Farm Horizons Guide
Farm Horizons is a special section of the Herald Journal newspapers, published four times a year - usually in February, May, August, and November.
Farm Horizons Nov. 1, 2011 SERVING THE FARM, HOBBY FARM AND EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITIES Harlan Hecksel's tractor collection Page 4 A return to elm trees Page 18 Kevin Vorlicek and his parents, Shirley and Henry Vorlicek, spent most of their summer res toring their barn in S ilver Lake to like-new condition, with reroofing and new paint. See story on page 12. Herald Journal Publishing PO Box 129 Winsted, MN 55395 PUBLISHED BY: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED PRESORT STD U. S. POSTAGE PAID Winsted, MN Permit #30 Farm Horizons � Page 2 Nov. 1, 2011 In this issue . . . Harlan Hecksel's tractor collection ..................4 What's your favorite dog story? .....................10 Sporting dog art and marketing......................11 Silver Lake barn gets new roof, paint ............12 Farmm anagement..........................................17 More elm trees being grown ..........................18 What's the big stink?......................................22 Crow River Winery opens ..............................26 Farm custom rates ..........................................32 Plight of the honeybees ..................................34 Classifieds ..................................................... 40 Farm Business Directory................................41 ADVERTISER INDEX AgStar Financial Services ......................19 Albers, Jeff - Farm Bureau Financial Services ........................15 Anderson Burns Construction ...............38 Bergmann's Interiors ............................35 Broadband Wireless Internet. ...............31 BruesehoffS eed....................................20 Centra Sota ...........................................39 Classifieds ............................................ 40 Duane Jindra Crop Insurance ..................6 Flat Out Tire Service ..............................32 Hendricks Insurance Agency .................30 Herald Journal Printing.........................19 Herald Journal Sign & Graphics .............21 HH Fabrication & Repair ........................29 Holt Motors ......................................... 23 Horstmann's Woodwork .......................39 Hutchinson Co-op .................................28 Hutchinson Medical Center ...................26 Karels Brothers & Sons ............................7 Lano Equipment of Norwood ................12 Liman Post and Beam .............................5 Mid-County Coop Agronomy ..................3 Mid-County Coop Fuel ......................... 48 Mid-County Coop Shop .........................14 Midwest Machinery Co. ........................34 Mineral Service Plus................................9 Munson Lakes Nutrition........................13 Otto Farms Operations ..........................33 Perfect Door Co. ....................................36 Plumbing & Heating by Craig................27 Prairie West Builders ............................18 Radde and Sons ....................................39 RAM Buildings .....................................10 Schiroo Electrical Rebuilding ..................5 Schmitz Custom Bagging......................11 Schoborg Land Services ..........................2 Schroeder Meats .....................................6 Star West ..............................................37 Structural Buildings ..............................16 Thrivent Financial .................................38 Thurk Bros. Chevrolet .............................8 Tim Purcell Plumbing & Heating .............8 Trueman Welters ..................................24 UMR Geothermal ................................. 25 Waconia Farm Supply ...........................10 Winsted Farmers Co-op Creamery ..........4 Wood's Edge .........................................17 Yetzer's Home Furnishings ....................15 Farm Horizons SERVING THE FARM, HOBBY FARM AND EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITIES Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. PO Box 129, Winsted, MN 55395 Local/Metro (320) 485-2535 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.herald-journal.com Farm Horizons is a special publication by Herald Journal Publishing, direct-mailed to people with an interest in agriculture in McLeod, Wright, western Carver, northern Sibley, and eastern Meeker counties. If you know of anyone else in the area who would be interested in receiving Farm Horizons, please drop a note with the exact mailing address to: Farm Horizons, PO Box 129, Winsted, MN 55395. Similarly, if you happen to receive duplicate or multiple copies, we'd appreciate hearing from you so we can keep costs down and continue to provide this service. Currently, Farm Horizons is published four times a year -- in February, May, August, and November. Stories from this issue, as well as previous ones, are also available at our World Wide Web site: www.herald-journal.com/farmhorizons Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 4 Winsted man's love for farm tractors started small By Linda Scherer Staff Writer Harlan Hecksel's love of tractors began at a very early age. "As soon as I could crawl, I started pushing toy tractors around," Hecksel said. "Everything was John Deere and I had a full line of planters and pickers and discs," Hecksel said. The Sterner Zimmerman John Deere implement dealership on Main Avenue in Winsted was one of his favorite places to go with his dad, Wallace Hecksel, because he would see equipment for his toy tractors, and sometimes he was able to talk his dad into getting a new piece to add to his collection. It was just before his fourth birthday when Hecksel saw a John Deere 50 pedal pull tractor at Sterner Zimmerman, and he wanted it. "Every time I would go with dad to town, I would beg him for that tractor," Hecksel said. "Finally, it got close to my birthday and Clarence Sterner, one of the co-owners, told my dad, `I will knock a few dollars off that pedal tractor if you will buy it for the kid before he wears it out in the store.'" Riding back home with the John Deere 50 in the back of the pickup, Hecksel remembers both he and his father had "smiles from ear to ear." Hecksel has no idea how many hundreds of miles he put on that pedal tractor, but he drove it until the rubber was worn off the back tires. It didn't take him long to move from pedaling a tractor around the yard to driving the real thing out in the field. Hecksel's father had a John Deere A with a hand clutch he used for farming. Although Hecksel was only 5 or 6, he learned quickly how the clutch made the tractor go forward and stop, and he was able to save his father time when it came to picking up hay bales that were dropped in the field. "He didn't have to walk back to the tractor to drive ahead, or keep jumping up and down off the tractor," Hecksel said. "But I was so small that I couldn't reach the steering wheel so every once-in-a-while, dad would have to come and straighten the steering wheel out," Hecksel said. 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If we don't have the unit you need, 1 of our 3 full time rebuilders can quickly rebuild it for you. Call for an appointment, and we will repair it while you wait. Learn more about us at www.SCHIROO.com Quality Electrical Service since 1981 1215 Hennepin Ave. Glencoe, MN www.schiroo.com Phone 320-864-6200 Toll free 1-877-237-3306 email@example.com � Poured Footing � Glue Lam Finger Jointed Columns � 35# Live Load Truss with Ceiling Load Capacity � 29 Gauge Colored Steel with Lifetime Warranty � Continuous Vented Ridge � Commercial Grade Service Doors Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 6 Hay raking with a John Deere H was the real beginning of Hecksel's farming career at about 6 or 7 years old. His father took him out to a hay field, the farthest one from the house. "We went around the field a couple of times and he said to me, `It's all yours,'" Hecksel said. Hecksel raked for awhile and choked off the tractor which had a hand-start with a big fly wheel. He was too small to start it up, so he had to walk all the way home. When Hecksel got home, his father took him back out to the hay field in a pickup truck, and hand-started the tractor. "But he gave me a lecture on the way out there on maybe I wasn't big enough to be doing this job," Hecksel said. "I never choked it off again and made sure the tractor stayed running. Even though I was a pretty little guy, I didn't want to lose that job because I felt like a big man sitting on that tractor." As Hecksel grew into his teens, he discovered another love besides tractors. Her name was Pauline Parish and they met at Watertown High School, where Hecksel graduated in 1967 and Pauline graduated in 1968. They were married Feb. 15, 1969. Pauline was the perfect mate for Hecksel. She proved it by spending her honeymoon helping him look for a tractor. "We went from implement dealer to implement dealer looking for a John Deere 720 or 730 tractor. They were made about 1958 or 1959," Hecksel said. This was Hecksel's first tractor, which he planned to use for farming. He ended up buying a John Deere 730 in Benson. "Pauline was excited about it too," Hecksel said. But the Hecksels soon outgrew the tractor and looked for something bigger and better. "After 42 years, I still have my original wife, but the original John Deere 730 that we purchased was traded in to buy another tractor." However, Hecksel did go searching many years later to find another John Deere 730 to replace the original honeymoon tractor and it's now part of his collection. Also, part of his collection is the John Deere H and John Deere A, which were the first two tractors his father let him drive. Hecksel owns 34 tractors. "Collecting tractors has always been in my blood. A lot of those tractors I had originally when I was young and wanted to have the bigger new stuff. Now I am getting old and the old stuff looks so much better to me. So many memories go with each tractor," Hecksel said. Some of the tractors he buys with plans to fix them up. "I do the painting myself. I thought when I got older I would have more time. This year I didn't have time to get a single tractor done," Hecksel said. He has also purchased tractors that are already re- Now is the time to report your 2011 production ATTENTION FARMERS All 2011 production must be reported before any revenue losses can be determined. REMEMBER you must report any bushel losses within 15 days of harvest. Multi-Peril & Crop Hail Insurance DUANE JINDRA CROP INS. 