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Recent Ag census provides some interesting information

July 8, 2009 -  By

By: Jim Novak, Turfgrass Producers International

The 2007 Census of Agriculture released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) earlier this year reported there were 1,881 turfgrass sod farms in operation throughout the United States at the time of the census. This number reflects an 11.4% decrease in the number of turfgrass farms when compared to the 2,124 reported in the 2002 Census.

Although the 2007 Census of Agriculture suggests a slight decrease in turfgrass farms, acres in production and turfgrass sales have consistently grown. Acres in production increased to 409,440 in 2007 as compared to the 386,504 reported in 2002. This represents nearly a 6% increase in total acres. Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) had calculated sales of $1,001,250,000 in 2002 (actual sales were not reported to the USDA in 2002); actual reported sales to the USDA for 2007 were $1,353,422,529, which represented an increase in sales of 35%.

The following chart reflects the number of turfgrass farms, acres in production and total sales from 1974 to 2007.

Census Year Turfgrass Farms Acres in Production Sales
2007 1,881 409,440 $1,353,422,529
2002 2,124 386,504 $1,001,250,000
1997 1,869 309,085 $800,694,000
1992 1,614 218,161 $471,640,000
1987 1,427 184,070 $391,635,000
1982 1,430 124,588 $210,510,000
1978 1,429 119,725 $174,240,000
1974 1,228 85,164 $97,159,000

The states of Florida (193) and Texas (164) continue to lead in the number of turfgrass farms and harvested acreage, with Georgia (103) in third place — a position previously held by the state of Alabama.

California remains the consistent leader in overall turfgrass sales, with $252,476,652. It is followed by the states of Florida, reporting $175,945,432, and Texas, which reported $99,564,546.

A series of PDFs showing a complete state-by-state breakdown that reflects the number of turfgrass sod farms, acreage and dollar sales is available by visiting www.turfgrasssod.org and clicking on Industry Resources > USDA CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE > 2007 Census of Agriculture – Turfgrass Farms.

A complete copy of the detailed census of agriculture information is available by visitingwww.agcensus.usda.gov.

About the Author:

Novak is public relations manager for Turfgrass Producers International.

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