The turf industry is benefitting from access to accurate and reliable data through a levy-funded statistics and benchmarking program.
The investment Turf industry statistics 2020/21 to 2024/25(TU21000) is tasked with providing accurate and reliable data for the turf industry. This information – including value, volume and other benchmarking statistics – is intended to allow turf growers and the broader industry to make timely and effective decisions in planning and resource prioritisation, as well as track market trends and industry performance.
Data is collected through annual production surveys coordinated by the Turf Australia team and state-based turf bodies. Growers who have participated in the surveys will be able to compare their performance over the five-year period to both industry benchmarks and historical data through an online benchmarking platform.
In April 2022, the first year of data was collected. Overall results for 2020/21 showed that reduced production and value were recorded for 2020/21 when compared to the previous year (2019/20). A reduction of 2.6 per cent for production and 3.8 per cent for sales were recorded.
An annual industry snapshot is available on the Turf Australia website (https://www.turfaustralia.com.au/). The project team noted that the challenges of significant floods in early 2021 and COVID lockdown through this period likely have some impact on the recorded figures.
Meet Renee Davidson, turf grower from Jimboomba Turf in South-East Queensland
Jimboomba Turf was established in 1973 and Renee’s family have owned and run the business since 1981. They are a founding member of the industry organisation Lawn Solutions Australia, and they grow premium varieties in South-East Queensland including TifTuf Bermuda, Sir Grange Zoysia, Sir Walter DNA certified and winter green varieties.
What challenges and opportunities are you facing?
“We’re currently experiencing the challenge of rising production costs such as fuel and fertiliser, as well as labour shortages that are being felt across south-east Queensland and the rest of the country. However, south-east Queensland is in the middle of a building boom and with new houses comes the planting of turf. We’re expecting strong sales in spring this year if the rain stays away. The recent floods and consistent wet weather has impacted turf production, as well as the quality of people’s backyard lawns.”
How has the statistics program helped you in your business?
“The turf statistics snapshot report is a great resource for our business and a good place to start when thinking about how our business is performing. It is valuable to be able to compare our production and practices against our local competitors and other state’s production systems. It is enlightening to see average prices as well as turf farm staffing levels.
Are there any insights that you found particularly useful for your business?
“Jimboomba Turf are leveraging the information provided to identify which market segments we should be targeting with our supply of premium turf. We are currently shifting a portion of our business to focus on targeting the retail segment and moving away from high volume but low margin segments. This report shows we’re on the right path – in the 2020/21 snapshot report it showed that in Queensland and Northern Territory, 42 per cent of growers sell direct to consumers, 36 per cent to trade (landscapers and turf installers), 11 per cent to wholesale, seven per cent to turf re-sellers, and four per cent to Government.”
Why is this project important for the turf industry?
“This program provides an important resource for the turf industry. There are some aspects that needs to be fine tuned to ensure it continues to meet growers needs and is able to provide the data needed to continuously improve the industry. The information equips Jimboomba Turf with the information needed to investigate our production efficiencies – I will most definitely be reading next year’s report for the updated insights and information.”
“South-east Queensland is in the middle of a building boom and with new houses comes the planting of turf. We’re expecting strong sales in spring this year if the rain stays away.” Renee Davidson, south-east Queensland turf grower