Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We Have A New Ride

Today was one busy day from sunrise till 10PM. We just got home. I met LuAnn at Hillsboro and we drove down the old Y Restaurant on US 62 for dinner. It was nice to see our banker two tables down. They have a young child and a nice family.

The 3 piece Y fish, salad bar, vegetable and potato is always good and only $8. That is one of the best buys around. LuAnn tried the chicken stir fry with sweet potato fries and it looked delicious, too. Drinks and a good meal under $20 is hard to find these days. It was well worth the trip.

We stopped to look at a 2007 Dodge Dakota our dealer friend just got in from lease with 30,000 miles on it. He wants $18,900 for it and LuAnn offered him $16,000 cash. He wouldn't go below $17,700 so we walked.

We went to look at my first vehicle from Craig's list. It was south of West Union, just north of the Ohio River. It is a long curvy drive no matter how you go.

A grandmother passed away and they had to sell the truck to settle the estate. Come to find out this is what was left to pay off her funeral. I knew right then this was God's plan and not mine.

You see the old 2001 has been dying for a year and it has a coolant leak I can't find because it is internal. It doesn't flood the crankcase, it blows it out the exhaust. I decided I wasn't going to tear down a truck with 214,000 miles on it but I know it will run 300,000 miles with what I have done to maintain it.

Sable and I were walking corn this afternoon until we got hot and we came home for a break. When I shut the engine off, more coolant gushed out from underneath than ever had before and it has been getting progressively worse this month and especially the last few days. It has been to 3 mechanic friends and no one could find an inexpensive fix without tearing it down. It runs great, it just eats coolant.

I didn't know what to do so I just prayed the Rosary to take my mind off it. I came into my office and googled used Dakota pickups in southwest Ohio. This truck was the third one I found. I emailed LuAnn and she never came home at 4:30 as usual so I left a message to stay at work and I would pick her up, go for dinner and go look for a truck.

After dinner, we drove that hilly ride to the river. We drove it, I liked it, we negotiated a price, notarized the title and I drove it home.

When I got home just now Sable was all over me and I looked her in the eyes and said we have a new ride. LuAnn burst out laughing.

We do have a new ride. It is not new, but it is new to me. I have no doubt it will be as good as the last two have been.

Too bad they don't make them anymore.


Monday, July 30, 2012

No Crop

I am grumpy today. Nothing went right. But I read this and I have no reason to be grumpy.

"With our Southern Illinois fields looking like a total loss, I am often reminded of Habakkuk 3:17-18,

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

"At this point that's about all we have left........Faith in another year and Thanks for the good ones we've had in the past. If your family is healthy there is nothing else that matters. jmo"

"1 Corinthians 3:7,
7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."

Now who could be grumpy after reading that? That's the best biblical discussion about crops I have seen on Crop Talk. Knowing how hard their area and many others are hit this year, it's refreshing to see these men quote scripture when times look bleak.

Sure they may have crop insurance and yes the American taxpayer pays a portion of it but they may not. That is not the point. The point is they have faith and are relying on it. I always said anyone who plants a seed and watches it grow and doesn't believe in God is lacking in faith. This blog in March with the neat flower video link at the top shows that fact even more.

We got rain and it wasn't a hundred degrees here today so I need to be happy about that. At least that is a place to start.

How about you? How do you handle your less than stellar days?


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ten Years

It's been ten years since I retired from State Teachers Retirement and took my early retire bonus and bought a brand new Chevrolet Silverado 4 door long bed. It's been eight years since we traded the slide in camper for a brand new one. This rig has taken LuAnn and I many wonderful miles. After a long hiatus, these two units are mated together once more.

We got caught up in cruising the oceans and rivers and flying to distant lands. Now it is time to see if we still love camping as much as we did ten years ago. That first trip in 2001 changed our lives and every trip since has, too.

Today two friends helped me move all of the iron in the way of the camper and we loaded that shiney, new looking Silverado under the Sunlite once more. That is an achievement I cannot explain to you because it sounds too simple.

It has been more than ten years since I started judging the crops, produce and canned goods at the Greene County Fair. I told them I was amazed they still wanted me. That surprised them. Those people are once a year friends now except for Wilma, who facebooks me almost every day.

While I was there, the Fairfield County Fair committee watched me judge an hour then came up to ask for my contact information. I was pleasantly taken back and surprised. That fair is the last one in Ohio and one I have always enjoyed and admired. It would be an honor to judge there. Now if I could just get Ross County interested, they have a great fair, too. Then there is the Great Darke County Fair, you get the picture.

You can see what the drought and heat hurt in the fresh produce but it has made an amazing comeback with the still hot but cooler temperatures and that precious rain we have been getting. The canned good classes were deep and challenging. I wish I could show you the difficult choices I had to make of top quality, canned produce and fruits. Thankfully I never anything like Chimel posted in my comment section yesterday.

It was a great day and a great week but a busy one. I think we may have palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed in the county so I am working with the state weed specialist on that problem.

The weather is beautiful here today and I hope yours is, too.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Barley Loaves

Our readings at church this weekend suggest much to us as farmers and as fathers. Our society has gotten so far from the basics of life of providing for our families and sharing with others I can see why most people would never read this. Even if they read it, they surely would not understand. Is that the difference between believers and non-believers?

We are blessed with many "barley loaves" this year. We can take care of our own and take care of many others, too. So few people work in raw food production now that is difficult to say how many people one farmer feeds.

"The amount of people that a farmer feeds is dependant upon the crop he is growing and how many acres he has of it. For example, a farmer that has 30,000 acres of potatoes is going to feed a lot more people than a farmer that has 1 acre of kohlrabi. Also, a farmer with an acre of potatoes will feed a lot more people than a farmer with that same acre of kohlrabi. I mean, how much kohlrabi do you eat? (Or okra or huckleberries or other random, more rare fruits and veggies?)

The general rule of thumb that is used is that:
~According to the National Cattleman's Beef Association, advanced technology allows one farmer can currently feed 129 people. In 1960, one farmer fed 25 people.
~According to Today's Farmer, America’s farmers are the world’s most productive. Today, each U.S. farmer produces food and fiber for 143 people in the United States and abroad."

A good blogger links his stories to past blogs. I sometimes do that but it is easy to search my blog with key words like I did here.

