Normally, planting season and harvest have enough aggravations. But this year. two bridge repairs will get in the way of the Reskovacs field operations. Here's how they're coping.
Mike: “It’s that busy time of year again – planting season! This year, we have some extra headaches to contend with. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is repairing two bridges on our main route of travel. Construction is supposed to start within the month. Hopefully, it won’t affect planting too much.
“But, it’ll definitely impact harvest. We have fields on both sides of the bridges. Our grain bins are on opposite sides as well – corn bins on one farm and soybean bins on the other. Depending on what fields we’re in, the detour could be about 10 miles. That’s a lot of time and extra fuel we don’t want to waste.”
Sheilah: “We’ve known about this bridge project for about a year, and have been able to plan for some adjustments to lessen detour travels. For the planting season, we purchased two extra fertilizer tanks so we have access to nitrogen on both sides of the bridge. We’ve also placed chemicals and seed at both locations.”
Mike: “These changes will definitely be a big help this spring's planting season. But like I said, our main concern is harvest. We’ve been trying to come up with the best way to plant the crops to lessen fall travel time. This means figuring out where to plant short- and long-day corn in relation to the farm. Corn maturities also need to be close to the soybean maturities that are in the same vicinity. That way, there’ll be minimal to no backtracking around the detours.
“Then there’s the long lines of traffic to deal with and people not sure how to get around the detours”.
Sheilah: “The bridges are supposed to be done by the end of October. But I won’t hold my breath. Our plan won’t be fool proof. I’m sure we’ll run into a snag here or there. But at least we can say we tried our best to avoid some of these headaches and make the best of it. That’s farming!”
The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa.