Low supply pushing up prices for popular Bermuda grass
Posted January 29, 2015
It’s not yet spring, but it is harvest time for sod.
There’s plenty of zoysia on its way to market, but it's a different story for Bermuda grass this year.
“We feel that we’re just low (on) our overall supply heading into the peak season of 2015,” said Brad Hubinek, owner of Super Sod in Raleigh.
He said the entire sod industry in the Southeast is having supply problems with the increasingly popular grass. The problems began during the recession of 2007. When construction plunged, so did the demand for sod. That’s when a lot of growers switched their fields to other crops.
Now, construction has rebounded, and so has the demand for sod. Higher sod prices are expected this season as the industry works through the shortage.
“The sod industry really follows construction very closely,” said Grady Miller, a crop scientist at North Carolina State University.
His best advice to homeowners this season is to be patient.
“But if they need grass, they may have to choose another grass other than Bermuda grass,” Miller said.
Hubinek said zoysia is a good alternative.
“Zoysia is a fantastic grass, a warm-season grass like Bermuda,” he said. “If a homeowner wants to have the best looking yard in the neighborhood, that's the option to go with.”
If only Bermuda grass will do, Hubinek says help is on the way - but not anytime soon.
“I think this time next year, it'll be quite different,” he said. “We'll be in better shape.”
Visit the North Carolina Sod Producer Association website for a list of growers and information about the types of grass and when to lay sod.