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Ongoing project

Turf industry statistics 2020-21 to 2024-25 (TU21000)

Key research provider: Turf Australia

What’s it all about?

This investment 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.

This investment follows on from the project Turf industry statistics 2017/18 to 2019/20 (TU17005).

The project completed its second year of data collection in March/April 2023. The research, conducted annually, primarily seeks to understand the scope and reach of the Australian turf industry. It is also designed to provide turf growers with benchmarkable production and pricing information to assist them in running their businesses.

Taverner Research sent an online survey link to 249 Australian turf growers, with individual follow-up links for non-responders. Turf Australia actively promoted the survey to all turf growers. The survey received 75 responses, up from 65 in the previous year. The number of farms growing sports turf and specialty grasses increased, leading to higher farm-gate revenues, except for Couch and Zoysia. Pricing remained stable or higher, except for Zoysia. Retail and trade remained the dominant sales methods. Most respondents had five or fewer full-time employees. Average square metres per full-time employee and average revenue per full-time employee declined, while the number of full-time equivalent employees and total average salaries per farm rose. 39 per cent of growers were likely to invest in their turf business in the next 12 months, and 41 per cent of owners aged 60-plus had informal succession plans. Growers expressed concerns about labour shortages, rising costs, and price-cutting.

An annual industry snapshot report is underway, and a bench-marking platform was also developed to allow growers to access their data throughout the project. When ready, information relating to the bench-marking tool and the snapshot report will be available on the Turf Australia website.

The first year of data collection is completed, representing data from the 2020-21 period.

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.

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.

An annual industry snapshot report is underway, and a bench-marking platform was also developed to allow growers to access their data over the period of the project. The bench-marking tool and the snapshot will be available on the Turf Australia statistics page when ready.

Related levy funds

This project is funded through the Hort Innovation Turf Fund using the turf R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government.