Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vote For Your Favorite Photo

I entered some pictures this morning in NCGA's Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.  I would appreciate your vote but please vote for your favorite!  There are five different divisions and I have entered 3 of them so far.

The link should take you to Growing Corn photo's and I entered my favorite.  It may not be my best but is my favorite and I have posted in various places since 2010.  It is a picture of my 200 bushel corn on Horseshoe Road in Highland County, the best crop that was ever raised on that farm according to its neighbors.

That was the year our last rain was an inch around July 17 and it still yielded a record crop on that farm.  We shelled that corn in September and that gave me time to work on that farm all fall.  It never rained that fall and wheat and cover crops were hard to establish that year.  The best thing I did was spread two tons of high calcium lime per acre and that paid me back in two crops.  I am learning the effects of gypsum on my own soil after working with it on others for many years.

I really need to manage my pictures because my pictures are managing me.  I have so many crop pictures mixed in with people pictures.  In a few years most of the crop pictures start to look the same.

There is so much to do right now, I am not sure how we are going to get it all done before winter.  Speaking of winter, these cool days and nights remind us of that a little too much!

To my blog experts, I just accidentally wiped out a week of blogs by deleting Industrious Woman under my draft file.  One delete deleted a week's work.  How did I do that, how did they get linked together and published and drafted at the same time?  I think it has been since I started entering key words again?


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Champion Shorthorn Bull At The Ohio State Fair

My brother and sister in law showed the Champion Shorthorn Bull at the Ohio State Fair this week.  I know our dad and grandpa are proud!

I think dad told me that Grandpa George Winkle bought a Shorthorn herd nearly 100 years ago.  That old Shorthorn based herd was the genetics for the farm I grew up on, a general livestock farm in Brown County, Ohio.

I can't forget the white steer calf dad picked out for me when I was a child.  I showed him at the Brown County fair.  He was wild with blue eyes and I try to forget him dragging me through the show ring and running up the grandstand with women screaming and purses flying.  You know why I love crops so much that feed the livestock.

Charolais cattle had just come to the states and everyone thought this white steer might be a Charolais.  He wasn't, he was an offspring of Grandpa's Shorthorn herd.

Dad and grandpa loved their cattle because they used the pasture and hay we could raise on that farm without erosion and they helped pay the bills.  Beef has always  been a high choice for meat consumption in the US and I always figured they always will.

It takes a long time to build up a good herd so Jeff and Susie have done a spectacular job building their herd to the point they could produce a Champion Bull.  My hat is off to them, I know what hard work it is.

Cattle are record high prices and feed is cheap this year.  The livestock men and women just might be having their best year ever and it was hard earned and high time for it to happen.

Showing livestock taught my children a lot of good things I see in their families.

Grandpa had no idea what he was starting, did he?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cool Weather

It does not feel like the last week of July here in southwest Ohio.  I bet many of you are thinking the same thing.  We seem to be going through a cycle that is much different than I remember most of my lifetime.

You have record warm on the left like 2012 and record cool on the right, 2014, just like the crops in my picture show.

The 70's had times like these but I was a young man full of vim and vigor and didn't pay much attention to it.  I just tried to respond to it like I am today.

The lack of solar activity and everything man has done to Earth has an effect.  No one knows how much.  What is coming?  What should we prepare for?

I am hoping I have enough heat this summer to mature my double crop Clermont and Jacob soybeans into seed good enough to plant next year.  If I don't, my seed supplier's crop looks good and they were planted before mine, though not very much sooner.

The markets are low and if cash is short I can plant soybeans next year and benefit from all of the crop rotation and soil amendments I have applied.  I am at a different stage and position in my life than anyone else and I really can't compare myself to anyone.  I have to do what's best for me.  I have a lifetime of experience to base it on but it's hard not to do what the neighbors are doing sometimes.

As I have said, this weather is great for scouting and I've had plenty of fields to scout.  It's been fun this summer with some days of too much water and a little too warm but overall, pretty cool scouting weather.  That signals in my brain that crops aren't growing like they normally do.

The local fairs are doing well because of this cool weather.  I am very happy for them because I love state and county fairs!  This surely must be one of the coolest county fair temperatures this week.

I have enjoyed judging at local county fairs this month and I hope you all did well.

These record low temperatures have us big picture people wondering what is next!

Have a great day,

Ed Winkle

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why Didn't We Learn Our Lesson?

"NGFA recently released a pair of economic analyses that estimate up to $2.9 billion in economic losses have been sustained by the U.S. corn, distillers grains and soy sectors in the aftermath of the enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy on Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera™ MIR 162 corn technology in U.S. export shipments to China, where the trait has not been approved yet for import as food or feed.