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Other tractors Hecksel has in his collection are: a John Deere MT, a John Deere 620, a Minneapolis Moline R, Farmall H, a Farmall Super M single wheel, a Case SC, and a Farmall 450. In addition to his collection of full-size farm tractors of every make and model, Hecksel also has a collection of 70 model tractors on display. Hecksel is the owner of H H Fabrication in Winsted, a business he started to supplement the farm income. The company makes between 35 and 40 different attachments for the skid-steer, and custom-made attachments and parts for tractors. It also does work for other local companies. When Hecksel isn't busy with his fabrication business, he is farming. Eight years ago, he and Pauline sold their livestock which included 2,000 hogs and 700 beef cattle to concentrate on the business. Some of the livestock Photo by Linda Scherer Harlan Hecksel owns two antique Farmall F12s made in 1934. This one has been restored, and the other has not. buildings have been turned into manufacturing space for H H Fabrication and tractor storage. Although the livestock is gone, Harlan and Pauline love to crop farm. "Pauline does the tillage work and I am on the planter in the spring. In the fall, I am in the combine," Hecksel said. "I consider it better than a vacation." We buy junk: � Cars � Trucks � Machinery � Misc. Iron � Tin & Metals 4372 Co. Rd. 30 SW, Waverly, MN 55390 (763) 658-4250 �800-652-9647 7 am - 4 pm We can supply roll offs for your own removal Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 8 Photo by Linda Scherer Harlan Hecksel's tractor collection includes several smaller Farmalls beginning with the tractor farthest to the left: a Farmall 300, a Super C, a Super A, a straight B, and the rarest one, a BN. Photo by Linda Scherer Photo by Linda Scherer For farming, the Hecksels us e a Farmall 706 gas, a F armall 806 diesel, and a Farmall 1896, 1066, and a 4690. 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He also owns a Moline R. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 10 Tell us your favorite dog story Dogs are not only a man's best friends, but they are often hard-working companions when it comes to the daily operations of a farm. Do you have a funny or sentimental story about your farm dog? If so, the Farm Horizons wants to hear your story. It can be humourous, sentimental, or just fondly recalling a great dog that was enjoyable to have around. The top stories submitted will be published in the next Farm Horizons publication. Pictures are also encouraged (jpeg format). Stories can be sent to news@heraldjournal. com or mailed to PO Box 129, Winsted, MN 55395. n THE AREA'S LEADER IN ENERGY � Trained installation and delivery personal � Propane tanks available for lease or purchase � Prepay and budget plans � Competitive Pricing � Emergency service � Maintenance and safety checks � Empire, L.B. White, and Modine heaters � Tank Installation and Maintenance � Crop-drying programs � Centeron Wireless Tank Monitoring System Available Propane � Burner Repair Service � Gasoline, Diesel, and Heating fuels � On-site delivery � Competitive prices � Storage, tanks, hoses, and meters Refined Fuels Services (952) 442-2126 � 801 Hwy 284, Waconia, MN 55387 Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 11 Sporting dog art and marketing introduced Countryside Art Gallery and Herald Journal introduce new website, sportingdogartandmarketing.com By Starrla Cray Staff Writer If dogs and wildlife are part of your life, you'll want to check out the new website for all things relating to sporting dog art and marketing � sportingdogartandmarketing. com. The website, debuting soon, will offer online shopping for the artwork of renowned wildlife artist Carl Melichar, available in traditional prints, as well as calendars, greeting cards, mugs, large posters, and other novelty items. "You'll also be able to personalize all of the items," added Herald Journal Publisher Chris Schultz. "Upload photos of your dog to the site, and we'll print your order and ship it to you." By uploading your dog's photos to sportingdogartandmarketing.com, you can also order a portrait of your dog, painted by Carl Melichar. The website also features an assortment of integrated marketing services for the sporting dog professional. For example, dog trainers, breeders, and boarders will be able to purchase customized signs, brochures, and many other marketing products for their businesses. "They are very cost-effective marketing services," Schultz said. About Carl Melichar Carl Melichar has combined his love for nature and creative talent to become a wildlife artist who is respected throughout the country. He creates and displays his paintings in an antique 1936 granary called Countryside Art Gallery, located on his property at 8020 Highway 25 just south of Mayer. Specializing in sporting dogs and pheasants, Melichar has displayed his work at national shows and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for 30 years, and at the Minnesota State Fair for close to 20 years. The public is invited to Melichar's annual fall show at his studio Thursday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. "People can come and go as they please," Melichar Staff photo Wildlife artist Carl Melichar of Ma yer will have prints and other items for sale at sp ortingdogartandmarketing.com. The site will be live soon, and will feature an assortment of marketing services for sporting dog professionals. said. The impressive museum/studio consists of his own art, the art of the late Les Kouba of Hutchinson (Melichar's second cousin), and other historical collections. Countryside Art Gallery is also open other times of the year upon request. To make an appointment or for more information, call the studio at (952) 657-2323. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 12 Silver Lake barn is symbol of four generations of farming By Linda Scherer Staff Writer The Vorliceks' 100-acre, century farm just east of Silver Lake is called Pleasant View for a reason. With its brick home, huge bright yellow barn, two tall silos, and a herd of Herefords close by, it provides a picturesque farm setting. The barn, built in 1930, is especially eye-catching, and looks like new since it was re-roofed and received several coats of paint this summer by its owners, Henry and Shirley Vorlicek, and their son, Kevin Vorlicek. Kevin estimated he purchased between 30 and 40 gallons of paint for the barn and some other outbuildings that were also painted. "When we were done painting on the south end (of the barn), it was like `amen,'" Kevin said. "I would raise dad up in the lift to paint and then I would be out raking hay," Kevin said. "He would call me on my cell phone when he was ready to move the lift." Henry, who is 77 years old, said the height didn't scare him, even though the lift didn't have any sides to it. Enjoying painting and not minding heights must have been something Henry inherited from his father. "My dad painted the whole barn on a wooden extension ladder, right out to under the peak," Henry said. "When we got married 51 years ago," Shirley said, "his dad was always with the paint." When people ask the Vorliceks why they painted their barn yellow, Henry's answer is, "The barn was always yellow and we don't know why, it always had the green trim, too. It isn't any different then, from the day it was built." Of course, Henry would know, since he has spent his entire life, minus the years he was in the Army, from 1955-57, on the farm. He is proud of the farm, its history, and how it has accommodated four generations of Lano Equipment of Norwood, Inc. (952) 467-2181 1015 W. Hwy 212, Norwood Young America 55368 Submitted photo One grainery, built at a slant, on each side of a drive-through part of the barn, let the grain fall into a chute. It was put into the grainery from the outside, through one of two windows on the north side of the barn. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 13 Submitted photo Submitted photo Charlie and Brad Radtke of Winsted were hired this summer to remove two layers of old shingles and replace them with new asphalt shingles. Henry Vorlicek's neighbors told him he must be close to heaven when he was painting the peak of his Silver Lake barn. farmers. Henry's grandparents, John and Josie Vorlicek, originally from Czechoslovakia, homesteaded the land. Later, the farm was taken over by Henry's parents, Henry Sr. and Anna Vorlicek. The barn, which is 34 feet wide, 82 feet long, and approximately 35 feet high, was constructed four years before Henry Jr. was born. "My dad took down the old barn and built this new one in the same place, using some of the old lumber," Henry said. The exterior of the barn is beautiful, showing craftsmanship remarkably advanced for its time. The barn was built by a man named Harlow Jennings from Hutchinson, according to Henry. Jennings also built another barn exactly like it just east of Hutchinson on the north side of Highway 7. "I don't know who designed this barn. There wasn't modern engineering like there is now, but Charlie Radtke and his son Brad, did the roof, and Charlie was amazed Thank You . . . We Appreciate Your Business! "Quality Livestock Feeds" Howard Lake, MN (320) 543-2561 800-245-7717 "Quality Feed and Merchandise for Country Lifestyles" Howard Lake, MN (320) 543-3517 800-663-9177 Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 14 at the structure of the barn all the while he was working on it," Henry said. The foundation and all of the brick around the base of