Sunday, August 31, 2014

Grandma, Grandpa Tired

Yesterday our sweep auger broke so grandma and grandpa had to shovel on a semi load of wheat.  I really didn't think we could do it but we did.

We didn't do it by ourselves, we had a smallish 17 year old helping us.  He shoveled like a trooper and was very happy with his "hazard pay."  I don't let just anyone go inside a grain bin but we are down to the last 1000 bushels in a 30 foot bin and you can't get trapped.  You can get sick from grain dust or step into the auger hole but neither of those were much of a threat either.

I don't know how many people still shovel out bins but no one want I've met wants to do it.  We caught the hot weather cooler with a nice breeze which really helped.  I think God was in charge of this whole deal from the day I first walked in my neighbor's field of Lion wheat to certify it, to the day we planted it, to the days we harvested it.

One good thing it did is help grandma see what good seed it is.  She said that was some of the prettiest seed she'd ever seen in her life and she started shoveling as a child like it did.  Not every farm wife would enthusiastically volunteer that job like she did.  It rekindled my deep respect for her farm background and everything we've through together for 15 years now.  Heck of a way to build your relationship, isn't it?

Today we are both stiff and sore and will probably moan a little but I have a great sense of thanks due to our accomplishment.

Once again God took something bad and made something good out of it.

I wish I had a picture to show you but we were kind of caught up in the moment yesterday and taking pictures was not on our agenda.

We didn't think shoveling wheat was either 24 hours ago.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bury Your Underwear???

Some people are going to extremes to prove a point!

"Men’s cotton briefs can serve the needs of science when buried in a field for a few weeks. It’s a takeoff on an agronomy soil test that uses cotton swatches to measure carbon consumption by microbes. Microbes living in soil with plenty of carbon, rich in organic matter to turn into energy, don’t have to eat the cotton. Bacteria in carbon-poor soil will eat what they can scavenge.

The “soiled underwear test” helped Clemson and North Carolina State University Extension specialists teaching a pasture ecology workshop make their points about the importance of healthy soil and how to build it from the grassroots down.

A cattle producer who understands how the interconnected web of life works can have healthier pastures that will be more resilient to drought and more productive over time.

“This is what happens when soil lacks carbon,” said Matt Poore, N.C. State animal scientist turned pasture ecologist.

Poore held up a pair of tidy-whiteys in tatters. Mostly it was the elastic waist and leg bands that remained. The demonstration showed the results of bacteria turning cotton into food. At the other end of the display, underwear that had been in carbon-rich soil were dirty but no worse for wear.

More than 15 cattle producers in the three-day course were impressed, though no one came forward for a closer look.

LOL, I thought it was tighty whities!  "No one came closer for a closer look!"

Question for the day, would your soil "eat" your underwear?

Ed Winkle

Friday, August 29, 2014

Harvest Moon

I wrote this a some time ago and found it today.  I've been wondering what the harvest moon will look like this year and how cold it will be.  It's been a very cool year until late when we finally got our normal summer heat.

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

The garden has been a good one. My friend Steve saved it when he offered to come help till it up with that old fashioned big wheeled push culitvator. It took off ahead of the weeds and never looked back after that, around the first of July.

We have taken over 1000 pounds of produce out of the 30 by 40 piece of land. Took out two big buckets full of tomatoes last night and the freezer is filling with them and corn and beans.

The first planted crops need another 30 days and the late planted crops need 60. They won't get 60 so they will be whatever they are the day Jack Frost takes them.

Last year we were getting ready to shell dry corn, a first in history for me. 190 bu corn at 14% moisture in the middle of September. We lost a third of our potential yield due to drought and heat and still made out well.

Today you have to make out even better because everything we touch turns to gold. There has never been a place I couldn't put extra income to make the farm even better so everything is prioritized. Pushing dirt and cutting trees is first on the list this year, lost about 6 acres of production due to last year's work that never got finished."

September is a busy, outdoor month for us with lots of festivals and activities we like to attend.  This year the expenses have surpassed our income potential so its slow as she goes.

Our grandson Tyler reminds me of 3 years ago about this time when we were anticipating another harvest moon.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Soil Health Explained

I just received this in email and thought it was a good topic.  What is soil health?  How do you explain it?

I have finally learned enough in 64 years I can tell the difference from poor soil health compared to good soil health.  I walk a lot of fields and dig more than many people and it is quite apparent to me what better soil structure is compared to less.

Basically, better soil structure is more crumbly, the plants and roots look healthy in it and it smells good.  It is often darker colored but don't let that fool you.  There are many lighter colored soils due to their formation that are really good soils compared to others.  Black does not mean better though it often is and it can stink because it is anaerobic.  Anaerobic is never good in soil.

Soil needs oxygen or atmospheric air which contains really little oxygen but enough to keep that soil from smelling anaerobic and make it more productive.  I've seen the most oxygenated soils at Keith's farm near Stockton, Iowa, but I have seen them other places, too.  Most fields do not have enough atmospheric air in them, in my opinion.

We all know that the way we farm affects our bottom line.  I don't talk to many people who don't need to address economics first.  Too often it is used to not do what is best for the soil which will make long term profit and sustainability and the answer is no-till.  Cover crops make no-till even better.

My friend Doug Galloway sent me this from Ray Ward in Nebraska.

Ed

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sudden Death Syndrome In Soybeans

My friends across the US are reporting more SDS or Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans each day.  I hear their concern, it knocked 15 pods per plant off my then record crop in 2008.  It was my first chance to break 100 bushels per acre and SDS prevented me from achieving my goal.

"Sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean was first discovered in 1971 in Arkansas and since then has been confirmed throughout most soybean-growing areas of the U.S. SDS is a fungal disease that also occurs in a disease complex with the soybean cyst nematode (SCN, Heterodera glycines). SDS is among the most devastating soil-borne diseases of soybean in the USA. When this disease occurs in the presence of SCN disease symptoms occur earlier and are more severe. Disease symptoms are most pronounced after flowering.