But according to a second NGFA analysis, U.S. growers, grain handlers and exporters could sustain an even greater economic impact – up to $3.4 billion – during the 2014/15 marketing year that starts Sept. 1 given Syngenta North America Inc.’s decision to launch seed sales of its new Viptera Duracade™ 5307 biotech-enhanced corn well before the earliest regulatory-approval timelines in key U.S. corn export markets (including China). Syngenta has said seed sales of Duracade 5307 are expected to result in the planting of between 250,000 and 300,000 acres in portions of as many as 19 U.S. Corn Belt states.

The NGFA stressed that it strongly supports agricultural biotechnology and other scientific and technological innovations that contribute to efficient production and availability of a safe, abundant, affordable and high-quality food and feed supply for U.S. and world consumers. In addition, the NGFA said it is working in tandem with the North American Export Grain Association; corn, soybean and other grower organizations; biotechnology providers; and the seed industry in trying to improve the timeliness and synchronization of U.S. and foreign governmental approvals of biotech-enhanced traits.

However, the NGFA said its economic analyses of the impacts of the trade disruptions resulting from the detection of unapproved Agrisure Viptera MIR 162 provides a “case study” on the ramifications of commercializing crop biotechnology before securing import approvals from major U.S. export markets – particularly foreign countries with a zero-tolerance policy for the presence of unapproved biotech-enhanced traits.

“Regaining and maintaining access to the Chinese import market, as well as preserving access to other U.S. export markets, is critically important to the short- and long-term prospects of U.S. agriculture,” said NGFA President Randy Gordon. “These export markets are key drivers of producer profitability, current and future economic growth for U.S. agriculture, and achieving global food security.”

The NGFA noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently forecasts China’s corn imports will increase from 2.7 million metric tons in 2012 to 22 million metric tons by 2023, accounting for nearly half the projected growth in world corn trade over that time span. For the current 2013/14 marketing year, USDA had projected before the trade disruption that the United States would be the principal corn exporter to China – at an estimated 7 million metric tons. However, U.S. corn export shipments to China reported on an aggregated basis to the NGFA by U.S. exporters have amounted to only 1.23 million metric tons thus far.

The NGFA’s study found that in the aftermath of the disruption in U.S. corn shipments to China that began in November 2013 following the detection of MIR 162, financial losses to the U.S. corn, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and soybean sectors are estimated to range from $1 billion to $2.9 billion. U.S. corn trade with China has come to a standstill since then, and trade with China in DDGS and other U.S. commodities is being conducted in a riskier market environment. For instance, U.S. exporters have reported that China has detained and tested several shipments of U.S. soybeans following the detection of MIR 162, and that some U.S. soybean sales to China have been reduced or canceled as a result. China has responded by significantly increasing imports of U.S. grain sorghum, originating corn from Ukraine and utilizing its domestic stocks. Most recently, Brazil and Argentina were granted approval to begin exporting corn to China.

Meanwhile, the NGFA analysis estimates that U.S. corn prices would have been 11-cents-per-bushel greater if the MIR 162-related trade disruption with China had not occurred. The study found that applying this price-depressing impact across U.S. corn production amounts to a $1.144 billion loss for U.S. corn farmers over the last nine months of the current 2013/14 marketing year. At the time NGFA conducted the analysis, it was uncertain if and when China would approve MIR 162 corn for import during the current marketing year that ends Aug. 31."

Farmers are really going to need that $2.9 billion after this years losses.

Maybe we will learn our lesson, it's a global marketplace.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, July 27, 2014

September 9, NoTill In Ohio

No-Till acres in Ohio

What percentage of Ohio cropland is no-till? Would you believe 40%?

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, on Ohio’s 10,700,000 total acres of cropland, 20,700 farmers were using no-till on 4,300,000 acres which is 39.8%.

Among the major states in the Corn Belt, Nebraska had 43% no-till, Indiana 39%, Illinois 25% and Iowa 26%. The total for all 50 states was 25% no-till.

Based on your observations, do you think 40% of Ohio cropland was no-till planted this spring?

The Census also asked about cover crops. In Ohio, 6500 farmers reported using cover crops on 360,000 acres. This acreage has surely increased since 2012. By comparison, Indiana had almost 600,000 acres.

(This data was tabulated by No-Till Farmer, and will be published in an upcoming Conservation Tillage Guide.)

Sept. 9 No-till field day program

The field day is presented by the Ohio No-Till Council and is co-sponsored by the All-Ohio Chapter of the Soil & Water Conservation Society (SWCS).

The morning program kicks off at 9:00 a.m. and features three nationally known speakers. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

  1. Secrets of success for no-till corn and soybeans; Barry Fisher, Indiana NRCS State Agronomist
  1. Putting the entire soil profile to work for you; Hans Kok, Coordinator, Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative
  1. The importance of continuous no-till and ideas to make it even more successful; Ed Winkle, HyMark Consulting, Martinsville, Ohio
During lunch, Clark Hutson, president of the All-Ohio Chapter SWCS will briefly discuss activities and goals of the chapter.

