Farm Industry News Blog

Need for frozen ground

Last year in Pandora, Ohio, we had 55 in. of rain, which is way above the normal of 33 in. Many parts of Ohio had 66 in. of rain. The corn and soybean harvest was the most challenging since 1972. There is still a sprinkling of soybean fields and corn fields that need to be harvested. There are many, many fields in northwest Ohio with deep ruts that are going to have to be chiseled out in the spring. Only a small percentage of soybean stubble fields were tilled at all. There is a lot of demand for spring tillage tools. Many of the Great Plains tools are sold out for this spring. Their new Turbo-Max is especially in high demand. I bought a used Kongskilde Res-Till to help take ruts out in the spring.  

This January was the warmest since 1947. We still need some cold weather to freeze the soil. I especially need some frozen ground to hold up my manure tanker as I haven't spread any liquid manure since last summer.  

Phosphorous levels have been going up in Lake Erie since 1995 so there is a lot of concern about the dead zone that is resulting. My county agent said if something doesn't happen soon to reduce the levels the EPA will step in with some strict farming and manure hauling regulations.

I went on my longest ever tractor drive today. It was around 60 miles and took about 3 1/2 hours as I had to stop for some lunch. I went from Pandora to Botkins, Ohio, where there is a dealer/repair shop and scrap yard for manure tankers. The plan is to swap axles from an imploded tank to my tank. So when the job is finished, I'll have another nice long drive home. I had to take some back roads to stay off some major highways so I saw some towns that I had never even heard of and a wide variety of farms — some as neat as a pin and others as rough looking as junk yards and everything in between.

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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