Symptoms and Signs

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean is typically not detectable on the foliage of plants until after the beginning of flowering. Under rare circumstances younger plants may show symptoms. It is always useful to compare the affected plants with healthy plants of the same field when making disease assessments.
Planting date is crucial to achieving big yields but also increases the risk of SDS.  I've never seen SDS in double crop soybeans, they are planted that late.
No-Till and cover crops are your best option.  I did both in 2008 but I planted so early and the varieties I planted were race horse varieties that could not hold up under the infection.  My inoculant/SabrEx strips yielded up to 15 bushels more that year so I have always highly recommended a good inoculant like ABM's along with their strains of trichaderma fungi in SabrEx.
Good drainage is always important but the easiest way to get enough atmospheric air into the soil I've found is gypsum.  1000 lbs or so every fall really decreases the incidence of SDS.
Every year brings its problems and this year it's Soybean Death Syndrome.
I don't think you will find any SDS in Keith's beans.  I was looking for this picture and it was dated today in 2006.
Ed

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Farm Grandma

Kids say the darndest things.  Tyler called LuAnn and called her Farm Grandma.  What a term of endearment!  His little sister Arianna will be three Sunday so we hope to get together.  We have cases of Loganberry, Sahlen's hot dogs and cheese curds to share from our trip up north.

We are the quotable grand parents at the Peter's house.  "If it rains and if it pours, you can cook your smores indoors!"  That's what happened the last time Liam and Finn were here as the rain started to put out our campfire on the patio.  We used our gas oven to bake some smores as the rain was falling outside.

Corbin and Claire are showing their fine looking Hampshire pigs at the Highland County Fair next week.  Highland and Brown Counties have two of our favorite fairs which reminds me of the excellent Erie County New York Fair we saw recently.  I still need to download my pictures and share some of the best ones.

Half the grand kids are in school now and half are not.  There is still a lot of education to do either way.  You learn something every day, don't you?

We are unloading wheat this week as most of my Lion soft red winter wheat is going for seed.  Good seed lots of good soft reds are in short supply this year and we have had a lot of interest in it.  The first load looked excellent with no dust coming off it and little chaff.  We did a decent job of getting it harvested and stored correctly.

Our Clermont, Jacob and Apex soybeans are also in high demand and I hope they all get planted for seed, also.

Maybe Farm Grandma can help Farm Grandpa make some lemonade out of the market lemons this fall.

Ed Winkle

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ohio No-Till Field Day September 9

I have been concerned about what I can possibly say at the Ohio No-Till Field Day in Marion County on September 9.  My visit with Odette Menard and her farmers in Quebec last week cleared that up for me.  I think I know what I need to present.

She took us to the farm of Jocelyn Michon near St. Hyacinth, Quebec.  We were very impressed with his crops and his farming operation.  He has been continuous no-till for 21 years and his soil structure is beyond most fields I have visited.  He has taken a little different approach to farming than my friend Keith Schlapkohl in Stockton, Iowa but his crops are every bit as impressive.

He came to our farm with a bus load of fellow farmers from Quebec in 2008 and saw one of the best crops of soybeans I ever raised until last year.  The color and reproduction of his crops showed the benefits of the improved soil structure he has created.  I challenged the group to explore cover crops and they were hesitant since they farm so far north.  But Jocelyn figured it out and took his farm up another notch.

He showed us the mix of 11 cover crop seeds he is planting.  The big thing I saw is if one cover does not do well in a certain year, others take over and do the job of multiplying beneficial soil organisms.  Believe me his system is really working.

He converted a Monosem planter to twin row and his soybeans and green beans and corn are extremely impressive with very little purchased fertilizer.  Odette says we know the chemical properties too well and don't pay enough attention to soil structure from our farming activities.  I saw on Jocelyn's farm the benefit of paying more attention to soil structure and less to chemical fertilizer.  His yields are way beyond normal and his profit line is strong.

In a year like this with poor income, he makes it up with more profit from less inputs.  Then, he makes even more income in years like the last four where crop prices were higher.

I know what to communicate now a little better.  Don't focus on something like gypsum alone, it is just a tool.  Focus on the entire cropping system.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, August 24, 2014

10 Most Liveable Cities

We have visited 8 of these!

The Economist's 10 Most Liveable Cities
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Adelaide, Australia
5. Calgary, Canada
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand

LuAnn asked which one I would pick and I picked Auckland.  I said we should pick one closer and I said Calgary and she said Vancouver.  We are usually pretty close in our choices.

It is more expensive to live in Canada than in Martinsville.  It's even more expensive to live in New Zealand so there is a price to pay no matter where you live.

We have enjoyed our time in Quebec but it is time to move on.  The worst thing for me is that I can't access my Time Warner email unless I purchase Cable Mover so if you have emailed me this week, I am a week behind on email.

I guess for now, Martinsville will have to do!  We might visit Charlottesville, Virginia where the climate is even more moderate and we can take University of Virginia classes for free!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Soybeans Test 12 Brix

Today we visited a no-till farm in Quebec with soybeans testing a Brix reading of 12.  That is as about the most I've ever heard of or seen in soybeans.  The plants were super healthy with just a little bit of white mold showing in a few spots.  Other fields have more mold and disease but all of the beans I've seen in Quebec impress me.

What is this fellow doing differently?  He has been continuous no-till for 21 years on this farm.  He has added cover crops since he visited our farm in 2008.  He has really upped the anty for crop production in his operation.

His soil is a lakebed 145 feet deep with only 8 inches of rich, black topsoil.  With his methods he has increased that depth to 15 inches deep.  This is one of those unheard of stories you hear at a few places like the National NoTillage Conference.  We saw it first hand today.

Odette Menard and her followers in Quebec are after soil quality from improved soil structure.  Water does not stand on these soils like they once did where these methods are used.  The tillage ground looked very much like the tillage ground in the states, impervious layers that don't allow oxygen to move down to the root zone, causing anaerobic conditions.

The difference between the two is amazing.  These farmers are not so concerned with the soil test as they are the soil quality from improved soil structure.  We understand the chemistry of the soil better than we do the physics of the soil.

This reminded me of what no till and cover crops are all about so we can weather these low price years and make more in the higher priced crop years.

This picture is soybeans from tillage, the soybeans I saw today have twice as many pods and I still call this picture excellent soybeans.

Ed Winkle

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quebec Agriculture

The first farm machine we saw in Quebec was one of these combines, pulling a flex head behind him.

