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Marestail in cornfields expected to raise control costs 25% next year.

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac, Bloggers

August 4, 2016

2 Min Read

Summer has been anything but easy for Reskovac Farms, especially since they’ve been trying to hold down crop input costs.

Sheilah: “This spring, I asked Mike where we were able to save some money this year. After all, prices didn’t look the best.”

Mike: “I thought we could cut some corn herbicide cost by leaving out a tank-mix product. I was looking at an overall savings of about $4,500.”

Sheilah: “If he thought it would work, it’d be worth a try. With last year’s lower yields, we needed to save where we could.” 

Mike: “About two weeks after everything was planted and sprayed, I realized that there was a new mare in town — marestail. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! We have had some marestail in soybeans on a couple farms in the past, but never in corn. Not like this!” 

Sheilah: “I remember getting a text from Mike with a picture of something green. I couldn’t tell exactly what exactly I was looking at.” 

Mike: “She called me right away and asked: ‘Where exactly is the corn; all I see are weeds.’ No, all you see is marestail,” I replied. So I did what most of us do — call our crop consultant: ‘What’s the cheapest way we can get this killed?’ We came up with a plan. I sprayed it and was told not to look for a few days.”

Sheilah: “A couple days after Mike sprayed, strong storms came through — just under 4 inches of rain in about 36 hours.”

Mike: “While out checking crops for flooding and storm damage, I drove by our marestail field. I was in disbelief! About 60% of the 30 acres was flat on the ground. About half of the marestail was dead. Once again, I was told not to look at it for a few more days.”

Sheilah: “Mike found more marestail while out checking other fields. He’s really getting frustrated with this, especially with current grain prices.”

Mike: “There’s something else we can try. But it’ll cost about $10 an acre to spray. There goes saving money on herbicide this year. I’m also figuring that next year’s cost will be 25% higher — to kill this new mare in town.”

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa.

About the Author(s)

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac


Mike and Sheilah Reskovac are a young farming couple just starting their second year of marriage and farming together, near Uniontown, Pa. He's a first-gen farmer who met his fourth-gen farmer-bride online, and married in November 2012.

Mike grew up next to and working on his neighbor's Fayette County dairy farm through high school and college. After graduating from Penn State University in 2002 with a B.S. in Ag Systems Management, he worked as a manager at Tractor Supply stores for three years.

In 2005, he began farming his neighbor's land. Today, he and Sheilah farm 900 acres of corn and soybeans, plus do custom planting and harvesting.

Mike is president of the Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association. He also serves on the local Penn State Extension Board and is a Farm Service Agency county committee member.

Sheilah grew up on her family's Indiana County dairy farm. She graduated from DuBois Business College in 2008 with an associate's degree in Specialized Business and Medical Assistance, then worked for DuBois Regional Medical Center for four years. She also volunteered as a firefighter and EMT for the local fire company.

Since moving to Fayette County, Sheilah has been chief bookkeeper and farm assistant, along with taking classes at Penn State Fayette for Nursing. She enjoys “taking care of” groundhog problems, raking hay and mowing cornstalks.

While she enjoys cooking and baking, Mike enjoys eating the goods. Both enjoy hunting, attending concerts and county fairs, and spending time with family.

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