Farming employs so many more people because it takes so much transportation and processing to take the raw food from the farm to the many foods we enjoy at home or away from home. Six to seven jobs have been created from one farmers work. It could be more.

We have so much here it is difficult to share pictures of our bounty with our friends around the world who suffer from drought or flood. This fact has created some tension on Ag Talk and even between neighbors. Timing is everything in farming and it surely was this year just as in biblical times when they wondered how in the world is five or twenty barley loaves going to feed this mass of people?

It all comes down to my faith and my demonstration of faith through my work. Blessed are those who see and believe but so blessed are those who have not seen yet believe! Those are my words from my experience as you can well tell.

That adds more meaning to the glass half full or half empty, doesn't it?


Friday, July 27, 2012


We just enjoyed our first visit from baby Katherine. I am sure it is the first of many! Tyler has asked for his stayover at the farm so he can "ride the Mule, the Gator, daddy's 4 wheeler" and on and on.

She is one of the most active newborns I have seen. I hope Erik posts the video on Facebook so I can link it here. She is busy eating and sleeping and doesn't make much of a sound yet. LuAnn says her mother never cried until she was 6 months old.

LuAnn and I judged the flowers at the Clermont County Fair this morning. It was a very nice show, better than Monday's as usual. It's like the entrants get the eye for their plants after the first judging. Our best of show was a beautiful little vase arrangement with the subject of parrot fish. The colors looked like those fish you see when you are snorkling. Monday was a piece of wood with water flowers arranged around it with the them a river runs through it.

We got blessed with 2 inches of rain yesterday. We definitely are the greenest place we have traveled, right here at home. We should have deep kernals with this late rain on the corn crop and the beans will really put on bushels with this water.

Corn shelling has moved from Missouri to Illinois with earliest corn ready for harvest. Here is video of corn shelling in Calhoun County that was just posted.

I need to keep bush hogging fields. They look pretty good but I still have some spots. I keep sowing a little radish and rye everywhere I can. The weeds have outgrown everything else this year. How are weeds so drought hardy?

Sure wish I could show you pictures. Google, you stink.


Thursday, July 26, 2012


A friend sent me Show My Street again so I thought I would look some things up. It is a new fly over because it shows the green tanks we put on the concrete slab in May! Type in my address at 3308 Martinsville Road and see how I have been doing. I can see the wet spots and the marks from the 24 row planter so it must be the end of April when we put those tanks in.

You an see every blemish in the field and I know what caused most of them. They must update their database pretty regularly or I just happened to catch a recent flyover. You can see the different cover crop effects in the garden.

I need the address of the fields I am scouting to help scout the problems! One outfit just copies the old ASCS or FSA maps and I am lucky if they write in a road I know. I had to have the farmer take me around to each patch this morning and that saved me a lot of time.

We ended up talking about his weed problem because he has $100 in chemicals spraying his non GMO beans and he has poor control after soybeans. After corn, the program is pretty acceptable. This weed probem is something else. There are lots of weedy fields like his and he is afraid he has palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed from the south. I am afraid he does too. The only thing we can do is move away from soybeans or go to Liberty Link soybeans. We can't do that too often or that chemical will build up resistance in the weeds, too.

If you take some time and read back in my blogs you will find where I have discussed this subject many times. This is something we MUST spend more time and effort on as this is going to cost us farmers a lot of money if we do or if we don't and a lot more if we don't!

It is blue overhead but big claps of thunder are rolling again. We are in a risk for high winds and rain again this afternoon. At least it beats a drought.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

University Debt

This Penn State deal is terrible but it is getting way too much coverage. I was caught off guard during radio interview yesterday driving between fields I was scouting. The person said that the $60 million dollar fine was nothing compared to Penn State's debt of ONE BILLION dollars! I was shocked about that much debt until I started thinking of the bonds we floated at Blanchester Local Schools during the new building project we went through 15 years ago.

Multiply that debt against a major land grant university that represents the entire state and the figure is much bigger. Then I thought I wouldn't be surprised if Ohio State's is even bigger. It is.

"The amount of debt public colleges and universities carry has crept upward over the last decade, topping $60 billion in 2010 and 2011, according to data compiled by Moody’s. That amounted to about $13,000 per student in 2010. Moody’s draws a direct connection between decreased state funding and increased debt, and finance officials expect the amount of debt to increase further over the next few years as state appropriations stagnate or continue to decline."

"According to Sightlines’ data, the amount that colleges and universities spent on capital and maintenance peaked in 2009 but dropped significantly in 2010. Most colleges returned to 2008 spending levels in 2011, except for midsize public universities. “I think the places like Ohio State and Penn State, when states didn’t give them more money, went out and found that money’s cheap in the market,” Kadamus said, noting that interest rates are at historic lows. “If you’re a comprehensive public, you can’t get a lot of leverage out of the bond market. Those guys were not able to borrow, so state cuts are really having an impact on them.” At the same time, states have cut back on the amount of debt their issuing on behalf of institutions, leaving colleges and universities to fend for themselves."

"Century bonds are rare, primarily because they don’t make sense for most institutions. It would be risky to bet that any given institution is going to be around in 100 years and still in position to repay its bonds. But for historically strong universities -- many of which have already been around for hundreds of years -- the proposition is less risky for potential investors. That fact, plus the historically low interest rates, leads Chatas to think more universities will issue long-term bonds in the near future.

The century bond drove Ohio State’s debt load to more than $2.4 billion, six times what it was in 2001. Chatas said the increased debt load is not a concern for the university. “Ohio State has a lot more debt than it did 20 years ago, but it’s also a lot larger than it was 20 years ago,” he said, noting that the university plans to continue significant growth in enrollment and revenue over the next few years. “So long as an institution is planning to grow into its debt, then it really should not be a concern.” Debt-service payments at the university are roughly the same as they were a decade ago, in part because of the historically low interest rates. Ohio State’s bond had a 4.8 percent interest rate."

WOW! 100 year bonds and $2.4 billion in debt! Ohio State has a lot of valuable real estate but I am not sure it's worth $2.4 billion!

What do you think?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


We had another storm blow through at noon. I met it at Interstate 71. It turned pitch black, knocked down some more trees and wires and more people lost power. It wasn't as bad as the 70-80 MPH wind we had recently. Lots of people got hail and I have not checked for hail damage yet.

I did get into some fields in Preble and Butler County and the crop was sad. Most of the corn I saw won't make 50 bushels and 20 would be closer on most of it. The beans look encouraging but I don't think they are as good as everyone seems to think they are. I think a lot of farmers are searching for hope and I don't blame them.

Hillsboro may have gotten near 3 inches but most got a half inch or more. It is always interesting to receive Bill Northcutt's rain report and especially in this drought.

I have a lot more fields to walk and a lot more farmers to interview on their corn refuge so I am pretty tired tonight.

Good night,

Ed Winkle

Monday, July 23, 2012

Clermont County Fair

I judged at the Clermont County Fair again today and like the other fairs, the drought took its toll, the heat took more but the entries were pretty good considering.  You could tell the cooler environments, even a degree or two on the plants and flowers and those who did a good job watering through the stress.

It was a 200 mile jaunt today to Chillicothe to Owensville to Wilmington and home.  The crops look better after a little rain but you can still see the record drought.  Still, we are one of the garden spots I have seen all summer.  It is hard to drive out Interstate 74 or across 70 where there is not much to nothing.  Parts of Ohio are no better, like south and east of here and north and west of here.  Butler County is burned up and Clermont to the south is pretty green but those farmers got out in March and planted early and caught more rain and tolerated more stress.

Thank you for the encouraging calls and emails, I have so many devoted readers.  I see this blog has over 100,000 page views so we might as well go for a million!  At least I can say that today but some days it just doesn't seem worth it anymore.  A new blogsite would help but then I would be starting all over again.

I am inspecting soybeans to be shipped to Asia for food.  One of my friends grew a bunch of them and I had to stop and congratulate him on the most weed free soybeans I have been in all year.  That is quite an accomplishment with a non GMO soybean but it will become the norm as GMO goes south and we learn how to control weeds again.

I have noticed a lot of burned flowers in Ohio beans.  That week of 104 really took a toll on the early flowers.  Now that temps have moderated and more are getting rain, the flowers are forming again and we are getting our first pods or R2 stage.  You don't see any volunteer corn in serious non GMO fields because they know they won't take them!

I would really like to go the tractor pull tonight and see the Super Farm class pull but I am too tired to go.  I better save up my energy for tomorrow.

Good Evening,

Ed Winkle

Sunday, July 22, 2012

America's War On Weeds

Next Sunday CBS will have a segment on "America's War on Weeds" on CBS Sunday Morning.  The clip looked like a farmer trying to shovel out a giant palmer pigweed.  Our redroots are that big in the garden, been pulling after every rain, which we are now getting.

We have got to plant more cover crops and spray a residual at every planting and control these weeds before they get 4 inches tall.  We all know that but I still see failures every day and everywhere.  There is so much volunteer corn in soybeans you would think the guy is trying to raise succotash.  Do you young people know what that is?

I have one clean field of corn and the rest are dirty.  They have weeds in them and some places it is heavy.  I tried my best to get ahead of them but this wild year I did not get it done.  I pledge to do better next year.  I have always been in the war on weeds because they rob yield and ragweeds and others make me sick.  I will never forget my allergy test when my biggest dot looked like a rash on my whole back and it was from cockleburr!  I have found a few this year and I quickly waged war on them.

Most are still suffering from the drought though, now the worst since 1936 according to some reports.  Our crops are better than 1988 but some of my friends crops not far away are as bad or worse.  We have been in a fairly happy little micro climate here in southern Clinton County.

Will is trying to get better and Katherine is home now so we count our blessings.  We do have a crop to sell that is better than thousands of farmers.  I got my well by the house going thanks to electrician Jim.  Wouldn't you know that darn thing was wired wrong at installation.  No wonder it wouldn't work.  It worked poorly for awhile then quit.  It is lucky it didn't burn the motor up in it and I don't see how it didn't.  I run both wells now quite often just to get my aquifer going again.  I know I have silt or sand at the well head and the more I use it the better it works.

I have a busy day tomorrow and a busy week ahead.  I am sure you do also so here's hoping you get the rain you need and trouble free work.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21

What a day, what a week.  Hit the road bright and early to judge crops at the Clark County Fair.  They had a great show but the drought did take its toll.

Anything green got hurt by the heat.  Cole crops, green beans, even cucumbers and pumkins.  I saw some amazing ears of corn and stalks of corn but no pods on the beans.  That is quite unusual.

It didn't hurt the numbers any because it took me the best part of the day to do it.  Indeed my head did hurt when I was finished.  It always is.  It is hard to focus and compare so many hundred of entries.  There must have been 50 plates of tomatoes just in the FFA class, let alone the open class.  Their tomatoes are well ahead of ours and ahead of last year.

I saw a lot of things better than what we raised and I saw some things that weren't as good.  The champion corn stalks were a little better than mine but our beans do have pods on them.  Our pumpkins were even better and usually I get beat in that comparison.

On the way home I stopped to see our new grand daughter and the competition didn't matter anymore.  She sure is beautiful as they all are.  I am so happy for Erik and Tara, it couldn't happen to two nicer and more deserving people even if they are family.

The oldest grand daughters are here for the night and we just fnished our bonfire after picking up sticks from the wind storm and tidying up the place a little.  The girls drove the Mule better than they ever have so they are growing up on us.

Thank you Lord for answered prayer and the peaceful feeling it gives.

Have a great Sabbath,


Friday, July 20, 2012

She's Beautiful!

I just got to meet another granchild for the first time. Katherine Grace Block. She is beautiful! She is a healthy 8 pounds, has an appetite like her dad, and a pretty round face with light to medium brunette hair.

I am so happy for Tara and Erik I could burst. I am happy for LuAnn and I all the family, too! This is what life is all about and kids are the best crop you can ever raise. Thank you Lord for answered prayer and bless and keep her and all of those precious little ones all the days of their life. We promise to guide and direct then and love and care for them.

So many children don't seem to have that these days, it is really sad. She is blessed just to have the parents she has, let alone the great big family she comes to, all hard working, successful, loving, God fearing people.

I knew it would be a long day so I stuck to my work of Insect Resistance Management and certifying growing soybeans for possible shipment to Asia. It rained or sprinkled all day so I just moved to where it wasn't raining much. By 4 PM I hadn't heard anything so I started calling and got the word she would probably arrive before six. She did at 5:45 pm and I got there in time.

