Planting seeds for a company’s growth

Maybe the grass can really be greener.

A Richmond-based seed and fertilizer company has launched a new firm that applies the fertilizer and pesticides for parks, ball fields and golf courses.

The main challenge for Agronomic Business Solutions is getting county governments to outsource those duties to their crew.

“The municipal budgets are still in disarray, and I’ve heard from about every municipality that until they get their final number, they can’t do anything,” said Ned Herod, who runs Herod Seeds and started ABS.

When Herod pitched the concept to Henrico, the county was reluctant to outsource, he said.

Herod has already brought the idea to Dinwiddie County and a host of other counties across Virginia and says he can save them on time and materials.

ABS has specialized equipment, Herod said.

“We have a GPS unit onboard and can do [the job] with 30- or 40-foot swaths,” he said.

Herod Seeds, which has 25 employees, also supplies materials to golf courses, but that has been a challenging business lately. Some are having a hard time paying their bills and a few are not even paying at all.

The fertilizer application business should be more stable, Herod said, because municipalities don’t want to let turf quality suffer even though they have severe budget shortfalls.

“They don’t want a situation where little Johnny got a broken leg because of a clunky and horrible ball field,” he said. “Safety is too big of a priority for the counties.”

Aaron Kremer is the BizSense editor. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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