We have to admit, while 2018 added some amazing blessings and left us with great memories in our personal lives, we are glad to see it go from the farming perspective.
As we bring in 2019, we remain optimistic that this growing and harvesting season will be better than last, and, if nothing else, we’re praying that it won’t be worse.
Our hopes for 2019: less rain (we averaged over 80 inches this year); less mud; fewer breakdowns (or at least cheaper ones!); a better answer to the trade tariffs; no more moldy soybeans; and lastly, less stress (maybe we’re asking too much?).
Back in the spring, between rain showers and cold days, we worked extra hard to get all our crops in the ground in a timely manner. It seemed that our reward for that was sprouted corn and moldy soybeans that were falling out of the pod. At one time this summer, Mike believed this would be one of the best years for yield. Mother Nature had other plans.
With the wet fall and only having a nice day here or there, it made getting soybeans off extra tricky. We’re sure a lot of you were in the same position. As the harvest season got later and later, we decided we couldn’t wait on the weather to dry the beans, so we made the decision to start drying them. This led to several issues as our soybean bin and dryer are on two different farms. Our corn bins were already full, and we needed another auger, extra trucks and manpower to make drying soybeans work. That, of course, was easier said than done.
People are always asking what they can do to help or offer to lend us a hand. This year, Sheilah made me cash in on those offers. I called an out-of-town friend (thinking he might be around for Thanksgiving) and asked if he could help me out. As it turns out, he wasn’t home for Thanksgiving, but offered to come help anyhow.
Sure enough, he beat me to the farm the next morning. He filled everything up with fuel, fixed flat tires, fixed the feeder house chain (of course, when you have extra help, everything breaks!), drove the grain cart and alternated driving the truck to the farm. At the end of the day, he didn’t even want to go home.
Another friend, who is a cop, offered to help get the equipment moved from place to place. This was an extremely big help since we were able to move late at night instead of having to stop. No one has problems stopping or moving over for the combine when they see blue and red flashing lights coming their way.
Other friends would show up with food, coffee or just drive by to make sure everything was OK. Those little gestures go a long way, especially on those nights when I would be working late by myself.
So, with one of the most stressful harvesting years in the book, we are left with less income than expected, but we have no choice but to remain positive that 2019 will be a better year.
No two years have been the same in our farming career. So, here is to high yields, better prices and, maybe, just a little bit less stress!
Sheilah and Mike Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Check out all of their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" blogs.