USDA lifts P. ramorum regulations on non-host nurseries
In another major victory for the Oregon nursery industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it will no longer impose Phytophthora ramorum regulatory requirements for the interstate movement of non-host nursery stock from certain nurseries located in the regulated areas of California, Oregon and Washington. You can view the official announcement here. Late last year, the USDA had lifted its prenotification requirement for interstate shipments, except for nurseries that have tested positive for P. ramorum. According to Jeff Stone, OAN executive director, this most recent move puts the West Coast on equal regulatory ground with the other states.
OAN Government Relations team reports successful session
The just-completed legislative session, which adjourned Monday, was among the most successful in history for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, executive director Jeff Stone said. Several of OAN's top legislative priorities were approved. First, the OAN demonstrated support for the nursery workforce and their families by securing passage of tuition equity as well as the Oregon driver's card. These bills provide the opportunity to attend college at in-state rates and get a legal driving privilege. Then, the OAN struck a major blow for the future of the industry by securing passage of landmark new water storage bills (see item below for details). And finally, OAN lobbying efforts helped secure support for state natural resource agencies with whom the industry members have a direct relationship. These include the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the state Water Resources Department, and Oregon State University Extension.
OAN secures passage of landmark water bills
A coalition led by the Oregon Association of Nurseries has secured passage of two landmark bills that will promote the development of water supply and storage projects for agriculture and other users. Senate Bill 839 passed the House unanimously and the Senate 29-1, and will be signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber. It sets up a water supply development fund that projects can tap into if they provide certain economic and environmental benefits. It's the first time in Oregon's history that such a fund has been created. Senate Bill 5533 also passed both chambers and will be signed. It sets aside $10 million in lottery-backed funds that water supply projects can also draw upon. Knowing that adequate supplies are a big issue for water-dependent nursery growers, OAN worked closely with the governor's office, environmental groups, natural resource agencies, municipalities and other stakeholders to craft bipartisan legislation that could get across-the-board support from legislators and stakeholders. Passage of these bills was a major win for the nursery industry.
Affordable Care Act's employer mandate delayed
The Obama administration announced last week that businesses will now have until 2015 to prepare for the employer shared responsibility payments and mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employers will have one extra year to adapt their health coverage and reporting systems to meet the ACA's requirements. This also means it will be one more year before employers could face penalties for not complying. The US Treasury has released a statement on the change. The OAN is working with its health insurance provider, Leonard Adams Insurance, to help the association and its members understand and navigate the coming changes to the health coverage landscape. Watch for more information in Digger and the Member Update.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez to speak on comprehensive immigration reform
OAN members are invited to attend a community presentation by Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, one of a group of House representatives working on an immigration bill. The free event is open to the public and will take place at noon this Saturday, July 13, at Hood River Middle School, 1602 May St., Hood River, Ore. For more information, call 971-240-7414.
Black locust shows promise for biomass potential
Researchers from the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) at the University of Illinois, evaluating the biomass potential of woody crops, are taking a closer look at the black locust. "Robinia pseudoacacia is showing great potential as a biomass crop for Midwestern energy production, out-yielding the next closest species by nearly three-fold," said U of I associate professor of crop sciences Gary Kling. Read the full report here.
Farwest "speed dating" on the Demo Stage
Sometimes quick introductions are the best kind. Farwest Trade Show exhibitors have the opportunity to promote new products, services or plants to show attendees on the main show floor Demo Stage.
In a moderated session, 3–4-minute "teaser" presentations help drive traffic to exhibitor booths providing additional exposure to your target audience. Tell us what you would like to promote by completing the form for plants or products and services. Email submission forms to Crystal Cady at email@example.com; the deadline is July 31. Participation is free to selected exhibitors, but space is limited. [Note: Plants in the New Varieties Showcase are not eligible.]
Nursery Guide Tip: Search function
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.
The online Nursery Guide search function is powered by Google and search filters. If a query is made using the Custom Search box found in the upper left corner of each page on the site, Google searches the site for plant and company information based on the query. The results are based on Google algorithms, which in turn, are driven by relevance to the query. As with doing a search on Google, sometimes the results aren't what we expect. But, odds of being on the top of the list improve based on the information you include on your profile, e.g., key words in your company description and including an availability list.
Another way to find information on the site is to use the filters that you'll find by clicking on the Find Plant or Find Company Page > Find Member Companies. Results will be narrowed based on the filters selected. [More Nursery Guide Tips]
Two new online tools for measuring carbon in the soil
In 2010, the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) developed the soil carbon dataset to help producers and planners estimate the impacts of their conservation practices on soil carbon levels. Now, NRCS is rolling out two new online tools: COMET – Farm, which allows users to enter information about growing practices and receive general guidance on how to build carbon in the soil; and the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) Model, which will assist landowners with properly managing nutrients to keep a balance between soil carbon gains, production goals and impacts on water quality.
Safety Tip: Don't get caught in or between
While hauling hay, a worker stopped to change a flat wagon tire. The wagon fell, pinning the worker between the ground and the wagon. This is just one example of a caught-in/caught-between accident, and it's no place to find yourself! Take a moment and review this worksheet to learn about other potentially dangerous situations and ways to avoid getting caught in them. This information is presented to you courtesy of The Ohio State University Extension, SAIF, Oregon OSHA and the OAN Safety and Insurance Committee.
Welcome to new members of OAN
Six new companies and individuals joined the Oregon Association of Nurseries in June. To these new members, welcome!
Membership includes opportunities to market your business and save money. Our member savings calculator helps you quantify your membership return on investment. For more information, contact membership and events coordinator Jamie Fletcher at 503-582-2010.
Farwest Trade Show Nursery Tours
♦ August 20–21 - Farwest Trade Show
Farwest Trade Show Seminars
♦ August 22–24 - Farwest Trade Show
Farwest Trade Show
♦ August 22–24 - Farwest Trade Show (Show Schedule)
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 503-582-2012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.