August is prime time for agriculture in Quebec.  Fruits and vegetables are fresh and plentiful and the prices are not too bad at the farm or market.

On May 16, 2006, the Census of Agriculture counted 30,675 farms in Quebec, a 4.6% decrease during the past five years. This is slightly lower than the 7.1% decrease at the national level. On Census Day, there were 5,316 fewer farms in Quebec compared to 1996. A census farm is an agricultural operation that produces an agricultural product intended for sale.

Quebec accounted for 13.4% of Canada’s 229,373 farms in 2006, slightly higher than the share in 2001. Quebec’s total ranked 4th in Canada.

At the same time, Quebec reported 45,470 farm operators, a 4.1% decline from 2001.  I am sure the latest census will show more of the same, just like in the states.

Farm area

Farms in Quebec averaged 279 acres of land in 2006, up from 263 acres five years earlier.
Total area of land on farms in Quebec increased 1.3% between 2001 and 2006 to 8.6 million acres in 2006. It has about 5.1% of the total farm area in Canada.

Farmers reported 4.8 million acres of cropland in Quebec in 2006, up 4.5% from 2001. The province accounts for about 5.4% of all cropland area in the nation. Cropland is the total area in field crops, fruits, vegetables, sod and nursery.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Day Of Kindergarten

 
It seems like yesterday, the doctor put my baby daughter into my arms.  Little did I know the joy she would bring me and everyone she met since that day.  And those four sweet grand children she gave us!  Happy birthday, Becky!
 
Three of our grandchildren just had their first day of kindergarten!  So did my sister's grandson.  I love the German word kindergarten, it reminds me of my love of children and gardens.

I saw the picture of Tyler getting on the school bus and thought, there goes a young man into the next phase of his life, one that will change him forever.

I still remember my experience of kindergarten, 60 years later!  I had good teachers and I can remember all the ones who had such a great impact upon my life.  Do you remember those teachers in your life?

School has become a great influence upon our people.  It has changed greatly in the past 100 years, especially the last 50 or so.  The great increase in knowledge of peoples we take for granted can be linked to good schooling at earlier and earlier age.

Unfortunately this knowledge has not brought peace to the people.  Good schooling does not guarantee good principles that keep people civil.  Civility is lacking in the world today and it seems like the world is coming apart at the seems as these young children seek a better path.'

I pray for peace in the world but the best I can do is teach my dear grandchildren how important it is to keep evil out of your life and how to respond to it when they encounter it.

That's the best I can do today.

Blessings to our grandchildren, especially our new kindergartners!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saint Joseph's Oratory

In 1904, Saint André Bessette, C.S.C., began the construction of St. Joseph, a small chapel on the slopes of Mont Royal near Notre Dame College.[2] Soon the growing number of the congregation made it too small. In 1917 a larger church was completed that had a seating capacity of 1,000. In 1924, the construction of the basilica of Saint Joseph's Oratory was commenced; it was finally completed in 1967.[2]

Father Paul Bellot, an architect, completed the dome of Saint Joseph's Oratory between 1937-39. The dome is the third-largest of its kind in the world after the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d'Ivoire and Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.[3]

Between 1949-51, architect Gilbert Moreau carried out alterations and improvements to the interior of Saint Joseph's Oratory, as well as to the adjacent monastery, and rearranged the sacristy in the basilica.[4]

The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Brother André credited all his reported miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicapped, blind, ill, etc.) poured into his Basilica, including numerous Protestants. On display in the basilica is a wall covered with thousands of crutches from those who came to the basilica and were allegedly healed. Pope John Paul II deemed the miracles to be authentic and beatified Brother André in 1982. In October 2010 Pope Benedict XVI canonized the saint.

A reliquary in the church museum contains Brother André's heart, which he requested as a protection for the basilica. More than 2 million visitors and pilgrims visit the Oratory every year. It is located at 3800 Queen Mary Road, at Côte-des-Neiges (near the Côte-des-Neiges metro station).
Composer Émilien Allard notably served as the church's carillonneur from 1955-1975. For RCA Victor he released the LP album Carols at the Carillon of Saint Joseph's Oratory for which he wrote the arrangements.[5]


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Malone, New York

After 15 years, we finally made it up to far northern New York, where LuAnn's parents grew up.  We are close to Montreal and Lake Champlain, so this is about as far as you can go in the state of New York.

No wonder the children move away from here because there is only subsistence farming, mining and logging for survival.  There is some tourism but not enough to employ a lot of people.

We stayed in an 1820 home last night.  It was nice but it showed its age.  The floors in our 1880 home are much more substantial.  It had beautiful surroundings though, right on a high edge of the Salmon River.

I asked LuAnn what she learned on this trip so far and she quickly answered, "the deep Catholicism in my family, witnessed by the commonality of the headstones in the cemetery."  Malone Cemetery is probably the prettiest little cemetery I've ever seen, with a big stone cross in the center, and rows of plots with trees in a circle, spoking out from the cross, the center piece.

We are eating our way across New York and need to slow down.  There is too much good food up here and LuAnn knows ever little diner you can think of and if she doesn't, it is too easy for me to find one.

The dairies left seem to be doing pretty well and the crops look good, but late.  We saw some corn so little I can't imagine it making good silage.  Now is primetime for sweet corn, vegetables, potatoes and fruit here.  It is all of excellent quality and we've seen some good ideas for farms and farm markets.

It's a unique trip and the weather is cool but we are having cool time.

Ed and LuAnn

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mowing Soybeans

We mowed the tops of some soybeans this year before they started blooming.  The podding effect has been tremendous, more than anything else we have tried like Cobra, UAN, growth hormones, foliar feeds etc etc.

Has anyone else tried mowing off your beans to stimulate growth?  What did you find?

My friend Keith is impressed with his 2 by 2 planter application of CAN 27.  Look it up, it is calcium ammonium nitrate with 27% nitrogen.

The blogs may be short and far between for awhile but we are trying to answer the voice mail and email.  I am keeping up the best I can.

Ed

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Crops In The Northeast

Crops in the northeast are late, green and wet.  Corn looks like an entirely different color than the color we are used to seeing at home.  I know earlier hybrids look a little different and it is hard to describe the color difference.  I think they will have a good crop but we' seen a lot of what I call silage corn in the last two days.  Most of that will go to silage too as I travel to the north and east of my home there are more dairy cows and livestock, too.

