This study combines a discrete choice experiment and eye-tracking technology to investigate producers’ preferences for sod attributes including winterkill reduction, shade tolerance, drought tolerance, salinity tolerance, and maintenance cost reduction. Our study results show that sod producers valued drought tolerance the most, followed by shade tolerance, winterkill reduction, salinity tolerance, and lastly, a 10% maintenance cost reduction. Choice survey data revealed the existence of attribute non-attendance, i.e., respondents skipped some attributes, but statistical tests detected no clear evidence about the role of individuals’ attention changes on their willingness-to-accept estimates. Estimates using a scale heterogeneity multinomial logit model indicate an overall learning effect as respondents made choices in the survey. Producers’ willingness-to-accept were generally higher than consumers’ willingness-to-pay for the improved sod variety attributes, except for the drought tolerance attribute. However, the rankings for these attributes were the same between consumers and producers.
Candi Ge, Chanjin Chung, Tracy A. Boyer, and Marco Palma
Tracy A. Boyer, D. Harshanee W. Jayasekera, and Justin Q. Moss
Outdoor irrigation water conservation in the commercial sector has rarely been studied. Periodic drought stress in Oklahoma has forced utilities departments, including the City of Oklahoma City, to seek ways of conserving water in both the residential and nonresidential sectors. Most of these efforts largely targeted the residential sector. In this study, we determined the willingness of commercial businesses in the Oklahoma City metro area to participate in water conservation methods, such as installing soil moisture sensors (SMCs), installing smart irrigation controllers (SICs) for their businesses, and participating in voluntary landscape irrigation assessments (LIA). We conducted a mail survey of 3000 commercial customers in which we used contingent valuation (CV) questions to elicit the financial savings that would induce participation in an LIA or adoption of SIC [n = 381 (13.7% response)]. A subsample experimental group received detailed information about future block rate water increases. Results of the study indicate that at current water utilities rates, commercial businesses are unlikely to adopt these conservation methods, but including information about future rate hikes may induce a subset of individuals to participate.
Chanjin Chung, Tracy A. Boyer, Marco Palma, and Monika Ghimire
This study estimates potential economic impacts of developing drought- and shade-tolerant bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) turf varieties in five southern states: Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. First, estimates are provided for the market-level crop values of the newly developed two varieties for each state. Then, an economic impact analysis is conducted using an input–output model to assess additional output values (direct, indirect, and induced impacts), value added, and employment due to the new varieties. Our results indicate that the two new varieties would offer significant economic impacts for the central and eastern regions of the United States. Under the assumption of full adoption, the two new products would generate $142.4 million of total output, $91.3 million of value added, and 1258 new jobs. When a lower adoption rate is assumed at 20%, the expected economic impacts would generate $28.5 million of output, $18.3 million of value added, and 252 jobs in the region. Our findings quantify the potential economic benefits of development and adoption of new turfgrass varieties with desirable attributes for residential use. The findings suggest that researchers, producers, and policymakers continue their efforts to meet consumers’ needs, and in doing so, they will also reduce municipal water consumption in regions suited to bermudagrass varieties.
Monika Ghimire, Tracy A. Boyer, Chanjin Chung, and Justin Q. Moss
This study compares preference shares of stress-tolerant, low-maintenance, and low-cost turfgrass attributes in five states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas) in the southeastern and midsouthern United States using the discrete choice experiment (DCE) and the best–worst method (BWM). An online survey was conducted and a mixed logit model (MLM) was used to determine the homeowners’ relative preferences for turfgrass attributes. The results of a survey of 1179 household consumers indicate that the most preferred attribute using either of the methods was low maintenance cost in all the states. Although the relative importance (preference share) by the DCE and the BWM for each attribute is statistically different, both methods yield a similar preference ordering for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and saline-tolerant turf, but a different ordering for shade-tolerant and low purchase–price turf. This study provides a framework for turfgrass researchers and producers to invest and expand outreach on desirable turfgrass attributes for homeowners.