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Farm Labourer - Turf Production

Turf Farming Overview

The ‘greenhouse, nursery, floriculture and turf’ industry includes farms that seed, grow and harvest sod or turf. Different types and varieties of grasses are grown depending on the purpose or end-use of the turf, typically in a field.

  • Production generally is for residential or recreational lawns, the sports turf industry, or highway greening etc. Turf farming requires different skills sets compared to nursery and greenhouse production, as larger machinery is typically utilized. 
     

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Turf Farm Labourers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Farm Labourers are fully supervised, may operate farm machinery, and acquire skills/ knowledge through on-the-job-training. Typically, farm labourers need no formal education or prior farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • General Labourer
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Farm Labourers assist with activities relating to planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops.

  • Follow legislation and regulations 
  • Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) 
  • Apply knowledge specific to turf farming 
  • Maintain the health and safety of self and others 
  • Follow on-farm biosecurity procedures 
  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices 
  • Assist with the preparation of fields for seeding 
  • Help to seed 
  • Maintain turf 
  • Identify signs of pests and diseases 
  • Assist with turf harvest 
  • Help to prepare harvested turf for transportation 
  • Follow procedures for the disposal of wasted product 
  • Use equipment, tools and technology 
  • Assist with the maintenance of equipment and shipping supplies 
  • Maintain facilities 

What competencies are required for this job?

These competencies were identified as most important for successful job performance.

  • Agriculture Health and Safety
  • Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
  • Turf Production
  • Teamwork
  • Continous Learning
  • Initiative 
  • Interactive Communication
  • Customer Focus 

What attracts people to this job?

This job is a good starting point for people seeking temporary or long term employment. In most cases it is not necessary to have crop experience or even any formal working experience, nor is it necessary to have a high school diploma. Working as a Turf Farm Labourer:

  • gives people an opportunity to learn about operating and maintaining equipment
  • gives people an opportunity to live a rural lifestyle

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Turf Farm Labourers that gain experience and learn to perform more complex tasks and activities will become an experienced Worker. With more production experience and some training courses, they can become specialized in some aspect of turf production, or can become farm supervisors to manage a crew.

What are the typical pay rates and benefits for this job?

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for this job ranges, but tends to be hourly at minimum wage or slightly higher.