The beans look really late and many are yellow.  Some were so yellow I thought they were very sick until I stopped and looked.  We had travelled to an area of dry bean production and the plants were naturally dying.  They looked like they had been sprayed with glyphosate and had extreme Manganese tie up.

We have seen a ot of new alfalfa plantings in the last day, too.  The alfalfa just looks excellent and I should have stopped and taken a picture for Hay Wilson down in Texas.  I didn't see any Boron or Potassium deficiency so they must have their nutrient program up to snuff.

It looks like they had a good cereal crop and we even saw some windrows of straw that hadn't been baled yet.  The weather this year has sure put us all on a different schedule.  It feels like we haven't quit running since April 1 or whenever the weather first broke.

How are the crops looking in your area?  What is your main concern?  I am concerned how dry these crops will be and how hard it will be to get harvest finished this year.  It looks like a cool September and we really need more heat!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, August 16, 2014

175 Years

The Erie County New York Fair is celebrating 175 years.  We got to visit it today and were very impressed with what we saw all day from one end of the fairgrounds to the other.  It has been some years since we last visited and there have been so many positive changes, it rivals state fairs, let alone the best county fairs we have visited.

The Agricultural Discovery Barn was very impressive.  You see the MooTernity Ward as soon as you walk into the new building with many cows with brand new born calves.  The barn is filled with farm displays that help anyone see how foodstuff is grown.  There is a 7088 CIH combine with a simulator inside the cab where you control the machine on video.  There was a long line of adults and children to take their turn inside the simulator inside a real combine.

Wouldn't you I walk outside to the barns and there is one of best displays of classic tractors I grew up with I've ever seen!  Oliver, Cockshutt, Minneapolis Moline and International Harvesters were line up like a parade, amongst other brands.  There was a rare early 8006 Deutz from Germany I really enjoyed.

The various crop displays were excellent and state fair quality.  In that building we ran across the booth she used to man as Erie County Soil and Water District Coordinator and there was a man she had hired years ago.  He now has her old position and has brought in 8 million dollars in grant money since he took over her post.

It was record cool at the fair today but the displays were record cool, too!

We really enjoyed it!

Ed Winkle

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Keeping My Grain Identifiable During Harvest

I work with keeping crops identifiable and not generic quite a bit.  I ran across these tips that is something I believe in and try to do.

Harvest
If GMO corn hybrids planted within 50 feet boundary, harvest the border rows separately and market the harvested crop as commodity corn.

Clean the combine, bins, and equipment.

Adjust the combine for best grain quality.

Avoid rocks and dirt when harvesting. This includes combining, transport and storing of the crop.


Transportation and Storage
Record which fields (hybrid/varieties) went to which storage bins.

Use bins with good aeration - field dry corn when possible to maintain grain quality.

NO chemicals to be used in storage units - use diatomaceous earth products (Protect-It® or INSECTO)

Clean truck hoppers/beds.

Scout fields for weeds, insects, and presence of other commodities (volunteers).

Visually inspect storage and hauling units to be sure that they are clean.

Communicate commodity and Identity Preserved status to driver.


Delivery
Inform drivers as to Identity Preserved status of loads.

Inform drivers as to the specific hybrids/varieties being delivered.

Be sure to communicate to the Probe/Scale personnel the Identity Preserved Status.

Use the company protocol system for proper Identity Preservation.

Do you believe it is worth the time and money to keep your grain identified and not dumped into one big pile as corn or soybeans?

Ed

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Lawn Is Getting That August Brown Look

Our lawn is getting that August brown look.  It almost always happens.  I can't remember a year in 11 summers here it hasn't but a few were greener than others.  2004, 2009, 2011 and even 2013 comes to mind.

If you mow all summer you usually have good crops here.  Even if we quit mowing in August we have good crops.  2012 we quit mowing in June and the crop showed it.

My weekly rain report from Spatial Rainfall Consulting showed one of the driest weeks since October 1 last fall, only .1 inch here.  This is the time when a farmer would like to see a good one inch soaker or two but we have had so many in the past months, they are running out of gas.

My friend Reed Carey had 3.5 inches in the last two days just up the road but the last 2 inches came in less than 2 hours and he figures he lost an inch of it.  Still, he upped his predicted corn yield average to 225 and I told him the beans may even fair better.  August rains are the key to soybean yields and that is why the record yields usually come from irrigation.

Good crops are one things but farming is all about management.  I can focus on the agronomy so much I forget the marketing aspect which can make you or break you.  This is the year it paid to sell as much as you felt comfortable with before the crop was even planted.

We got to talking about standability in high yield soybeans this week.  I have not seen a better standing soybean that the semi dwarf's that Dr. Richard Cooper bred some time ago.  The Apex soybeans we grew were really sturdy but you must set yourself up to shave the ground at harvest as they bottom pods are low to the ground.

3.5 inches of rain would make any soybean perk around here but a tenth or a half inch, not so much.

Do I want to mow or not mow?

That is the question.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pigs And Fords

One of our long time friends and readers sent me this interesting piece:

"TILLAMOOK, Ore.—Driving in circles while holding a pig properly is something that demands hewing to the rules.

The Pig-N-Ford Race has long been the premier event at the Tillamook County Fair in this town of about 5,000. Each racer grabs a young pig from a pen with one arm, crank starts a Model T Ford with the other and drives around a dirt track clutching the porker.
 
As the pigs join their racers this weekend for the 2014 Pig-N-Ford finals, they will face some of the sorts of rules, rivalries and whiff of controversy that often consume motor sports.
 
The contest was once a freewheeling, low-key affair, says 77-year-old George Hurliman, who stopped racing in the 1980s after building a dynasty of nine career championships. "It used to be—it was more like buddy-buddy."
 
That was long before the Great Camshaft Controversy of 2010. Marty Walker, a UPS driver from nearby Sherwood, that year tied Mr. Hurliman's record with a ninth win and solidified his own porcine/automotive dynasty.
 
Mr. Walker's rivals suspected he cheated. So they exercised their rights under Article 7 of the Tillamook County Model T Pig and Ford Association Racing Rules, which lets members pay $100 to challenge the vehicle's legality."
 