I am pretty tired but very happy. Tomorrow I continue the judging schedule at the Clark County Fair in Springfield. It is always a big competitive show that really taxes my judging abilities and I always come home "brain dead" but tomorrow I can sneak in the hospital and give Katherine a big kiss and maybe hold her awhile.

Crop prices closed strong today and for the week. Farmers are trying to figure out what they might have to sell so they can gain some of these rare, record breaking prices and so am I.

Del Period Option Basis Cash
JULY U 0.25 8.49
AUGUST U 0.25 8.49
O/N Z -0.15 7.81
JAN H -0.10 7.71
Beans Del Period Option Basis Cash
JULY Q 0.15 17.72
AUGUST Q -0.10 17.47
N/C X -0.40 16.46
JAN F -0.15 16.48

Wheat Del Period Option Basis Cash

JULY/SEP U -0.10 9.33


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Only The Strong Survive

In my travels today I was reminded of all the things and people that are gone in my life. Oliver Farm Equipment, Oldsmobile, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, they are all gone. Is there something better? I don't really think so. The companies I like best didn't make it and only the strong survive.

Look at seed. All the mom and pop seed companies are gone. Bird Hybrids, Garst, Latham and all the little seed companies are gone. Now Monsanto is number one and a few years ago all they sold was chemicals. Pioneer is now DuPont, and by name, too.

Is bigger better? I don't think so. LuAnn had to go to WalMart today for business. While she was there she bought a new camera for the new baby. I detest shopping at WalMart but you can't beat their prices or handiness sometimes out here in the country. They employ a lot of people locally but not near what the mom pops they replaced would add up to for all those goods.

Little companies employ more people. Big companies find ways around people with technology. Look at Google, they are going through all kinds of changes and I have voiced my opposition for months now.

It does no good. It's like the boy who cried wolf too many times. People got tired of hearing the cry and the wolf enjoyed a cheap and delicious but short lasting meal.

Only the strong survive. Those good companies weren't necessarily weak, either. They became vulnerable. Naivety is very vulnerable. Things can be perking along and suddenly, its all over, in a flash.

That is my rant for today. The good thing is southern Ohio got a big rain. The water feature was as full as ever when we got home just now. Praise be to God! I never saw a farmer who didn't relish this rain today.

I wish I could post one of the many new pictures I have to show you today but haven't figured out why the picture uploader disappeared from my toolbar yet.

I will let you know.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Losing Interest

Maybe I am just tired this evening but I am losing interest in my blog. Yesterday my picture uploader disappeard from the blogspot toolbar, the dashboard disappeared long ago. I should really find something else but this worked so well for 3 years I hate to leave. Blogging isn't the same when I can't show you my pictures, even when they are not that good. They always have a message.

I was in 5 counties or so today and they got an inch to three inches south of us. I saw more burned up corn in Adams County. Everything needs a drink.

Thanks for your prayers for Will, he is out of surgery and home tomorrow to start rehab. Friday is Katherine's big day, prayers to Tara, Erik and the doctors.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Farmers

More farmers are finding sick corn roots like those in the picture. Oh great, there will be no picture right now because Google has taken that option away. I hope this is temporary.

Another person whom I don't know sent me these in email this morning. These look like the ones I have found in fields in the various states we have travelled in this summer and like the ones shown on Crop Talk and across the land this year.

Southern Rust has now been confirmed in Iowa. This makes sense. The already weakened corn plant is subject to anything that comes along from Goss's Wilt to other bacterial diseases to Southern Corn Rust. I wonder if the diseases and disorder piggy back what is already going on inside the plant versus the mystery problem piggy backing the diseases?

I know one thing, it sure screws up a good crop and once you get drought and disease the crop goes to pot so fast you don't know what happened. I have not forgotten that farmer in our NNTC presentation on Goss's Wilt by Amy Bandy in January who told me this thing cost him 125 bushels per acre last year whether it was Goss's Wilt or not or more than one thing. It compounds the issue. I hope someone finds what this issue is so we can work the corn industry away from it.

All anyone cares about now is rain. Few people are even listening to anything else. This drought is now being called bigger than 88 and the worst since 1954 in this country. It could break more records before its over but it all isn't just the drought, I am sure.

I am still way behind but I got a lot done the last two days. I am inside now to cool off because it is just too hot in the fields for me now. A young farmer saw me in my fields and stopped to see what I was doing and we talked until we both got so hot we couldn't stand it.

It sure was hot at the Red's game last night in Cincinnati. The Reds might get into a dought, too, without Joey Votto. His bat was sorely missed but Arroyo just didn't have any speed and the Diamondbacks knocked the cover off the ball. I predict the Reds won't get into the playoffs and if they do, they won't last long. I hate to say that but I saw firsthand last night their situation.

Say a prayer for Will's surgeons tonight, please. I remember how scary surgery is from November 3, 1976.


Ed Winkle

Monday, July 16, 2012

150 Years

One-hundred-fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act.

That's a law named for Senator Justin Morrill of Strafford, Vermont that established a system of public colleges and universities devoted to engineering and agriculture. Those schools today enroll nearly five million students.

Higher education officials are celebrating the anniversary of the landmark legislation by examining issues facing universities today.

The 1862 law was one of the country's most forward thinking acts because it led to big changes in higher education.

"In some ways you can argue it actually was one of the first acts of civil freedom and access, because up until that time education was pretty much the preserve of white male landed individuals - those with resources," John Bramley of the University of Vermont said.

The law Morrill wrote was designed to shift America's education focus from the classics and religion. It was intended to connect agricultural and engineering research to benefit the state. But Bramley says the act's vision of broader access to higher education is at risk today.

"More and more students and families are struggling to attend college," Bramley said. "More and more students are coming out of college with significant debt. Some are even questioning the investment in college, so I think that whole access piece starts to come under threat again."

Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical, now Ohio State University became Ohio's land-grant university in 1870. Today, land-grant institutions award about a third of all bachelor's degrees and 60 percent of doctorates in the U.S.

This important piece of legislation changed my life for the good and many before me and will many after. Land Grant College and University teaching, Extended to rural communities and Researched at places like OARDC greatly enhanced education in Ohio and across America.

Happy Birthday!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

55 Chevy

I had a deju vue moment this week. I was coming home from the east on State Route 28 and this blue and white 55 Chevy pulled out of Greene Road in front of me.

It looked identical to the one I owned in the 60's except it looked better than new! I had to see this car so I was willing to follow it anywhere but it turned into a driveway as quick as it turned in front of me.

