Farmers in St. Charles at odds with heavy rain

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – All of this extreme rain is causing serious problems for many local farmers. Growers in St. Charles County are seemingly at war with water.

Drive along Highway 370 in St. Charles County and you can just how much of a problem the excessive rains bring.

It’s still a couple of weeks before the produce stand opens at Herman’s Farm in Boschertown. But making sure they will have something to sell is much more challenging this year because of all the rain.

If Tom Goeke had a choice, he’d much rather it was be too dry than too wet. He can always add water, but there is little he can do to subtract it; and moisture is maddening because wet plants can easily become diseased plants.

That’s why at Herman’s Farm they’re spraying copper on their crops at double the normal rate, trying to thwart a disease known as bacteria speck. It’s already showing up on the lower leaves of some of their tomato plants.

It is also pretty expensive to spray twice every five days instead of once, which is what they have been doing at Herman’s Farm. Goeke said if he can keep this touch of bacterial speck disease from spreading, all that rain could produce a bumper crop, saving him from having to raise his prices to cover the cost of all the extra spraying.

“It has been very challenging,” Goeke said. “It is like you are fighting Mother Nature one skirmish at a time. And you just don’t give up.”