Road rules: Martin County donation helps RePlay gain traction

Spring in Minnesota means that melted snow is replaced with orange road construction cones.

A necessary evil, road construction can be costly and inconvenient, but with regular maintenance the number of major projects can be minimized and the life of paved surfaces can be prolonged. RePlay, a patented road sealant product available through BioSpan Technologies, extends the life of paved asphalt surfaces by up to seven years. What’s even better is that RePlay is 88% biobased, replacing petroleum oil with soybean oil, making it non-toxic, non-polluting, CO2 negative and safe for the user.

Through wisely directed checkoff resources, the Martin County Corn and Soybean Growers, in partnership with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), are donating $5,000 to the Trimont Town Center to apply RePlay on its parking lot.

“There are several farmers on the board of the Town Center who’d heard about RePlay and wanted to use a product that utilizes something that they grow,” said Rochelle Krusemark, who sits on the Martin County Corn and Soybean board and is MSR&PC’s District 8 representative. “So, they asked us about it, and we decided that it was a good opportunity to highlight what checkoff dollars have accomplished.”

The United Soybean Board (USB) helped fund RePlay’s original research, which was first made commercially available in 2003. Since then, MSR&PC has invested checkoff dollars into promoting the product and expanding its market. In 2016, MSR&PC joined forces with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) to evaluate the effectiveness of RePlay, proving that RePlay outperformed chip-seal applications and extended the roads’ lifespan by three to eleven years.

“Between AURI and Minnesota Soybean, we continue to share the data that proves this product does extend the life of asphalt streets and roads beyond their original life span,” said MSR&PC Senior Director of Product Development & Commercialization Mike Youngerberg. “MSR&PC continues to invest in new and exciting research and development efforts because, as the world keeps changing and demand for new and innovative products increase, we want Minnesota soybean farmers to be able to profit from new markets and new opportunities,”

RePlay, created by Sheldon Chesky, works by penetrating the asphalt surface 3/4–1 1/4 inches to stop the oxidation process, preventing irritants like cracks and potholes. By taking just 30 minutes to cure, RePlay reduces moisture penetration and maintains skid resistance.

“It only makes sense to use it locally here in our community and get the word out,” Krusemark said. “Not only can soybean farmers see what their checkoff dollars are invested in, but also to get the local road authorities to use a more environmentally friendly product.”

With RePlay, a road trip without road construction can become a reality. Thanks to wise checkoff investments like Martin County Corn and Soybean Growers’ donation to Trimont Town Center, this technology is gaining traction and making headway in the commercial marketplace.

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