• John Vogel

    Help! Farmer Or Not, We Are Being Smartphone-ized!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 10, 2012

    I confess. I bought my own Christmas presents early this year – a 10-inch tablet plus a smartphone. So now I struggle to straddle the digital divide between computers and smartphones. And, that gap is far wider than I thought. Becoming smartphone-ized takes time and a lot of patience. Used to be, thumbs were calloused by hard physical work. Now, even eight-year-olds have them from thumb-typing itty-bitty keyboards made only for pint-sized "pokers". Everywhere you go…

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  • John Vogel

    Embrace Some Changes . . . Run From Others

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on November 6, 2009

    When it comes to adapting to change, some people leave heel skid-marks all the way to their graves. Others grab and run with it.   If you’re like me, you’re a tad intimidated by things you don’t understand. But if you’re willing to learn and don’t get too distraught when you make a mistake, you just might be a progressive spirit.   But be selective! Just because it’s “hot” and talked about, doesn’t mean it has value – monetary, educational or entertainment. The key is whether changing…

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  • John Vogel

    Greening of Ag is Just Beginning

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 6, 2009

    ‘Remember when Dad’s advice was simple: “Just drive a straight line, son. It’ll make the corn rows straight and cultivating easier.”   Now days, steering on the contour is the train of thought and motion. Unless you’ve got autosteer, it helps to keep one eye on the e-arrow of your tractor GPS monitor, and the other eye on the flashing 12 digital columns of your planter monitor.   That’s not all that changing. We are just beginning to enter an era when farmers will be paid for capturing…

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  • John Vogel

    Biofuel: What's now -- and not!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 19, 2008

    The longer you live, the more you realize that not everything lives up to its touted promise. I could be talking about politicians; but I’m not. (And to that, I’m sure you’ll respond “Thank, goodness! I’ve had my fill of politics!”   Thanks to Uncle Sam’s Renewable Fuel Standard passed in 2007, ethanol knocks 5 to 10 cents a gallon off gasoline prices. Then came the 2007 Energy Independence & Security Act which calls for 11.1 billion gallons of renewables to be used in 2009, and…

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