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Commercial turf production – variable expenses

Consult an accountant or another professional who can assist you in developing a strong financial model for your business before commencing production.

The following lists show some of the variable expenses involved in producing warm-season turf grass for sale as sod. Factors such as the species/cultivar choice and time of planting will influence production practices and therefore the costs involved.

The lists exclude marketing costs, which are normally undertaken by individual enterprises. Add-on services can include turf installation and maintenance.

Land preparation

  • herbicide pre-treatments (multiple)
  • fumigation
  • rotary hoeing – fuel/oil
  • disc harrowing – fuel/oil
  • levelling
  • fertilisers
  • labour


  • foundation sod
  • equipment – fuel/oil
  • labour


  • fertilisers
  • organic amendment, e.g. poultry litter, vermicastings
  • labour

Weed control

  • herbicides
  • mowing – fuel/oil
  • mower blades
  • labour

Pest and disease control

  • insecticides
  • fungicides
  • miticides
  • labour – spraying and monitoring


  • water charges
  • electricity – pumping
  • irrigation and pump repairs and maintenance
  • labour

Rolling (optional)

  • equipment – fuel/oil
  • labour


  • turf cutter – fuel/oil
  • turf cutter blades
  • labour – cutting and stacking
  • transport – fuel, oil, labour
  • pallet collection – labour


  • royalty payments per metre cut (licensed cultivars)
  • industry levy (per metre cut)


These are only a small selection of the publications available.

Aldous, DE, Haydu, JJ and Satterthwaite, LN 2007, ‘Economic analysis of the Australian turfgrass industry’, Project TU06004, Horticulture Australia Limited.

Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation 2009, Prospects for Queensland’s Primary Industries 2009-2010, Queensland Government, Brisbane.

Beard, JB 1973, ‘Turfgrass: Science and culture’, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA.

Handreck, KA and Black, ND 2002, ‘Growing media for ornamental plants and turf’, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.

Spencer, J 2002, ‘The definitive guide to Australian turfgrass pesticide management’, Glenvale Publications, Melbourne.

Turgeon, AJ 2008, ‘Turfgrass management’, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA.

Other organisations


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