the barn has withstood the test of time; nothing has Photo by Linda Scherer Iron stanchions locked each cow in for milking, and a cement manger was shaped at an angle so the feed would be easy for the cows to reach. crumbled or cracked. All of the lumber had to be cut by hand, and yet, the Radtkes said the walls are straight, and the corners are square. Even the detailing on each side matches. Inside the barn, are all the modern conveniences any farmer could have wanted for dairy farming in the `30s. The barn was first built with iron stanchions for 16 dairy cows, wooden stalls for 10 work horses, a bull pen, and a calf pen. There is a drive-through on the end of the barn into which loads of hay were driven. A hayloft to the south of the drive-through stored loose hay that would be lifted up by several ropes and a pulley, pulled by horses from the other side of the barn. The hay was stored in the loft until needed. "My job was feeding the cows loose hay," Henry said. "We had chutes up there (in the hayloft) and I had to go up there every night and send the loose hay down. Then, they opened the doors below to let the hay down." A cement manger was built with a curve to allow the hay and feed to continually fall toward the cows. "Brad and Charlie were amazed how the mangers were made," Kevin said. "Charlie didn't think you could pour concrete like that and get a nice curved form." Above the drive-through, built into each side of the barn, are slanted grain bins, so the grain could easily fall into a chute. The grain was hauled up from the outside of the barn, into the bins, through two separate windows on the north side. From the chute, the grain was carried, by hand, in met- Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 15 al bushel baskets to the manger. "That is why we all have a lot of back problems," Henry said. He remembers being in the barn helping with chores "from pretty small, on." Henry's dad hand-milked 16 cows to begin with, and he remembers when his dad got milking machines, which made life so much easier. A large outdoor cement trough by the barn was used for keeping the milk cool in cans until it could be taken to the nearest creamery. When loose hay was replaced with bales, a motorized hoist replaced the pulley system. It could lift eight hay bales at a time, storing a total of approximately 3,000 bales of hay stacked all the way to the top of the hayloft. In 1960, Henry married Shirley, who is originally from Renville, and they moved to the farm and shared the workload with his parents. Soon after they were married, Henry started working at Green Giant as a mechanic to supplement the family income, and he worked there for a total of 15 years. In 1972, Henry and Shirley bought the farm from Henry's parents. "We milked cows, unloaded hay until midnight many times," Henry said. "We also unloaded many loads of small grain into the bins above the drive-through area. By spring, the barn was always empty." When milk cans became a thing of the past, the family made the decision, in 1980, to reinvest in the dairy farm, Photo by Linda Scherer Kevin Vorliciek is the fourth generation of his f amily to farm this land. He is pictured with Bud, an orphan Hereford bull calf who will be used for breeding when he's old enough. and bring it up to date. They purchased a bulk tank, and a pipeline milking system, built a milk house, a bigger silo, a feed room, plus a 34-by-44 foot addition to HOME FURNISHINGS & FLOOR COVERINGS Bringing Spaces to Life since 1941 . . . � � � � � � Carpet Laminate Wood Vinyl Tile Ceramic Vinyl � � � � � � Interior Designs Furniture Blinds Draperies Quality Installation Friendly & Knowledgeable Staff 33 First Street W., downtown Waconia 952-442-4242 Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri 9 am-6 pm � Tue/Thur 9 am-8 pm � Sat 9 am-5 pm Floor Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri 9 am-6 pm � Tue/Thur 9 am-8 pm � Sat 9 am-4 pm Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 16 Photo by Linda Scherer The hayloft stored loose hay to f eed the cows, and later , when the baler was used to make hay, it would hold up to 3,000 bales of hay, stacked to the top of the hayloft. hold a total of 50 dairy cows. But milk prices weren't the best, and by 1987 Shirley also got a job, leaving Kevin to milk the cows himself. "He was about 13 or 14, and he milked those cows every morning and every night," Shirley said. Kevin graduated in 1990 from Silver Lake High School, and continued to help on the farm full time until 1992, when milk prices went way down. Then, he, too, got a job at Hutchinson Technology to help supplement the farm income. "Kevin and I were on one 12-hour shift at night at Hutch Tech, and Henry worked a different shift," Shirley said. "If we were baling hay, she could quit and get ready to go to work and I could finish," Henry said. "There was no time for sleep," Kevin said. Finally, the Vorliceks had enough. They made the decision to sell their Holstein dairy cows in 1992. Today, Henry and Shirley are retired. Kevin works at 3M in Hutchinson, and has switched to raising beef cattle. He has about 40 head of Hereford beef cattle. The barn roof, which had been reshingled over the top of the original wooden shingles in 1980, had started to leak. The barn needed to be reroofed, and two layers of shingles needed to be removed first. It was an expensive project, but maintaining the family barn with so much history was a priority for the Vorliceks. They hired CR Radtke of Winsted to do the reroofing. After the two layers of old shingles had been removed, approximately 175 sheets of plywood were used to cover the roof, which had holes left from removing the original cedar shingles. On the outside, a layer of tar paper was used to cover the plywood. Once the asphalt shingles had been installed, the Radtkes restored the cupolas, with weather vanes, at the top of the roof, and finished the roofing project by returning the original lightning rods to the roof's peak. What is the next project for the Vorliceks? Kevin answered immediately, "fishing." "I missed out on a lot of it this year," he said. Henry and Shirley also have two other children, Ron Vorlicek of Silver Lake, and Rhonda Decker of Waverly, and two grandchildren. Linda Scherer can be reached at email@example.com � Commercial � Residential � Equestrian � Agricultural Photo by Linda Scherer This cement water t rough was w here the cows' milk was stored in cans to keep it cool until it was taken to the nearest creamery. 1-800-535-9722 www.structuralbuildings.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 17 What is farm management? Management can be one of those words that is just need might include seed varieties available, soil a word; we don't fully understand it, so we just acsamples and fertilizer cost, handling and storage cept it as a word. But, let's dig into the word, mancapacity, yield deduction for corn-on-corn, and a agement. crop budget. Webster defines it as the act of managing; the conNow, what are your alternatives? Should you ducting or supervising of something. Still confused? grow more corn? How can you monitor the situLet's keep digging. Peter Drucker said that the basic ation? task of management is twofold; marketing and inFirst, you need to be checking the field during novation. Okay, you are saying, I know that I need Myron Oftedahl the growing season, and then you need to follow to market my product and adopt new technologies or the marketing plan you would have developed. Farm Business innovations to be more efficient, but is that all there What adjustments will need to be made? Is the Management Instructor, South is to management? weed control sufficient? Is there an insect or disCentral College If you really go back into history, Sir Thomas ease outbreak? Are the marketing goals obtainable More (1478-1535) studied low-efficiency and failor do they need to be adjusted? ures of certain enterprises, and is credited with the So, let's review that definition of management development of the practice of modern management. � the application of business principles and the scientific prinSo you are saying that I need to study failing businesses and ciples to the business of farming, while striving for continuthat is management? ous profits while protecting the environment. Let's look at a couple more definitions first. Farm manageCan you identify some business and scientific principles in ment is the application of business principles and the scientific the above example? principles of agriculture to the business of farming. Or, farm We did a crop budget, looked at soil samples, plant genetics, management is the study of the business principles of farm- and marketing, all in an attempt to be profitable while respecting. It may be defined as the science of organization and the ing the family goals. management of the farm enterprise for the purpose of securHappy managing. ing the greatest continuous profits. For more information, contact a farm business management Now, let's pull a definition together. Farm management instructor. You can find them by going to www.mgt.org. n is the application of business principles (accounting, benchmarking, marketing, human resources) and the scientific principles (agronomy, animal science and husbandry, chemistry, Your Local Dealer Since 2002! engineering) to the business of farming, by striving for continuous profits while protecting the environment. Wood's Edge Is this starting to sound like your day? 