PRODUCER UPDATE

Brazil’s Itograss Hosts Grand Field Day Showcasing Sod Solutions Varieties

In May, Sod Solutions Director of Research, Roberto Gurgel, and Executive Director of Production, Joel Lane, embarked on a journey to Brazil for the annual Itograss Field Day.

Roberto Gurgel holding a slab of Latitude 36® Bermudagrass at one of the Itograss farms.

Itograss, a dedicated Sod Solutions licensee for over 25 years, boasts an impressive presence with 20+ farms across the country. Catering not only to residential projects but also to sports fields and golf courses, Itograss has left its mark on high-profile events like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The sprawling 9,000-acre traditional sod farm operation has witnessed exponential growth throughout the nation.

The company currently grows several Sod Solutions varieties, including Geo Zoysia, Celebration® Bermudagrass, Latitude 36® Bermudagrass, Sunday™ Ultra-Dwarf Bermudagrass and its very own EMPIRE® Zoysia, which was developed there two decades ago by Gurgel, a former Itograss employee. With over 9,000 acres in production, this traditional sod farm operation has grown exponentially across the country.

On their trip, Roberto and Joel stopped at four different farms, two in the northeast part of São Paulo, near Ribeirao Preto, and the other two in the Southwest region of Vale do Ribeira, where the field day was held.

Itograss Field Day

The event gathered over 300 enthusiasts to their farm in the town of Tremembe. Centered around the spotlight varieties, Celebration Bermudagrass and Latitude 36 Bermudagrass, the Field Day featured three educational stations, each offering unique insights into the diverse forms of grass products, from regular sod pieces to big rolls, thick-cut sod and sprigs.

“I was very impressed by the high quality of production we saw at each of the Itograss farms we visited. The field day was one of the most elaborate customer field days that I have ever attended,” Joel said.

There were large tents set up with live music and lots of delicious local food and beverage for attendees to enjoy throughout the event.

“The Field Day drew a diverse audience, including prominent Brazilian soccer teams, golf course architects and designers. It was a privilege to network with everyone present and enlighten them about the wide array of Sod Solutions varieties available for their next grassing projects,” Roberto said.

Roberto, a native Brazilian, also shared that he’s enjoyed witnessing the surge of improved bermudagrass varieties there, transforming sports fields, golf courses and professional spaces alike.

The duo explored the farms, witnessing the diligent maintenance of grass varieties tailored to different regions. A mini-golf fairway and green at one location caught their attention, showcasing Itograss’s commitment to innovation. They also learned about new generation materials Itograss has been researching and crossing at their farms.

The trip also held a special significance as both Roberto and Joel have dedicated over two decades to working at Sod Solutions. They were also overwhelmed by the warm hospitality extended by Itograss during their visit and look forward to the continued partnership between Sod Solutions and Itograss.

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