Concerns surrounding the recent outbreak of the coronavirus have cancelled the California Spring Trials lineup. CAST is an annual week-long event held in various locations throughout the state of California that showcases the newest plant varieties, outdoor trials, new merchandising and signage products and much more.
See the following timeline for more information on each stop's cancellation:
Syngenta Flowers, Sakata Seed America and Griffin Greenhouse Supplies pulled out of the event on Wednesday citing concerns about the health and safety of employees, their families and customers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 12,10:17 a.m. EST: In a statement issued early Thursday, Dutch breeder Beekenkamp announced that it is no longer participating in the 2020 California Spring Trials.
March 12, 12:00 p.m. EST: PlantHaven International has canceled its stop after California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement calling for the cancellation or postponement of non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people. "Needless to say, this leaves us no choice but to cancel our California Spring Trials event in Santa Barbara," said CEO Robert Bett in an email.
March 12, 1:33 p.m. EST: American Takii has become the latest breeder to withdraw from CAST. HilverdaFlorist was also scheduled to showcase at the Takii stop, but they also will not be attending. Schoneveld has also canceled and will not be participating in the event.
March 12, 1:40 p.m. EST: Ball Horticultural currently still plans on hosting its CAST stop. According to a spokesperson, they expect a "very low turn out," but still have plants and displays for any attendees who make it out to their stop in Santa Paula, California, barring any decrees that limit public events in Ventura County. To date, there have been two confirmed cases in the county.
March 12, 2:00 p.m. EST: Green Fuse Botanicals and its partners, Westhoff, Shoneveld Breeding, One Floral Group and T.O. Plastics have pulled out of CAST as well, citing concerns about the coronavirus and the safety of its employees. Green Fuse Botanicals will compile digital presentations of its 2020-2021 introductions in order to showcase its breeding lines. Skagit Horticulture also announced its cancellation as part of its shared site with PlantHaven International.
March 12, 2:37 p.m. EST: Speedling is closing Breeders Avenue "out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of all involved." The company says it doesn't take the action lightly, but wants to limit exposure in the interest of everyone's health. 2020 exhibitors at Speedling include Hem Genetics, Plant Source International, Ameriseed, Vista Farms, Beacon Hemp and Lambert Peat Moss.
March 12, 3:26 p.m. EST: Suntory Flowers is the latest breeder to pull out of CAST. Suntory shared its site with PlantHaven, who pulled out earlier in the day. Per a Terra Nova representative, the company is "still going, but considering all of its options."
March 12, 3:47 p.m. EST: Due to rising concerns about COVID-19, Suncrest Nurseries has canceled its CAST stop for 2020. "This decision was made with heavy heart but necessary for public and personal safety for all of our visitors and exhibitors/host," said a company representative. Exhibitors for this stop include Cohen Nurseries, Hishtil Nurseries, Jaldety Nursery, Kamel Plastic Pots and Nir Nurseries.
March 12, 4:30 p.m. EST: Benary is also no longer participating, according to a statement. Danziger has also exited the event. "In light of the current events concerning the spread of COVID-19 in North America and around the world, Danziger and Headstart have made the decision cancel their participation in CAST 2020," Danziger's announcement states. "The health of our customers and employees is our top priority in this rapidly evolving situation."
March 12, 6:26 p.m. EST: Pacific Plug & Liner has cancelled its stop, including
March 12, 6:26 p.m. EST: Pacific Plug & Liner has cancelled its stop, includingQuality Cuttings Team, Plant Development Services, Terra Nova Nurseries, Flamingo Holland, Berger, Klassman-Deilmann and Concept Plants. The company says it is working on "alternative means of showcasing the product that was expected to be displayed" at the event.
March 12, 9:48 p.m. EST: Windmill Nurseries has cancelled its stop. "Kientzler, J. Berry Nursery, Dramm Corporation, Smithers Oasis look forward to welcoming our visitors at Spring Trials next year," an organizer for Windmill Nurseries said.
March 13, 9:36 a.m. EST: Dümmen Orange is no longer participating in Spring Trials. The company is in the process of producing a series of videos that will highlight all Dümmen Orange products that were originally scheduled to be shown during Spring Trials.
March 16, 11:00 a.m. EST: Syngenta Flowers has announced it is hosting a 'digital Spring experience" from March 30 to April 1. Interested parties can register here.
March 16, 3:36 p.m. EST: On Monday, Ball Horticultural announced that was pulling out of CAST and canceling its stop in Santa Paula, California.
"Decisions progressed quite rapidly late last week from both a state and federal level, and the company is now working on virtual means of educating the industry on its new products," a company spokesperson said in an email.
Check back here for the latest news and updates surrounding the event.