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A big project for blogger Daryl Bridenbaugh this winter was painting his skidsteer loader Turned out nice
<p>A big project for blogger Daryl Bridenbaugh this winter was painting his skid-steer loader. Turned out nice.</p>

Skid-steer project, hog production and the 'shouse'

Painting my skid steer loader was one of my projects this winter. It’s the most used piece of equipment on our farm and I hate to think of having to farm without one. People who don’t have one don’t realize how handy and helpful they are. We had very little snow this winter, probably 12-inches. Most melted as soon as it hit the ground; and except for a couple weeks in January the temperatures were way above normal.

A big project for blogger Daryl Bridenbaugh this winter was painting his skid-steer loader. Turned out nice.

Every time I run a distant errand I see new double wide hog buildings capable of finishing out 2499 hogs at a time. A new slaughterhouse is being constructed in Michigan to handle the increased production. It is a joint venture of a few of the largest integrated producers in northwest Ohio and some private investors.

Another trend is people putting up pole buildings that are both their dwelling and storage area. The term used for these buildings is shouse – a combination of house and shop. On a similar topic, but not a widespread trend, I went to an open house for a home made from straw bales. It is in Tiffin, Ohio. It has stucco on both sides of the bales. It has a wood structure and the straw bales are used only as insulation. It is prototype for low cost housing.

I chatted with a friend who went to Florida on vacation this winter. Instead of going to touristy places, he just drove his motorcycle through farm country. He said in an intense vegetable producing area there was farm ground listed for sale at $99,000 per acre.

Opioid/heroin use has filtered down from the cities to the farm communities with a vengeance. It has effected some fellows who had worked on our farm as well as the children of three of our friends.

Land taxes have more than doubled over the last few years and that has all farmers upset.

Rural communities will eventually have to pipe their sewage to larger towns that have treatment systems. Everything is in the planning stage right now. All the installation and pumping is going to cost a lot of money and that has the rural towns and farm families up in arms. Mayors and county commissioners are frustrated and don’t know what to do.

It is May 4 today and only 1% of soybeans and maybe 8% of the corn has been planted in the area around me. Plus, we have another rainy week ahead, so we are getting off to a slow start.

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