Sunday, September 21, 2014

Incredible Farmer

My friend Carol sent this.  You have to watch it all the way through!

If this doesn't make you feel thankful, I don't know what possibly could!

This video says it all, so I will just fill in with a few recent pictures I've taken.  I did not get a picture of my friends taking off their beautiful 93Y05 soybeans this week.

Thank you Lord for the blessings and we pray for all the sick and suffering.

We give thanks for all our blessings!

Here is one perspective on Gratitude from another friend this morning.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ginseng Heist!

BECKLEY -- West Virginia natural resources police say they have made 11 arrests and seized 190 pounds of dry ginseng that was illegally harvested.

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources estimates the market value of the native herb at $180,000.

The department said Wednesday the arrests followed a year-long investigation in southern West Virginia. Besides the ginseng, they said they also seized stolen guns, illegal drugs and $30,000 in cash.

West Virginia has a ginseng digging season. It begins Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

The department says the seized ginseng was harvested before the digging season began.

Ginseng long has been coveted in many Asian cultures because the plant's gnarly, multipronged root is believed to have medicinal properties.

Natural resources officials say demand has spurred illegal harvesting."

Dad used to hunt ginseng when he was young but I never learned how to do it.

"American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is native to deciduous forests (forests that lose their leaves every year) of the United States from the Midwest to Maine, primarily in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, and also in eastern Canada.  It is also grown on ginseng farms. It has long been used for medicine, originally harvested by many different Native American tribes and used in Asian medicinal products.

Ginseng root is exported in larger volumes than any other native CITES plant species.  The majority of American ginseng harvested is exported to China. In the United States, the harvest of wild American ginseng for international trade began in the mid-1700s.  Today, the harvest continues to have strong economic and cultural importance to many communities in the United States and to American Indian tribes."

Do you produce, hunt or use ginseng?


Friday, September 19, 2014

Starting Farming From Scratch

There is always discussion on New Ag Talk about how to start farming.  "Just wondering how many people have started farming with zero outside help? No family deals. No help with land, machinery, or free labor. I don't know of anyone who has started from scratch in the last decade. If you have good for you and how did you do it? Have a safe harvest!"

Here is a friends reply:  "I did. Had 0. Started when I was in high school when I had 2 ac. of sweet corn. I ended up with a full time job and farmed on the side.

Company was sold 15+ years ago and out the door we all went. I was farming about 400 ac. on the side then. It has been at times a very rough road. Have farmed full time since lost job. Got my CDL and drive off/on with friend and his 2 dump trucks. Do whatever it takes. When I lost my job I had 22+ years with 4 weeks vacation, medical and so on. Would still be there if they were in business. That pay check every week sure helps.

I love farming though and feel good about what I can leave when I'm gone. We farm all no-till and I am learning about cover crops. Hope I leave ground much better than when I got it. At this point, we have never received one dime from anyone. Everything we have bought has come from us.

My dad didn't farm nor any other close family members. Just grew up in the country. Would I do it again? I'd say yes. But having that full time job still would have really helped."

How did you start farming?  If you didn't, why didn't you?

Ed Winkle

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Effect Of Air Temperature On Plant Growth

Today the high temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit with the night time low of 46.  Did we really have 20 growing degrees today using the Growing Degree Day formula of 86 minus 50 equals GDD units?  I have been wondering about this all summer because it's been record cool here and in many places.

Dr. Elwynn Taylor Tweeted one day it takes at least 75 degrees for a high to do much good for plant growth.  Right now only our double crop soybeans need water and heat because the earlier planted crops are maturing.

"Thermoperiod refers to daily temperature change. Plants produce maximum growth when exposed to a day temperature that is about 10 to 15°F higher than the night temperature. This allows the plant to photosynthesize (build up) and respire (break down) during an optimum daytime temperature, and to curtail the rate of respiration during a cooler night. High temperatures cause increased respiration, sometimes above the rate of photosynthesis. This means that the products of photosynthesis are being used more rapidly than they are being produced. For growth to occur, photosynthesis must be greater than respiration.

Low temperatures can result in poor growth. Photosynthesis is slowed down at low temperatures. Since photosynthesis is slowed, growth is slowed, and this results in lower yields. Not all plants grow best in the same temperature range. For example, snapdragons grow best when night time temperatures are 55°F, while the poinsettia grows best at 62°F. Florist cyclamen does well under very cool conditions, while many bedding plants grow best at a higher temperature.
Buds of many plants require exposure to a certain number of days below a critical temperature (chilling hours) before they will resume growth in the spring. Peaches are a prime example; most cultivars require 700 to 1,000 hours below 45°F and above 32°F before they break their rest period and begin growth. This time period varies for different plants. The flower buds of forsythia require a relatively short rest period and will grow at the first sign of warm weather. During dormancy, buds can withstand very low temperatures, but after the rest period is satisfied, buds become more susceptible to weather conditions, and can be damaged easily by cold temperatures or frost."
I guess the question is how much different is the requirement for corn and soybeans compared to these examples?
Ed Winkle

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sprayer Screw Ups

I hope this doesn't get into the wrong hands but anyone who sprays, the home owner, land owner, farmer, professional spray business all have sprayer screw ups.  Somewhere along in the process of selecting the pesticide, following the label and getting that done went wrong.

