These are challenging times for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, another week goes by and BOOM!, something worse comes up. Folks, we are living in a George Costanza Seinfeld moment right now: “Worlds are colliding!”
A few weeks ago, I visited my seed and fertilizer supplier here locally in Wisconsin. I knew there was a shortage of grass seed, I just didn’t know how bad it was until I chatted with them about it. Much of the grass seed production in the state of Oregon — where about 90% of cool-season grass seed sold in the United States is produced — was hit hard by a major drought this summer and, in some cases, their production fell victim to wildfire season as well. To think that there will be little, if any, seed available for the next growing season until the 2022 summer crop comes in (hopefully) is more than unsettling for a groundskeeper.
As I continued to chat with my seed and fertilizer supplier, we turned to how China had shutdown all exports of fertilizer that week as well and how that had a major impact on my supplier’s ability to order any fertilizer into their facility for next year. It was beginning to click in my mind just how big the challenges will be for groundskeepers next year.
These challenges are everywhere, though. At this point, no business and no individual is exempt from the supply chain issues that are plaguing this country and the world in general. The result is much less product is available and what is in supply is at a much higher price. Logistical issues nationally and internationally include: workforce issues, vaccine mandates, mandatory shutdowns or reduced work weeks, transportation & raw material, and power shortages. All of that is on top of drastically higher demand from pent up demand, back to pre-pandemic levels.
Even here at Beacon we have our supply challenges. Many of you may have already experienced some delays in shipping throughout your 2021 season. We have done everything in our power to get product shipped out to back-orders as fast as we can get it into our warehouse. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through these challenges. Believe me, we want to get it in your hands as quickly as possible.
So, normally your season ends and you figure you can coast until after the New Year before getting serious about having things lined up for 2022, right? Nope. The time to act for the 2022 season is RIGHT NOW.