We have visited this area but never found this race!  I have several email friends within short driving distance of Tillamook so I wonder if they've watched this race and what they think?
 
It sounds like an exciting, crowd drawing competition to me!
 
I ran the stock Oliver 88 side panels on my Oliver 88 pulling tractor so people would be less tempted to see what was "under the hood!"  I remember taking them off after awhile because the side panels drew more curiosity than they prevented!
 
Combine demolition derbies had their day in the sun in Ohio but I don't see many of them anymore.  This sounds like an old tradition that has stuck.
 
What does your county fair do to draw crowds that is unique?
 
Ed Winkle

Monday, August 11, 2014

From Toledo To Des Moines

"Environmentalists and water officials say Des Moines could easily find itself in the same unhappy boat as Toledo, Ohio: struggling with algae-based toxins that could make water unsafe to drink.
"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said Bill Stowe, chief executive of the Des Moines Water Works. "With the right conditions, it could have been Des Moines, Iowa."

The state has adopted a voluntary plan that has Iowa farmers working to reduce nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which can feed the toxic blooms and contribute to high levels of nitrates that must be removed from drinking water.

But Stowe said Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a "prescription for failure," and conditions contributing to the toxic blooms will only worsen without regulations forcing broader action by Iowa farmers and landowners.

"We fight every day with the reality that there are significant contaminants in both rivers. Each day, each hour, we make a decision on which river is least risky in terms of its source water quality," Stowe said.

The Toledo water problem really caught the attention of farmers on Crop Talk since that news broke.  There have been many threads of discussion since that happened.  They are well founded too, if we are going to avoid more regulation on how we farm.

It may be too late because "the cat is out of the bag."  I have posted several blogs on the seriousness of our water supply here this year.  It isn't going away.

I am doing my best to keep the water of our farms clean and I am sure you are, too.

What can we do to provide cleaner water running off our soil, store all of it we can for crop needs and make a profit?

That alone is one of the reasons I write this blog.  My passion for no-till, cover crops and soil quality is a given as I try to make a profit.  This is not a hobby farm and land ownership is serious business in my mind.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Killed My Comment Section

Blogging is funny and people are fickle.  I was getting a nice group of comments on each blog until I published Does Wildlife Prefer Non GMO?.  I went to link it here for reference and it was gone.  I will have to see where it went!  I guess you can't talk about certain things without people crawling out of the woodwork and saying things that other people say the heck with and leave.  At least they quit commenting, that's for sure.

One friend explained I shouldn't let certain people comment and he's right but I've always kept an open forum and I hope an open mind.  Some people don't think so!

I am finishing up my IRM project for the summer and I ran into the same thing this week.  I called on a farmer and got really upset that he was being audited two years in a row.  He got so upset he called his dealer and told them where they stick their seed and he could buy somewhere else.  He called his DSM which also got upset and wondered how in the world I got that list.  It was just passed through the channels down to me.

I hope it has blown over by now but one angry person can ruin a bunch of people's day!  I don't run into that too much thankfully and steps will be taken to see that doesn't happen again.  I guess I need to do the same thing here.

Today is another day for the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery Show.  Maybe LuAnn and I can go down and enjoy it and be good company to each other.  We both need that right now.  I helped her a little twice this week.  Her job has been a real zoo with semi loads of bird feeders moving in and out of her small building for repackaging and distribution.  I know she has been stressed and I have tried to be understanding.  She has been very understanding to my needs too, and I know it must work both ways.

If you have comments, please continue making them.  I enjoy your comments and they add much to my blog because they add to my thinking and perspective.  Don't let one bad apple spoil your barrel and I will try to do a better job!

I really want to print a book for each year of this blog as it has my life story in it for the last five years.

Thanks,

Ed

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Radish




It's time to plant radishes in the garden and in the fields to improve soil health and control weeds.  Using the small grass box on a drill at 5-6 lbs per acre, use alfalfa setting as a guide to set seeding rate. A large seed box can be used but the setting is very low and somewhat difficult to establish. Use alfalfa as comparable seed on drill charts, reducing by 10%. It's important to calibrate your drill to determine correct seeding rate.
Remember radish is about 30,000 seeds per pound where wheat is closer to 10,000 seeds per pound.  It makes sense to plant a grass seed with radish as the two different crops work well together.  50 lbs of rye or wheat or oats and 5 lbs of radish makes a very nice mix.
Broadcasting (High Boy) / Aerial Seeding (8-10 lbs/acre): Strive for good soil and moisture contact (If fields are moist, fly seeds on. If fields are dry, push seeds in)
  • Standing corn seeding indicator is when 1" patches of sunlight on soil surface are seen or approximately 4 weeks prior to anticipated harvest time
  • Standing soybean seeding indicator is at leaf yellowing, prior to leaf drop
  • Cotton seeding indicator is right before defoliation
  • Improve success rate by using drop tubes when seeding with a high clearance cover crop seeder.
Precision Planter (4 lbs/acre): 15" rows using 60-cell small milo or sugar beet plate with 4" in-row spacing. Seed is selected for Precision Planting performance.
Nitrogen: To reach peak potential, needs 40-60 lbs of N, residual or applied.
Planting: For best results, plant in late summer to early fall, at least 3 weeks (typically 30-60 days) prior to the first average killing frost. Green growth starts in less than a week in normal conditions; radish size depends on growth time, length of sunlight, plant competition and available nutrients to scavenge. Tillage Radish® is a broad leaf plant. Consider this when planning your herbicide program.
Planting Depth: 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Can be planted 1" in light soils if necessary to reach moisture. When using a high clearance seeder, germination rate will be improved by using drop tubes to improve seed-soil contact.
Seeding Rate:
  • Drilling: 6 lbs/acre
  • Broadcast / Aerial: 8-10 lbs/acre
  • Precision Planting (15" with 4" in-row): 4 lbs/acre
Control: Tillage Radish® winterkills with 3 consecutive nights in the mid-teens. If no winterkill, control with mowing, grazing or burndown of one quart of glyphosate with one pint of 2,4-D equivalent at flowering..
I have great interest into why radish works so well on my farm, in my state and across the nation and around the world.  This piece gives us another clue.

If you would like the entire article, send me an email and I would be happy to forward it to you.