Out came Cecil! Cecil owns the local Marathon station across the street. I knew he had a Corvette but I didn't know he had a 55. He said he always wanted one and just found this one near Franklin, Ohio. I asked if I could take pictures and of course he said, sure!

The body is perfect on it and he said it must have been an Arizona car. It had been recently restored and I wouldn't change a thing except the "Ethiopian Go Fasters" on the tail pipes. Does anyone know what they are?

I got to thinking I never kept any of the machinery I loved. I never really became attached to them. I sold my favorite car, my favorite tractors, about anything of value when I needed something better with the money than that item represented.

I had a blast in that 55. It was fast for a car of its age and model. That came from the 283 cubic inch motor I put in it from a wrecked 57. That engine turned out to be a Corvette F.I. or fuel injection engine and when my mechanic friend figured out how to tune a Rochester 4 barrel carburetor, that engine screamed.

The three speed transmission and rear end were perfectly matched to that engine's power and torque. I had many a winning drag race in that car and rarely got beat because I was careful who I raced. When I learned I could beat a stock 383 Chrysler, that car got a reputation. Engines it's size never beat it.

That car hung around Sardinia for many years when my classmate Randy Vance got hold of it from the guy I sold it to.

It never looked as good as this car but this is how my old car looked from a distance.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bin Management Pays Big Time

Grain bin management is paying off big time for some of my friends. I am really glad to see that. I did not hold on long enough, I could have squeezed another $20,000 out of my bins but I didn't do it.

One friend in Kentucky just sold corn out of his bin for $8.22 and another friend in Iowa is trying to deliver 160,000 bushels for $8.27. It takes a lot of trucks and a lot of coordination to store, save, unload and deliver that amount of grain. A quick calculation shows we are talking big money in reward.

Grain bin management is something they don't teach in school or ag college. The closest I got was my agricultural engineering classes on grain drying, air flow and mathematical calculations. The real test is right on the farm.

The best way to learn is from a seasoned veteran. There are several on ag talk who have and can store grain for years safely. Actually doing the work side by side an experienced person is the way to learn. Learning at a warehouse is one thing but if I wanted to learn how to increase my income and efficiency by storing grain, I would want to learn from a good farmer who knows.

This farm had 65,000 bushel storage when we bought it. I had never been around grain bins enough to appreciate their use or value. I am learning by the school of hard knocks after $50,000 in repears and too many months of $1000 electric bills. I could have increased our income at least a half million dollars by storing grain longer and selling at these "hammer highs" of $7 plus corn, $16 soybeans and $10 wheat. It takes conviction and fortitude to do that. And it takes knowledge.

I have had a couple of close calls on spoiled grain but nothing like was in the bins when I bought them. They were half full of moldy corn I sold for a pitance to clean them out and get them going. If you are going to grain farm, you need to learn to produce and store the highest grain quality possible. That's the job.

Most don't do it. I know many who don't even own grain bins and sell out of the combine. They cry when they sell corn for $5 and corn goes to $8. I know many who don't even own a corn planter or a corn head! They are stuck with cereals and soybeans in their rotation and some of them do pretty darned good!

Bin managment is paying off big time. It should! We can't consume the October crop in one month, it takes all year!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Financial Cliff

A fellow posted a link to a video of three old men saying we are now going over the financial cliff. What do you think?

These are pretty crusty old guys with lots of experience. They bring up some good points. It may not be tomorrow, or next year or even five years, but do you agree?

If so, what are you doing differently to prepare? Or like most people, have you thrown up your hands and just keep going on as usual?

No one can be fully prepared for such a thing but there is no doubt some fare better than others. I don't know how deep our national debt is, but this is rather shocking.

One more question for you. What do you think of the six pictures at our county fair competition? Which one is your favorite?

I have to praise the local machinery dealers for their great display at the Clinton County Fair. Great job, guys! It reminds me of the State Fair displays 40 years ago. There must be two acres of farm machinery from small to the big stuff. Kudo's to Equipment Super Store, American Tractor on I-71 and Mayer's on Us 68.

My blog isn't getting any less serious. I have a favor to ask. I have a young friend who is going under 8 hour back surgery next week. I pray for the surgeons skilled hands and miraculous recovery. I would appreciate your prayer.

Our tenth grandchild, Katherine, is being born next Friday. I also ask for your prayer in this matter, also. Thank you very much. I have some powerfully prayerful readers and I ask for your help. The power of prayer is awesome.

The corn belt is still awaiting rainfall. The south has picked up some rain but we are hoping it gets here as predicted. It seems to be petering out as it has the last two months. It's been a very hot and dry 25 days here, 14 days over 90 and many of them over 100 as you well know.

My shot of cortisone has done wonders. Now I am getting my swollen fingers wrapped and that is really helping, too. My physical therapist explained where my tears are below my left elbow and how I stretched the muscles on top of the forearm and under it. I feel a whole lot better.

It's been a hard but really good week. I hope that is true for you, too.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Corn Estimates

Anyone who deals with corn is estimating corn yields today. USDA's far fetched 166 bushels soon became 150 and now around 140. Every farmer I know just wishes they could harvest that much.

Realistically this crop is really hurt, how badly we don't know. A friend called and we talked about the serious situation this year and coming years. I met another friend for lunch today and we agree the seed supply is in danger both in quality and quantity. I will be walking the seed fields for my next year's crop very soon.

Many who can stand to are pulling ears right now. I don't mean our ears the USDA was pulling, I mean actual corn ears. I saw some burned up corn in the Greenfield area yesterday. I don't know what it will make but it won't be much. I took the back roads home across the better soils around Lees Creek and found some pretty good potential. That's all it is today, potential but at least it has it. Millions of acres won't make much this year.

This is your high yielding 18 by 44 kernal ear in a heavy 32,000 population. Theoretically it could make well into the 200's but it won't. The soil is too dry and we don't get enough rain to fill it out in a good year and this one isn't one.

You can see good pollination before the 100 degree days, so planting date was critical. You can see kernals filling but if this corn doesn't get 3 inches of water in the next two weeks, we will be well under 200 bushels on this field. Final number is anyone's guess until kernal abortion is finished in a month from now.

If my best corn made 150 bushels and my worst 100, I would be near crop insurance yields. If October averages $7 and I am not sure it will, every bushel I can raise above those levels will make me money. Every bushel under those numbers is $7 guarantee lost lower yields so rain helps me and you people, the government.

