Both shows were busy; it seems over the years we try to cram the same amount of activity that used to take 4 days into 2 days, but hey it works.
The STMA was abuzz with lots of interest in what lies ahead for the future. The seminars that are provided are always top notch, full of information and ideas for advancement of management and appeal. One thing I seemed to hear more about was intermediate ryegrass and turf type annuals for use in sports turf. It sounds like some are pushing their overseeding later into the season and need rapid germination in cool weather. They are also hoping to get a better transitioning grass in the spring without the steaminess that ryegrass can get. It made me think of Greyhound Intermediate Ryegrass, when mixed with 50% Fiji 2 Perennial Ryegrass which provides an excellent surface and the qualities that discerning managers are looking for. On another note, I saw a lot of friends from the TPI at this meeting ̶ some working the show others walking the show ̶ taking advantage of the education. Over all this is an excellent conference to deepen your knowledge of all things turf and also a great opportunity for business networking. This conference did take a turn for the worst Friday morning when ice hit San Antonio. Everything came to a standstill, within 36 hours we went from 75 degrees to freezing rain and sleet, it was a mess. But I had a great taxi driver and that managed to avoid all the stranded vehicles including the sand truck that was sideways in the road and we made our flight as scheduled.
As for the GIS in Orlando it may not be as big as it has been in the past but it is always busy. It was nice to see so many old friends and get caught up on the latest turf news. As one of Tee 2 Green’s distributors it was nice to hear all the new things happening with Lee Habrich & Lew Sharp, and to be made aware that we still have plenty of inventory of their products available. It was good to sit down with a few customers and get a sense of what is anticipated for spring and looking ahead to fall. One concern I became aware of was the fear of having a shortage of tall fescue. Rest assured Grassland can help!
We have availability of our premier products such as Patagonia and Tanzania. Another area of concern is, of course, perennial ryegrass. As for spring ‘14 supplies are extremely limited except for what was pre-booked. We should have good availability this fall with our newest genetics such as Belize and Barbados.
Over all it was a great trip and we look forward to growing relationships with our distributors. The most adventurous part of this trip was the ride home from the airport where – believe it or not – we had inches of snow in Oregon, which was not forecast when I left. And in case you were wondering, I made it home safely.