Monthly Archives: January 2010

This guy is a pretty good operator!  Needless to say that’s no farm track hoe with worn out pins.  If it were he would have knocked her down when he swung around there a couple of times!

Made some major site updates if you haven’t looked yet.  Active under the Consulting page are the Agronomy page and Precision Ag page.  I also updated the Consulting page with some magazine articles that I have been in.  I need to credit the one photo to The Furrow, which I though it said but upon review it doesn’t.  The Farm Management page is next to get activated as soon as the finishing touches are done on it. 

The Family page will get some updates soon as well as a Crops page and a Media page showing some happenings from the crazy world that is ours as time allows.    Those are back burner projects but will get moved forward when the time allows.

And last but not the least is a contacts page…………yes I know that I dont have a way to reach me other than by commenting………that will be fixed soon!

All I can say is check back often on the pages, not just the Blog!

Four to six inches from what was forecast as a “dusting”. 

Plus its cold again.

I don’t remember if it was Larry the Cable Guy or one of those Redneck Tour guys who had the “Big Red Truck” joke.  It goes as follows.  A woman calls the fire department to report that her “neighbors house is on fire”.  The fire chief responds “How do we get there”.  To which the woman replies “duh, that big red truck!”.

Today is “Big Red Truck” day for stories I have read or heard the last few days. 

Illinois Farm Bureau website has a story posted titled Soil compaction problems expected this spring .  Duh, Big Red Truck.  What was their first clue?  Well second paragraph explains things………

The Southern Illinoisan has an online story in its “Local” section about Jay Leno on the Oprah show.  Lets see, Oprah lives in Chicago, her show is in Chicago, Jay lives in California and his show is in California.  I guess the 300 plus miles to Chicago is more “Local” than California.  Duh, big red truck!

Heard on the police scanner, don’t know if it was Lifeflight or ISP chopper,  today while working.  “Loose items may become airborne upon landing.”  Huh?  Arent they airbone during flight?

Headline:  Debate draws opposing views.  Duh, big read truck!  If it drew similar views, its an agreement, not a debate.

After that one, there is no reason to keep going……..!

Headed out the door to Anderson Crop Insurance meeting where I am presenting on record keeping.  Jeff Appel from Russel Consulting will be there talking about markets as well as Randy Darr from Soil Right, talking about how good records can teach us things about our operations.

Really looking foward to this meeting and seeing a lot of people I have not see in a long time.

NWS has us in for some bad weather the next few days.  People running around trying to get ready for the big snow or whatever.  We will see what happens here but it looks like it is going to go south of us.

It’s going to be one of those weeks it seems where the list of things that need to be done is going to far exceed the things that get done. 

It’s getting cold again and snow is in the forecast.  So, outside work is now down to nothing, again.  Not that it got a good start, because of the mud.

The two biggest things besides finishing up some soil sample reports, are getting ready for the crop insurance meeting on Wednesday where I am going to present some record keeping information, and getting the new record keeping program up and running  here on my computer. 

Winterfest is this Saturday in Collinsville.  I would like to go, but unless I go with someone else, I don’t see making the trip by myself for no more than what I would be looking for.

Plus, on Saturday, Group 1, Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol, is having their Dining In.  I guess I will go and make an appearance, shake a few hands, and watch the festivities. 

Side note:  Isn’t it funny that you buy the latest release of a program, install it, and then the first thing it wants to do is look for updates?  It takes twice as long to get a program installed as it used to. The last couple of programs I have installed took longer to update than it did to install the the initial program. 

Did I mention that it is getting cold again…………

Here is something you don’t see very often, or at least I haven’t.  I’ve seen many a buck with one antler or with broken antlers, but never like this one.

From DeadZone TV. I hope it gets on where I can watch it. I want to see “Mr Excitement” Randy Anderson, who is one of my clients, hunt.

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc… I called Lifeline, the suicide help line.

Got a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal.

They all got excited and asked if I could drive a truck…

Via Mackson…………..funny stuff!

Friday picture out the back door.  Looks very familiar to the last three or so.  This London weather pattern is getting real old.  Wet and dreary all day today. Rain in tomorrows forecast again.

At least the temperatures are “mild”……….compared to cold.

Long day, more of an update tomorrow.

We seem to be in a weather pattern here.  Rain and fog.  Seems like London more so than Benton. 

It is impossible to get anything done outside with this weather.  Not that there is a lot to do outside, although the temperature would allow a lot of outside work if you could see it or not get wet.  I would like to finish up some soil sampling and get some equipment worked on that I can’t get in the shop.  Right now I will focus on computer work and shop work. 