The critical time has left some barren and it is very close for the rest of us!

Congratulations to Madison for winning the Grand Champion Spotted market barrow class and Division 1 of the 4-H Market Show with her Hampshire cross barrow today. She showed like a 14 year old and really kept her pig in the right place all day.

I was duly impressed!



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Corn Roots

I apologize up front for spending so much time on corn roots but I have been working on this since I found the first pink leaves in a Clinton County corn field almost a year ago. Close friends told me there is something wrong with the way we grow and breed corn and I have sought out to see how widespread this is.

One of my younger friends sent me the above picture this morning. He asks if this is the problem I have been talking about. It is and it it is much more. I sent it to one of those close friends and here is his response:

"This is just the start, I have clients in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota which we are seeing corn root worm feed the 10 of July and there was capture LFR insecticide. Also warrior and Hero. Triple stack corn 2500 acres no roots, what have they done to us 15 years of the same chemical (plant with insecticide and then I trash the soil) I see this become bigger and bigger problem, the only reason Minnesota has yet to see real problem we keep plowing under our problems and Goss's wilt is in the same category."

The sad part is so far I have little acceptance of this idea and NO response from corn pathologists. I don't know what they could be thining! One thing for sure they act as if there is no problem but I can assure you there is!

From the company standpoint, it is defense on top of defense that everything is OK and "they are working on it!" Look at these responses to young Monsanto lady named "Claudia" on Ag Talk regarding RR soybeans this morning:

I spoke with our weed management team and came up with answers to your questions:

1. Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans had a greater than 5 bu/acre average over LibertyLink soybeans based on third party data in the 2011 University Trials summarized across all locations, maturity groups and institutions.
2. Liberty does have difficulty in controlling a number of grass weeds. Using Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will allow you to control grasses with Roundup, and add in Flexstar for glyphosate-resistant broadleaf weeds.
3. Liberty will only control small weeds, usually less than 4 inches tall, whether they are glyphosate-resistant or not. Trying to control larger weeds than labeled can caused reduced control and increase the risk of resistance to Liberty.

Hope this helps!

Cynthia - Genuity Communications Team"

The little and big companies are reading and watching but...

No help!

At least farmers like young Aaron in Illinois see my picture and are working on the problem from their end. They may not know or understand exactly what they are doing, but hey, most of us don't anyway!

That is my update for this morning. Keep me informed and I will do my best to do the same. There is no rain but at least it is 66 degrees this morning and black respiration has stopped or reduced in our corn crop here.

Have a great day,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sustainable Agriculture

The AGCO Corporation on Facebook is having a contest and I thought I would share my entry today:

Agricultural Sustainability

The first I heard of Sustainable Agriculture was in Robert Rodale's New Farm magazine in the 70's. It made sense as our farm practiced similar methods to the ones he described since grandpa moved his family the home farm in 1918.

It consisted of a 5 year crop rotation, limited plowing, and raising enough livestock to consume all of the production of the 300 acre general farm. The manure was spread back on the soil and cultivation was kept to a minimum to protect the nearly and highly erodible soils on the farm.

This worked well until the agricultural crises kept building momentum in each decadal cycle and the wheat price couldn't be fed or sold at a profit nor the livestock or products you fed it to. There was no room on the farm for a third generation so I was sent to college to make my own life.

I taught vocational agriculture and became an extension agent in 16 years. By then the sustainability movement was growing and agents visited Rodale's Farm and taught the principals to those who were interested. Most of agriculture went to specialized production instead and cash grain farming, confinement hog and poultry production instead. Beef, dairy and lamb remained pretty much the sustainable way but dairy soon joined specialization.

The essence of sustainability to me is leaving the place better than you found it. That is very difficult to do and make a living while you do it. That means crop production should be no till or minimum till and soil loss should be kept near to zero as possible. Amending the soil for balanced, high production must be economically efficient. Resources must match ability. I am interested in soils and machinery so crop production is my forte, where others are good at husbandry and better adapted to livestock production.

I taught in my classrooms the principle of healthy soil, healthy plant, healthy livestock, healthy human. The chain is connected. Rodale and Albrecht's teachings helped me learn these principles and teach them to others.

My mentor Paul Reed, Washington, Iowa teaches “speak with your fields.” Farmers will ask you how you did that. My crops right now are speaking volumes through this record drought. This is because of the sustainable practices of no till, balanced fertility, crop rotation and careful management. This is the best I can do for sustainable agriculture.

I do this profitably by farming with used AGCO machinery and preventive maintenance. AGCO is usually the best buy in the marketplace new or used and lasts a long time. We still use 50 and 60 year old equipment. The White 5100 notill planter is the best one ever built in my mind and I have taught notill to thousands of other farmers across this country and beyond. The Gleaner combine was the last farmer built combine on the market even I can keep running. The AGCO cab is as good as any and the AGCO tractor is the best buy in the world.

I keep my cost of production low using these methods while yielding beyond my county average. The best part is my soil doesn't wash away and gets more productive each year. Cover crops is an exciting new part of our crop rotation.

Sustainable Agriculture is a must for my grand children and just makes good common sense. AGCO keeps me farming sustainably.

Ed Winkle
HyMark Consulting LLC
3308 Martinsville Road
Martinsville, Ohio 45146

HyMark Videos:

I hope you enjoy the videos and get something from my blog!
Ed Winkle

Monday, July 9, 2012

County Fair

Thank Goodness it cooled off for the Clinton County Fair today! We got a whopping .05 inch of rain here! The cooler weather is really appreciated though.

I missed a chance and showing you a funny video today. We watched Madison show her first chicken and it was the funniest thing you ever saw. I have never seen a child smile so much, scratch so much, pet a chicken that way, all the way to second place in her class. The judged raved about the kids all day and said it was the only show he remembers with no bruised wings on the chickens and nearly perfect finish on every bird.

It was fun to watch Madison and Brynn show their hogs yesterday and today. They did a great job, as well as all of the kids. It was pleasurable to watch every class. We finally had weather fit to be out in after two weeks of heat!

I was sorry for LuAnn yesterday as her pictures didn't garner many ribbons and I thought they were as good as ever with some really outstanding shots. No one could figure out what in the world the judge was looking for. They did pick some good winners but there were so many as good or better. Some winners just made you say to yourself, what were they thinking?

