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The Adoption of Low-Input Turfgrasses in the Midwestern US: The Case of Fine Fescues and Tall Fescue
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Department of Agriculture Economics, Purdue University, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2023, 9(5), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9050550 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 March 2023
Revised: 6 April 2023
Accepted: 26 April 2023
Published: 3 May 2023
Fine fescues (Festuca spp.) and tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus) are low-input turfgrass species that perform well under less water, pesticides, and fertilizers when compared to commonly cultivated species in the Midwestern US. There are numerous benefits in increasing the use of low-input turfgrasses: lowering resource usage, reducing maintenance costs, improving the landscape aesthetic, and contributing to residents’ health and general wellbeing. However, increasing the market share of these grasses requires an understanding of what influences buyers to purchase these turfgrasses. These grasses are usually purchased by consumers as seed; however, sod is a preferred method of establishment for many professional end users. To better understand the economic potential of low-input turfgrass sod, we surveyed sod buyers (landscapers, golf courses, sports turf managers) who purchased sod in 2020 to investigate (1) the factors impacting them to purchase low-input turfgrasses, and (2) the factors influencing the quantity purchased of low-input turfgrasses. The results from our model showed that larger businesses are the most likely to purchase low-input turfgrasses, and, once they purchase them, they tend to acquire a larger amount than their smaller counterparts. Landscaping businesses were more likely to purchase low-input turfgrasses, and factors such as availability, distance, drought, and shade tolerance impacted the decision to purchase low-input turfgrasses. Finally, turfgrass density, the ability to purchase directly from the sod grower, and availability impacted the amount of turfgrasses that …
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