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House approves bill creating Pollinator Health Task Force
As reported recently in the Capital Press (Salem, Ore.), a proposal to reclassify neonicotinoids as "restricted use pesticides" has been removed from a bill currently before the Oregon Legislature. The classification would have meant that only licensed applicators could use the class of chemicals. Instead, the bill calls for creation of a Pollinator Health Task Force to address the issue. Read more on the Daily Digger blog
Senate approves Farm Bill; president to sign it
The U.S. Senate approved the conference version of the $1 trillion, 10-year Farm Bill on a 68-32 bipartisan vote. The House had approved it last week, so all that's left now is for President Barack Obama to sign it, which he reportedly will do on Friday.
Passage followed more than a year of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats, largely over program costs, and how much to cut from the food stamps program. [Read more]
OSU names new head of Department of Horticulture
Bill Braunworth has been named head of the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University (OSU). Braunworth earned a doctorate in horticulture from OSU in 1986, and since 1992 has led OSU's Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Program. He has also worked as an agronomist on water use and management in Egypt and as a horticultural researcher in Malawi. [Read more]
FREE Nursery Guide listings
Every OAN member should experience the value of being a part of Nursery Guide – in print and online. Take advantage of a limited-time offer to renew your listings. Purchase at least one more Nursery Guide listing than you had in 2013 and you'll receive up to 20 FREE listings. To get this deal, renew your listings by the early bird deadline of March 31, 2014. [Details | Help Resources | Questions?]
USDA revises P. ramorum regulations
After receiving input from the OAN, AmericanHort and others, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it is revising the Phytophthora ramorum domestic regulations for nurseries located in California, Oregon and Washington. [Read more]
Oregon gets a B- in invasive species management
Oregon, as a whole, could be doing better in its fight against invasive species. That's the verdict from the Oregon Invasive Species Council (OISC), which gave the state a B-minus on its annual Invasive Species Report Card(PDF). [Read more]
OAN member briefing on ACA now available online
The Oregon Association of Nurseries recently hosted a series of four members-only briefings on the Affordable Care Act. An expert panel comprised of OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone, attorney Heidi Mason of the Jordan Ramis P.C. law firm, Randy Skinner of Leonard Adams Insurance, and Marisa O'Brien of Cover Oregon explained ACA requirements, and answered member questions. The Nov. 26 session at the OAN office was video recorded, and is now available for viewing by OAN members. To join the OAN, click here.
Boehner getting serious about immigration reform?
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has hired a new adviser on immigration policy, and at least one journalist believes it shows a desire to get serious about reform.
Rebecca Tallent (pictured) previously served as director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force. Before that, she worked for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped negotiate the bipartisan reform package that passed in the Senate earlier this year.
Tallent recently wrote an op-ed article on how to get reform through the House of Representatives— a task that may become her first assignment in her new job.
» Immigration reform: the politics of the possible
ODA announces new rules to protect pollinators
The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to lift temporary restrictions on the use of the insecticide dinotefuran, effective Dec. 24, replacing them with new label restrictions. The decision was announced last Thursday at a House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. At that meeting, OAN Past President Carson Lord, co-owner of Tree Frog Nursery, spoke to legislators on behalf of the horticulture industry. "Neonicotinoid class insecticides are very effective when used properly," he said. "In most instances, they offer a safer alternative for the workers who apply them and the people who park their cars under the trees where they are applied." The label restriction will disallow use of dinotefuran and imidacloprid on trees in the Tilia genus, which includes linden and basswood trees. The OAN considers this a positive compromise that protects the insects while still allowing safe and appropriate use of the chemicals in nursery and greenhouse production. For background information as well as specifics and resources, please read the complete story on the Daily Digger blog.