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Sod Crop in High Demand Due to Drought

The heat and drought has killed many lawns in the Mid-South, making sod a very desirable crop to homeowners.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Dry weather and excessive heat has had severe impacts on Mid-South crops. Many farmers are counting significant losses from the rough summer weather. One crop, however, is surviving the heat and doing well.

Pleasant Hill Sod Farm has seen an increase in demand for sod over the last few weeks. Many lawns in the Mid-South are completely dead, leaving many folks the only option to sod their yards.

Keith Williams with Pleasant Hill Sod Farm says, "We’ve gotten a lot more calls this year than last."

Williams says Bermuda grass can withstand the hot weather, but rain could significantly help. Sod farmers haven’t completely dodged problems caused by the drought. The irrigation system at Pleasant Hill Sod Farm takes 500 gallons of expensive diesel fuel to make one pass over the crop. The farm spends around $1,200 a week on fuel alone to water the crop.

“On a normal year we would water every other week. This year we're watering every week and twice as much because of the drought,” says Williams.

The high demand from residents has helped to offset the cost of watering the sod. Pleasant Hill Sod Farm already has customers lined up to purchase sod in the fall, and since the cost of sod does not inflate with the demand, the price will be the same year-round.

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