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Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 18 More elm trees, please By Starrla Cray Staff Writer After Dutch elm disease wiped out 192,211 elm trees in the seven-county metropolitan area of the Twin Cities in 1977, many people became wary of the tall, fast-growing plant. However, that doesn't mean the elm tree doesn't have a place in Minnesota landscapes. "The key is diversity," said Jim Wilson, owner of Wilson's North West Nursery near New Germany. "There are very few trees that don't have some problem." After the widespread loss of elms in the 1970s and 1980s, many cities planted an abundance of ash trees. "The ash trees were used to replace the elms, because of Dutch elm disease, and now, because of emerald ash borer, elm trees are being used to replace the ash trees," Wilson said. "It's come full circle." When Wilson opened his nursery in 1983, he didn't grow any elm trees. Now, they have at least 500. "We're probably growing more elms than we ever have," he said, adding that city foresters are the nursery's primary elm tree customers. "The general public is coming on board, but it's a slow process," Wilson said. Boom and bust During the first half of the 20th century, elm trees were immensely popular, promoted for their tolerance to urban environments, long life, and resistance to pests. Unfortunately, Dutch elm disease, which is caused by a wilt fungus that grows on the sapwood of elms, was found in the Netherlands in 1921. At first, Minnesota was considered too far north for the elm bark beetle that transports the disease to thrive, but the first case was reported in 1961, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. The disease was most likely brought to Minnesota from a state farther south, either on beetles or on wood contaminated with the fungus. Dutch elm disease slowly gained a foothold, and by 1972, Minneapolis had 222 diseased elms. The number peaked in 1977, with 31,475 diseased elms. It then decreased due to disease-control programs, and by 1987, 2,280 trees in Minneapolis were infected. The city spent $8 million in 1978 for elm disease control, including tree and stump removal, trimming, insect and disease control, inspection, and replanting. Before the Dutch elm disease, Minneapolis had more than 200,000 elm trees, according to the U of M Extension. Technically Superior Buildings Steel Frame Buildings � Wood Frame Buildings � Hybrid Steel & Wood Buildings � Post Frame Buildings Structural Insulated Panel Buildings � Advanced Systems for Energy Efficiency & Occupant Comfort Prairie West Technically Superior Buildings BUILDERS (952)401-1920 www.prairiewest.us Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 19 Photo by Starrla Cray Jim Wilson checks on his young elm trees, which have protective white jackets to prevent deer from chewing on the bark. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 20 Lesson learned According to Wilson, most cities have learned not to plant any one kind of tree excessively. Elm trees are also being developed for disease-resistance. Wilson's North West Nursery sells three hybrid elm varieties, including Accolade, Triumph, and Discovery. Two American varieties � Valley Forge and Princeton � are also sold. Many people are fond of the American elm's large leaves, but Wilson said the hybrids are also in demand. "We're always trying new things, but we stick with the ones that have proven their hardiness," he said. "The cold-hardiness becomes a big factor for us, here in Minnesota." Wilson said none of his trees have ever had Dutch elm disease, but that could be because trees are generally not affected until they are older. "As the tree matures, the bark has more crevices for the beetle to hide in," he said. When Wilson purchases trees for his nursery, they are typically very young. He then grows them until a harvestable size. "We plant new trees every year," he said. Starrla Cray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Photo by Starrla Cray American elms have larger leaves than hybrid elm trees. Bet you didn't know . . . Test your elm tree knowledge with these facts from www.elmcare.com: � The seven Dutch scientists who first identified Dutch elm disease were all women. � Dutch elm disease hit England in the 1960s, and within 20 years had killed 17 million of the country's 23 million elm trees. � A second outbreak of Dutch elm disease in 1945, destroyed second-generation elms in Eastern Canada and the United States. The elm population dropped from 77 million to 34 million by 1976. � Fully mature elm trees can live as long as 300 years. � The cooling effect of one urban elm tree is equivalent to five air conditioning units. � North American settlers named the elm "the lady of the forest." � The American elm grows to over 115 feet tall and can have a diameter in excess of 10 feet. Independent Sales Representative for Pioneer� brand products (952) 466-2663 � Cell (612) 618-7105 Photo by Starrla Cray When a large elm tree is dug out of the ground to be replanted, it leaves a large hole. 12975 Co. Rd. 50, Norwood, MN 55368 email@example.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 21 Photo by Starrla Cray Elm trees are very fast growing. If they get too big before they sell, every other tree is cut down to make room for those that remain. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 22 Unwelcome company: how to get rid of a skunk without a big stink By Ivan Raconteur predators such as dogs and coyotes, may also be a deterHerald Journal Editor rent. These are commercially available, and need to be The sight of a skunk, with its distinctive black-andre-applied after it rains. white markings, is enough to cause concern for anyone. These methods may be inconvenient, and may not be It is not the sight of them we need to worry about, howeffective. ever, it is their foul-smelling spray, which they can shoot If property owners don't remove the reason for a skunk up to 15 feet. coming into their garden in the first place, the skunk will Skunks generally have a body length of 25 to 30 inches, just keep trying to come back, or other skunks may come and a tail that is 8 to 11 inches long. They weigh from 3 to along. 10 pounds, and have black There are two reasons a fur with two white stripes skunk will enter a garden on their back and tail. or yard � food and shelter. Skunks make a hissing The best way to discoursound when they are ready age skunks may be to reto spray. move these attractions. Given a choice, however, Skunks may feed on inhealthy skunks will avoid sects, rodents, pet food, people and other animals bird food, compost piles, when they can. or fruits or vegetables in a They also provide the garden. Eliminating these benefit of eating pests, such things or securing them, as mice, rats, and insects. either by keeping them in According to the Minnesealed containers or sursota Department of Natural rounding them with a fence Resources, no one knows (skunks are generally not how many skunks live in good climbers), may preMinnesota. The skunk vent them from becoming population appears to rise a food source for skunks. and fall from year to year, Keeping sheds and outdepending on weather conbuildings free of mice and ditions, disease, and how other rodents will elimimuch food is available. nate another potential food Property owners, espesource. cially those in rural areas, The other way to discourStock photo may come into contact with The familiar black-and-white appearance of the skunk is a age skunks is to remove skunks, which often choose warning to anyone who encounters them. potential shelter areas. den sites near human dwellSkunks may seek shelings. ter under sheds, porches, Skunks can be found in their natural habitats of forest decks, or other structures. borders, brushy areas, and grassy fields. In urban areas, Skunks are nocturnal, and in some cases, it is possible they are often found under buildings and porches, and in to fill in a burrow after a skunk has left for the night. culverts. However, it should be noted that skunks breed in late Skunks, like raccoons, are omnivores. Their diet conwinter to early spring, and usually give birth to litters of sists mainly of insects, but also includes mice and other three to 10 young in May or June. small mammals, eggs, fruits, nuts, vegetation, carrion, The young skunks remain in the burrow for six to eight and garbage. This varied diet is one of the reasons that weeks prior to venturing out, and may be left in the burskunks have adapted so well to living in close proximity row when the mother skunk goes out. Therefore, it is to humans. recommended that homeowners not fill in or block off a One way to discourage skunks from entering property burrow until any young skunks have left. is to use natural deterrents. Some sources also recommend not attempting to preSkunks are nocturnal, and sensitive to light, so a flood vent skunks from returning to a burrow during the winter light equipped with a motion sensor may deter skunks. months, because it can be difficult for them to find an Certain scents may also act as a deterrent. Skunks disalternate den site at this time of the year. like the smell of citrus, so orange or lemon peels scattered The best time to take action is late summer or early around the yard may help keep them away. The urine of fall. The most effective steps may be to employ deterrent Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 23 methods, such as noise and light to encourage skunks to move on, and then prevent future access by filling in dens or sealing off access under decks and other potential den sites with fencing, screens, or hardware cloth. Another common problem area for skunks is window wells. Skunks often fall into these areas, and it can be risky for the homeowner to remove them. One method is to carefully (so as not to startle or frighten the skunk into spraying) insert a rough board into the window well to serve as a ramp that the skunk can use to climb out. The best prevention is to install tight-fitting covers over window wells to keep skunks out. If deterrents do not work, the best method for getting rid of skunks may be to use live traps and relocate them to an area away from human dwellings. Traps should be approximately 7-inches-by-7-inchesby-20 inches, and should be located near the entrance to the burrow. Bait may include raw meat, fish-flavored cat food, or peanut butter on bread crusts. Covering the trap with a heavy cloth such as canvas or an old tarp while transporting it may help to avoid startling the skunk. Property owners who are not comfortable taking on this job may contact an extermination company that specializes in removal of skunks and other unwanted creatures. It should be noted that skunks may carry rabies, and caution should be used around them, especially if they exhibit unusual behavior, such as being active during daylight hours. