Sodco, one of the largest sod producers in New England is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The farm services all of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the rest of New England with sod delivery as well as installation services.
Sodco was among the first sod farms to use Turf Logistics, a sod industry software that manages order entry, harvest assignment, logistics and supports e-commerce integration for sod farms.
Alicia Pearson, a sales representative for the business for nearly a decade now, explains how Turf Logistics has changed their company operations.
“I’ve been using it for five or six years now every day and it’s just a completely different experience. We were on a very old, carbon print system before so to go from that to Turf Logistics, it was so nice. We would never think about going back,” Pearson said.
She expressed Sodco is extremely satisfied with the software and the work that the Turf Logistics team puts into making continuous updates to improve it. “They’re always looking for ways to make our lives a little bit easier.”
Sodco uses the software for order entries, QuickBooks Sync for invoices and Turf Logistics truck routing. Recently, they started using the harvester applications and they plan to get more iPads and tablets soon for their drivers to use the trucking app.
“It’s just such a great incredible program. You can sign in online from your house or on a tablet or anywhere. It’s just very, very nice,” Pearson added.
Pearson said it’s comforting to know Turf Logistics could help continue normal operations if they needed to work remotely. “We would still be able to harvest and get the trucks out. It wouldn’t cripple us as much as it might have 10 years ago,” she said.
Sod Solutions also created Sodco’s new website, which launched the first week of May 2021.
“We have been toying with the idea of updating the website for a while now. The price we got from our current website company versus what Sod Solutions was going to provide us with and the fact that Sod Solutions is connected to Turf Logistics, it kind of was a no-brainer for me,” Pearson said.
She said the decision to have the site rebuilt by Sod Solutions was easy when they realized they’d have the ability to market their products online and have their own eCommerce program that will seamlessly transfer the orders right to Turf Logistics.
Pearson said she and her co-workers are very excited about how nice the new site looks compared to their old website.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with the Sod Solutions team whether it’s on the backend, for the website creation or anything. It’s reassuring to have that relationship and know they’re only one call away. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she said.
The current owner of Sodco is Linda Tucker. Her father was a potato farmer and eventually turned the land into a sod farm. Sodco is the longest continuous acre farm in Rhode Island with 526 acres. The business is still family-run, as Tucker’s son Dawson Hodgson took over when she retired.
Pearson said there is something about the beauty of pulling into work each day. Sodco’s driveways are lined with trees that change colors with each season.
“The trees lining the driveway and beautiful green fields, it’s just hard to describe. It is hard to come to work angry,” she said.
Sodco is the only farm in the country growing Microclover™ Black Beauty, a zero-fertilizer sod. The tall fescue bluegrass, ryegrass blend has just under 2% the seed rate of microclover. It has appeared on the home improvement and remodeling show called “This Old House” several times now, which caused an overwhelming number of orders for Sodco.
Pearson explained they had inquiries from California, Texas and all over about the variety, but they primarily ship within the New England area and Westchester County. She also explained it is not a product meant for everyone as you can’t put weed control on it and the clovers are the built-in fertilization. Microclover is considered extremely low maintenance.
To learn more about Sodco and their additional varieties click here.
This article was written by Cecilia Brown.