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Farm Worker - 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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Similar to Labourers, Turf Farm Workers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Farm workers require minimal or no supervision; operate farm machinery and equipment; and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Typically, farm workers need some secondary school education and up to two years of occupational training or farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

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

Turf Farm Workers perform activities related to planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops.

  • Follow legislation and regulations 
  • Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Apply knowledge specific to turf farming 
  • Maintain health and safety of self and others 
  • Follow on-farm biosecurity procedures 
  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices 
  • Prepare fields for seeding 
  • Seed fields 
  • Maintain turf 
  • Apply strategies for integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Harvest turf 
  • Prepare harvested turf for transportation 
  • Follow procedures for the disposal of wasted product 
  • Use equipment, tools and technology 
  • Maintain equipment and shipping supplies 
  • Maintain facilities 

What competencies are required for this job?

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

  • Agricultural Health and Safety
  • Environmentally sustainable Work Practices
  • Turf Production 
  • Teamwork
  • Achievement Orientation
  • Equipment Tools and Maintenance
  • Attention to Detail
  • Problem Identification and Problem Solving

 

What attracts people to this job?

Workers are at the core of any farming operation – the people who actually do the work. They are also the people who are promoted to supervisory roles and/or trained to become technical specialists.

  • Turf Farm Workers who apply themselves (and complete the necessary training) may eventually move up to supervisory or technical roles.

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

In larger operations, Turf Farm Workers are often moved laterally – from one position to another within the same category. This lateral movement gives workers broader experience and prepares them for technical or supervisory roles. 

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.