Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Christopher Boyer

Committee Members

Kimberly Jensen, Burton English


This thesis consists of two studies focusing on analyzing cost minimizing decisions for turfgrass users in Tennessee. The first study focuses on adoption of low-input turfgrass (LIT) in segments within the greens industry, golf courses and sports turf fields. Data are from a 2014/2015 survey of golf course and sports turf field managers. The purpose of this study is to see what drives the adoption rates for a LIT, which are new variety to reduce inputs such as irrigation requirements, mowing, and other labor inputs. Turf mangers from these two industries were surveyed and a probit model was used to determine the impact of factors on LIT adoption. Findings show that about 11% of turf mangers within these industries planned to adopt a LIT within the coming three years. Planned adoption was influenced positively by expected revenue and negatively by the facility being a golf course. Estimates of potential irrigation and input use savings are provided for these two segments of Tennessee’s greens industry. The second section of this thesis is related to Tennessee homeowners. This chapter focuses on establishing an effective weed control program for the average home lawn to have total weed control while minimizing cost to control weeds. There are two objectives of the weed control program, first is to minimize total costs to control weeds in the home lawn and the second is to minimize the amount of product used to control weeds. Using linear programming, a solution is obtained that meets these two requirements. These results will be compared to an alternative, which is to hire a local company to establish and conduct the weed control program. Findings indicated that, for the average homeowner in Tennessee, it is more cost effective to establish their own weed control program and not to hire a company.

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