In Mayer, the corn is dying, but the subject won't

By Emily Hedges

In one last-ditch effort to salvage the corn growing on 16 acres of Coldwater Crossing development in Mayer, Security Bank of New Germany requested a meeting with the city to make one final plea to allow their farming tenant, Wade Thaemert, to spray the crop.

During the July 9 morning sit-down, council members agreed to hear more information that evening during the regular council meeting about the chemicals that are used to spray corn crops but gave no indication that it would lead to a different outcome.

At the council meeting, Thaemert attended with Ryan Pawelk a licensed sprayer from Waconia Farm Supply. According to Pawelk, who looked at the crop prior to the meeting, spraying at this point was futile.

"I would say it’s almost a complete loss at this point," said Pawelk. "Spray would clean up the weeds, but it’s not going to help Wade recover his losses."

He went on to explain that the only chemical that would have been used to spray the corn was basic Round-Up for the weeds, a safe spray with no carry over or soil residual. Other crops, such as alfalfa, require pesticides, but corn doesn’t.

Thaemert asked the council if better information about the chemicals might have changed their minds a month ago when the decision was made not to allow him to spray.

Council Member Erick Boder said no.

"We had a room full of people here that don’t want it," he said. "I’m hard pressed to go against that. We need to represent what the people of Mayer want."

Council Member Tice Stieve-McPadden agreed. "It probably would have made me think twice, but I wouldn’t have allowed it on that land," she said.

The final request made by Thaemert is that the city wouldn’t turn around and make him do maintenance on the property for the weeds.

"You’ve got this year to let it be what it is," said Mayor Chris Capaul. "We don’t care if there is a crop or weeds. We just don’t want the spray."

During the June 11 meeting, Thaemert was told he could not spray the field because Security Bank had no right under city ordinance to farm the land zoned as residential. The miscommunication occurred when the bank was told by city staff they could plant a cover crop for maintenance purposes.

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