful evening on a beautiful, sunny southern Ohio September day.

Ed

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thoughts of Harvest


Everyone who asks me about our trip is jealous in a good way. They are happy for us though as we both earned it and they know we love to travel. I could go camping again as soon as I rest up a little more, ha ha.

I better focus on harvest though first. I can't wait to shell the first corn and see what the moisture and quality is. Aflatoxin is a problem in many places and I hope it isn't here. I don't think it is but I won't know until we shell some.

Today's picture is of Jeff Littrell's new headquarters for FHR farms south of Rochester, Minnesota. He and Keith Schlapkohl has the best corn I have been in across the country. It has had gypsum applied to the soil and 120 lbs of N and 3 foliar sprays by plane. Isn't that the greenest corn you have seen this year?

The husks are browning like they should so it won't be that long for harvest for him either but his corn will be normal maturity where almost every field in the nation died prematurely because of "the entity." I sure would like to be there tomorrow but I just have too much to do and I know where to find out what I need to know.

I was scouting soybeans this afternoon just south of Dayton on the busy US 35 4 lane. Those beans are dead and green as the soil has gravel under it and half of it prematurely died, too. The Asians are going to love the taste of those Pioneer 93B82 soybeans, their favorite soybean to eat. They are willing to pay a premium big enough for farmers to keep growing a 20 year old variety!

We finished up LuAnn's Cajun Gumbo tonight. She made it Sunday and we had so much we called another couple over and just ate gumbo and talked all evening. I would call what we had tonight muddy rice but I think the Cajuns call it dirty rice. I like muddy better because it does look like a good silt loam mud.

If you haven't kept up with Ag Talk there is a lot of interesting stuff on there. The crop page has something new and different on it every day. Today they talked about Monsanto's new triple stack 90-10 Refuge In a Bag.

We just took our evening walk and I have some big radish tubers already and the grass seed I sowed is coming up!

Before I go, check out these trees living one year in a 40 second show!

Have a good day and see you tomorrow.

Ed

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pondering


The last two weeks has given me time to ponder. The modern day record low corn crop, the drought, next year, the big election coming up, so many things. It was nice to just drive down the road and look. I saw so many things I haven't seen before like parts of Canada for example.

One big thing for the ethanol bashers to understand is that though 40% of the corn crop has been going to ethanol, half comes back to the foodstuffs industry in DDG's which has now overtaken soybean meal as a feedstuff. Other products are derived during distilling, too. Probably 40% wont' go to ethanol this year anyhow because of $8 corn.

The world runs on starch and now we have $8 corn. Who ever thought we would be talking about that this a year ago? I knew we weren't going to raise any 164 bushels in a good year and this sure wasn't a good year for corn. I am not sure we will have another one until scientists realize there is something wrong with corn and we make efforts to erase it, if that is even possible.

So what will be next years national corn crop? 150 bushels? 125? 100? I lean toward the bottom two numbers, so anyone who can raise $8 corn at those yield levels, go for it.

Most people think I am nuts so it doesn't matter but I know it to be true. I saw too much unexplained stuff the last two years. My friends got me looking for bacterial wilt last year and I found it all over and this year there is more, much more. It is not the disease itself, it is what caused the plant to catch the disease.

I did take LuAnn on a date to the county fair after work. It sure was hot, almost uncomfortably warm. We had a nice supper at the 4-H booth for a whopping $10 and it cost that to get in. I am a cheap date if you didn't know but we had fun.

Highland County is all about the kids as it should be.

Kids, grandkids, the country and the direction we are going...

That's a lot to ponder.

Ed Winkle

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day


Happy Labor Day! It's only 3 weeks until the Autumnal Equinox. We finally got some rain out of Isaac. They had predicted much more but we got a good boost for the late corn and most of the beans. I will have more cover crop coming up now!

Anyone who flew cover crop seed this week will be well rewarded in most places. Timing is everything in farming, isn't it?

My blog yesterday stirred a lot of interest! Some readers had never heard of it! It had been promoted on TV here for the last month. I even got email asking where to see it so I showed them how to look it up.

Then a friend told me about a whole larger movement described in the movie Thrive. That will be our next movie to see. It is coincedental I am seeing problems in crops when so many other power movements are happening on earth.

Here is something interesting about our U.S. Capitol I did not know. Did you know that? Here is another fact about our country many did not know.

I wonder how soon my corn will be down to 20% so I can start shelling it? I figure 2 weeks but I am anxious to start getting it in so I can get the cover crop planted. With all the pictures of harvest on Crop Talk, it makes me itchy to get started but I sure wouldn't trade yields with many of them, if any.

The first field of soybeans I know of where cut west of Farm Science Review and made 50 bushels but only tested 10% moisture. That's a refreshing report on potential bean yields.

I will be busy certifying fields for seed and foreign shipment this week so maybe that will keep my mind off harvest awhile.

Ed

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2016


I haven't been to a movie theatre in a long, long time. It takes something like Star Wars or Field of Dreams to get me to a theatre but LuAnn wanted to see this movie so we went today. It is a documentary about a native India writer's life compared to Barack Obama's and what he found out comparing their lives.

For one thing, you rarely watch a movie with such a somber audience. You could hear a pin drop through the whole film and when it ended, the audience gave a sounding round of applause and quietly left the theatre. The movie really makes you think. It confirmed a lot of those crazy emails we have all received the last 4 years or so and debunked some others.

The movie's offial site says this, although you have probably already seen it:
"2016 Obama's America takes audiences on a gripping visual journey into the heart of the world's most powerful office to reveal the struggle of whether one man's past will redefine America over the next four years. The film examines the question, "If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?" Across the globe and in America, people in 2008 hungered for a leader who would unite and lift us from economic turmoil and war. True to America's ideals, they invested their hope in a new kind of president, Barack Obama. What they didn't know is that Obama is a man with a past, and in powerful ways that past defines him--who he is, how he thinks, and where he intends to take America and the world. Love him or hate him, you don't know him. -- (C) Official Site "

Here is a good read on the film from a Wallstreet Journal blog.

The Christian Post wrote a fair piece on it I can agree with:

"By juxtaposing Obama's Dreams From My Father – often using Obama's own voice from the audio book version – with narration that includes information from his own two books about the president's past and potential second term, D'Souza makes a strong, intellectual case that the president's dream for this country is not in line with what many consider to be the American dream.

"One of the themes in the movie is the anti-colonial goal of downsizing America in the name of global justice," D'Souza recently told The Christian Post. "So the core idea here is that America has become a rogue nation in the world and also that America enjoys a standard of living that is unconscionably high compared to the rest of the world. So anti-colonialism is a program of global reparations, not racial reparations. It's reparations for global injustice. Obama's goal is to shrink America."

That may seem like an unthinkable thought for a U.S. president to have. However, as "2016" develops, viewers see the giant jigsaw puzzle of Obama's life put together like never seen before. It brings to question, "Who's writing the history books?" What turns out to be one man's, one country's perception of wealthier nations partaking in oppressive takeovers in the past and present, is another man's, another country's view of economic recovery and modernization."

Have you seen it? What did you think? Will you go see it if it comes to your area?

We might end up living in the camper regardless of how this election turns out.

Ed