Ohio Turfgrass Industry Makes $4.6 Billion Economic Impact

The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF) recently released key findings from a survey conducted in 2008 to measure the impact of the turfgrass industry on Ohio’s economy. This was the first comprehensive survey of Ohio’s turfgrass industry since a 1989 survey conducted by OTF and The Ohio State University.

Overview: Commissioned by OTF and supported by The Ohio State University’s Turfgrass Science Program, this effort to estimate the economic impact of Ohio’s turfgrass industry was administered by The Strategy Team, Ltd., a Columbus-based research firm. From June through December 2008, almost 1400 interviews were completed with single-family households, lawn care service companies, golf courses, churches, school districts, sod farms, cemeteries, and others throughout Ohio.

Economic Impact of Ohio’s Turfgrass Industry: Defined to include those economic sectors and individuals directly engaged in the cultivation, sales, installation, and maintenance of over four million acres of turf / grass / lawn in Ohio, the direct economic output associated with Ohio’s turfgrass increased from 1.16 billion dollars in 1989 to 3 billion dollars in 2007. To put this latter figure into perspective, 3 billion dollars is equivalent to 54% of the 2006 cash receipts from Ohio’s agriculture commodities, including both livestock and crops.

Furthermore, Ohio’s turfgrass industry in 2007 was directly responsible for the employment of 41,808 Ohioans (full time employee equivalents) who either had turfgrass maintenance responsibilities or were employed by turfgrass-dependent organizations.

Key Findings

  • 3 billion dollars in direct economic output
  • 4.6 billion dollars in total economic output*
  • Over 41,000 employed
  • Over 4 million acres of turfgrass maintained
  • 841 million dollars spent on turfgrass maintenance supplies
  • 639 million dollars in labor costs, payroll taxes
  • 338 million dollars in contracted services

(* Indirect and induced impacts using the Bureau of Economic Analysis RIMS II multipliers for Ohio, the total estimated impact of turfgrass on Ohio’s economy is over 4.6 billion dollars and more than 60,000 jobs.)

Led by OTF, the survey was a collaborative effort among several industry organizations, including; Ohio Lawn Care Association, Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association, Ohio Sod Producers Association, and Ohio Chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association.

In conclusion, Ohio’s turfgrass industry provides not only aesthetic value but also significant economic value to the state. OTF is grateful to the many Ohioans who took the time to share information about their property or organization by completing surveys via telephone, fax, or the internet.

The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation is a 48-year old, non-profit organization dedicated to turfgrass research and education. For additional information, please contact the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation at 888-683-3445, fax 740-452-2552, or visit

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