Weather conditions are causing headaches for area produce farmers. The heavy rains come at a crucial time, when farmer’s are in the middle of planting and harvesting delicate produce.
Brandt Robin, an experienced farmer described “sleepless nights when the weather is like this. The last time it was this bad was back in ’91, for Hurricane Andrew.”
The soaked fields are a breeding ground for disease.
“With the weather conditions that we have right now, the diseases are very prolific. You have so many different pathogens. Once the plants gets it, there is no slowing it down. It’s gone,” said Robin.
Rows of broccoli and squash have already been lost, which means Robin could lose up to two weeks worth of income.
Robin, the President of the Louisiana Fruit and Vegetable Association and co-owner of Robin Farms in Church Point sells his produce to dozens of stores and stands, including SuperOne and The Acadiana Farmer’s Market. In order to control the spread of different diseases to all 42 acres of his product, Robin has spent hours carefully spraying damaged produce with chemicals using a hose and backpack.
“If you leave these diseased leaves on the plant, it’s going to kill the whole plant,” he explained.
Robin has contained the spread of disease to all his produce, but his farm, like many others, could continue to take heavy hits it the rains do not let up during this crucial time.