Oregon Republicans and Democrats are hoping for a brief legislative session beginning Feb. 4. Previously known as a “special session,” what remains different about the effort beginning next month is that both sides are hoping to pass non-controversial measures and deal with any fiscal adjustments that require immediate attention.
There are some issues, however, that could directly impact the nursery industry. These would include the “fix” to the estate tax reform bill, codification of Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s executive order on the Oregon Driver’s License (ODL), and a bill that fell short in 2007 regarding smart water planning, which would provide state dollars to get water storage projects off the ground.
Federally, meanwhile, President George W. Bush has threatened a veto of the U.S. Farm Bill which green industry voices and the OAN hailed in December. See separate story below.
Earlier this month, OAN’s federal lobbyist attended a meeting at the White House to discuss the Farm Bill. Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Connor indicated that President George W. Bush intends to veto the legislation if Congress does not cut $15 billion and revise the tax increases.
House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and ranking Republican member Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., will meet with administration officials over the next several weeks to seek a compromise. The House and Senate versions paid for the farm bill in different ways, and all that seems to be consistent is that the president does not like either one.
The next month should provide additional clarity on a pathway to enact the Farm Bill, and Congress hopes work out the final differences by mid-March 2008.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries wants to hear from you!
Our 2008 Member Survey is your chance to share your thoughts and opinions about the issues affecting you, your business and the nursery industry. Your feedback will help OAN tailor member services to better meet your needs.
All responses will remain confidential, and results will only be presented in aggregate form. The independent market research firm Riley Research Associates will be collecting and analyzing the data.
To take the survey, browse www.oan.org/survey on the Web.
Members who cannot take the survey on the Web will be able to take a paper copy that can be returned by mail or fax instead. To request one, call the OAN office at 503-682-5089. For questions on how to complete the survey, call John Campbell at Riley Research at 503-222-4179 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture extended the comment period on a proposed rule to impose additional restrictions on the production and sale of English Ivy (Hedera helix/hibernica) and butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii/varabilia), and to add parrots feather (Myrophyllum aquaticum) and perennial peavine (Lathyrus latifolius) to the noxious weed quarantine list.
The agency provided an additional 21 days for the public to comment on proposed restrictions for English Ivy and butterfly bush. The public has until Feb. 5 to submit comments.
Officials have proposed restricting the production of all varieties of butterfly bush. Only licensed Oregon nurseries could grow butterfly bush and no plants would be allowed to go to seed, including stock plants. None could be sold in Oregon.
OAN staffers believe growers could comply with the proposal, provided the flowers on all butterfly bushes were pruned back by later September.
ODA's proposal expands the existing restriction on the production and sale of English Ivy to include all varieties, except plants intended for use in topiaries, baskets, indoor/patio pots, or floral arrangements.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is asking for the public’s help in locating invasive and noxious weeds before they get established in new areas.
Toward that end, the department has published a handy and portable loose-leaf field guide to help outdoor workers and recreationalists identify such plants.
“If people find these invasive weeds, we want to know about it,” ODA Weed Control Program Supervisor Tim Butler said. “We think this guide will help. Anything we can do to heighten the awareness of noxious weeds will help us do a better job protecting agricultural and natural resources.”
The guide includes 51 waterproof cards, each highlighting one noxious weed, complete with photo, description and other pertinent information. “(People) can throw it in their backpacks or have it in their rig for handy reference,” Butler said.
The guide was made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection service (known as APHIS). “We are the defenders of the homeland against biological invasives,” APHIS Plant Health Director for Oregon Mitch Nelson said. Anyone interested in getting a copy of the guide can call ODA's Noxious Weed Control Program at 503-986-4621.
For nurseries selling fire resistant plants, it’s not too early to start preparing for Wildfire Awareness Week, which will be May 5-12 in Oregon and Washington.
In the Pacific Northwest, fires are a natural part of the changing landscape. As homeowners continue to build in the wildland-urban interface, they must take special precautions to protect their lives, homes and property, as well as the natural resources surrounding them. One of the ways to do this is to use fire-resistive plant material in the landscape. These actions do not ensure that the home will survive a wildfire, but they substantially increase the chances.