I like to start sowing radish here by the end of June, after the summer solstice has occurred.  They tend to not bolt so quickly compared to sowing them sooner and tend to put on more root mass for me.

Radish is an important part of my soil improvement program.  Every gardener can quickly learn the benefits of radish by sowing them between the sweet corn rows and have a nice stand when the last ears are picked and the stalks are mowed down over the growing cover.  Oats and radish make a very nice cover crop to learn with here in the north where both will be dead without herbicide by planting time the next spring.

Ed Winkle

Friday, August 8, 2014

How Much Fertilizer Is In My Wheat Residue?

My wheat variety had more straw than normal this year so I am trying to figure out how much fertilizer I might get from it over time.  I found this chart on Ag PhD to give me some clues.

Nutrient Removal Chart describing how much of each type of nutrient is removed by the stover of a wheat crop.
Wheat Nutrient Removal - Stover Only (lbs)
*N, P, K and S numbers courtesy International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). These numbers are estimations. Actual nutrient removal may vary based on many factors.

My tissue test already shows good release to my double crop soybeans after one month of activity.

The stover removal chart gives me an idea.  What do you guys think I am getting from the estimated 5000 lbs of wheat stover residue per acre?  I can usually have most of it broken down by the end of next year’s crop, not all of it though.  It is already supplying nutrient to the double crop beans in it, looks like potash release is pretty good on tissue test.
 
The number that jumps out at me is potassium.  It is the highest number on the chart.  One of my major benefits of growing wheat is potassium release in the residue.  I work hard at providing enough Boron and Potassium, Phosphorous and Zinc not just for a good wheat crop but for more release to my future crops since I don't bale straw anymore.  Residue is just too valuable for me to transport it off the farm though I admit a good straw sale would equal the double crop soybean sale.
Bushels/Acre150140130120110100908070605040
Nitrogen (N)1059891847770635649423528
Phosphate (P2O5)2422.420.819.217.61614.412.811.29.686.4
Potassium (K2O)1801681561441321201089684726048
Sulfur (S)2119.618.216.815.41412.611.29.88.475.6
Magnesium (Mg)19.518.216.915.614.301311.7010.409.107.806.505.20
Calcium (Ca)11.2510.59.7598.257.56.756.005.254.503.753.00
Copper (Cu)0.0450.0420.0390.0360.030.030.030.020.020.020.020.01
Manganese (Mn)0.750.70.650.60.550.50.450.400.350.300.250.20
Zinc (Zn)0.390.3640.3380.3120.290.260.230.210.180.160.130.10
Boron (B)0.1050.0980.0910.0840.080.070.060.060.050.040.040.03
Iron (Fe)0.8250.770.7150.660.610.550.500.440.390.330.280.22

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Frogeye

"Frogeye leaf spot (FLS) has been increasing in activity over the past few weeks in some fields with the highest severity located in central Arkansas.

In this area, disease severity has ranged from moderate to severe on highly susceptible soybean varieties (Fig. 1).

Alternately, disease severity has remained relatively low in fields planted with resistant varieties. Weather conditions have been favorable for disease development, which consists of cool temperatures (77 to 86ºF) and prolonged dew periods or light rain.

Fields treated at mid-season (R3) with a fungicide may not have season-long protection on highly susceptible soybean varieties thus; these fields should be monitored closely when conditions favor disease development.

During the season, identifying immature lesions of FLS may indicate the leaves are no longer protected by a fungicide and may need to be treated again to finish the season, especially on highly susceptible varieties. Immature lesions on expanding leaves look similar to mature lesions; however, they lack the pronounced maroon or purple edge surrounding the lesion (Fig. 2) and have yet to sporulate.

Even earlier, these immature lesions start out as faint water soaked spots, which can be seen alongside immature lesions on some leaves (Fig. 2). Alternately, immature lesions on fully expanded leaves often appear as unexpanded smaller spots or purple specks with faint tan center (Fig. 1).
Given that strobilurin-resistant FLS has been detected in the state, (See earlier publications on this blog) immature lesions shortly after fungicide application in a strobilurin-alone (FRAC 11) fungicide program could indicate a fungicide-resistant strain is present in the field. Fungicides are not recommended on R6 soybeans. See MP 154 for fungicides labeled for use on soybean in Arkansas.
click image to zoom
Sudden death syndrome has been observed on a few plants in some fields across the state. Symptoms for this disease often begin on one or a few plants in the field, commonly along the irrigation manifold where cool water favors disease development.

Field-wide symptoms that look similar to SDS could indicate triazole phytotoxicity if recently (~ 14 d ago) sprayed. Triazole fungicides are often used to treat FLS, especially where strobilurin-resistant FLS has been detected or suspected in a field.

Finally, soybean rust (SBR) has not been observed in the state but was reported earlier this month in southern Louisiana. In 2013, SBR was reported in mid-June at similar locations in southern LA. So, unless a tropical storm develops and distributes spores throughout the Mid-South, SBR will likely take a similar course as last year when it was first detected in August but did not spread statewide until October, too late to cause any significant yield loss. This was primarily due to dry conditions in southern Arkansas.

It has been 10 years since SBR was first detected in the US. In that time there was only one year when the UA Extension Plant Pathologists recommended a fungicide to protect a major portion of Arkansas’ soybean crop. Since rust must be reintroduced each year into the state, early detection is crucial to management."

What do I do to prevent frogeye leaf spot?  The same thing I do for all crops, provide plenty of calcium and sulfur for soil health and fertility, crop rotation and select varieties carefully.  Fungicide programs can help but I deal more with soil health and fertility and spend the money there instead of a chemical plan.  I would rather avoid the sick patient.  Once he is sick, he can be hard to cure.

We do have Frogeye in my area this year but it started with bacterial blight and Septoria Leaf Spot which weakened the plants.  Chemical sprays remove the protective wax on the cuticles and can help the diseases get inside the leaves.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Foggy

It is foggy here this morning.  It reminds me of the Septembers of my earlier years, not necessarily August.  Usually it is hot and dry in August, but not this year.  It's been another crazy year in Ohio and I hear the same thing from many of you.

The crop is very green in my area and in my travels.  Most Augusts, the crop is not as green or is even dying down by now.  We are behind in heat units compared to most years and we are ahead in moisture totals like last year, 2011, 2009 and many other years.

