Tuesday, September 24, 2013


There is no place like home.  I thank LuAnn for taking over last week the days I was gone.  Any of the four major presentations I heard were worth the 440 mile drive.  It's 67 miles to the Indiana line and 225 miles to the Illinois line going around Cincinnati and up Interstate 74.  It's one I've taken many times in my life and 14 or so times in the past 12 years.

Why do I drive to Iowa each year?  I go to learn of course!  I tease my friends I have to go to Iowa to be able to talk to someone with my interests.  I have to go to find the answers to my questions!

Dr. Huber showed us how the 20 known minerals work in plants and why they are not getting there.

Dr. Cooper showed he had a hundred bushel soybean program 40 years ago but industry has taken us backwards.  Is it in the name of easy weed control?  What can we do to rotate chemicals and crops for better outcomes?  Do we really need traited seed?

Dr. Kindness showed us that glyphosate is in everything, even baby formula.  Science didn't know or didn't tell us how the other half life worked, only the first half that rapidly dissipates upon application.

Amy Bandy reminded me how important crop scouting is and why so many come to visit me to see how I scout fields.  Are we soil smart and plant stupid?  Are we plant smart and soil stupid?  Are we a little of both?

Once again we are at harvest.  If you are too busy or need "another set of eyes"(we all do!) about what you are seeing while harvesting, have an inquisitive person aboard the combine.  He or she could be your scout, your seed agronomist, fertilizer rep or your teenage boy in FFA.  Talk about what you are seeing.  Take notes, write it down.  If you have a good monitoring system and storage, note the spots in the field that don't perform or perform beyond expectation.

Many of us feel that having a drill loaded with grain or cover crop mixture right behind the combine is an excellent investment.  Others will spread fertilizer according to lots of information already recorded and decided upon.  Others will spray a herbicide combination and or a crop residue digestion enhancer of some kind.  Few will get all these done but most won't do anything!  What would be the best investment at harvest on your farms???

I need a little of all these operations going on at harvest to prepare my soil for next year's crop.  It looks like the weather will cooperate here the next 30 days.  What I do today has great impact on what happens next year.

I am going to try to leave my fields in better shape than when I planted this spring and summer.

Can you do that?

Ed Winkle

PS Please bear with me as I use pictures I've used before until I get time to work with this computer.  A picture is worth more than a thousand words and that's why I have tried to post a good one every time I write.  Today's picture is entering Nebraska a few years back.  We practice that song from Willie Nelson, "On the road again..."

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