Turf Research: Establishing Better Lawns for People and the Environment
Friday, February 17, 2017
Posted by: Jim Calkins
It has been estimated that there are nearly 42 million acres of lawn in the United States which accounts for 1.9% of the land area in the country. In Minnesota, the proportion of land dedicated to turfgrass is similar to that for the country as a whole – about 785,000 acres or just over 1.5% of the land area. Interestingly, in Minnesota, and all but nine states (Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming), it is estimated that turfgrass is the leader as an irrigated crop based on acreage; more than the top irrigated crops combined including corn, forage crops, soybeans, orchard and vineyard crops, cotton, pastureland, and wheat. Needless to say, managed turfgrass is an important commodity from a horticultural perspective and a significant component of managed landscapes where turf serves a variety of important functions including aesthetics, erosion control, and carbon sequestration just to name a few. At the same time, maintaining a healthy lawn requires significant and increasingly expensive inputs including water, fertilizer, energy, and labor and these requirements and their impacts on budgets and potential impacts on the environment have caused some to question the value of lawns in designed landscapes. Read full article.