The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has issued a new rule restricting the application of any pesticide product containing dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin. These four neonicotinoids may not be applied — regardless of application method — to linden trees, basswood trees or other Tilia species.
The rule, which went into effect on February 27, 2015, supersedes label language. This means that even if a pesticide label provides directions for use on linden trees, the product can not be used on linden trees, basswood trees or other Tilia species in Oregon.
In conjunction with the new rule, ODA has published an updated list of alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides (except for acetamiprid) for landscapers. Acetamiprid, another neonicotinoid, is not impacted by the new rule.
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A federal judge in Florida last week ruled that the U.S. Department of Labor
does not have the authority to enforce H-2B regulations.
As a result, federal officials essentially shut down the H-2B program for any company that has not completed the labor certification process, the first step in seeking H-2B workers. The program is capped at 66,000 visas per year, and the landscape industry is the single-largest user of it.
AmericanHort issued an action alert, asking members of the green industry to urge federal officials to immediately resume processing H-2B prevailing wage determinations and labor certifications. "Even if you don't use the program, it hurts the whole green industry when we suffer from labor shortages resulting from bureaucratic dysfunction and visa program chaos," said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort's senior vice president in charge of public policy and government relations.
To voice your support for the H-2B program, AmericanHort recommends calling your members of Congress through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. If this issue directly affects your company, you should set up an appointment with your representative or their staff.
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All OAN members are invited to attend the first meeting of the new Membership Committee at 9 a.m. on March 13. The meeting will be held at the OAN office (29751 S.W. Town Center Loop, Wilsonville).
"I am excited that the OAN Board of Directors has seen fit to create a Membership Committee," said OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone. "For many, this is long overdue. I am truly excited about the development of this committee — so much so that I have assigned myself as the staff liaison."
OAN Past President Kristin VanHoose of Amethyst Hill Nursery will chair the committee. Also serving is Josh Robinson of Robinson Nursery, founder of the Young Nursery Professionals. Val Tancredi of the Willamette Chapter will chair a Membership Engagement Task Force that reports to the committee.
For more information and to RSVP, email email@example.com or call 503-682-5089.
As a reminder, the Oregon Association of Nurseries offers an exclusive health and dental insurance program for member companies through Leonard Adams Insurance, an independent agency endorsed by OAN.
OAN dental coverage is geared toward prevention and good overall oral health. Plans can start any month, with as few as two enrolled employees, and have tax-deductible rates as low as $36.60 per employee. There are no waiting periods for class I, II or III services, and benefits begin the first day covered.
OAN and Leonard Adams offer multiple health insurance plans through Providence Health Plan with strong benefits at competitive cost. To receive an updated quote on the new plan offerings for this year, please contact Randy Skinner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-296-0077. Leonard Adams also offers other insurance lines, including workers compensation, general liability, farm, business auto and personal.
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SAVE THE DATE: Agricultural Labor Laws Forum — March 31
This free forum is geared for agricultural labor contractors. Wage, hour, safety in transportation and housing, and field sanitation information will be provided by federal and state agencies. In addition, onsite federal contractor licensing registration will be provided if you bring your fingerprint cards. The forum will take place from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31 at Chemeketa Community College, Woodburn Campus (120 E. Lincoln St., Woodburn). There is no cost to attend, but attendees must register in advance. To reserve a spot, email email@example.com or call 503-378-4884.
Download the flyer: English | Spanish