Sod farming

   #1  

merlebo02

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Mississippi
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JD or Kubota
With my current job I usually only work about 20 hr/week so I have a good bit of free time.. I recently purchased 150 acres that I will be building a house on and am looking for potential income makers for the rest of the land.. Not really wanting to fool with cows so I was thinking of a sod farm.. Looking at either St Augustine, bermuda, and zoysia grasses.. I live in Ms so it is pretty hot and relatively dry but I have access to a pond to pump water or a county water supply as needed..

So, how difficult or involved is a sod farm. Is this a terrible idea?? What is the most expensive part to a sod farm? Just looking for some direction on this as I am in the medical field and know little about farming..
 
   #2  

Big Barn

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A lot will depend on the economy in your immediate area. New housing starts are always helpful. Golf course development is on the decline.

Sod farming is like any other crop. Tillage equipment and turf specific equipment will be needed. Here's one quick example for you: A USED two man operated manual stack harvester in good operating condition can probably be had for under $20 thousand dollars. A NEW auto stacking harvester would be about a quarter million dollars.

LOTS of used equipment available these days. NONE when I converted from row crop to turf in 1990.

Check out your local competition. If you think it may be feasible join TPI.
Turfgrass Producers International.

Good luck.

Terry
 
   #4  

Gary Fowler

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Lots of expense to sod farming in addition to the expensive equipment to cut the sod and stack it. Lots of lime and fertilizer needed to get a quick growth and healthy root system. Lets not forget the loss of top soil every time you harvest. I recently observed a grass farm that has been in business for at least 20 years. It had rained a lot and surrounding pastures had some standing water but the grass farm had about a foot of water all over it. The land had sunk several inched due to soil removal and now more resembled a pit.
 
   #5  

Arc weld

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It takes a lot of money because you need a lot of equipment. Then you need an irrigation system. I think the biggest thing is you have to know something about growing turf if you want to be successful. If you want to sell to golf courses and larger users, you need to have golf course quality turf. Good superintendents go through a lot of schooling. My dad was in the commercial turf equipment business for over 40 years. Set a world wide sales record for Jacobsen F20 9 gang reel mowers, the largest self propelled golf course mower ever made. Most went to sod farms. There used to be a sod farm near where I used to live and it didn't last more than 5 or 6 years because they didn't know enough about growing turf. Half the stuff they sold looked like it was cut from a swamp. On the other hand we used to ride our dirt bikes at sod farm that was started by the caretaker of a cemetery. They used all certified seed and supplied sod to Commonwealth Stadium(last CFL stadium to have natural turf) for over 25 years until the city deemed it too expensive to maintain. One of the other sod farms was upset because it never went to tender. The city wasn't taking chances on a lesser quality product and the sod they used was guaranteed. I think there's a lot more maintenance to equipment on a sod farm as well. You don't want to have a fleet of old worn out used equipment you're constantly repairing either.
 
   #6  

ABew11

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I know this post is a bit old at the point, but I work at a sod farm in Northern Georgia called NG Turf. NG Turf is a family owned and operated sod farm with more than 30 years of experience in the turfgrass industry. Launched in 1985 with just 25 acres of certified Bermudagrass in Whitesburg, Georgia, NG Turf has grown to include multiple farms throughout the state.

So we understand exactly what it takes to start a sod farm from scratch! If you ever want to talk we would be more than happy to chat about expenses, strategy, and ways forward. Contact us anytime: (770) 832-8608.
 
   #7  

Frankenkubota

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With my current job I usually only work about 20 hr/week so I have a good bit of free time.. I recently purchased 150 acres that I will be building a house on and am looking for potential income makers for the rest of the land.. Not really wanting to fool with cows so I was thinking of a sod farm.. Looking at either St Augustine, bermuda, and zoysia grasses.. I live in Ms so it is pretty hot and relatively dry but I have access to a pond to pump water or a county water supply as needed..

So, how difficult or involved is a sod farm. Is this a terrible idea?? What is the most expensive part to a sod farm? Just looking for some direction on this as I am in the medical field and know little about farming..
I looked into it in the 80s. NC State University has bookoo info on the subject, probably on line by now.

I'd grow hemp instead.
 
 
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