I am sure that tomorrow’s “Picture Out the Back Door” will not be a “good” one, as tonights visibility is less than a quarter mile with the fog. 

Needless to say a sunny day would lift everyone’s spirits.  Mine especially!

Good records are important, real important, and getting more important every day in agriculture.  ACRE and SURE payments depend on good and accurate records.  Crop insurance payments depend upon good and accurate records.  Getting financing depends upon good and accurate records.  So, based on this alone, we would assume that farmers are keeping good and accurate records, right?

Wrong, for the most part.

There is a great void it seems between those who are keeping good and accurate records and those that are not.  First, the problem is that a lot of farmers only understand IRS accounting.  That is the accounting processes necessary to prepare and file a tax return.  Cash accounting if you will.  But so much of our eligibility for a SURE payment is tied to a crop year, not a fiscal or calendar year.  Figuring break-evens for marketing and cost analysis is also tied to crop year, not a fiscal year.  If you purchased fertilizer last year, you take it off of last years taxes, but it is an investment in this years growing crop.  The cost counts against the crop growing this year, not last year. 

Accurate records are also necessary for yields when it comes to crop insurance.  Without accurate records of yield for fields and farms, or units, you may be short-changing yourself in your coverage.  Or worse yet, as happened this last year, you may end up having to pay back insurance payments if you get audited and you can’t prove the yields you claimed. 

This has been a focus of mine with some producers the last few years because I have seen the need for better record keeping.  Even what fertilizer you put and where is necessary so you don’t over-fertilize or double-up because you are unable to remember what or where you fertilized.  I remember the time last summer when a farmer realized that he had forgotten to apply N to one field on his farm.  Everyone thought the “other guy” did it and no one (without a list or records to check) knew otherwise.

Good, accurate records tied to crop year production (managerial accounting) is necessary. 

That is why I was thrilled tonight to have been asked to make a short presentation at a meeting in a few weeks on what needs to be done to keep accurate records.  Now, I just have to put together a good presentation that will get the job done in 20 minutes!

Well we stomped a mud hole in the devil in Massachusetts. Chalk one up for the underdogs!

Now if we can do the same in Illinois………………………..


Two short notes for today.

Over at Agwired there is a story about Social Media that is well worth the read.  Then re-read it and take it to heart farmers.  The only way your going to get your message out is to do it yourself.  No one is going to do it for you.

Second at Agwired is also a nice piece on McCormick Tractors and Benton native Rodney Miller.  Nice to see Rodney up and about at the shows.  Good comments as well on investing in agriculture.

All for today, busy, busy, busy.

After awhile, someone who didn’t know, had to ask about this and I feel compelled to answer.  I think I have done this once before over on the Radio Check blog, but here we go on the this page.

“Rubber Chicken and Roast Beef Circuit”.  Is the annual series of late fall and winter meetings put on for CCA points (Certified Crop Advisor) and by chemical and fertilizer retailers as customer appreciation/information/sales meetings.  The “rubber chicken” name came about from the group of nomads who travel the circuit in search of CCA points or who make the loop on the chem/fert retailers meetings. These meetings almost always entail a meal of fried chicken and roast beef as your two entree choices in the serving line.  By the end of the four month circuit, you have had all the chicken and roast beef you can stand and heard the same speakers on the same topics enough times to give their talks for them. 

Pork Chop and Fried Fish Tour”.  Sometimes referred to as the “rubber pork chop tour”, is the series of mid summer to pre-harvest meetings of the same type as in the “rubber chicken” definition but where pork chops, BBQ and fried fish are served.  The food is much better even if you eat the same meal three or four times a week because it is cooked fresh at the meeting site most times. Also, you know the cook in most cases and the meeting consists of sitting around near the cooker in the shade without a power point presentation.    The discussions are informal most of the time and a lot of information is passed. 

Both meetings serve a purpose.  Both meetings have their followers and have their speakers.  Other than the food the major difference is that it usually costs money, in the form of a meeting fee, to attend a “rubber chicken” meeting.  I have yet to pay a meeting fee to attend a “pork chop” meeting. 

One costs and has, it seems, the same speakers and same topics over and over again.  The other one is free and has an infomal discussion that is geared towards the crowd that is there. 

Not all “rubber chicken” meetings are bad, but it seems like they have been the last two years.  Then again, it’s been a long time since I have had a bad pork chop.

Is it just me?  Tell me what you think.

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