What does this all mean?  We have had a great summer for humans and animals but the crop could use a little more heat.  I definitely expect more moisture in the grain at harvest times unless things change quickly.  We are not in a pattern for that to happen.

My friends in Iowa say the fields are full of "potholes" like I have seen all year here.  Those potholes will make the yield monitor turn to red.  Will the gypsum we applied make more green?

From my walks, I think so.  Gypsum moves down with each rain which means to me there is more atmospheric air and oxygen behind it.  It is a never ending process as long as I keep feeding my soil a little more calcium sulfate.

The crops sure are green where we have spread gypsum and I think they are a little ahead in maturity of the non spread fields.  Time will tell.

The fact is one ton of gypsum gives my 420 lbs of soluble calcium and 320 lbs of soluble sulfur my soil test says I need.  I see it, too.  At $6 per ton at the plant, it is the most inexpensive nutrients I can buy today to improve my crops.

Is that true on your farm?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

4-H And FFA

You have heard me say I got my start in 4-H and advanced it in FFA.  I can't say it better than my friend Russ in Idaho did in the Café.

"After reading St. George Guys thought on 4-H and how in his feelings, it is a scam. Well I'm here to tell you that 4-H and FFA are two of the most rewarding programs for the cost of them for our new generation of kids. First and foremost the one statement I would like to say is I've never seen kids that are involved in those two programs having to be enrolled into rehab. So that there is a win in my book. It teaches compassion, caring for animals, respect for others, willingness to help other people, and also life skills to be able to function in life.

Sorry Mr. St. George Guy you must have had bad experience's with you or your kids at the fair. But let me tell another side of showing animals at the fair and markets sales. My boys and as well as my wife and I were involved in those programs. It is a family thing, we don't get to take family vacations as it is tough to get away from dairy and beef cattle operation, plus haying season. So it is what we do as a family. I've always funded my kids projects, by either buying their lambs or letting them pick calves from our herd. I pay for the feed, and kids get all proceeds' from the sale of their animals. Yes mom and dad helped in the early years when kids where small, but as they growed up they learned to handle their own animals. They do most all the work themselves. It isn't mom and dad doing all of it.

Our ranch and dairy is built on the blood and sweat and tears of over a 133 years of family tradition of raising livestock and crops. Everybody works together to produce a crop be it a 10 year old kid or a 80 year old. If we need to help a school age kid learn these life lessons so be it.

I will agree some of the market sales have been flooded with show ring jockey animals that parents have bought trying to make Johnny or Suzie Grand Champion. You will always have that, even in sports at school. So is it right to pull your kids from the program, because of this? This is one of those life lessons that is taught from this program, that life isn't fair. That you have to make your own destiny. And some business will pay some pretty high prices to these kids for their projects. Well if these business choose to spend their money that way so be it! It is their dollars, just like you have a choice to boycott their business if you so choose.

I'm glad that these businesses choose to support our youth this way, plus it gives them advertising. I know I choose to support businesses that support 4-H and FFA kids. They are investing in my kids as well as others futures so I will invest in their business and bottom line.

My boys have never had Grand, one boy got reserve champion one year, most years my boys that been in the top 10 or 20 in the sale. I think that says a lot of our cattle program! We don't breed for sale jockey cattle, we breed for our commercial herd. I will never forget the judge asking my middle boy last year in the ring how much his steer weighed and daily gain. Well my boy also told him how he fed steer a gain ration per % of body weight and his daily gain. It blowed the judge away! The judged turned to the crowd after judging and gave his reasons for placement of steers in the class, he then commented on my sons answers to his questions. The judged was very impressed with my sons answers, and told the crowd that this boy was the future of production agriculture, and their wasn't any doubt in his mind that my boy wouldn't be able to handle any task put before him later in life. My son made the family very proud that day! My boy hadn't been schooled to give that answer, he knew it from living, feeding, showing his animals.

Yes our market sale gets some very high prices, but their is a group of parents & businesses (I'm one) that make sure all kids get a good respectable price for animals. If a kids animal was a little low in price some people will boost all steers, or lambs, or hogs to a upper limit just under champions. That way kids get their projects paid for, and pocket some money for savings. I also buy for businesses that I deal with, they can't be there so I will buy a kids project that isn't getting a lot of bids, I also run a lot of them up and make people pay more for them. I then add boost money on kids if they have earned it in my mind. I don't boost or buy kids projects that mommy or daddy does 100% of the work for them. Our dairy buys a several animals at the fair as well.

A few years ago a CIH dealer bought my sons lamb, I had only bought a few parts over the years there. It got to be a bidding war on this lamb, they run it to over $1,400. I went up after the sale and thanked the salesman and told him he didn't need to run that lamb like that, it brought just about what my niece's Grand Champion lamb brought that day. Well the salesman explained he had watched all my boys over the years sell animals and he had watched them do their own work at the fair. He was determined to buy this lamb because of it, in the previous years he couldn't get one bought as everybody ran him on them. He told me his company was investing in agriculture and my kids were the future. And yes I've since purchased a major piece of equipment their since.

I've been free with my dollars at the sale, because I tell you that when a kid comes up to me after the sale and hugs me and gives me a gift basket or a cold drink with a hand written thank you note, it tugs at my soul. That's what 4-H and FFA is all about. I'm investing in those kids, I hoping they make it a better world for me in my older age.

The one requirement my wife and I made with our kids is that after their animal sold they were to take the buyer and their spouse a cold drink and sit down and give them a handshake thanking them for buying that day. My kids have always stayed and talked to their buyers after. Then when things settled down they prepared a gift basket and a thank you letter and delivered to the buyers. I've bought a lot of kids projects that never even gave me the time of day after. But those kids that do, and when I see them later in life I always make it a point to talk to them. And if I can help them in anyway I will.

Edited by Russ In Idaho 8/3/2014 21:50

Thanks Russ, for another great post!

Ed Winkle

Monday, August 4, 2014

Scouting Soybeans

I am finishing up my scouting for one company and I ran across this draft I haven't used yet.  "I can't believe it is time to scout soybeans again. Another year has rolled by!

