Bill would create short-term driver's license
The OAN has played a key role in the creation of SB 833, which was introduced in the Oregon Legislature on Tuesday. The bill enables a new, short-term driver's license for applicants who otherwise qualify, but are unable to provide proof of legal U.S. residency. "All Oregonians, regardless of the documents they have, need the ability to participate in the local economy," said Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. "People need to pass a test, obtain a license and insurance to be on the roads. We all need to get to church, the store and work. We have worked hard to craft a bill that allows our law enforcement officials to know when they are looking at a valid driver's license." The story received coverage by the Capital Press (Salem, Ore.), Oregonian (Portland, Ore.), Associated Press and Statesman-Journal (Salem, Ore.), among other news outlets. [Read more]
ODA inspectors request two days' notice
We wanted to pass along the following email we received from Gary McAninch, nursery program manager at the Oregon Department of Agriculture: "Spring shipping is really getting busy for both the nursery industry and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). For ODA inspectors this means full days of scheduling and providing certifications for shipments going out of state and out of country. Last-minute 'emergency' certifications can be very disruptive to their schedules, which are often set several days in advance. If at all possible, please give your ODA inspector at least two working days' notice of any shipments requiring a certificate. This will give the inspector enough time to work you into their schedule. Thank you and have a great spring."
Kitzhaber signs tuition equity bill
On Tuesday, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 2787, which grants in-state college tuition rates to undocumented students, many of whom were brought to the United States by their parents. To qualify, a student must have lived in the United States for five years, and must have completed at least three years at an Oregon high school and graduated.
The OAN supported the bill because it is the right thing to do. Many of these young people were brought to the United States as infants or toddlers, and this is the only country they have ever known. The bill doesn't give them any special advantage in the admissions process, nor does it provide financial aid. "It simply gives a path, a path for the American Dream, a path for a better job, a path to become a taxpayer and to contribute to our society," Senate President Peter Courtney said.
Progress continues on comprehensive immigration reform
Members of both houses of Congress are making progress on comprehensive immigration reform proposals, according to news reports. The Washington Post reported that the Senate version of reform is likely to include a permanent agricultural worker program. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that a group of House members is developing its own version of reform, complete with three paths to citizenship. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, explained this approach in a guest editorial that ran in the Los Angeles Times. The OAN has a strong federal lobbying presence and good relationships with Oregon's delegation to Congress, and will continue to work toward the passage of comprehensive reform.
Lobbying secures Farm Bill funds for research priorities
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently announced funding for several research priorities important to nursery growers in Oregon and elsewhere. These research awards include $660,000 for boxwood blight, $385,000 for impatiens downy mildew, $100,000 for soil steaming for disinfestation, and $71,000 for mitigation of soil-borne Phytophthora. Strong advocacy by the OAN and its federal lobbyist, Louie Perry, as well as the ANLA, made a difference in ensuring that specialty crops receive due attention when research priorities are decided.
April Digger arrives in mailboxes
Be on the lookout for azalea-damaging pest this spring
There's a relatively new pest in Oregon that can damage azaleas, rhododendrons and pieris (Ericaceae). The azalea lace bug (Stephanitis pyrioides) was first confirmed in Oregon in 2009 by Oregon State University researchers after it was found in Washington in 2008. The pest becomes active in mid- to late May and early June, when it starts laying eggs, which are partially embedded in the tissue underneath leaves. Adult and immature bugs eat the leaves, leaving a yellow dot-like pattern on the surface and black fecal spots underneath. Large populations can cause azalea leaves to turn white. On rhododendrons, severe damage may look like iron chlorosis with yellow leaves and green veins. Heavy feeding can kill plants. Monitoring for the pest and dealing with it early in the season are the best defenses. The OSU Extension Service has created a fact sheet for commercial growers with information on how to control the pest and what varieties of azaleas resist it.
Expect fall mum shortage
Fides, the largest chrysanthemum producer in the world, has cancelled production for the coming season due to Agrobacterium in their mum stock. This involves millions of mum cuttings being removed off the market. As a result, new orders and resourcing may prove challenging this year.
At least two Oregon suppliers, however, said they won't be affected because they source their material elsewhere. "This won't affect us since we propagate cuttings from our current plant stock," said Ray Gray, owner of King's Mums in Oregon City, Ore.
"Fortunately, this hasn't affected me either," said Ron Iwasaki, a horticultural re-wholesaler/broker based in Hillsboro, Ore. He sources mums from U.S.-based producers such as Yoder/Greenleaf, GroLink and C. Raker & Sons, all of whom reported increased demand for mums due to this year's shortage. Their recommendation: get your orders in sooner than later.
Nursery Guide Tip:
Descriptions add personality, searchability to your profile
Welcome to a new feature in the Member Update: Nursery Guide Tips. These help you get the most out of the new Online Nursery Guide. Watch for more each week.
As an OAN member you automatically get a free profile page on NurseryGuide.com. But did you know you can easily add a company description to it? This is a great way to let your personality shine through, share information about your business, and list items in which you specialize. There is a direct SEO (search engine optimization) bonus as well: both the web in general and NurseryGuide.com specifically rely on Google search. Having extra information — and keywords that describe your business — in your description will help you get found. To add a description about your company, click on the Edit tab (between View and Manage Display) on your profile page. Scroll down to the Description text window near the bottom of the page. Type, or cut and paste your description, and click Save.
To be included in the 2013-14 print Nursery Guide book, all listings must be submitted and paid for by May 1. Log on to NurseryGuide.com and submit your listings today.
Take advantage of advertising opportunities
Be bold! Expand your visual presence and market your business with advertising in Digger and in the print OAN Nursery Guide. The upcoming Farwest Edition of Digger is the biggest of the year. The Nursery Guide is used all year long by people who are ready to buy your plants, products and services. Nursery Guide ads are due May 1 and Farwest Edition ads are due May 15. Get your message out. Contact Chris Sweet at 503-582-2012 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your ads today.
Safety Tip: Know the two types of respiratory hazards
Because you can't always see materials in the air that are dangerous to inhale, it is important to know what these substances are. This leaflet (PDF) lists the two basic types of harmful inhalants and serves as a reminder to always use the proper type of personal protective equipment for each hazard. Your nose, throat and lungs will thank you! This information is presented to you courtesy of Parlay International, SAIF, Oregon OSHA and the OAN Safety and Insurance Committee.
Register by Friday for Willamette Chapter pesticide training
The registration deadline is this Friday, April 5, for Willamette Chapter's upcoming pesticide certification meeting. You can register and pay online at www.oan.org. The meeting and dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the OGA Golf Course, 2850 Hazelnut Drive, Woodburn. Scheduled speakers include Diana M. Nisbet, territory manager for Syngenta, and Tim Lichatowich of Natural Industries. Pesticide credits have been applied for. The cost is $15 per person, and registration is limited to the first 50 people. For details, contact Victoria Ernst at Victoria.email@example.com.
♦ April 9 - Dinner Meeting
OAN reminds members: If you're not seen, you don't exist
Are you looking to stay visible and gain new customers? OAN events, publications and websites offer fantastic exposure at an excellent price. OAN members save the most, with discounted ad and sponsorship rates. Buy into multiple publications, or multiple issues of Digger, and save even more. Want the details? Download our 2013 Exposure Kit at www.oan.org/ads2013. To lock in your ads for 2013, contact Advertising and Sponsorship Account Manager Chris Sweet at 503-682-2012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.