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Rain Tough on Some Industries

Rain Tough on Some Industries



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John Daley ReportingFrom Utah's golf courses to its roads, all over the state we're feeling the impact of all the rain we've been getting. John Daley checked in with one business that finds it must constantly adjust to the weather.

Folks in agriculture, landscaping, nurseries, businesses like that are deeply in tune with what's going on with Mother Nature. For years they've been grappling with drought, then this spring an abundance of moisture.

Utah's extreme weather can be fun, or fast-moving and fascinating, but consider the fate of the farmer -- lately analyzing dark clouds above with a mix of fear, frustration and intense forethought.

Warren Bell, Biograss Sod Farms: "We're glad to have the rain, we're happy to have the moisture. But in between the storms, it's made it really difficult."

Warren Bell's business is the Biograss sod farm. Trouble is, until today, there's been too much rain to harvest, to cut the sod for delivery to customers like nurseries and golf courses.

Warren Bell, Biograss Sod Farms: "We're firing up the tractors right now. And we're getting ready to go out and meet that customer demand. We've got a lot of anxious customers that are on waiting lists and when the sun's shining we're making the best of it."

As Utahns begin to focus on water use and some turn to xeric landscapes, Biograss is developing its own water-wise alternatives--wildflower and native sods. What's more, they've had to adjust the way they tend and water their fields. Well-water gets more sandy the lower the watertable falls clogging irrigation equipment. Water from their other source, Utah Lake, has become more salty as the drought has worsened.

Heavy rain is a hassle, but on the whole they'll take it.

Warren Bell, Biograss Sod Farms: "To be faced with a seventh or eighth consecutive year of drought, I'll take this blessing any way that it comes."

Landscaping is a one billion industry in Utah. Worst case scenario for them would be a summer without summer, where the rain never lets up, or one with no rain. A sunny summer with one decent rainstorm each week would suit them just fine.

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