Local businesses fight with the cold


As we have just past the mid mark through April, many of us are wondering if spring or summer will ever arrive. April of 2018 has been the coldest April since 1975 and not only is it a problem for anyone who has seen enough of snow but also for businesses across the corridor. The Sag Wagon, a bar along the Cedar River actually lost their outdoor bar and patio area to the strong winds of the past week. Their beautiful patio view onto the city and river can only be enjoyed if you are willing to remove the snow. A problem for a bar that normally sees its busiest time right around April.

"It's been pretty challenging," Monica Pfremmer, a bartender at the Sag Wagon says." Last year around this time, we had lots of people in, this year has been pretty slow. We are just going to hope mother nature gives us a break and gives us some nice weather."

At the Cedar River Garden Center snow covered plants are being prepared to eventually head to a new home. When that's going to be, no one is really sure. With snow and ice and fluctuating temperatures, many hobby gardeners put off buying new plants or seeding their existing ones.

"It's a hurry up and wait season, it was very warm very early so we were doing the best we could to try to get caught up and then things started to slow down with the weather," Heather Sage a Landscape Designer at Cedar River said. "We have actually called some of our growers and asked them to hold off on our trucks but at the same time they have to get their plant material moving as well."

Scott Rathje farms a couple of hundred acres of crop ground and feeds cattle throughout the seasons. For him, the cold weather means a drastic change of plans when it comes to the timing of harvest, as well as yield results. Because seeds are being put in the ground much later, it will take them longer to grow. And while the moisture is a good thing for soil, it will create significantly more work for farmers in the long run, since they have to wait for later in the season to harvest. For cattle it means more bedding and it could potentially be a difference in height and weight for some. The real danger however lies in fluctuating temperatures.

"The ups and downs on the temperature. One day it's warm, the other it's cold. It takes more sick cattle," Rathje said.

One tip however when it comes to dealing with the weather?

"Be patient with mother nature," Sage said before returning to lending a helping hand in finding spots for her plants.

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