Sod shortage hits nationwide

KIMT News 3 – The housing market is making a come back, but it may be too soon as sod farmers struggle to meet demand.

Many sod farms across the country are facing a shortage as demand begins to increase.

At Central Turf Farms in Albert Lea, they say not only was last year’s severe weather damaging to their crop, but many producers were also not prepared for such a housing boom this year.

In many cases, homeowners are being asked to be patient until fall when there’s more supply.

“Everybody is scurrying to get more planted as we are but we’re behind and one of the reasons we’re behind is because last year it was a bad year of flooding and then drought hit this whole Midwest area,” said Del Boyken, Manager of Central Turf Farms Albert Lea.

Boyken tells us, hydro-seeding is also an option many people have turned to in the midst of the shortage.

While you can still order sod, Boyken says it will cost more for homeowners because it would have to be shipped from outside our area.

“We ended up plowing sod that we could not sell and so did a lot of other people and or in the morning be good price right now so a lot of the strollers switched over and went into row crops,” said Boyken.

Boyken says with sod being as labor intensive many farms may not return to planting seeds and instead stick with the row crops.

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