Laying the groundwork for the next generation of turf leaders


  • Australian turf industry to benefit from the $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.
  • Turf Producers Australia Ltd will receive $50,000 to develop leaders.
  • Part of the Coalition Government’s 2016 election commitment for a stronger agricultural sector.


The Australian turf industry is set to benefit from the Coalition Government’s $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, said the funding would support the future development of industry leaders for this important industry.

“The Coalition Government is investing in the next generation of leaders in the turf industry to help drive future growth,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“Developing and expanding the turf industry leadership capacity and expertise will be key to taking this industry forward.

“We are supporting the turf industry’s goals through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, with $50,000 to send potential leaders on leadership courses run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

“Undertaking targeted training through these highly-regarded providers will assist these organisations in the development of their leadership capability and capacity.

“This leadership development will assist the turf industry to advocate for its 250 turf growers who produce $300 million worth of turf.

“We want to ensure Turf Producers Australia is able to advocate agricultural and rural issues, and champion their industries’ priorities to the wider community and across government.

“This is an important project that will have a lasting impact on the turf industry. It will help leadership development upskill the current turf industry leaders.

“As well as developing leaders within the industry, this funding will help grow links within the industry.”


Fast Facts

  • The Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was announced as part of the Australian Government’s policy for a Stronger Agricultural Sector.
  • It aims to support efforts to develop leadership capacity within the agricultural industries to enhance the ability of emerging agricultural leaders to advocate agricultural commodity priorities and drive trade opportunities.
  • Funding supports projects with a wide representation across the sector, from large and well-established industries to smaller and emerging industries.
  • Australia’s turf production industry is substantial and growing, with around 4400 hectares of turf under production at any time.*
  • There are approximately 250 turf production businesses throughout the country, producing an estimated $300 million worth of turf (farmgate value) annually.*
  • The turf maintenance sector is valued at over $500 million per annum and services more than 10,000 prepared turf surfaces throughout the country.*
  • Turf production in Queensland represents 38 per cent of the national total, while New South Wales represents 33 per cent, Victoria 15 per cent, Western Australia 11 per cent and together South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory produce an estimated 3 per cent.*


* Data sourced from Turf Producers Australia.


Media contact

Jennifer Cahill 0472 840 320


TURFBREED announcement deliver’s positive change to turf industry

TURFBREED Pty Ltd is excited to announce the acquisition of the renowned turf division of Ozbreed Pty Ltd.

TURFBREED’s managing director Steve Burt (pictured below) said: “Ozbreed had created a solid platform from which to build on; our business has developed and acquired an impressive portfolio of turf brands that are well known throughout Australia.”

Mr Burt added that “…TURFBREED was pleased to be entering an industry which was enjoying solid growth”.

TURFBREED will initially be meeting all turf growers and industry personnel to identify ideas and opportunities.

“Our aim is to promote your (the grower’s) growth,” Mr Burt stressed.

Ozbreed owner, Todd Layt welcomed TURFBREED to the turf industry adding that: “They are a professional group of agribusiness people who are keen to take the company to the next level. TURFBREED’s passionate growers will have access to new turf genetics as well as our existing impressive portfolio of brands.”

Ozbreed, which is based in Sydney, New South Wales, while exiting the turf business will continue to manage its existing range of native plants, and carry-on investing in research and development.

TURFBREED’s aim is to focus on building demand for the varieties it owns and, ensuring it can increase the number of customers to its growers’ businesses.

“This demand and growth will stem from TURFBREED’s marketing programs for the existing lawn varieties and by continuing to research new genetics that we believe can build a sustainable, profitable business for our growers,” Mr Burt said.

As well as providing grower support and branding in the marketplace, Mr Burt explained how “… our growers’ success was our success”.

TURFBREED will consult with all growers and together identify opportunities to enhance their businesses. “We want to learn from what works, and what more we can do for them,” he said.

TURFBREED business development officers Ann McKeon, a horticulturalist, and Andrew Gill, an agronomist, both have 30 years each experience and will liaise with growers, retailers, specifiers and industry bodies to continue to promote and grow the established brands.

In closing, Mr Burt said: “He wanted to thank the Layt family, not only for their professionalism during the sale process, but equally for the foundations laid that TURFBREED will now continue to grow.”