I quickly found the best buy on the grounds at a new vendor, Sue-Terre's Concessions from Stoutsville, Ohio near Circlville. 32 ounces of iced Lipton tea for a buck. What a deal! I had a half a gallon at lunch, whoops!

I broke down and got a shot of cortisone in my elbow this morning. I have just been in too much pain. It's pretty bad when it hurts so badly the needle feels good going in! I start my Occupational Therapy Friday and getting a leg test Wednesday so it's back to the docs again.

I need to get fit for all these county fairs and consulting jobs coming up. There is much walking and standing to be done this month and I have swelling in both legs. Right now I am going to enjoy some barbecue chicken cooked with Chevetta's famous sauce with fresh sweet corn and potato salad!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's Cooler

It is still hot but it is cooler. Yesterday I saw records broken all over the country including our 103 degree record from 1874. Now if we could just get some moisture, everyone could breathe a little easier.

Farming is a hard business this year. What a gamble it turned out to be. I don't see how some of you do it. Southern Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee is so burned up it is disgusting. I don't know how you could live there and drive by those dead fields every day. Kudo's to those of you who have learned to cope and keep the faith.

I have put $900 in the Buick and the battery light still comes on during hard acceleration. It all started when I replaced the plugs and wires. We tested and tried everything and ended up putting a new $300 alternator on it and belt. It quit coming on nearly as much but still comes during hard acceleration to pass or merge. That one bugs me.

I have bigger problems though. Anyone want a running Dakota? All I want is the tires and toolbox out of it and it is yours. It used another gallon of coolant in 800 miles and I am pretty sure a head is cracked or the aluminum intake where it feeds the head. I have pretty much ruled out a blown head gasket.

It's never a good time to go truck shopping and now is really not a good time. I could switch to the Chevy but it gets 1/3 the mileage the Dakota gets and we often need a third vehicle around here. I think I want another used Dakota and LuAnn thinks I should get a new truck with zero percent interest. I really have no idea what I would buy and don't enjoy new truck shopping and haggling.

The county fair opened today and they are blessed to beat the 100 degree days. Maybe they can limp through one more fair. County fairs are having a hard time hanging on and we have chatted about that several times here. I hope the kids have a good time and learn a lot of valuable lessons while showing their animals this week.

The few weeks are really busy with IRM audits, judging commitments and everything else going on. Hopefully it will be cooler and more tolerable.

I hope you are cool today and we all get some needed moisture.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

This Corn Thing

This dysfunction in corn roots I have been talking about seems to be a plaque, something like plaque in arteries that cause problems like reduced blood flow. Something we have done in corn production the last 20 years or so has caused these problems. I had to dig this picture out from 2007 to remember what drought stressed notill corn looks like in this field compared to this year.

I had stalks break off right at the top of the ground yesterday before I could dig or cut them. Brace roots and all broke off even with the soil with a black plaque cutting off most of the nutrient flow and standability. There were 6-8 foot corn plants, tassle and ear that broke right off. The main roots and brace roots were all blackened at the point of soil contact.

The main thing is though this is just the worst I have found and almost every plant I look at as some off color in the crown root nodal root area at the soil surface. They are not clean and healthy all the way through although they are very white and healthy above that point.

One friend in Iowa said he had healthy white crown roots. I ask if there is a thin darkened area at the soil surface? Right down the road for him is plants just like what I found yesterday and am finding all over. It isn't drought, it is something else.

It seems to accompany symptoms of Goss's Wilt, Giberella Stalk Rot, pink colored leaves and other symptoms. It seems to be a result of seed and herbicide practices and even the best tillage or no tillage and nutrient management.

Yes, I am talking about GMO herbicide and insect resistant crops. It is interesting that Monsanto received a patent a few years ago for a GMO Goss's Wilt corn germplasm. I have heard that material is in their grow out labs right now. It will be more interesting to see how this plays out because I don't think that is it. This structure seems to be a product of normal environmental impact on the way we are currently growing corn. The way we grow corn today looks similar to 20 years ago but in truth it is much different in germplasm and herbicide.

You learn something every day. If you have any questions or comments on this problem, please email or call. The comment section below is always open, I hope it is easy for you to use.

I am concerned about this drought as anyone but there is something going on in our corn fields that potentially looks much bigger to me than any drought.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Are Your Corn Roots Discolored?

How sick is our corn crop in the U.S.? Do your corn roots look like the picture? Some friends and I have been digging corn plants all over the United States looking at root crowns. Early on were looking at pythium in the stalks but we are still finding discolored corn crown roots.

If you take a spade or shovel and pry a corn plant out of the ground, shake off the soil and split the crown at the level of the soil what do you see? Do you see bright white, healthy tissue like the picture above or do you see some discoloration?

We have been finding corn crown roots with yellowish, brownish or black areas in the crown root all season. Yes there is plenty of corn with white crowns but it is hard to not find discoloration in every field. What is the cause of this?

No one knows for sure but it seems to be a type of bacterial or other unknown disease. We have been encouraging farmers and consultants to send plant samples to the University of Nebraska Plant Laboratory to check for Goss's Wilt which showed up big time in Iowa and surrounding states last year.

The sick plants often show a pinkish leaf at ear fill. It could be Goss's or it could be something else but it seems to tag along with Goss's and other ailments. The big thing is this corn crop in the United States is a lot sicker than anyone knows and it is not all due to drought.

In fact we thought there would not be as much Goss or similar wilts in drought conditions but when a plant wilts, what causes it?

This week we have been looking at sodium levels in the tissue test. It seems the higher the salt content in the leaf tissue the less wilt that is observed. To document this, one group actually sprayed sea salt at the rate of about 5 lbs per acre with 20 gallons of water on wilted corn and after it was sprayed, it stood up and quit wilting. Now I have been trying to correlate wilting to my tissue sodium levels and there seems to be a correlation but I am not sure. There are so many factors affecting the crop right now it is difficult to isolate just one.

If you grow corn or knows someone who does, go dig some plants and look at the crown roots. Tell me what you see. If you tissue sample, look at the NA or Socium level in the leaf tissue compared to the wilting you see in those spots. Is there a correlation?


Thursday, July 5, 2012


I woke up this morning with the word danger on my mind. This country is going through a period of danger from the crops in the field to the livestock in the barns and pastures to the food on our plates.

