Rain causing fertilizer frenzy in Central Texas

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 1:36 AM CDT
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HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) - Local fertilizer companies say they’ve been slammed this week as customers try to get fertilizer on the ground ahead of the rain.

“Been pretty busy,” said Beau Blackshear, Owner & CEO of Virkim Fertilizer & Chemical in Hewitt. “Wouldn’t mind a couple slow days just getting a good soak on everything.”

The recent rain is not nearly enough to pull Central Texas out of a drought, but with bits of green sprouting up, it is enough to give people hope.

“Everybody sees a little bit of hope in there now compared to the drought we’ve been in for so long,” said Blackshear.

As a result, local fertilizer companies have been extra busy this week ahead of another rare round of rainfall.

“The rain is way better than anything your sprinkler can do, and having it down there at least it can start working and get soaked in a lot better and be more available for your grass,” said Blackshear.

Many of the employees at Virkim were out making deliveries Tuesday as business has been up this week by between 30 and 40 percent, Blackshear says.

From municipalities and school districts, to golf courses and farmers...everyone has been trying to get fertilizer on the ground to make the most of the scarce moisture.

“Everybody wants to get it down before the rain, especially a lot of the places that don’t have irrigation, if you’re doing bigger properties, stuff like that, that need to get it down when this is your one chance,” said Blackshear.

For farmers, the situation is dire.

The lack of rain has been drying up tanks, causing cattle to get stuck in mud or troughs as they try to get water--and their food is also running out.

If farmers don’t get grass growing, they won’t have enough hay to cut to feed their animals through the winter.

“It’s been tough with a lot of the cattle people with the hay and not being able to get as many cut ins as they like, and especially the price of fertilizer,” said Blackshear.

Despite the drought and prices, Blackshear recommends people fertilize sooner rather than later.

“Your yard has been stressed-out this whole summer with how little of rain we’ve got and even with the watering restrictions and running your water at night,” said Blackshear. “With this rain, it should be perking back up, and definitely giving it some more nutrients now before it goes down for the Fall, because a lot of people will kind of just say ‘oh, I’ll wait ‘til next Spring,’ and then you’re going to be dealing with a way bigger issue then.”