Louisiana Sod Farms in 2008

Ronald Strahan, Koske, Thomas J.  |  1/10/2008 3:22:22 AM

Harvesting a field of sod.

In 2008, 25 sod farms cultivated 4,448 acres of fine turf grasses. Sod acreage was reported up almost 400 acres from 2007. Louisiana sod farms were not located in storm-flooded areas because sustainable sod fields must drain well and have lighter soils. Gross farm value of sales was $21.6 million for Louisiana this year.

About 60% of the turf sod acreage in Louisiana is centipede grass, and about one-third St. Augustine grass. The remaining acreage is divided among, Bermudas and zoysias.

With new construction and rebuilding due to the hurricanes, Louisiana sod markets continued to experience high prices. Markets were somewhat flat in 2008 as new construction continues from hurricane recovery, but subprime housing issues softened the 2008 new house markets. Shipping costs were especially expensive in spring with record oil prices, so local sod is more competitive. Shipping costs have always been a major component of consumer sod cost. Marketing is not currently a major limiting factor.
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