Most of my reader e-mail these days is about the economy. No surprise there. It has been the number one story since last fall, and will continue to be for some time.

What I’d like to know is, how is the current economy affecting you? Has your budget been cut? Have you had to lay off workers (or, have you been laid off yourself)? Are projects getting postponed?

The next issue of SportsField Management will have a special report on the sports field industry and the economy. What’s the current state of the industry, how are we coping and, most importantly, what’s the future hold?

I’d like to add your opinions to the mix. If you would, please take a few moments to answer the questions below. You can type them up in an e-mail (no need to type the question, just give me the number and the letter next to your answer: 1a, 2b, 3c, etc.).

If you’d prefer, you can photocopy the page and fax it to me at 802-748-1866. Feel free to add any comments you like. I’ll compile all of your answers and report back in our next issue.

  1. The current economic crisis has . . .
    1. Not affected my operation at all.
    2. Not been too bad so far. A few changes, but nothing big.
    3. Caused major changes in my budget and operation.
    4. Put everything on hold. We’re mowing the turf, and that’s all.

  2. Do you plan any major capital purchases in 2009—big things, like mowers, aerators, major irrigation changes or field renovations, etc.?
    1. Yes, I’ll be making some major purchases in 2009.
    2. I was going to, but those plans are now on hold.
    3. No, I was not planning any major purchases this year.
    4. Don’t know.

  3. The current economy has had the most affect on . . .
    1. Personnel, I’ve had to lay off some people/I’ve been laid off.
    2. Purchases of things like seed or sod.
    3. Purchases of chemical or other control products.
    4. Purchases of irrigation equipment.
    5. Purchases of field supplies/equipment like covers, hoses, rakes, infield mix, etc.
    6. Nothing. Things haven’t changed at all.
    7. Other: _________________________

  4. I see the economy recovering . . .
    1. Sometime this year.
    2. Not for another year or two.
    3. Down the road, maybe in four or five years.
    4. Never. Get used to it.