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, rabies is more common in striped skunks than in any other Minnesota mammal. What can a person do if he or a pet is sprayed? If a person is unfortunate enough to be sprayed or have a dog or other pet that is sprayed by a skunk, the result will be unpleasant, but not harmful. If sprayed in the eyes, the eyes should be flushed with liberal amounts of water. Some sources say the old advice about tomato juice baths are ineffective, or, at best, simply mask the skunk smell. Many recommend combining hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid dish soap and using this to shampoo a dog or person who has been sprayed by a skunk. Caution should be used around the eyes, and pet owners may want to seek the advice of a veterinarian. Vets may also have commercial shampoos designed to combat skunk odor. Soaking clothing in a solution of 10 percent bleach may help eliminate skunk smell. Information for this story was compiled from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota Extension Service, and other sources. Ivan Raconteur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org BE READY TO BE PRODUCTIVE. Preparing this year means staying productive next year. And there's no better way to ensure your equipment is ready for next season than with a Case IH certified maintenance inspection. * 6-month extended warranty available on genuine Case IH replacement parts with an existing 6-month warranty, for a total of 12 months of parts warranty protection. 6-month extended warranty eligible only on parts installed by an authorized Case IH dealer. Offer ends March 31, 2012. Program subject to change or cancellation without notice. See your local Case IH dealer for complete details and qualifications. � 2011 CNH America LLC. 6 EXTRA MONTHS OF PARTS WARRANTY PROTECTION * One Stop Shop for repairs and Christmas shopping! Shop early some items are limited. 1600 Hwy. 55 E � Buffalo www.trueman-welters.com 763-682-2200 Isn't it time you switched to Geothermal? Do the math ! Cost to install in an existing 2,600 sq. ft. home (rambler with walkout basement) . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 21,795 .00 Cost to install a high efficiency conventional system . . $ 8,325 .00 Difference between the two systems . . . . . . . . . . $13,470 .00 Rebate from electric company* ( $200/ton) . . . . . . . . . $ 800 .00 Federal Tax Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 6,538 .50 Total Rebates and Tax Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 7,338 .50 Net investment for Geothermal system (after credits) . . $ 6,131.50 Current annual HVAC bill with propane . . . . . . . . . $2,614 .00 Projected annual HVAC bill with geothermal . . . . . . . $ 509.00 Average estimated annual energy savings . $2,105.00 Call Now to start saving this winter (763) 244-8091 email All information based on actual rural installation with horizontal loop field. *Based on Wright-Hennepin Coop rate. email@example.com 5115 Industrial St. � Maple Plain, MN 55359 UMR also services and sells conventional HVAC Systems umrgeothermal.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 26 From the vine to the bottle By Kristen Miller Enterprise Dispatch Editor "Once you get the bug to plant, you keep going, I guess," said Mike McBrady, owner of Crow River Winery, who started with five acres of vineyard six years ago and has now expanded to 27 acres of grapes in four local vineyards. Both he and his wife, Valerie, grew up on farms in the Hutchinson area and decided to go back to their roots. "It wasn't called sustainable farming then, but it would be now," Mike said, adding that among the things raised on his childhood farm were five acres of cucumbers for Gedney, strawberries, sheep, and sod. They also had an orchard and grapes. In 2004, the McBradys saw a real opportunity in the cold-hardy, University of Minnesota hybrid grapes and decided to plant five acres to start. University of Minnesota hybrid grapes are a cross between the state's wild grape vines and French grape vines, making the plants robust and able to survive in the winter, Mike explained. Varieties include Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Mar- Business at Crow River Winery is well underway quette, Prairie Star, and LaCrescent. The McBradys also use an assortment of fruit, such as apples, in their wine-making. The vines require tender loving care (TLC), with a lot of pruning, weeding, and discipline, Mike explained. "Like children, they have lots of enthusiasm, but are easily discouraged," he said. For the McBradys, providing the proper TLC meant installing an above-ground irrigation system known as drip irrigation. This drips a half-gallon of water on the vines each hour. Keeping birds off the berries is also very important. First, they will use a cannon to scare them away. If that still doesn't work, they sound the speakers, which the vineyards are equiped with, that project the recorded sound of birds in distress. If those techniques fail, the McBradys resort to nets. On one of their vineyards, Box Elder Farm, there are 10 miles of trellis where nets are placed onto the berries. On another vineyard, they created a pond in the center to allow water to continuously flow in the fall, keeping Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 27 Crow River Winery owner Mike McBrady pours wine at the tasting counter in the newly remodeled facility. Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 28 the frost off the vines, Mike explained. Much of grape-growing is a science. A lot of the techniques the couple uses they have learned from other growers through the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, and consultations with the University. Some of it is also trial and error, Mike said. The grapes are harvested, typically by mid- to lateSeptember. This fall, 46,000 pounds of grapes were harvested, requiring 24 people. In addition to the Minnesota-grown grapes, the McBradys truck in 16,000 pounds of California grapes for high-demand wine such as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Riesling. Grapes are then run through the destemmer-crusher, where the stems are removed and the grapes are crushed. Next, the grapes are put into what is called a bladder press, where the grapes are pressed without rupturing the seed. The seeds add a flavor that isn't "desirable," Mike said. For red wine, the grapes are allowed to ferment in stainless steel tanks � or fermenters � for roughly 10 days before being pressed. A secondary fermentation process is typically needed to control acidity in the wine. Then, the wine is placed in oak barrels providing additional flavor. The inside of the barrels are charred at different levels, light, medium, or heavy, filtrating the wine and neutralizing the acidity giving the wine a chocolate note. The wine is left in the barrels for 90 days Photos by Kristen Miller Grapes are very valuable crops, and to ensure the McBradys get the best harvest possible, they make sure the plants have plenty of water throughout the growing season using this irrigation system. HUTCHINSON 1420 ADAM ST. ARLINGTON LESTER PRAIRIE 23189 HWY. 5 122 BABCOCK AVE. 320-587-3229 507-964-2283 320-395-2576 KOREY WERK � KARL NESSE � BRAD NEUMANN Hutchinson Co-op agronomists are here to help you with all your ag needs We offer: Soil Sampling � Grid Sampling Site Specific Fertilizer Application Custom application of dry fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia Crop input financing Residential lawn care products: lawn seed, fertilizers, weed control 1-800-795-1299 to a year, depending on the strategy, Mike said. The color of the wine is only skin deep, according to Mike. The inside of grapes in both green and red, is white. Red wine is given its color from the skin that is left on in the fermenting process. The entire process, from harvest to bottle could take up to a year, six months for certain, Mike said. Crow River Winery's 2010 crop provided enough wine to fill 50,000 bottles, with another 20,000 bottles yet to fill, Mike said, adding that they aren't in a hurry. "Aging doesn't hurt the wine," he said. "It will probably be at its peak two years after it's bottled," he said, adding that depends a bit on the type of wine you're bottling. Along with grapes, Crow River Winery uses 35,000 pounds of Honeycrisp apples, 4,000 pounds of pumpkins, and 2,500 pounds of cranberry juice to make its fruit wines, which are their best-selling wines. They also make rhubarb, dandelion, and strawberry wines, typically through Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) or local farmers. This year, they also raised 50,000 garlic plants for their garlic cooking wine, which they found to be quite popular during the Minnesota Garlic Festival this past August. One acre of grapes is worth $6,000 to $7,000, and an Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 29 Crow River Winery, located two miles east of Hutchinson on Highway 7, is now serving walk-ins and tastings by appointment, but expects to officially open in June 2012. SKIDSTEER & TRACTOR LOADER ATTACHMENTS Call For Nearest Dealer! 3 2 0 485-2341 Winsted, MN www.hhfab.