The afternoon program includes a new (concurrent) item that will be especially appealing to Master Gardeners and anyone with a backyard garden: Gardening with Cover Crops. Ann Brandt, Walnut Creek Seeds, will discuss the value of cover crop blends for building garden soil. Then participants can walk through two plots with cover crops specifically blended for gardens.

At 1:15 p.m. most participants will go to the field for 4 stops, 30 minutes each.

  1. Precision poultry manure application; Brad Mattix, M&W Farm Supply
  2. Cover crops (above ground benefits); David Brandt, no-till farmer
  3. Cover crops / soil pit; Hans Kok
  4. Soil pit (probably in corn); George Derringer, USDA-NRCS
Cover crops at Farm Science Review

At Farm Science Review, Sept. 16-18, there will be multiple locations to see cover crops. As visitors walk from the parking lot to the Exhibit area, they may go past 3 or 4 strips planted to cover crops. These will be scattered among the antique tractors and test strips of corn and soybeans. (One demonstration plot, south of Friday Ave., will be no-till soybeans drilled into a cereal rye cover crop, with gypsum applied at 2000#/acre. This is funded by Ohio Soybean Council.)

Along Rt 38 just north of I-70, cover crops will be planted after wheat harvest. The seed for all these plots is funded by the Ohio Soybean Council.
Ed Winkle

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tissue Sampling

Prime time for tissue sampling crops is here and will soon pass us.  Pull your samples the next two weeks using this guide.

When and How to Sample Plants
Table 1 and Figure 1 outline the proper stage of growth, plant part, and number of plants to

sample for major agronomic and horticultural crops. Similar information is depicted in figures

on the last page of this publication. If a crop is sampled at other times in the growing season, the

analysis will be provided but may not be interpreted on the University of Wisconsin plant

analysis report. However, when plant analysis is being used to confirm a suspected nutrient

deficiency, the samples should be taken as early int he season as possible so that the deficiency

can be corrected and minimize the potential yield loss. Plants showing abnormalities usually

continue to accumulate nutrients even if growth is impaired by some limiting factor.

Samples should not be taken from plants that obviously have been stressed from causes

other than nutrients. Do not take samples from plants that —

· Are dead or insect damaged;

· Are mechanically or chemically injured;

· Have been stressed by too much or too little moisture (i.e., flooding or drought);

· Have been stressed by abnormally high or abnormally low temperature.

Sample Normal and Abnormal Areas
When a nutrient deficiency is suspected (even without visual symptoms), or there is a need

to compare different areas in a field, it is recommended that similar plant parts be collected

separately from both the affected plants and adjacent normal plants that are at the same stage of

growth. In this way, a better evaluation can be made between the nutritional status of healthy

and abnormal plants of the same variety grown under the same conditions.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Bent My Brand New Blade!

I keep a woodpile near the hog barn where I unload firewood from various places.  It's coming from the Greene Road farm the last two years because it was so overgrown.  Taking out a quarter mile each of two fence rows made quite a pile over there.  We keep cutting it up and hauling it to that woodpile when we take time to do that.

I put 3 brand new and expensive blades on the DX-24E early this spring.  I had it cutting perfectly.  I needed it too because I've cut as much grass as I ever have here on Martinsville Road.  Every three days, I better be out there mowing again or I can't keep the 5 acre farmstead looking nice.  This is a beautiful place and I like to keep it mowed up.

I had been careful around the woodpile as to not hit any firewood.  I finally got the pile cleaned up and decided it was save to mow the weeds where the pile had been.  Big mistake!  Somehow I dislodged a strip of oak hardwood and it wedged a blade against the deck.  It took me nearly  a week of pounding and prodding that piece out!  I know, I am getting old but I didn't want to do more damage than I had to.

It was time for Tommy and Zach to come back through to Arizona from New York so I saved it for them.  They helped me pound a little harder.  Zach and I was prying up on the whole deck and mower and we rocked the tractor so hard it looked like we were going to roll it on its side.  Tommy burst out laughing and we couldn't work for several minutes.

We did get the piece out and I could not find the socket that fit the head.  1 1/4 was too big and 1 1/8 was too small.  I could not find 1 1/16 or Metric to fit it.  I went to the Equipment Superstore and  got what I thought was the right blade.  I still didn't have the right socket so  I borrowed one the next day and got the blade off.  Sure enough, they gave me the wrong blade.  That's happened two times in ten years!  Remember what you teach, Ed, RTB!  READ THE BOOK!

LuAnn came home that afternoon and texted Tommy, "mower is fixed and the lawn looks beautiful."


I would have rather been out joy riding our farm on the Mule!

Ed Winkle