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CAST to Once Again Be “Spring” Trials

Chris Beytes

The main breeding companies that organize the California Spring/Summer Trials have agreed to move the dates of the event back to their “normal” time period of late March/early April. The decision came during a meeting at Cultivate’21. The new 2022 dates? Week 13—specifically Wednesday, March 30 to Sunday, April 3 (Easter is April 17). The 2023 dates are Wednesday, March 29 to Sunday, April 2 (Easter is April 9).

Why move it back to spring? Attendee preference. Chris Berg, Director of Marketing for Dümmen Orange and owner of BlueSkye Creative, surveyed those who attended this year’s Summer Trials and past attendees who skipped this year to learn more about what they liked or disliked about the summer timeframe. He said we could share these findings:

•  Of the survey respondents: 66% were broker sales representatives, 10% were growers for IGCs, 8% were growers for box stores, 6.6% were from IGCs, 1.3% were from box stores, and the remaining 5% or so were media, landscapers, breeders or other

• 66.6% of survey respondents attended CAST in 2021, 33.3% did not

•  Of those who didn’t attend: 54% said the time of year didn’t work, 38.5% said they were not comfortable traveling due to COVID, 3.85% said local trials were more applicable to them, and 3.85% said the trials were no longer applicable to their current job

•  Of those who attended: 75% preferred traditional marketing displays and 25% preferred in-ground plantings

• And the big question—when would you prefer to attend CAST? 67% said spring—end of March or early April, and 33% said summer—late June GT

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