of Turfgrass: Turfgrasses are the primary vegetative covers on airports, athletic fields, cemeteries, churches, commercial buildings, golf courses, home lawns, schools, parks, and roadsides. While turfgrasses are typically thought of for recreation and aesthetic value, they also provide a valuable environmental service by preventing soil erosion from wind and rain, reducing runoff from rainfall, improving soil absorption of and infiltration of water, remediation of contaminated or polluted water, fire abatement, and other beneficial environmental impacts. Additionally, turfgrass are an integral component of the landscape that positively influences human behavior characteristics like improved ability to concentrate and self-discipline.
Turfgrass Industry Size: To determine the size of the turfgrass industry in Georgia a survey was conducted in 2010 with results analyzed and published in 2012. The turfgrass and related industries contribute $7.8 billion annually to Georgia’s economy, generating over $1 billion annually to federal, state, and local tax revenues. This industry accounts for 87,000 full- and part-time jobs, the majority related to landscape maintenance. For a copy of the survey visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com and click on “2010 Turfgrass Industry Survey” in the Industry link. Other estimates suggest that at 1.8 million acres, turfgrass is clearly one of the largest agricultural commodities in the state.
Home Lawns: It is estimated there are greater than 1.25 million acres of home lawns in Georgia. In 2006, homeowners across Georgia spent about $2.77 billion annually to maintain their lawns, labor accounted for 35% of the spending. Greater than 60% of homeowners employed fertilization and weed control practices. Generally, lawns represent the largest segment based on acreage of the industry.
Professional Landscape and Turfgrass Industry: Based on the 2006 UGA survey, the professional turfgrass and landscape industry had annual economic impact of $3.7 billion and employed greater than 13,000 people.
Golf Course Industry: Based on a 2010 report commissioned by GOLF 20/20 for the Georgia Allied Golf Council and prepared by SRI International, the size of Georgia’s direct golf economy was approximately $2.4 billion. Golf brings visitors to the state, drives new construction and residential development, generates retail sales, and creates demand for goods and services. When the total economic impact of Georgia’s golf-related activities is considered, the golf industry generated approximately $5.1 billion of direct, indirect, and induced economic output, $1.5 billion of wage income, and 56,922 jobs.