Fire resistant plants are those that do not readily ignite from a flame or other ignition sources. These plants can be damaged or even killed by fire; however, their foliage and stems do not significantly contribute to the fuel and, therefore, the fire's intensity. They must be well maintained — watered and pruned — to keep them healthy.
Retail nurseries have an important role and opportunity in educating customers and helping them find the plants that are right for their landscapes.
A booklet, “Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes,” published by the Pacific Northwest Extension office, has color photos of the most common species as well as tips on planting. It is available as an online publication, and a hard copy of the 48-pp. publication can be ordered from the site as well.
» Download or order the booklet at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw590/
Time is running short. Pesticide users have until Jan. 31 to meet the 2007 Pesticide Use Reporting System requirements, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said.
The requirement applies to anyone using a registered pesticide or pest controlled product in the course of business, or for a government entity, or in a public place. Information from individuals is kept confidential, while overall summary data will be presented in a report to be issued in July.
PURS uses a confidential, Web-based system to accept the data: www.oregon.gov/ODA/PEST. Staff members are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to answer questions. The number to call is 503-986-6472. Questions can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you know someone interested in pursuing a horticulture degree? Encourage him or her to apply for an Oregon Nurseries Foundation scholarship. The awards, which total more than $15,000 annually, are sponsored by individuals and OAN chapters as a way to support the next generation of green industry professionals.
To access the application form and to find out more about the awards, visit http://scholarship.oan.org. Completed applications must be postmarked or delivered to the OAN office no later than April 1, 2008. Questions? Call Trish Anderson at 503-682-5089 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Businesses in Oklahoma — including nurseries, landscapers, contractors, restaurants, grocery stores and others — are losing thousands of employees and customers, due to a strict new state law, USA Today reported in a Jan. 9 cover story.
What’s more, similar legislation is being considered in a dozen other states. The story called Oklahoma House Bill 1804 “arguably the nation’s toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants.” It stated that some businesses have had to fire dozens of employees because of it, while at others, the employees have simply up and left to find work in neighboring states where they feel safer.
The Northwest Ag Show returns to the Portland Expo Center Jan. 29-31, and the OAN Seminar Series will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the nearby Jantzen Beach Red Lion Inn.
Earn one pesticide recertification credit during Bob Linderman's talk on preventing disease during the propagation stage, which follows Jim Owen on propagation media and its components. Other topics also include Roberta Gruber on legislative changes affecting nursery employers in 2008 and the ODA on money saving programs in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
This year's Yard Garden & Patio Show is going to be better than ever! We need volunteers to help distribute at the show's entrances the OAN's Guide to Oregon's Nurseries and Le Tour des Plants information to everyone attending the show.
We need at least 4 volunteers for two hour shifts Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 17. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Ann Murphy at 503-682-5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome your ideas for the semimonthly Member Update. Send them to publications manager Curt Kipp via e-mail, or call him at 503-682-5089.
Registration is open for Oregon State University Extension’s Small Farm Direct Marketing Conference, which will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the OSU Alumni Center in Corvallis, Ore.
Keynote speaker Fred Kirschenmann, farmer and Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will discuss “Small Farms: Agriculture of the Past, or Agriculture of the Future?” A field day will follow on Sunday, Feb. 17, featuring tours of farms that are growing crops in the fall, winter and early spring.
» To sign up for either day, browse http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/events. Space for Sunday in particular is limited.
Looking for a flier or topic from a past e-newsletter? You'll find links to past newsletters below, or log in to our Web site at Members Only > Member Update to view the archive.
PDF files can be viewed using Adobe Reader. If your computer does not have Adobe Reader you can download it for free from Adobe's Web site. Click on the link to the flier to view it in your Web browser. Right-click the link and choose "Save target as" (Windows) or "Download linked file" (Mac) to download the PDF to your hard drive.
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