Sept. 2 2017 03:00 AM

For Prairieview Landscaping in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, the recent lack of rain has been a problem for their maintenance work. General manager Lindy Loschen often gets calls from clients whose grass is dying. “We’ve skipped some yards altogether, and we’ve done some partial mows,” he said. “I have one place I haven’t mowed going on our third week now.” On some lawns, the land is so dry that the mowers kick up dust as they roll along.

“This has been a radical departure from the past two years, where we’ve had very wet summers,” said Jim Angel, a climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey. “It makes a big difference. I know with my own yard, there are some plants that don’t have very deep roots, that I’ve had to water quite a bit this summer. It’s not a full-blown drought, like 2012, where everything looked catastrophic, but I suspect there will be some impact.”

It’s certainly making an impact on Prairieview’s irrigation business, which is booming as clients invest in keeping the landscape alive. Loschen wishes that nature could match a precision irrigation system. “What would be ideal is if we could get rain at about seven in the evening, and stop it at about three in the morning,” he said. “That would give us the ability to work and not get washed out. We could definitely use it.”