A Winter That Never Arrived: Predictions for Spring 2020

March 18, 2020 | By: Randy Tischer

If your business model was dependent on winter snow and ice removal for a source of income, now may be a great time to make some changes to it for next winter! I have all but eliminated the word “normal” from my vocabulary when talking about our weather here in Ohio. After last year’s record spring rainfall, followed by record summer heat, record drought and then record cold temperatures in November – why should I be surprised by the absence of “winter”, this winter? As a result of all of this “record breaking” weather that we received in 2019, predictions of a sod shortage by growers throughout Ohio to begin the spring of 2020 season, should be no surprise! Grass does not grow well in extreme heat and drought! Expect improvements in sod supplies as the year unfolds and seedings have time to mature.

It will be interesting to see how the Coronavirus effects the availability of many of the turf products that we have grown to rely on. Due to the outbreak of the virus, China, where many of these products are manufactured, has shut down pesticide plants in many provinces. At this time, it is getting difficult to get anything exported out of China. China is also a huge importer of American grown grass seed, but due to the virus, these shipments from America have been brought to a halt. If this continues, we may see a reduction in grass seed pricing as the huge Asian market for grass seed has come to a screeching halt. Economics 101 – Supply and demand – If the demand slows, supply builds and costs decline!

Bottom line is that Mother Nature continually reminds us who is in charge – and trying to make predictions is difficult if not impossible. The only thing that is “normal” is that nothing is “normal” anymore!