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Plant scientists have bred turfgrass varieties to create more desirable traits for long-term maintenance, appearance, utility, and resistance to abiotic and biotic stressors. As universities seek to capture revenue to cover research costs, these varieties are increasingly protected by intellectual property rights such as US plant patents and plant variety protection certificates. Producers require license to produce and sell proprietary varieties, and are required to pay royalties, impacting the types of varieties marketed for sale. Therefore, turf breeders must identify producer demand for various grass varieties, and understand their marketability. An online turfgrass preference survey with sod producers using a discrete choice experiment was conducted in Spring 2015. The design incorporated attributes such as variety, certification agency, fee structure, maintenance reduction potential, and price per square foot. Results from the analysis indicate that producers preferred genetically modified breeds and fee structures that allow producers to share the cost with the breed developers.


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