2017 Summary & 2018 Update
2017 has been a successful year for Sod Solutions and the licensed growers, authorized distributors, and preferred installers of our turf brands. The robust economy created substantial growth in demand for grass in the early spring, resulting in a national shortage and price increases in most regions. The shortages continued throughout the summer with high volume sales in sports, golf, residential, and golf sectors. In September, hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck in Texas and Florida causing major damage as well as interruption to the business cycle throughout the Gulf Coast and the southeastern regions of the United States. Some parts of the country and world experienced excessive rainfall while other regions suffered from harsh drought. Even with the extremes in the weather, it was a record year for many growers finishing the year with a positive outlook for 2018. Sod Solutions’ other product brands including LawnifiTM, AmpAgronomyTM and Turf LogisticsTM all posted healthy growth.
Sod Solutions has been awarded a master license from Texas A&M and Kansas State Universities for the release of a revolutionary new medium/fine textured Zoysia grass patented under the varietal name KSUZ 0802—trademarked as InnovationTM Zoysia. Research demonstrates Innovation has equal to better cold tolerance than Meyer Zoysia and significantly better cold tolerance than ZeonTM. Innovation also exhibits billbug resistance. Multiple growers have already licensed and major expansion is expected in 2018. Additionally, Sod Solutions is excited to be working with North Carolina State, the University of Florida, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, and other partners in breeding improved grass varieties. Final testing phases will be performed in 2018. New St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda grasses will be released soon, making a major impact on growers and the turf industry in general.
Amp Agronomy’s Catalyst TechnologyTM is an innovative liquid nutrition process that reduces particle size through sonic cavitation, enabling turf grass and all plants to more efficiently and effectively take up nutrients. In addition to turf, Amp Agronomy is being used to enhance row crops, vegetables, citrus, forestry, and general farming. Amp Agronomy is the best method to deliver nutrients to plants, yet is safe and very cost effective. It’s a game changer. Sod Solutions has partnered with Florida’s largest fertilizer manufacturer, Wedgworth’s to distribute Amp Agronomy products throughout Florida. 2018 will see several additional partners added to the Amp family.
Turf Logistics is an order management and routing software solution that is having significant impact on the logistical management and efficiency of business operations on many turf farms across the industry. Turf Logistics enables sod farms to minimize errors and waste, reduce stress during the busy season, and establish better communication with customers. Over 40 turf growers will be using Turf Logistics by the end of 2018.
The forecast for 2018 remains positive in consideration of increasing production, healthy pricing, and stable demand. Sod Solutions remains committed to increasing profit for our partners though effective branding of superior turf varieties. Grasses like Palmetto® St. Augustine, EMPIRE Turf® Zoysia, and Celebration® Bermuda have reached maturity in the marketplace and are yielding a positive return for partners that have invested in producing and selling these successful brands. Latitude 36® Bermuda, NorthBridge® Bermuda, and Sunday™ Ultra Dwarf Bermuda had significant growth and success in 2017 and will have an even greater impact in 2018. Sod Solutions has added a full time representative in the northeast region this year to increase demand and build on the successes of HGT® in sports and golf.
2017 has been an incredible year for Sod Solutions and our interests. From the NFL to NCAA, from major PGA tournaments to back yard barbecues, our grasses are having a major impact on the industry with increasing demand. We at Sod Solutions are thankful to our growers and partners who work together to make this happen. We anticipate an even better 2018. We have major announcements coming up in 2018, and we look forward to a productive year.