See details of the proposed U.S. Sod Checkoff Program from Casey Reynolds, the Executive Director of Turfgrass Producers International.

During the Turfgrass Producers of Florida Annual Meeting and Show in February, the proposed U.S. Sod Checkoff Program was a topic of discussion. Casey Reynolds, the Executive Director of Turfgrass Producers International shared details of the proposed program on, even though “We are still likely more than a year away from an industry-wide referendum on the proposed checkoff.” See the details of the checkoff below.

Proposed U.S. Sod Checkoff Program Details

Reynolds maintained that “Checkoffs have a long, proven history of funding research and promotion of agricultural products and have been around since the 1960s,” and that “the current 22 checkoffs combined routinely raise up $1 billion each year to fund research and promotion of their products.”

Details include:

  • The proposed U.S. Sod Checkoff Program was submitted to the USDA for review in the end of 2020.
  • “The proposed program would be administered by a board of 13 sod producers with 4 producers from northern states, 5 from southern states, and 4 from transition zone states.”
  • “The proposed sod checkoff program could raise as much as $14 million or more annually to fund research and promotion of natural grass. These funds would be raised through an assessment of 1/10th of one penny per square foot of sod sold and would be submitted to the sod checkoff quarterly.”
  • “In December of 2022 we proposed new language to the USDA on these issues.  This language would:

-Allow the three highest-producing states to have first right of refusal at a board seat, and

-Would direct 50% of all funds raised in a state minus administrative costs to be set aside for funding research and promotion in that state.”

  • The checkoff is “still awaiting final approval to open up the 60-day public comment period.”

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