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Figuring out what works, what fails in field this summerFiguring out what works, what fails in field this summer

2 Hearts, 1 Havest: Mike and Sheilah Reskovac learn to stick with corn and soybeans.

Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

September 19, 2018

2 Min Read
FAMILY TRIP: Summer went by fast for Mike and Sheilah Reskovac, who took time out of their busy schedule to go on a trip with their kids.

Farmers are always learning, and that’s no different for Mike and Sheilah Reskovac, who decided to take a chance growing peas and hay this year.

Summer flew by for us and fall is already doing the same. This summer turned out to be a year of learning about what works and what doesn’t.

We planted peas for the second year in a row. Last year our yield was on the lower side, but we decided to give it another try. This year they were a total loss.

Mike: I mowed all the peas down today.

Sheilah: All of them?

Mike: Yep. We’re never growing peas again.

We decided to try high erucic acid rapeseed, also known as non-GMO canola. The plants were beautiful. A bright sea of yellow stood out against the new green of spring. The yield, however, was not so beautiful.

Sheilah: You spent all that time working on the canola for that?

Mike: Yeah. I’m a little disappointed.

Sheilah: I don’t think we should grow that again.

Mike: Agreed.

We’ve been making a good bit of rye straw over the past few years.

This year, with all the rain, it was hard to make. Add to that the balers seemed to keep breaking every time we would go use them. While we only make a few acres of hay a year, it wasn’t easy getting bales made between the rain and planting and spraying of the corn and soybeans.

Sheilah: We’re not hay farmers. You’re wasting all of this time trying to make a little bit of hay when you could be spraying our corn or soybeans. The hay you make doesn’t pay the bills and not getting the other crops taken care of in a timely way only hurts us.

Mike: Yeah, but it helps some.

Sheilah: We’re not hay farmers.

Mike: Understood.

On a more positive note, son No. 2 was born in late spring. Like his big brother, he is a happy and joyful little fellow. We are blessed to have both little boys, and it goes without saying that they keep us busy and on our toes!

We’re glad we experimented with these crops. Our goal was to find something to harvest early or midsummer to help with our cash flow. Unfortunately, that didn’t work the best for us, but at least we know what will and won’t work for our operation.

For now, we’ll stick with what works best: corn, soybeans and kids!

Sheilah and Mike Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Catch all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" blogs at AmericanAgriculturist.com.

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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