Sod Production in Pender County
Pender County has a very diverse agriculture and horticulture industry. Corn and soybean farmers manage about 32,000 acres annually and livestock – mainly pork and poultry farms – generate more than $100 million in revenue annually. Blueberry farming is also widely recognized as a Pender County ‘thing’ with Burgaw hosting the NC Blueberry Festival each year.
In addition to these crops sod production is a big part of the horticulture industry in this county but it goes largely unnoticed as something done by farmers. The economic impact of the sod industry in Pender County is difficult to measure as prices for sod varies with the species grown, the hauling cost, the demand for housing, and the availability of sod in the industry.
With COVID-19 in the news daily, I wanted to take a moment this morning and highlight this industry. I am fortunate to have sod harvesting going on in a field right across the road from my house. So with permission from the farmer – Quality Turf – I went out this morning and took a few photos of the sod harvesting operation. The photos below show the cutter, how the sod is stacked on pallets and how it is loaded on the trucks to go to the market. Its a relatively simple process but one that most people never see.
I hope you find this interesting and while we are in this ‘stay at home’ shut down I hope to share more glimpses of the agriculture and horticulture industry around the county.