The picture shows one of these screw ups.  The operator intended to put on 2.5 quarts of product and accidentally put 2.5 gallons of product on instead.  You can see what it did to his corn.  His 200 bushel corn suddenly became 100 bushel corn in places!  But he has no weeds!

The sad thing is the sweet corn patch got the same recipe and sweet corn is weaker than field corn.  It smoked the sweet corn and this is what was left of the field corn.

Actually, when I get too much herbicide on I see it not killing the target weeds and even other specie come in.  If I get too good a kill on my weed spectrum to the point it hurts the crop, I see late grasses pop in because they have no competition when the pesticide "wears off" or is absorbed and moved away from the soil.

I've suffered through one all summer.  It has pained my soul.  The spray operator got about 2 ounces too many of a strong corn herbicide on my prize corn field and it has not looked right since the day it was sprayed.  I suffered all year because of one mistake and I take great pride on how my crop looks.  LuAnn and I will both suffer in the pocketbook from this operator error.

The job of spraying is a big one.  There are so many chemicals and labels and different machines.

I don't complain when I have $8 an acre invested in a great spray job.  $8 and 20 less bushels per acre, I complain.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farm Science Review 1968

I got my first glimpse of the Ohio State Farm Science Review in 1968.  I was a freshman at the university in the University College.  That means I didn't know what to study.  I didn't claim a major until 1970.

I don't remember much about it.  I had a busy class load and a job.  I always had a job for a source of income while in college.  We were "poor white farm folk" as one of my friends always said but I don't think we understood how rich we were to get the opportunities we had.

Roy M. Kottman, a former dean of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (known as the College of Agriculture at the time) is credited for launching Farm Science Review. At the time, the college was looking for a replacement to "Farm and Home Week," a 46-year-old program that came to its end in 1959. In 1961, Kottman was approached by M.R. Maxon, regional branch sales manager for International Harvester Corporation. Maxon wanted to know if Ohio State was interested in sponsoring a farm machinery show that would include field demonstrations and educational displays.

Meetings between Kottman and Maxon soon involved Ray Mattson of the Columbus Tractor Club, Thomas Wonderling of OSU Extension, and Robert P. Worral from the College of Agriculture. In March 1962, the group finalized a "Memorandum of Agreement" among the Ohio Expositions Commission, the Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (known as the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at that time). Later that year, Ohio State President Novice G. Fawcett signed the memorandum. Kottman signed for the College of Agriculture and Rowland Bishop signed for the Ohio Expositions Commission. Farm Science Review was officially born.
The first show was held in 1963 at the Ohio State University Don Scott Airport in northwest Columbus, Ohio.  That was a pretty good hike to a farm kid from Sardinia with a busy schedule. 

Over 18,000 visitors paid 50 cents a ticket to view 116 commercial exhibits and be the first to witness no-till corn demonstrations. For the next decade, visitors were treated to such programs as research on 20-inch (510 mm) and 30-inch (760 mm) corn rows, the introduction of big farm equipment, solid-row soybean planting, conservation exhibits, fertilizer application by airplane, and research to fight corn blight.
At least I had some contact with the Ag College that eventually helped me to decide to major in Agricultural Education after all of my other college requirements were satisfied by the next year in 1969.
I took my first class of agricultural students to the same site in 1971 and that alone is a pretty wild story.  Blanchester schools sent us on a old bus that didn't make it to the review.  Mr. Shilts, our driver said this bus is junk and we won't make it.  We didn't.  I had 60 students sitting unsafely along Interstate 71 near the US 62 Grove City exit until the school sent us a better bus to pick us up and tow the old blown up bus back to Blanchester.
I know the young students learned a lot that day but their barely older ag teacher learned a whole lot more.  That day started a many decade interest and connection to the Ohio State Farm Science Review.
I hope you who are going have a much less stressful trip to the Review this week.
Ed Winkle


Monday, September 15, 2014

Iowa and ANF

"ANF. America Needs Farmers.
All of you Hawk fans see it on helmets, or on some T-shirt promoted by Iowa Farm Bureau, and think - man that's a pretty cool lightning bolt, but I wonder what it stands for?
Back in 1985, Hayden Fry started "America Needs Farmers" as a promotion to help our agricultural producers through the Farm Crisis. That was 29 years ago.
To help out our farmers during the crisis, the government provided direct payments, no matter whether they had a profitable or non-profitable crop. This past year, direct payments were taken away. Just because something made sense then, doesn't mean it makes sense now.
As a farmer myself, I find it a great misrepresentation that the University of Iowa is the primary supporter of this program. If you were to Google "Does the University of Iowa help Farmers?," your first two links would be - you guessed it - Iowa State University!
ISU is widely known as one of the premier agricultural colleges in the world. It offers majors ranging from Agronomy to Animal Science, and Ag Systems Technology to International Ag. What does Iowa offer its yearning farmers? They offer programs in Ag medicine and Occupational and Environmental Health. Sounds a lot like more medicine to me."
I ran across this on Crop Talk and thought it was interesting.
When I was a kid, I didn't even know where Iowa was.  It seemed like a far off place to me.  I wanted to study agriculture at Purdue which was a very far off place from Sardinia, Ohio where I grew up.  I didn't do all the steps it took to get there and ended up at Ohio State like my aunts and uncle.  They grew up in harder times than 1985 or today so I count my blessings.