Mr Burt advised that as of Monday 13th November, 2017, the Ozbreed Turf Division becomes TURFBREED and all past and future rights and obligations held under existing agreements with Ozbreed are transferred to TURFBREED.

“Our business is turf. Our mission is positive outcomes. Our advantage is our people,” Mr Burt concluded.

For more information on TURFBREED contact Managing Director, Steve Burt: M: 0419 007398 E: W:


Australia’s crop production down, following a record-breaking 2016-17

Coming off the back of a record-breaking 2016-17, winter crop production is forecast to drop by 33 per cent in 2017–18 to 40.1 million tonnes, due largely to an assumed fall in average yields.

According to the Australian crop report, released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the season opening was mixed, with total area planted to winter crops forecast to fall by around 1 per cent in 2017–18 to 22.5 million hectares.

Acting ABARES Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said that with the expected falls in average yields, wheat production is forecast to fall by 31 per cent to 24.2 million tonnes and barley is tipped to decrease by 39 per cent to 8.1 million tonnes.

“While down on the record production of 2016-17, the latest estimates still paint a positive picture for Australia’s cropping sector, with winter crop production forecast to be around the five year average to 2015-16,” Mr Gooday said.

“While the area planted to cereal crops is expected to decrease, the area planted to chickpeas and lentils is forecast to increase.

“The area planted to canola is also forecast to rise in all major producing states, largely reflecting favourable expected returns compared with wheat, oats and barley.”

Mr Gooday added that autumn rainfall was generally favourable in cropping regions in eastern states, which resulted in favourable levels of soil moisture in these regions.

“On the flip side, autumn rainfall was below average in most cropping regions in Western Australia and some key cropping regions in South Australia, which led to unfavourable planting conditions during autumn and early winter in these regions,” Mr Gooday said.

Among other crops, oats production is forecast to decrease by 38 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes and chickpea production is forecast to decrease by 24 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes.

The June edition of the Australian crop report is available at ABARES Publications.


The cycle of personal resilience

The importance of mental health or, personal resilience, will be a key agenda item at Turf Australia’s national conference this June.

The two-day event from June 5 to 7 will be held in the New South Wales (NSW) Hunter Valley and includes James Greenshields from the Centre for Resilient Leadership presenting his program ‘Put Your Hand Up’. James will specifically addresses the importance of knowing about, understanding, identifying and assisting good mental health in yourself, colleagues and employees.

James has had 17 years of experience as a military officer, including commanding front line soldiers in combat in Afghanistan, before he became the Co-Founder and Director of the Resilient Leaders Foundation eight years ago.

He will address the fact that: “Managing staff on a turf farm and soldiers in a combat zone might seem worlds apart but there are some distinct similarities in ensuring everyone does their job to the best of their ability.”

James stressed that he wanted to help growers identify and then understand issues which cause turbulence in their life (stress) both personally and professionally.

“I want them to be able to take home strategies to make them more efficient and effective in both areas,” he said.

“This is important, because how we approach any situation determines the outcomes. When we are clouded or confused, often that outcome will reflect that. The turf industry consists of many family-based organisation, so there is no divide between the personal and the professional section.

“Therefore without strategies to deal with stresses in these areas more difficulties will subsequently follow – and both the personal and professional life will be impacted.”

James stressed it was not easy to ask for help or know that you needed guidance in certain areas.

“Not only that, partners of husband or wives, are constantly frustrated,” he said.

“There needs to be a happy medium – so my aim is to show delegates the personal and professional way forward.”

For more information visit or T: (02) 4588 5735



Top comedian Sean Woodland to be key speaker at Turf Australia’s conference dinner next week

After an extensive search Turf Australia is happy to announce that stand-up comedian, Sean Woodland will be the key Conference Dinner speaker next Monday night. Sean has been captivating audiences around Australia and abroad. His material is endearingly relevant as he reveals about comical truths from his own, varied experiences.

Sean has won the Quest for the Best, Australia’s richest comedy competition, and the iconic Crows Nest Hotel comedy competition and was runner-up in the nationally acclaimed Green Faces comedy competition.

Book now for next week’s Turf Australia conference which includes an excellent program of speakers and activities as well as the induction of industry members into the Hall of Fame and a Turf Australia Charity Auction.