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 30 This bladder press uses 30 pounds of water pressure to squeeze the juice out of the Honeycrisp apples, which is then added to some wine varieties. Mike McBrady tests the red wine that has been fermenting in a bulk stainless steel tank. acre of garlic is worth $8,000, making both very valuable crops, Mike noted. In addition, it costs $12 to plant a vine of grapes, and takes four years before it will produce its first crop. Crow River Winery facilities unoffic ially open The McBradys purchased a foreclosed commercial property, located on Highway 7, two miles east of Hutchinson, where they have been working to create a complete winery with an event center. "It found us, and we're so lucky," Valerie said about the property. Though not officially open until June 2012, they are now open to walk-ins and by appointment for tastings and tours. The winery includes a tasting area, where visitors can taste any, or all, of their 13 wines. They will eventually have bulk olive oils and vinegars to taste and buy, as well as a deli serving prepared food, including cheese trays, for purchase. There are also five individual tasting rooms on the second level for private tastings, which are "all the rage on the west coast," Mike said. For larger parties, construction is underway for a 100person room, and another that will seat 400. Crow River Winery is located at 14848 Highway 7 East, Hutchinson. It is currently open noon to 6 p.m. seven days a week for tastings. For more information, visit the website at www.crowriverwinery.com or call (320) 587-2922. Kristen Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Hendricks Insurance Agency, of Watertown Farm � Health � Auto � Home � Life David G. Heldt Lic. # 64840 952-955-2667 952-955-2376 fax email@example.com 209 Lewis Avenue PO Box 1119 Watertown, MN 55388 WOW!! 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For Rural High Speed Internet that's WAAAAAAAY faster than DSL call Broadband Corp Today!! 952�215�3800 585 Hwy. 7 W, Hutchinson, MN 55350 www.broadband-mn.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 32 Farm custom rates rising � Chopping corn stalks - $10.35 I worked with the University of Minnesota Ex� Moldboard plowing - $15. tension Service out of the Meeker County office in � Chisel plowing - $13.70 Litchfield from 1982 - 2004. � Subsoiling 8-15 inches deep - $17.05 One of the more popular publications requested � Combine corn - $30.90 (with chopper head at this time of year was the Custom Rate Survey. - $33.45) This was an annual survey done by the university � Combine soybeans - $29.65 to track down what farmers were charging for cus� Complete harvest including combine, cart, tom machine work (tillage, harvest, planting, etc.). haul to storage: corn- $40.80, soybean - $38.15 Farmers will often help neighbors out. They Added charge for GPS mapping - $2.25 want to be fair and not overcharge, but they know Dave Schwartz expenses are rising, so they want to be sure to cover Gold Country Seed Mid-September frost damages local crops their costs. The Custom Rate Survey provided this The frost in mid-September significantly retype of information, so growers valued this data. Since I left the university, I rarely referred to the survey. duced grain yields in Meeker and Wright counties. Many I thought it would be interesting to revisit custom rates in of our soybeans were planted in late May and early June so 2011. What I found was somewhat surprising in that custom full-season lines needed an additional two weeks to reach maturity. Upper pods did not fill out well, so seed size was rates have risen significantly since my Extension days. Rates most likely rose on a relatively equal basis com- much smaller than normal. I heard many of these fields running in the low 30s. pared to other crop production costs. The University of Minnesota Extension Service no lon- Yields of earlier lines in the 0.8 maturity range yielded ger does a survey so I checked out Iowa State University much better. Even though shorter season lines this year and found its 2011 survey results. If you would like the full generally out-yielded the full-season lines, I would encourreport, do a Google search and check Iowa State Custom age growers to continue planting full-season beans as they typically out-yield shorter season lines on an average of 0.5 Rate Survey. Below are Iowa custom rates reported on a per acre-basis bushel per acre for each day less than what is considered including fuel and labor for harvest and tillage operations: full season. n Randy Brandel � Cokato, MN (612) 240-2394 Two Service Trucks To Serve Your Needs Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 33 What are the rules for new drivers with a farm permit? Dear Trooper Kathy: My son just turned of Motor Vehicles and get the farm restriction 15, and I was wondering what the rules are removed. Ask a Trooper for new drivers with a farm permit. All of his Question: It would be helpful to us if she Kathy friends drive to football practice and school. could drive to work, when I am at work and Pederson Is this legal? my husband is in the field, but I didn't think Trooper Kathy says: NO: There are many that they could. When I was younger, several restrictions , so I will answer a few of your kids drove to school on farm permits, but I'm firstname.lastname@example.org questions. not sure if that was legal. Of course, we did 1. Must have the permit in immediate possession. not have a police officer in my home town either. 2. Must be accompanied by an adult licensed driver while Trooper Kathy says: It wasn't, but yes, a lot of kids do it. driving Question: What are the rules once they turn 16? Question: What are the rules for a farmers permit? I thought Trooper Kathy says: This is for all drivers under age 18 durit was only for farm business. ing their the first six months: Trooper Kathy says: You are correct. The farm-restricted 1. Only allowed one passenger under age 21, other than imlicense shall be issued to assist the person's parents or guardmediate family members ians with farm work. A person holding a restricted license may 2. Cannot drive after midnight, unless returning from operate a motor vehicle only during daylight hours and only work. within a radius of 20 miles of the parents' or guardians' farmTheir second six months: may now have up to three passenhouse. gers, other than immediate family members Question: One mother mother told me, they could drive to Question: What are the penalties if they do drive illegally? athletic practice. Is that right? Trooper Kathy says: They may be charged with driving Trooper Kathy says: No. with no Minnesota Driver's License. This is a misdemeanor Question: I was also wondering if that was true, could they offense which is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, in addition drive to other sports events, to a possible loss of driving privileges for one year or until they Trooper Kathy says: No. are 18, whichever is greater. Question: Could they drive to work/job? Trooper Kathy says: No. Question: Grocery store? Trooper Kathy says: No. Question: School? Trooper Kathy says: No. Question: If they get a farm permit � what do they have to do when they turn 16? Trooper Kathy says: They must go back to the Department rms Operations, Inc. Otto Fa Combining Waconia Farm has a new look in Maple Plain and Dayton locations Waconia Farm completed a merger with Hennepin Co-op in September 2010. In this merger, Waconia Farm obtained store fronts in Dayton and Maple Plain, as well as a convenience store in Rush City. With this acquisition came big plans for both the Maple Plain and Dayton locations. In Dayton, the retail space was expanded into the warehouse. New brands were brought in, including Carhartt clothing, Ace Hardware, and Echo Power Equipment, and feed lines, lawn and garden lines, and the rental department. The ability to fill propane cylinders was also added. The retail space was totally remodeled for a nicer look and a better customer experience. Changes in Maple Plain were very similar. The old retail space was remodeled, along with joining warehouse space for a larger retail floor. New brands include Ace Hardware, Stihl Power Equipment, Benjamin Moore Paint and Ace Paint. Lawn and garden lines and feed lines were expanded, as well as a clothing department and a rental department. Propane cylinders can also be filled. w/Stalk Chopping Heads Baling (3x3x8) Disk Ripping Grain Swathing Grain Hauling Spring Tillage Planting Brillion Packer Rental Chopping � Filling Bags, Bunkers, Silos Front & Rear Unload Trucks Available Packing Available Greg & Heidi Otto (320) 485-3368 Cell (320) 510-0468 20243 County Rd 9, Lester Prairie, MN 55354 Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 34 The plight of the honeybees: why are they disappearing? By Jennifer Kotila Staff Writer "Honeybees are like the canary in the coal mine, as far as the environment is concerned," said Darrel Rufer, owner of Rufer's Apiaries near Waverly. He is also the president of the Minnesota Honey Producers. For several years, apiaries have been dealing with the loss of honeybee colonies, some reporting losses of 3090 percent of their hives. The phenomena is often attributed to colony collapse disorder (CCD), which is defined as the sudden die-off of honeybee colonies. One of the symptoms that defines CCD is not finding any dead bee bodies near the hives, the bees just seem to disappear. Rufer has lost 25 to 60 percent of his honeybee colonies each year since 2006, which has improved just slightly in the last couple of years, he said. Before 2005, Rufer would see only a 2 to 10 percent die-off of his colonies each year. During the winter of 2010-11, nationwide, honeybee colony losses totaled 30 percent for all causes, according to the annual survey conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA). Honeybee colony losses for the previous four years show similar results; losses were 34 percent in the winter of 2009-10, 29 percent in 2008-09, 36 percent in 200708, and 32 percent in 2006-07. "The lack of an increase in losses is marginally encouraging in the sense that the problem does not appear to be getting worse for honeybees and beekeepers," said Jeff Pettis, an entomologist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. "But continued losses of this size put tremendous pressure on the economic sustainability of commercial beekeeping." In a country that depends on pollinators to contribute at least $16 billion to the nation's agricultural economy, according to Rufer, those types of losses are not sustainable. Of all the food produced in the US, one-third of it is dependent on the honeybee. For instance, one million honeybee colonies are needed to pollinate the almond crops in California each year, according to Rufer. There are more than 90 crops throughout the US that rely on pollinators, such as raspberries, sunflowers, ap- But I Asked for a JOHN DEERE . . . Make a wish list item come true this Christmas by shopping at your local John Deere Store. 