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Monday, April 29, 2019

Honda of Illinois Deceitful

We have been searching for a new car for several weeks.  We test drove a number of very nice vehicles and my wife decided she would like to drive a Honda Odyssey.  It has many good safety features we like and passenger seating is very comfortable compared to other vehicles we looked at.

We first test drove one at Roy Schmidt Honda in Effingham.   The nice young man we talked to was up front and said we would get the internet price.  We were travelling at the time so we went on our trip to Indiana.

On our return on Monday, my wife checked the Honda of Illinois  website and found the exact same vehicle for $500 less.  That evening we went and test drove it and indicated we would take it.  The nice young salesman in Springfield named Dustin Morris brought  us a price that did not match the internet price, I asked him if it was correct and he said yes, so because of the fact that dealers play with numbers and we thought the price included dealer prep and other stuff and that we were still getting the internet price.

He took us to the "closer"  whose name escapes me.  When the closer told us the payment, I said it was higher than I expected.  He also pressured us to get the extended warranty which I did not want,  It turned out the the extended warranty also committed us to dealer added extras.  I did not realize this.  The closer used the tactic of lowering the payment by extending the term.

It has been so long since I purchased a vehicle from such a deceptive dealer that I was not cautious about what I was signing. Over the next weekend I reread the paperwork and found that they had cheated me out of the internet price by about $2500.  That is not to mention the warranty and the extras.  I stopped by Honda of Illinois on my way home from a job on Monday and raised the issue with them.  They offered me 5 oil changes which I refused.   I have since been promised $1000 and $750 which I have not received. 

I am a little embarrassed to post this, but I decided that since they did not own up to their deception with at least a partial refund, I would put it out there as fair warning. I promised I would do this if  they did not give me a refund, so here it is.  It has been 3 weeks. 

We do like the vehicle, but if you want a new Honda, beware. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

How late is late?

When I was in High School, someone asked my dad, " When do you plant corn"  I was getting ready to jump in and say we like to start in early April.  My Dad's wise but simple response was " when the soil is ready."  Of course he was right then, and  that is still correct today.  We are hearing about lots of farmers stressing over planting dates, but in my opinion, we are still in a position to have a good to excellent crop year.  I heard many top corn producers say that their best corn was not their earliest. 

Early soybean planting has been an emphasis of many people in the past few years.  The thought being that increased yields of very early planted soybeans may offset the risk of freezing.  I have seen some compelling research data that favors early planting, but I have also been told by some reliable sources that the best soybean yields in my part of South Central Illinois come when soybeans are planted between May 25 and June 7. 

Another thing to consider is Crop Insurance Planting Dates for Corn and Soybeans.  The crop insurance people are not in business to lose money and they have more data than anyone to support their dates.  Corn date in my area is June 5 and Soybean date is June 20.  We have all seen good to excellent yields in soybeans that are planted in late June especially first crop beans. 

And what is the cost of compaction created by getting on fields when they are too wet?  A quick google search today gave me information from all across the Midwest.  Universities say that yield losses related to compaction is 10 to 30%.  One of the problems with compaction is that it can last for several years. So in the end, my father's advise from 50 years ago is still relevant.  Plant when soil moisture conditions are right. 

If you still cannot come to terms with the fact that you may end up planting corn in June, maybe you should see a clergyman or mental health professional to help you deal with the stress.  Patience is certainly a virtue when you can't take care of business like you normally do.     

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Soybean Yield Challenge 2019

The Illinois Soybean Association will be holding a webinar on April 4 to present the Illinois Soybean Yield Challenge for 2019.  The yield challenge is a good way to challenge yourself to test higher levels of inputs to see if you can beat your normal management practices and learn what your return on investment might be.  Register now for the webinar and tune in next week.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Agent Orange in Vietnam

My friend Dr. Ken Olsen has released his study of Agent Orange Residues in Vietnam.  This is a followup to his studies of tunnels in Vietnam.  Agent Orange is made up of 2-4D and 2-4-5T.  Neither chemical is persistent in the environment, but the mixture sprayed in Vietnam did not have toxic dioxin removed.  He has found that the dioxin is still persisting in the environment and in places around some of the airports, the dioxin is still found in very high levels.  I wrote a term paper on Agent Orange for my Weeds Class at U of I, so I am very familiar with the issue. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Burn Workshop

Burn management is a great way to enhance natural areas and CRP plantings.  Hickory Hills Chapter of Illinois Audubon Society and Illinois Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society are hosting prescription burn workshop next week to help teach people what steps are needed to plan a prescribed burn.  CCA Credits are available.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

How Much Better Do You Need to Be

David Kohl of Virginia Tech was one of the only Farm Futures speakers I have heard before this year. His advice and guidance is excellent.  I think it was one of the other speakers who share 2 slides.  One showed farm profits prior to 2013.  Top Producers were making excellent money.  Average producers were doing well.  The bottom tier was still showing a profit.  Now, Top Producers are still doing well, although maybe not as good as 6 years ago.  Average producers are above break even, but the Bottom tier is in trouble.  Kohl says that producers need to be 5% better than average in order to succeed.  He says the businesses a that are a little better at production, marketing, cost control, and asset and capital efficiency are going to stay in business.  

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Certified Livestock Manager

We completed Certified Livestock Manger training in Springfield yesterday and took the test for Large CAFO work.  This certification is needed in order to take manure samples in Illinois.  It also brings us up to date o n rules so that we can give our livestock owning  clients the best possible advice on how to manage their manure applications and stay in compliance with the Livestock Facilities Management Act.

If you are a livestock owner in Illinois, this is excellent training whether it is required or not.   Even if the training is not required, you  are still required to comply with the rules.  This means manurermuch be stored and applied in such a way as to prevent pollution and preserve water quality.  Classes are being offered throughout the rest of the winter in many locations.  Extension Service and Illinois Department of Agriculture teach appropriate sections.  Be warned that if you are taking the test, you will need more than the 3.5 hours on the schedule.