The Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) has noted a concerning trend following a year of unpredictable and extreme weather conditions across the UK in 2023. Members of the association have reported that the changeable weather, combined with other factors, is likely to lead to an increase in turfgrass prices in 2024.
The past year saw a spectrum of climatic challenges, from prolonged summer droughts to heavy rainfall in autumn and winter. These conditions, exacerbated by stringent chemical legislation, have led to increased disease vulnerability and impacted turfgrass harvest yields.
The Met Office has highlighted the visible effects of climate change globally, including risks to water supplies, localised flooding, altered seasonality, heat stress, and the expanding habitat range of pests – all of which are concerns for the turfgrass industry. Predictions of warmer, wetter winters, hotter, drier summers, and more frequent intense weather events add further pressure to turfgrass cultivation.
Richard Owens, Chair of the TGA, stated, “Our members are finding 2023 to be a particularly challenging year for turfgrass production. This trend is expected to continue, necessitating an industry-wide adjustment in turfgrass pricing to offset the increasing costs of production.”
In addition to weather challenges, other factors contributing to the anticipated price increase include the rising cost of fertilisers and fuel, supply chain disruptions, and the need for more sustainable growing practices. The TGA is committed to supporting its members through these challenges, advocating for industry needs, and promoting best practices in sustainable turfgrass production.