Category Archives: Sod Associations

2019 NC Sod Production Survey

Original article written by Dr. Grady Miller, NC State University Professor

Researchers at North Carolina State University recently conducted an annual survey to examine inventory and pricing of North Carolina sod. This survey was completed in March, 2019 and a brief overview of the results can be found below along with the original article. Several U.S. states conduct annual sod surveys to assess pricing, demand, and availability and this is North Carolina’s fifth year completing this survey.

Overview

  • Supply of bermudagrass sod is similar to 2018, with most suppliers saying they have adequate supplies for their expected demand in 2019. There still may be some shortages.
  • Supply of zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass are expected to be better in 2019 compared to 2018.
  • Shortages for tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass sod were predicted for 2019.
  • This was the second consecutive year that producers predicted they could have shortages of centipedegrass sod.
  • There are expected price increases for all the turfgrass species in 2019. Of the actual prices reported for early 2019, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, and centipedegrass had the greatest increases.
  • There was a 10% increase in growers reporting that they grew certified sod.
  • Production acreage has slightly increased over 2018.
  • The primary markets for North Carolina sod producers are landscape contractors.
  • There was an uptick in sales to the sports/athletic field sector of consumers in compared to previous years.

Click the link below for the original article and full survey from NC State Extension:

2019 Georgia Sod Survey

Original article written by Dr. Clint Waltz, University of Georgia

The Georgia Urban Ag. Council conducted their twenty-fifth consecutive survey of sod producers.  The purpose of the survey was to determine the status of inventory levels and projected price changes for spring 2019.  Seventeen producers participated in the survey, representing farm sizes which were less than 300 acres (9 participants), 300 to 600 acres (3 participants), 601 to 900 acres (2 participants), and more than 900 acres (3 participants).

The survey obtained estimates of the inventory for bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and tall fescue based on estimated sales for the first five months of 2019 as excellent (more than 10% of demand), adequate (equal to demand), and poor (more than 10% shortage).  Pricing information included farm price and price for truckload orders to the Atlanta area or within 100 miles of the farm, all costs were reported as price per square foot of sod.

For the full report and original article from Dr. Clint Waltz, please refer to the link below:

TPI visits members in Tennessee, Minnesota, and Portugal

TPI staff members Karen Cooper and Casey Reynolds, PhD continue to visit with current and potential TPI members at local and regional events. On Sept 11th, 2018 Karen Cooper visited McCurdy Sod Farms for the MidSouth Turfgrass Council Field Day hosted by incoming TPI Board Member Bob McCurdy. This event was an opportunity for local and regional growers to hear discussions on a variety of farm-based research trials where Mr. McCurdy and his staff are experimenting with various products in sod production. It also allowed growers to get hands-on with sod production and interact with their peers while making new connections and re-affirming old ones. The TPI staff and board of directors also visited Willard Wagner at Wagner Sod Farms in Minnesota as part of the 2018 TPI Fall Board meeting and preview of the 2018 TPI Summer Convention and Field Days!

TPI Executive Director Casey Reynolds spoke at the European Turfgrass Producers 2018 Turf Expo in Troia, Comporta, Portugal from October 24th to 26th where ETP members gathered for a trade show, education sessions, and field day. The event began with a golf tournament the morning of October 24th at Troia Golf before lunch and the ETP General Assembly. This was followed by educational seminars from a variety of international speakers covering a wide range of topics on turfgrass management, new technologies, the environment, planting techniques, irrigation, construction, sustainability, and more.

After 2 days of indoor trade shows and seminars, ETP traveled briefly south to Novogreen Sod Farm in Comporta, Portugal to check out the latest in equipment, seed, and more. One of the interesting parts of international organizations like TPI and ETP is getting to visit and build relationships with seed and sod producers as well as industry partners from around the world. Several TPI members from the United States were also there to participate, as well as speak in seminars. Special thanks to ETP for inviting TPI and hosting a great event!

TPI Staff are on the Road!

July and August were exciting months for TPI staff as they traveled to sod producer events in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Canada to visit with turfgrass producers, promote the industry, and discuss future TPI plans and initiatives. Karen Cooper, traveled to Franksville, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Sod Producers Association (WSPA) Field day, on Thursday, July 19, at Jasperson Sod Farm where there were approximately 135 individuals from farms in  Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio, as well as vendors/representatives from about 20 different companies. Mr. Randy Jasperson, of the TPI Board of Trustees, was instrumental in organizing this event, which included many equipment demonstrations as well as open networking time and a pig-roast lunch. The event also served as a fundraiser for The Lawn Institute (TLI) as vendors and growers combined together to donate $4,400 to TLI. 

TPI Executive Director Dr. Casey Reynolds was in Galloway, Ohio on August 15th for the Ohio Sod Producers Association (OSPA) Field Day and in Edmonton, Alberta from August 21st to 24th to speak at the Alberta Sportsturf Management Field Day. Turfgrass producers from Ohio and surrounding states gathered for lunch, demos, and static exhibits at Wilson’s Turf Farm. This was a great opportunity to interact with TPI producer and supplier members as well as time to discuss new ways to collaborate. A special thanks to Mike Ward of EastGate Sod and Nancy Giles of Ward+Thornton Landscapes for organizing this event.

TPI in Canada

Eric Heuver, TPI Vice-President, hosted Dr. Reynolds with a tour of his sod farm, Olds College Turfgrass Research Program, and other facilities as well as introduced him to several local producers and TPI members. Mr. Heuver also organized a meeting of Canadian turfgrass producers in Edmonton where they enjoyed dinner, social time, and a presentation session to discuss the direction of TPI as it works to serves its members.   

TPI plans to attend events in Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee in the coming months and we hope to see you there! If your state or regional association planning an upcoming field day, please contact TPI Associate Executive Director Karen Cooper at kcooper@TurfGrassSod.org to find out how TPI can help.

TPI Vice-President Eric Heuver Speaking at Canadian Sod Growers event in Edmonton

TPI Staff Attend Local Sod Producer Events

One of the many goals of Casey Reynolds, Ph.D., and Karen Cooper when they joined the TPI staff in May was to begin attending local, regional, and national events in order to meet growers, suppliers, and others in the turfgrass industry. On July 11, they attended a joint function in Chicago hosted by the Wisconsin Sod Producers and the Sod Growers of Mid-America and were also in Texas during May for a joint meeting between Thomas Turfgrass and Sod Solutions.   

In the coming months, they will be traveling to events in Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee as well as the European Turfgrass Producers meeting. TPI will be visiting with members and non-members in all of these areas to discuss issues affecting sod producers and find out what TPI can do to help out. If you have an event in your area that you think would be beneficial, please reach out to a TPI staff member for discussion. We’d love to see you!

2017 European Turfgrass Producers Seminar & Expo

The 2017 European Turfgrass Producers Seminars and Turf Expo will be held from September 28th – 29th, 2017 in the Netherlands. This year’s meeting will consist of an intensive 2-day program of seminars at the Hotel Asteria in Venray on September 28th followed by a Turf Expo at nearby Direct Gazon sod farm in Ysselesteyn. Seminar sessions will include topics on revenue and by-products from turfgrass clippings, hybrid turf in sod farms, and more. Dr. Casey Reynolds will be attending on behalf of Turfgrass Producers International, so please feel free to reach out to him with ideas on topics for discussion or making connections while there!

Registration information can be found by clicking the link below: