Turfgrass industry pumps $3 billion into Ohio

Buckeye Farm News

Ohio’s turfgrass industry is growing, providing billions of dollars in economic output for the state, according to a recently released study.

The study found that the economic output associated with Ohio’s turfgrass industry increased from $1.16 billion in 1989 to $3 billion in 2007. According to the study, $3 billion is equivalent to 54 percent of the 2006 cash receipts from Ohio’s agriculture commodities, including livestock and crops.

The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation commissioned the study with the support of Ohio State University’s Turfgrass Science Program. The Strategy Team, Ltd., a Columbus-based research firm, conducted the survey, interviewing almost 1,400 individuals, businesses, churches, school districts and other groups from June through December 2007.

“The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation had conducted the last survey in 1989 and wanted to get an update to get a handle on what’s happening today,” said Larry Antosch, Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of policy development and environmental research. “Turfgrass is a big business for Ohio.”

The survey found that more than 4 million acres of turfgrass is maintained each year, ranging from residential lawns to golf courses to recreational fields. That’s about the same amount of acres of corn and soybeans planted in 2007, Antosch said. Single-family households and golf courses contribute about 75 percent of the total output with the lawn care industry contributing about 16 percent, according to the study.

The turfgrass industry brings in an additional $1.6 billion in economic output from indirect sources. The study also found that the turfgrass industry directly employs 41,808 people and indirectly 18,442.

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