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A “Regular” CAST

Jennifer Zurko

A large contingent of folks traveling on what we call “the Express Seed bus” look on and take notes while Syngenta’s Matt Blanchard presents the company’s newest Calliope Geraniums.

This year’s California Spring Trials were as close to “normal” as you can get after two pandemic years. A handful of the breeding companies we asked said that attendance was definitely up from last year’s weird year (I say that because it was during a different month and COVID was still making things weird)—especially since many international colleagues were able to make the trip.

Attendance numbers weren’t quite where they were pre-pandemic; however, most of the 30 different plant companies were showing their new varieties like it was a regular year, with more displays and vignettes than in 2021. We haven’t counted ALL of the new introductions we saw, but it sure felt like an industry that’s seen record sales during the last two years. Supply chain disruptions, inflation and labor costs are still top-of-mind for many of the attendees. But some also talked about how much the weather will affect sales—just like in regular years!   

Stay tuned to these pages, as we’ll include complete coverage of what we saw at CAST over the next several months. In the meantime, go to and look for the CAST 2022 playlist to watch our videos. And visit for all of the highlights from our Acres of buZZ! daily CAST newsletter. GT

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