Sable and I scouted several acres in southern Fayette County. The soybeans over there are ahead of the ones where I live in southern Clinton County.  They were able to plant when we were not.  I think the farmers there have done a really nice job. Many, many farms have soybeans in the first or second trifoliate stage."

Most of the planted soybeans around here are from just planted to stage V5. Here is a good description from the American Soybean Association:

V2 Two nodes on the main stem with fully developed leaves. R4 Pod is 3/4" long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf. R8 Ninety-five percent of the pods have reached their mature pod color.

Vegetative stages

VE Emergence Emergence of young plants through the soil surface with cotyledons (seed leaves) above the soil
VC Cotyledon The plant has emerged and cotyledons are fully unfolded
V1 first node The first node appears and the unifoliate leaves are fully developed opposite each other
V2 2 nodes Two nodes on the main stem with fully developed leaves
V5 5 nodes Counting the unifoliate node, there are four more nodes with fully developed trifoliolate leaves.
Vegetative stages V6, V7... Vn continue until the first flower appears. Some varieties may accumulate as many as 20 nodes during the vegetative growth stage.

Reproductive Stages

R1 Beginning flower Open flower at any node on the main stem
R2 Full flower Open flower at one of the two uppermost nodes on the main stem
R3 Beginning pod Pod is 5 mm (3/16 inch) long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem.
R4 Full pod Pod is 3/4" long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf.
R5 Beginning seed Seed is 1/8" long in a pod at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem.
R6 Full seed A pod containing a green seed that fills the pod cavity is located at one of the four uppermost main stem nodes.
R7 Beginning maturity One normal pod on the main stem has reached its mature pod color.
R8 Full maturity Ninety-five percent of the pods have reached their mature pod color.

Today I find the April soybeans in R4 to R5 and the later plantings right up that scale to R1!  Most soybeans around here are R2 to R3 today.

The soybeans I have selected this year have a brown pod. They impressed me the first time I scouted them a few years ago. They are Ohio Stressland crossed with a Delta Pine Land cross. They are very consistent in yield.

They looked good last night.  So do the Clermont soybeans we planted.  I have a friend who planted Clermont soybeans and call's it "Ed's Field."  I hope they are his best soybeans!

There may be record soybean acres in the US this year but from what I've seen, I don't think it will be a record yield.  There are just so many acres though, the crop is probably good enough to add up to a LOT of bushels.

How do the soybeans look in your area?

Ed

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bumper Crop Of Sweet Corn


Many farmers judge their corn crop by their sweet corn crop.  By this measure, ours should be a good one!

I really wanted to use my free Ohio Soybean State Fair passes today as the hog and steer shows are finishing up and Matt and his FFA Chapter are working in the Lausche Building and Ohio FFA Center today.  My timing was off though and our sweet corn crop needed some major picking today.  We have called all the family and I hope to have all the harvestable ears picked by Monday.  The freezer is running over and we have tomatoes and peppers to freeze yet.

Ice had been creeping up the sides of our valuable chest freezer so we took time to defrost it before we added all this new sweet corn this morning.  You know what a miserable job it is to defrost a freezer but we caught it early and it wasn't bad at all.  It is full again at noon and everything is frozen except the new corn.  It will be in minutes.

We had a hard time planting the sweet corn back in April because Grandma and Grandpa can't bend over like they used to!  We called Madison and Brynn and they helped us plant four long rows fast and two bean rows besides.  They are built low to the ground with nimble fingers.  Thank you girls and I hope you enjoy the food you helped produce and it's feeding the whole family and friends!

I had a few earworms but nothing bad.  Insects are just not bad in our region this year, too much rain and cool weather!  I saw Mr. Fraley pushing Monsanto's GMO sweet corn on Twitter but I just don't see the need for it here.  I've never tasted anything better than the Avalon, Providence and Vision type sweet corns we raise and that covers, white, bi-color and yellow corn.  We tend to freeze yellow corn the most, that's the standard.

The Seneca Dancer we grew first year was awfully good and everyone who bought it called it Super Silver Queen or Improved Silver Queen.  Steve Groff pointed us to the ones I mentioned and I haven't found anything better except the varieties that replaced those standards.  I've never had much luck with Bt corn or sweet corn so I don't pay the extra money for it.

It's a great crop so today we say Thank You Lord for the good corn, the good crops and the great people you've sent us to eat it!

Ed Winkle

Saturday, August 2, 2014

1963

I wrote this earlier this year in April.

About this time 51 years ago Ed was all antsy.  Dad rented 19 acres for me out by the water plant at Sardinia, Ohio.  I was nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof but it was positive excitement.

I always wanted to be like my dad.  I still do.  He was the nicest guy I ever met.  He would do anything for you or me or anyone else.  He was a farmer, a true farmer, 24 hours a day for 85.5 years.  I bet he is still involved in farming somewhere.  Heaven is for Real, isn't it?

I plowed my new land, I disked my new land and my dad helped me plant it with that Oliver 2 row planter behind the Oliver 550 tractor I plowed with.  I rotary hoed it three times and cultivated it 3 times.  We limed and fertilized and that corn looked good.

Our 4-H Club and FFA Chapter had tours at our farm at Sardinia.  That was rated as the best looking project of all the group.  I got lots of compliments and I would compare that corn to what our first crop looked like here in 2004, one of the best crops in 50 years.

In September or October, I don't remember when, that all went away.  It rained all month like it did here in 2009 and the White Oak creek flooded and flattened every bit of my corn and all of dad's corn.  We harvested very few bushels that year and the feed mill gave dad all of their corn cobs from shelling to feed his cows all winter.  Hay, corn cobs and molasses got us through that very promising but horrible year.

That changed everything.  We learned to farm more upland instead of just grazing it.  Farming lost its appeal for a bit so we went searching higher and deeper, just like our parents and teachers wanted us to.  That led to a life of teaching children for me but I never lost the farming bug.  I just couldn't be a full time farmer and that is OK today.

I wish I had the photography bug back then like my aunts did.  I had the farming bug, the engine bug and the ham radio bug.  I was too busy to take pictures!

I thought about this while I was driving yesterday and listening to 820 AM, my regular media in my  Dodge Dakota.  I saw guys ripping up some pretty wet soil yesterday on my trip to Urbana and back.

I hope they don't have a year like I did in 1963.

Ed Winkle