Mike: No two years are ever alike, and I think it’s safe to say that we hope we never have another one like 2020; although at times, it had its benefits.
Back in the spring, when COVID-19 first became a thing, the boys and I spent a lot of time working in the driveway on the planters, while Sheilah was at work. I got to experience how rewarding, and sometimes frustrating, it can be to accomplish things with a 2- and 4-year-old. I should also add in the time factor with the extra “help.”
I think some days I spent more time trying to find the tools they hid than I did working on things. However, they both loved it and learned little things, and I loved having the extra time with them.
Our planting conditions were excellent; the growing season, not so much. We had our lowest yields ever. This was a disappointment following 2019, when we had our best yields to date.
We had a lot of breakdowns. Almost every other day something was broken. The biggest culprit was an auger on top of one of the grain bins.
Sheilah: I wasn’t a fan when Mike told me he grabbed onto one of the rings on the roof of the grain bin and it broke off in his hand. I disliked it even more when he told me they had to get a welder to the top of the grain bin to weld this auger.
“Please tell me your doing this safely,” was my first statement.
Mike: I think I spent more time this year working on augers than I ever have. I’m fortunate that I have friends that always answered the call. One left his bucket truck stationed at our grain bins for the whole season. Another one came over whenever I needed help and worked out of the bucket truck to do the welding.
Sheilah: Mike and I have a list of improvements that we want to make around our farm. Not having a good crop is going to make the decisions a little harder on what we can do.
Initially, we talked about building a shed for some of our equipment, but the price of building materials went through the roof due to COVID-19. And, after the third time the auger broke, I mentioned that it might be time to start thinking about upgrades to our grain bin system instead.
Now that harvest is over, I’ll be picking up more shifts at the hospital since the COVID-19 wave is now hitting our area. This will give Mike more of a chance to see how challenging little boys can be while trying to accomplish things like laundry and cooking!
Mike: I’ll also take my turn at running to preschool and swim classes! At least crop prices are looking optimistic.
I’m sure that we are all hoping that 2021 will be a better year. Better for our families, better for our friends, better for our country and better for agriculture.
Merry Christmas, happy New Year and goodbye 2020!
Mike and Sheilah Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Check out all of their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" blogs.