10% Off select items. Stop in for details. these and many more items available O rder online at w w w.wegotgreen.com Serving you from nine locations ALEXANDRIA 5005 State Hwy. 27 E GLENCOE 4561 Hwy. 212 GLENWOOD 1710 North Franklin HOWARD LAKE 5845 Keats Ave. SW - W Hwy. 12 PAYNESVILLE 725 Lake Ave. S PRINCETON N Hwy. 169 SAUK RAPIDS 1035 35th Ave. NE - E Hwy. 23 SAUK CENTRE 1140 Centre St. STEWART 78412 Cty. Rd. 20 888-799-1490 800-558-3759 888-799-1495 866-875-5093 866-784-5535 800-570-3453 800-645-5531 888-320-2936 800-827-7933 Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 35 Photo by Jennifer Kotila Apiary owners, Cathy and Darrel Rufer and American Honey Princess Allison Adams shared their insights about the disappearance of the honeybee. ples, and blueberries, said American Honey Princess Allison Adams. "Even dairy products come to us through the bee, because they pollinate the alfalfa," Adams said. A perfect storm of stressors for honeybees In order to understand the complexity of the disappearance of honeybees, Adams and Rufer explained some of the different stressors honeybees are facing in their environments. Rufer, who overwinters his bee colonies near Milan, TX, says it is not too hard to figure out what is going on with honeybees. "All I know is when I take my bees to east Texas, they get fat, healthy, and happy," Rufer said. But when he brings his colonies back to Minnesota, they are fine until about mid-July, when they start to go downhill and disappear, Rufer added. Nothing in the environment changed from 2004 to 2006, Rufer said, but a new family of chemicals came in vogue, known as neonicotinoids. "It's supposedly easy on the environment, with minimal impact on animals and humans, but it raises all holy hell with anything not an animal," Rufer said. Not only will neonicotinoids kill the target insect, but any insect that comes into contact with that plant, Rufer explained. Bees that have taken nectar or pollen from plants treated with neonicotinoids die before coming back to the hive. "If the only environment you lived in is one toxic to you, how long would you live? The same thing is happening to the bees," Rufer pointed out. "If farmers and landowners are growing crops, there are less toxic things to spray. We appreciate if they use something on the less toxic side with a shorter duration of toxicity." He noted a chemical that was used on sweet corn near LeSueur about 30 years ago that killed thousands of honeybee colonies. Farmers switched to a different chemical that was less toxic to the honeybees, and they stopped dying. "It's easy to lay CCD at the feet of that type of chemical," Rufer said, but also admitted there are a variety of factors which have led to the decline in honeybee colonies. "About 50 years ago, there was a fence surrounding ev- Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 37 Throughout the US, honeybees have been disappearing at a disturbing rate. NEW & USED CHEVROLET and Other Brands of CARS & TRUCKS "Just A Little Over Cost" Snowmobiles, ATVs, & Prowlers PLUS We will also give you all Rebates and Incentives!! All Makes and Models WE SERVICE THEM ALL! Open Wednesday til 8 p.m. & Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, PWCs, & Scooters NEW "TRIKES" on display! "Always Free" Ice Water, Pizza, Pop & Coffee Hwy 12/394 (763) 972-2984 Wave Runners Thrifty Car Rental and Car Sales Arctic Cat COUPON SAVINGS! CARHARTT Shoe and Boot and Leather Repair! RED WING STIHL 25% DISCOUNT "OUTLET" STORE OUTLET STORE! OFF Retail Price on ALL Carhartt Clothing, & Red Wing Shoes & Boots Not good with any other offers or products. Our Recipe for Success is Great Customers like You! Delano, MN (763) 972-5045 www.starwestchev.com � www.starwesthonda.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 38 ery pasture, now there is no median between fields with plants honeybees need," Rufer said. "There are no flowering plants left, no fence rows." Plants such as milkweed, golden rod, and sweet clover all provide a well-rounded diet for the honeybee. When Rufer first brings the honeybees back to Minnesota, there is a wide variety of plants in the woods which are blooming for the honeybees to feed on. As summer continues, other plants are done blooming, and only corn and soybeans, which are treated with pesticides and other chemicals, are left. "Migratory beekeepers that bring bees across the nation are vital for pollinating crops, for instance set in a field to pollinate sunflowers, but being in one field of one crop is unnatural. The lack of variety is stressful," Adams said. Having been in the honeybee business for nearly 35 years, Rufer said he has seen a lot of change in farming practices over that time. "We (honey producers) like CRP (conservation reserve program)," Rufer said. The program provides compensation to farmers who allow some of the land to grow naturally and not be farmed, which allows for a variety of plant life in one area. Beekeepers would also like to see less spraying and cutting of road ditches by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. "The shutdown in July was the best thing that happened in a long time (for honeybees)," Rufer said. "I don't mind them killing wild parsnip and other invasive species, but don't blanket spray and kill off everything. It's some of the few things left for bees to use." Some of the other stressors Rufer's honeybees have been facing are varroa mites and tracheo mites. Before these two pests became problematic in the mid1980s, Rufer said his bees faced no real pests, and he could overwinter some of his colonies in Minnesota, he said. "The tracheo mite is like having asthma," Rufer said. "A lot of hobbyists and sideliners got out of keeping bees � even career beekeepers." Rufer began bringing all his bees to Texas in 1990, after losing 60 percent of his colonies the previous two years. A varroa mite is a small ticklike creature the size of a pinhead, Rufer said. There are some nonlethal chemicals which can be used in the hive to rid the bees of the mites, but the varroa mite is becoming resistant to them. "We are trying to breed a bee that grooms itself to get rid of the mites," Rufer noted. Although scientists have looked all all kinds of factors which could be leading to the disappearance of honeybees, no single factor seems to be causing the problem. Jen Kotila can be reached at email@example.com Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 � Page 39 Crop insurance procedures By Gary A. Hachfeld, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Ag Business Management The early season frost in September caught many of us off guard. Damage to crops varied statewide but the fundamental question is, as a farmer, what should I do regarding a potential loss regarding my federal crop insurance? There are some basic procedures that one needs to follow in the event of a crop loss regardless of cause. This article outlines some of those procedures. Following an early frost, it is very common for a farmer to utilize a given crop, such as corn, for an alternative use. That is, the corn was insured as grain and intended to be used as grain but due to the early frost, the farmer decides to chop the corn for silage. This could be the case for a number of crops. If this occurs, the farmer must contact their crop insurance agent before they begin to chop the crop for silage, a use other than what was intended. A crop insurance adjuster must evaluate the crop before harvest begins. If the adjuster cannot view the crop in a timely fashion, the farmer can go ahead and chop the field but they must leave a number of check strips for the adjuster to view at a later time. If a farmer decides to use a crop for something other than its intended use, always contact the insurance agent prior to harvest. For grain such as corn and soybeans, there are some hints that will be helpful in the event of a crop loss. Those hints are as follows: * If at all possible, do not co-mingle new crop grain with grain from a previous year. This will make it easy for the insurance adjuster to measure bushels and extract a grain sample. * If space does not allow and you have to store the grain with grain from a previous year, measure the existing grain in the bin before adding new crop grain. That will enable the insurance adjuster to determine the bushels of new grain added. Although most grain crops suffered some frost damage, it appears the crops should reach maturity. However, there will no doubt be some crop quality issues in addition to potential yield loss. That is, there may be crops with low test weight and other quality issues. One huge potential issue is mold in soybeans that were green or immature when harvested. Determining these types of losses is also part of the insurance adjuster's responsibility. Again, the adjuster's task of determining any type of loss will be made easier if new crop grain is stored separate from previous crop production. Any indemnity or loss payment is calculated based upon several things. It depends upon the percentage level of insurance purchased. This sets the bushel threshold for determining a yield loss. The policy also includes parameters for quality determinations. Loss determination also depends upon what unit structure was selected when the insurance was purchased. If corn acres were included in a whole farm unit and the frost caused damage on only a small part of the total corn acres, odds are there will not be an indemnity payment. However, if the corn acres were insured under optional units, odds are greater that there might be a loss payment. Bottom line is that if a farmer thinks they have a crop loss, contact the insurance agent as soon as possible. The farmer can begin harvest to see what crop yields and quality might be. That is fine. However, if there appears to be a loss of yield or quality, there is a limited amount of time after harvest to submit a claim to the insurance company. Staying in touch with the insurance agent, keeping them informed, and asking lots of question will help in getting the most benefit from the crop insurance purchased. n Real Estate - Auctions Appraisals - Marketing Over 35 Years Experience Tax Free 1031 Exchanges � Refinance Counseling Building Eligibility Property Splits Retirement Options � Investment Opportunities The Partner you can count on, providing real solutions for today and tomorrow. John J. Radde, Realtor CRS, GRI 408 Jefferson Ave. SW, Watertown, MN 55388 View properties on-line: JohnRadde.com � AGRONOMY Dry/Liquid Plant Food Anhydrous Ammonia Crop Protection Products Ag Lime Custom Application Crop Planning GPS Precision Application Soil Sampling Crop Insurance Financing (Metro) (952) 955-1587 Land / Hobby Farms / Residential / Commercial HORSTMAN'S WOODWORK LLC � OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE � � SEEDS & SERVICES Syngenta/NK Dekalb Asgrow Croplan Wensman Mycogen � FRAMING � POST FRAMING � REMODELING � BASEMENT FINISHING � DECKS � TRIMWORK Proudly Serving Central Minnesota Cokato � 320-286-6142 Toll Free � 877-525-3734 www.centrasota.com 952-353-2313 Lic#20636460 Kevin Horstman Farm Horizons � Nov. 1, 2011 Classifieds � Page 40 Classifieds LIVESTOCK HAULING � Anywhere, competitive rates. Also flatbed services and hay hauling. Call Big J's Transport. (320) 485-5343 or (612) 5324857. WANTED FARMLAND - Call (952) 292-4091 or (952) 292-4092. 