The best example I have seen of this is Kelly Robertson's Death of a Corn Crop. His few pictures taken over a short time period show how vulnerable we all really are. This rarely or hasn't happened in some locations but is more widespread than normal this year.

I just got back from Kroger's and the shelves were more empty than normal. I have been seeing this increase this year depending on the product. Fresh fruits were most noticeable but there is less of any perishable product on the shelves right now.

I am irrigating a patch of corn down by the hog barn right now. It makes me happy because I feel like I am keeping that corn thriving more than the corn that isn't getting watered. I can't water the whole field but just watering that patch makes me feel good. I should have planted sweet corn in that area. I would have a bumper crop this year.

LuAnn and Brynn did pull off our first ears last night and it was oh, so good! There is nothing in this world like fresh corn on the cob right off your own plants. Sable marked the area well and the coons didn't get it. I was afraid they would while we were gone this week. My efforts to reduce the raccoon population didn't hurt any either.

The kids and animals showing at the Clinton County Fair this week will be in more danger than normal, too, thanks to the heat. Everyone is pretty cautious and I hope there will be no more loss than a few chickens. We always lose a few chickens to the heat during a very hot county fair. Sometimes we lose a pig or two or even a steer in extreme heat.

I know everyone is doing all they can in this heat to enjoy life but I do think everyone is in survival mode. Kroger must be the coolest place in Blanchester right now, literally. I wonder what it costs to cool that place for one day and how much of that shows up on our bill?

We had a very hot trip to Caoilin's third birthday party Sunday and to LuAnn's mom in New York. The crops north and east look really good but they are a month behind mine and really need a good drink.

I don't know if we will get it or not but if it were to happen, that would be really, really good right now. Even "cousin" Winkleman's elderberry crop could use a good soaker if he is to enjoy that wine he makes this winter.

Have a safe weekend, and happy 236th birthday to the U.S. this week.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Today could well be the hottest day I since I started writing this blog. It is hot everywhere. Over one million people are still without power after last Friday night's storm. They have to be suffering.

Pastor and Shawnee Nation Story Teller Fred Shaw passed along some basic survival tips many have had to test out this week:

■Step one – keep a food log
■Step two – keep a spending log
■Step three – perform a risk assessment on your life and geography
■Step four – build a basic black out kit
■Step five – build a basic first aid kit
■Step six – start canning
■Step seven – cut two expenses, just two of your choosing
■Step eight – Build a basic 72 Hour Kit – BOB
■Step nine – buy some source of back up power – any source
■Step ten – get some source of back up heating
■Step eleven – build two 7.5 gallon tubs or four 5 gallon buckets emergency food
■Step twelve – store a minimum of 50 gallons of water, more if you can
■Step thirteen – acquire a minimum or two emergency radios
■Step fourteen – acquire some means of back up communications
■Step fifteen – build a basic documentation pack
■Step sixteen – build up a 30 day supply or commercial long term storage food for your house hold
■Step seventeen – learn at least 2 methods of food storage
■Step eighteen – find a local farmer’s market and visit often, learn about seasonal opportunities
■Step nineteen – learn to cook 5 items you have never eaten before with storable items
■Step twenty – store up a reasonable amount of COH (cash on hand)

As simple as these are, we were missing some of these basic survival ideas. We have all become so dependent on the store next door I plan to do better in these crazy times that are catching me just a little too off guard!

Stay cool and keep the faith!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Henry Everman

I am at Henry's farm near Dansville, New York. The corn is beautiful!

I first met Henry at a tractor pull and I am not sure which one. It has been a long time ago but I do remember the good chat we had in the pits at the Brown County fair several years ago.

Henry is an interesting guy with similar interests to me and is easy to talk to. Over the years I have followed his tractor pulling and corn championships and admired his farm on the way to Naples, New York.

Henry was out spraying so I got to talk to his son, David. David showed me his new pulling tractor, a 2500 HP beast of a 6 cylinder International Harvester modifed with Jerry Lagod parts known as Hypermax. It had one wild paint scheme on black paint and is called Over Ruled.

David asked me when we were going to hit $10 corn which is fair compared to the cost of everything we buy as farmers. I told him I didn't know but that this drought was really going to test the corn market pits. It sure is. He let it out that they average 225-250 bushel corn per acre and always have a spot that hits over 300 bushel which ususually puts them at the top of the New York State Champion Corn Yield if not the region or nation. There is a second place in the nation banner hanging on the shop wall and I believe it said 2003.

They had always won with Pioneer corn but always tried others and now DeKalb is beating their Pioneer varieties. I bet I could talk corn hybrids with Henry. The corn sure looked great and I told David it looked like it was all planted the same day. It wasn't but close, and they started May 2. Mine was just coming out of the ground good by then after the cold spell.

Mrs. Everman pulls too and has a twin Hemi Modified tractor. Henry drives a red CIH Pro Stock named Final Decision.

The soil on the farm was a lakebed and the family made their money growing potatoes until that industry went sour and Henry started perfecting corn production. He farms in a very nice valley with good weather and little disease. The big potato shed now houses semi tractors, trailers and all types of farm equipment. It is so darn in there you can only see the shiny front of a semi in the very back of the concrete block building.

It was nice to visit with David and maybe next time I will get to talk to Henry and the Mrs. It was hot but a great day at Everman Farms.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Power Back

Quiz for my soil guys and gals. What causes this iron color oxidated out of the soil we find at the edges or other parts of a field?

Thank Goodness we have our power back but the public water is still down. We pray for those without power or without water. Praise to all the power workers who keep the grid up and running! Thanks especially to those who take care of us here "at the end of the wires."

We have no generator whether biodiesel, gas or propane but something tells me that is going to change. That $50,000 wind generator and battery setup hooked to the grid just wasn't feasible for us.

I have heard rumors that our aquifer near Bainbridge is low and the county water system is having problems with it. I did hear that three different wells had problems. If anyone knows more about this, I would like to hear about it. I know if Uncle Roy was still in charge of the Division of Water at ODNR, I could get answers!

Writing will be slow this week so maybe we will be back in full force by Thursday. I am not good at texting on the Xyboard but at least I can put up a little post and come back to it like I am right now.

The drought has changed everything for farmers with corn up over a dollar and changed for the eastern half of the US when those winds hit Friday evening.

Have a great week everyone and here's hoping for rain for all of us! That is unless you live where there is too much like we had here last year.