Integrating Cultural and Pest Management Practices for Sod Production
Turfgrass sod production is often compared to turfgrass management, and just as frequently compared to general agriculture and to manufacturing. Budgeting the sod operation involves forecasting sales and predicting product inventory availability. Cost control, product availability, and, ultimately, profit are dependent upon weather, and the timely and efficient use of sod production cultural practices and pest management. Pest management strategies consider that turfgrasses grown for sod usually have fewer pest problems than established turf. Disease and insect populations tend to not build up, since the turf is nearly always new and young. The process of growing turfgrass sod includes irrigation, mowing, plant nutrition, and pest management. These are simultaneous operations, and poor execution of any one of them will have a direct impact upon profit. Pest management on sod farms has long followed the canons of integrated pest management. If the turf is allowed to stress excessively, pest management can become a problem which may require pesticide application.