17-21s LAYING HENS - 18 months old. Organic raised. 40 available. Howard Lake area. $3 each. Call (651) 492-4700. 17-21s REAR BLADE - Land Pride. 8'. 2-way hydraulic. Model R.B. 4596. Used two times. Cost over $3,000. Selling for $1,750. Call (763) 658-4540. 17-21s PLOW - DEA Born. 2-14 rear mount. Has coulters and throw away shears. Model 10-156. Serial No. 52057. $350. Call (763) 658-4540. 17-21s PLOW - I.H. 700 4-16 plow. Spring loaded. Coulters, needs work. $300. Call (763) 658-4540. 17-21s TRACTOR - Farmall H. 1950 restored. Parade ready. $3,350. New tires. Call (763) 658-4540. 17-21s TRACTOR - Ford NAA restored. $5,500. Call (763) 658-4540. 17-21s BALER - 510 John Deere round baler. $3,000. Call (612) 910-6357. 16-20s TRACTORS - One International Harvester, Farmall H, and Farmall M with loader. All in running condition. Make a reasonable offer. Call (763) 972-3892. 16-20s MEADOW HAY - Small sqaures. Good guality. $2.75/bale. Call (320) 282-4999. 16-19s HEIFERS - 20 fancy pure-bred Holstein-bred. Call (320) 395-2476. 16-20s BEAN STRAW - 30 large square bales. $20 ea. Call (320) 395-2476. 16-20s MEADOW HAY - Large square bales. $25 each. Call (952) 955-1608. 15-19s BEEF - Quarters and halves. Call (320) 2824999. 15-19s STOCK CHOPPER - Sun Master. Call (651) 3418740. 15-19s GRAVITY BOXES - Three. Call (651) 341-8740. 15-19s HAY - Grass and hay mix. Small square. Second cutting. $3.25 each. Delivery available. Call (763) 479-2928. 15-19s SUPER CALF HUTCH - 12' x 21'. Portable. $800. Call (952) 955-2869. 15-19s HAY - Small squares, grass and alfalfa. Call (320) 543-2880. 15-18s WANTED - Cropland to rent for 2012 and beyond. Howard Lake, Waverly, Winsted, and Cokato area. Call (320) 543-3702. 14-19c 1940 D JOHN DEERE - All new tires, engine recently rebuilt in 2009. Factory PTO, gages. 14.9 28 rear tires, front wheels round spokes. Flywheel start. $4,995. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1960 560 INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER Gas. Wide front, power steering, fast hitch, TA in perfect condition. Gages, lights, good tires, 12 volt system. 15.5 - 38 rear and 10.00 16 front tires. 10+2 transmission, new seat, rebuilt hydraulics, 4 hydraulic hookups in rear and 2 under gas tank. $3,795. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1941 B ALLIS CHALMERS - Crank start, factory steel wheels in rear, wide front with rubber tires, engine rebuilt, 3+1 transmission, good brakes and in excellent condition. $2,495. Call for more Farm Horizons is published 4 times a year � February, May, August, and November. It is distributed free by direct mail to more than 4,000 farm owners and operators in the trade area. Classified ads are $15 per issue. The next issue is set for February 2012 with a deadline in late January. Call us at (320) 485-2535 for more details. information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1945 70 OLIVER - Row crop. 6-cylinder gas engine completely rebuilt in 2010. New pistons, rings, rod bearing, main bearings, front and rear seals. New clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing. Good tires, all gages work, light all work, in excellent condition. $2,995 Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1934 W-30 MCCORMICK DEERING - Steel wheels, rebuilt engine last year, head was rebuilt with new valves and valve guides. New intake and exhaust manifold. Rebuilt carburetor. Excellent condition. $4,250. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1938 RC CASE - Rubber front and rear new tires, engine rebuilt in 2009, new paint 2009. Excellent running tractor. 9.5-36 rear tires with 4/1 transmission. $2,950. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1948 SC CASE - Narrow front, electric start, restored in 2008. Engine rebuilt 2008. All new tires, ready for snows and parades. 11.2-38 rear tires. $3,950. Call for more information. (612) 2321876. 15-19s 1949 AR JOHN DEERE - Wide front, new tire and batteries. Tin in excellent condition. 14.9-24 rear tires. 6+1 transmission, 12 volt system. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1964 1650 OLIVER DIESEL - Wide front, power steering, new paint in 2009. Head rebuilt with new valves and valve guides 2009, Last 14 years used to cut 30 acres of hay. Always shedded, excellent runner, 3-point hitch, gages, and all lights work. Excellent condition. $6,950. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1949 30 COCKSHUTT - Gas. Wide front, clutch pressure plate, throw out bearing replaced 4 years ago. Tin in excellent condition. Excellent runner, 4+1 transmission. New gages, rear wheel weight, 12.4-38 rear tires. $3,995. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s 1943 MASSEY HARRIS - 101 Jr. Gas, wide front, PTO, 4+1 transmission, and belt pulley. Tin in excellent condition. gauges. $3,450. Call for more information. (612) 232-1876. 15-19s PIGS - Two to be butchered in mid. Oct. Call (952) 955-3085. 14-16s FARM FRESH EGGS - $2/doz. Call (952) 9553085. 14-18s COW - Black angus. 5 years old. $1,500. Call (320) 275-4217. 14-18s ROUND BALES - Straw and grass. Call (320) 286-2897. 14-18s BULL - Black Simmental. 2-year old. $1,750. Call (952) 955-2386. 14-18s GRINDER & MIXER - Call (763) 675-3448. 1418s WANTED STRAW - Wheat or oat. Will pay $3/ bale. Call (763) 972-3894. 14-18s CHOPPER BOX - Call (763) 675-3448. 14-18s PLOW - IH 710, 318. Call (952) 688-2297. 14-18s BALE RACKS - Two H & F. Call (952) 688-2297. 14-18s ROLLER MILL - PTO driven. Call (952) 6882297. 14-18s BLOWER - Gehl FB88. Short hopper, excellent for unloading corn from gravity box. Call (952) 955-1810. 14-18s FOR RENT - Grain bins. 4,500, 7,500, and 10,000 bushel. Call (612) 860-7917. 14-17c HAY - Alfalfa, mixed, and green. Round and small squares. Call (320) 286-5084 or (612) 619-1225. 13-17s TRACTOR - Super C Farmall. Call (952) 9551483. 13-17s HAY - Second crop, grass/ alflalfa hay bales, no rain. $3 each or best offer. Call (320) 274-5461. 14-18s CORN SHOCKS - $5 each. Call after 6 p.m. (763) 972-3810. 14-18s CORN CRIBS - 1 500-bushel round wire crib with roof. 1 700-bushel oblong wire crib with roof. Call (952) 955-1483. 13-17s HAY - Small squares grass alfalfa, horse quality. Large rounds cow or covering. Call (612) 8654035. 13-17s BEEF - All natural, grass fed. Quarters and halves. Call (612) 865-4035. 13-17s ABETTA SADDLE - 15" black western. $325. Call (952) 955-1585. 13-17s 1978 JOHN DEERE COMBINE - 7700. Hydrostatic. Good running condition. $3,800. Call (320) 275-3033. 13-17s EAR CORN - 500 bushels. Good quality. Market price. Call (320) 286-5805. 13-17s BULL - Scottish Highland. 16-months old. $500. Call (763) 972-2849. 13-17s OAT HAY - 2010. Big bales. Call (763) 972-2849. 13-17s TRACTOR - Case VAC. Runs good, looks good. $1,325. Farmall H $1,500, 12 volt, starts, runs good, good paint. 1950 model. Call (320) 5100773. 13-17s GRASS HAY - No rain. Small square bales. $2 per bale. Call (320) 805-0226. 13-17s GRASS HAY - For bedding and mulch. Small square bales. 50 cents per bale. Call (320) 8050226. 13-17s WANTED - Brooder house or chicken house. Call (763) 972-6790. 13-17s COVERED WAGONS - $3,900. Call (952) 6572359. 13-17p BUGGYS - Call (952) 657-2359. 13-17p LAYING HENS - $5 each. Call (952) 657-2359. 13-17p BEEF - Delicious corn-fed beef. Quarters and halves. Processing. On sale this week. Call (952) 955-1810. 13-17s ROUND BALES - Alfalfa grass and grass mix. Excellent for cattle, horse, etc. Will deliver. Stored inside. Call (952) 955-1810. 13-17s HAY - Excellent alfalfa grass, and grass mixtures. Small squares, no rain. Will deliver. Call (952) 955-1810. 13-17s FOR RENT - Grain bin cement forms. Also bin jack. Call (320) 543-2624 or (320) 980-1088. 318p MORTGAGE LOANS - State Bank of Gibbon. Farm real estate mortgage loans with competitive rates and no origination fees. Call (507) 834-6556 or (866) 251-9656. Call or stop by and visit with Mike, who has 28 years of farming experience, for more information and qualification requirements. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. 44tfc LAND WANTED - Looking for farmland to rent. Call (612) 239-3999. 11tfc CROPLAND WANTED - Good cropland wanted to rent or buy. Call (952) 955-3129 or (952) 9551810. 34tfc BEBO TRUCKING - Hauling grain, gravel, granite, and decorative rock. Competitive rates. Call Al (612) 735-4808. 44tfc FUELS � PROPANE � LUBRICANTS Delivering our Area's Energy & Heating Homes Since 1935 & pane Pro Heat Home Bulk Fuel ricant Lub s liver y De Serving You With Honesty, Integrity & Value since 1935 FUELS � PROPANE � LUBRICANTS (320) 543-3292 � (952) 466-3720 www.midcountycoop.com