The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.
Who left the refrigerator door open over the weekend? Maybe it wasn't as cold as it seemed with that stiff wind and cloudy weather, but it was easy to become spoiled with those earlier warmer and sunny days.
The recent rain over the weekend fell short of expectations in most places. Some areas received .4 inch Friday night and .5 inch Sunday, others less on Friday. More than enough for the time being, however. Forecasts are for rain much of this week.
Some are wonder'n now about moisture shortages later on. While the grain markets were a popp'n the later part of last week, it was not necessarily weather related. Basic adjustments had a lot to do with the movements.
Indonesia sez they ain't a gonna buy U.S. beef because of some sick Holstein cow out in California. Meself, if'n I was hungry enough, I wouldn't let that single cow make me go skinny. I suspect there are other motives involved.
Artificial trade barriers have existed fer a long time, along with lame excuses to beat prices and profits down fer farmers. If'n it ain't "Pink Slime", the negative connotation given "lean finely textured beef", it'll be followed up quickly with "Mad Cow Disease" the term given "bovine spongiform encephalopathy", or abbreviated BSE.
To understand these terms, fer a common feller, think of lean finely textured beef (Pink Slime) as a fiscally conservative bureaucrat and BSE (Mad Cow Disease) as a politician who has just found out the budget line items he was a gonna use to get reelected has just been cut by the oppose'n political party! They get spacey right quick on that one, like a brain damaged, "Mad Cow". Otherwise, some folks figure every thing in California is brain dead to begin with!
Livestock folk needs to come up with the type of markets the corn folk did with Ethanol. Through Ethanol the foreign markets and river infrastructure is no longer the severe threat they once was to negatively affect corn prices. At least until the farmer figures out how to overproduce again!
Before Ethanol, if'n the price rose just a little, the government would release it's reserves, announce foreign markets didn't like GMO products or on paper adjust the stocks' reports. It's not as easy to do that these days with strong domestic use fer our corn.
But, look out! Eventually the government will try to figure out a way to overcome the obstacles in their way for price manipulation.
I has hang'n on my office wall for many years "A Recipe for Good Farming". I've had it for more years than I'd like to be reminded of.
This recipe, which lists the principles of good farm management, was prepared by M. L. Mosher, Professor of Farm Management Extension, University of Illinois. It was the result of his work with thousands of Illinois farm-account keepers fer over thirty years, starting in 1916, when he became farm advisor in Woodford County.
Cooperative extension work in Agriculture and Home Economics in Illinois was through the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture (a land grant college), and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. The appropriate Acts were approved by Congress May 8 and June 30, 1914.
Can ya imagine Congress work'n in bipartisan support to pass such a law that has been so successful, today?
All old good extension advisors, either knew personally or were aware of M. L. Mosher. Years ago, in my early days, he was an icon to immulate. The best of the best. So now I'm a sharen his recipe with you'ns in this column.
"A Recipe for Good Farming"
Sound land-use and soil-conservation program
Good rotation and field arrangement
Suitable kind and amount of livestock
High crop yields
Carefully planned use of labor
Effective use of power and machinery
Conservative buildings and fences
Attention to prices of products sold
Large enough business for good living
Mix well with
Constant study of farm business
Timeliness and regularity
Kindliness, cleanliness, thoroughness
Will to do a good job
Love of farm work and farm life
There ya have it then, what was shown to be important many years ago by M.L. Mosher. Much of that recipe is just as important today as it was so long ago. Especially so is the items Mr. Mosher "mixed well with" the recipe.
In Florida, an atheist created a case against Easter and Passover Holy Days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their special days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.
The case was brought before a wise old judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"
The lawyer immediately stood and objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, how can you possible dismiss this case?"
"The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others, yet my client and all other athiests have no such holidays...".
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counselor, is woefully ignorant."
The lawyer said, "Your honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."
The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools's Day. Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, there is no God'. Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned...".
Buster Jigs sez, "ya gotta love a judge that knows his scripture!"
Has ya checked out your strawberry patch lately? Mrs. Bruke and I was a weed'n our patch over the weekend and "Glory Be" we found they was a ripe'n already. Like ever thing else, the berries is a bit early fer this time of year, but that's alright by me. Luckily, like the fruit trees, they escaped damage by the recent frosts. Of course cover'n them those cold nights with horse blankets, comforters and whatever else we could gather up, helped protect them, I'm sure.
MMM...I can almost taste it already...strawberry shortcake (homemade) with a bountiful supply of whipp'n cream and a splash of milk. Homemade ice cream topped off liberally with fresh picked strawberries and maybe a little chocolate. Strawberry jam on morn'n toast with bacon and eggs and potatoes.
For dinner and supper we are have'n fresh rhubarb puddin' and rhubarb pie along with a generous help'n of asparagus, all fresh from the garden. There is noth'n to compare to fresh produce from the garden. Makes a feller quite ready fer that first cutt'n of alfalfa hay, the pleasant aroma that goes with it, and fit fer the hard work that goes with it, also.
For those of youn's without a garden, farmer's markets are a open'n up around the area the first week in May. Pay one a visit and give yourself a treat with fresh produce and a nice visit with your neighbors whilst look'n things over. Noth'n like a "good jaw'n session" to bright'n up one's outlook.
In the meantime, enjoy life. Its the only one you is ever gonna have and passes by all too quickly. Give a loved one a hug and allow a smile onto neighbor and stranger alike.
Hope to see ya in church come Sunday morn'n. Then, next week as weather permits, get started plant'n those soybeans. There's enough moisture in the ground now.
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later