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Massive widespread drought - impact on you

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    Well, answer this thread from your perspective as of last year then.
    When you didn't get a drop of rain....
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I've gone to EOW on all weekly accounts. All EOW's will probably be stretched to monthly, and probably 90% of all my accounts will not need servicing at all if we go another week without substantial rainfall. None of my accounts have irrigation, and for the most part, the lawns are too large to make watering practical.

    My revenue so far this season has been about 65% of what I did all last year, and that may be about it, if the drought worsens. Fortunately, I am in a position where it won't be a strain financially, it just means I won't be as far ahead as I would like to have been going into winter.
  3. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    What a crazy year so far! We went at least 3 weeks with no rain and temps over 100 every day. This week, we're expecting to get 3-4 inches. I wish I could send you guys in the midwest some of it.
  4. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,333

    I turned 60 this year and its the worst I have seen in the midwest. In our area most of the corn crop is toast and the rest is really bad. And it covers a pretty wide area, just not Indiana. Dont see anybody mowing hardly at all.
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,879

    Yea Texas was doing some big time crying back then. No reason for anyone to act smug. Drought can hit anywhere at anytime. Anyone of us could be in your shoes next year or the next. Last year was terrible here. Extreme heat all Summer and not much rain. Just enough rain to keep me on a 3 week schedule with the weeds. This year is even hotter but it has rain heavily at least one time every 2 weeks. We got heavy rains yesterday just before the grass started going into dormant stage. Not many can afford to water. I think most of my customers like it when their grass goes dormant and then they like to complain about the bare spots and weeds taking over. Most of my customers don't like weeds and this is why I don't like to kill their weeds. Weeds have saved me through the drought years. I get to cut the weeds every few weeks . Then there is the hedge trimming
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I have an idea. I had a gasoline surcharge when gas was above 3.74 a gallon. I am thinking of a drought surcharge.
    I am only able to mow 10% of my lawns this week. Next week it may be 5%, then I can go on vacation. Our governor has instituted an emergency order that allows farmers to divert waters of the state for irrigation. I made extra money when the spring came 5 weeks early, that buffer is about gone. I am hoping August is wet.
    I know there are many ways to deal with the income part of the mowing business, up here you won't last long charging for not mowing so contracts stating such are not a good thing. I give you guys credit that if you can swing that but no way here.
    I have been doing some mulch and odd cleans but thats about it. I have to get on with bush trimming, fert is done as my friend in Minnesota said above.
    On the bright side, I get to spend lots of time swimming with my family and doing things the we usually cant do. I am also getting things done around the house like painting and vehicle maintenance so over all I am trying to stay positive. At least I don't have to stay inside.
  7. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,025

    We were hurting bad for rain till last week, now I am sitting around waiting for things to dry out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Most of my aaccounts are irrigated, so they are watered regularly, but even those have started to grow slower in this drought. The few accounts that aren't irrigated are completely dormant, I go out to check on them to make sure they are trimmed up every week or every other week (depending on when I'm in their area), but I haven't mowed a couple since the middle of June. But like I said, most of my accounts are irrigated so I only end up skipping a handful because of the drought.

    Being part-time, I'm not so worried about the lack of money coming in from mowing. With the extra time I now have on my hands, I've been picking up extra shifts at the fire department and ambulance service, so I at least have a fairly steady paycheck coming in every week.

    I was watching the weather the other night and they said that our area has only had .03" of rain since June 18th (which was when we had our last significant amount of rain).
  9. Outlawn

    Outlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 735

    It's been rough down here. Watering is only 2x per week with city water. I have several that are still watering, but some are not. One of my accounts I only cut once last month. One of them I haven't cut since June 1. But we got a little bit yesterday and the day before. Supposed to get some more today and this evening. Keeping our fingers crossed.
  10. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    Even my irrigated stuff is growing super slow. Green yes but still many have opted to bi weekly at this point. Only a few places water twice a day 5 days a week and even those with the fert are growing slow.

    Its make signing mid season customer a pain. Did an estimate and they asked when I thought it would need mowed. A city lot with patches of lawn between street and sidewalks ......I told them to call me next month. To be honest I wouldn't doubt it if a few of them dont need it till sept/oct. Far as hurting my bottom line. Its dropped me down to just squeaking by. Hoping this fall I can do good with leaf removal.

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