St. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- Many farmers are calling this the worst drought in decades. Federal and state governments are responding by declaring disaster areas and making aid available. At the same time produce growers in the St. Louis area say their crops are great. But the stigma of the drought is keeping customers away.
“Business is down about 20%,” said Tom Goeke, owner of Herman’s Farm Orchard in St. Charles County. He feels bad for the major corn growers, but says the drought is actually helping his crops.
“They can’t irrigate, it’s not cost effective for them,” said Goeke. “We irrigate right through the night and everything actually looks great. We’ve got the product. We just need the customer back.”
The drought and lack of moisture keep disease down and Goeke says his tomato plants are able to put out more healthy produce. He showed us rows of tomato plants that he said would have normally turned brown this week. Instead with his well irrigation the plants will put out two more rounds of tomatoes.
News 4 has detailed the impact on the large scale corn farmers, and Goeke says the issues they have are serious with this drought. Now he’s hoping to keep spreading the word that local produce farmers like him are in a different position.
You can find out more about his farm at hermanfarm.com