Rapho Township farmer Mervin D. Shenk stretches from his tiptoes and is just about able to touch the tassels on the field corn growing in a 50-foot-wide right of way where a natural gas pipeline was buried 4 feet deep 24 years ago.
Then he walks about 10 feet out of the right of way along Esbenshade Road. The corn here towers over his head, at least 2 feet taller.
For emphasis, he grabs an ear of corn from each of the two locations. The one growing in the pipeline right of way is stunted compared to the other.
And that, he fears, will be the long reality for many farmers if 35 miles of the proposed Central Penn Line South natural gas pipeline is built through Lancaster County.