SOURCE: The Freedonia Group, Inc.

June 28, 2005 11:35 ET

US Golf Course Consumable Demand to Reach $1.3 Billion in 2009

CLEVELAND, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 28, 2005 -- Demand for golf course consumables is forecast to increase 3.4 percent per year through 2009 to $1.3 billion. The golf course industry has undergone several years of weak performance in terms of rounds played, greens revenue generated and new course development. This performance has translated into relatively modest growth for golf course consumables through lower grounds maintenance budgets. While future growth for golf course consumables will be modest, many factors supporting growth will improve through 2009. Also, many of the pressures on the golf course industry, such as demographic changes, water supply and environmental regulations, will alter both regional demand patterns and the properties of the products required by golf courses.

Supply of new active pesticide ingredients will be limited because most golf and turf pesticides are reformulated versions of products developed for the much larger agricultural market. The success of glyphosate-resistant crops has limited the potential market for new agricultural herbicides, reducing the interest among chemical companies for developing new herbicides. While new formulations will continue to be released, it is not expected that many new active ingredients or technologies will emerge in the near future. Pesticides that are less persistent and have lower mobility will be favored in order to reduce storm water runoff and groundwater contamination. Also, more specific insecticides that are used at lower application rates will also be favored. Within the turf segment, grasses that have increased resistance to salinity will see increasing demand. The best opportunities in fertilizers are for products with organic sources of nitrogen and for liquid foliar feeding products. Growth regulators will also perform well as they help reduce mowing and the associated labor costs.

Regionally, as the population shifts, demand for golf course consumables will move from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West. Due to differing climates, these shifts will have varying effects on demand for golf course consumable products. The less humid climate in the rapidly growing regions requires fewer fungicides per course. However, the longer playing season will increase fertilizer usage per acre. Also, Florida and the remainder of the Southeast are more intensive users of herbicides, insecticides and lime than the remainder of the country.

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