Big changes coming to EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced numerous changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which was last updated in 1992.
In August, the Oregon Association of Nurseries submitted comments to the EPA opposing many of the new requirements.
"The EPA failed to adequately justify the need for many of the proposed changes," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "The federal agency woefully underestimates the regulatory cost burdens, including worker training intervals, verification and reporting requirements."
Despite the opposition from many agricultural groups, the EPA is proceeding with the new rules. Most of the new, more stringent requirements are expected to take effect in December 2016, or 14 months after publication in the Federal Register (expected in October). This is to give farmers time to adjust.
However, the biggest change is mandatory training to inform farmworkers of the required protections every year, rather than the current standard of every five years. That requirement will take effect a year later than the others. This will allow the EPA and state agencies such as the Oregon Department of Agriculture time to develop training materials.
Other changes address pesticide exposure, record keeping, anti-retaliation provisions and personal protective equipment. The new rules do continue exemptions for farm owners and immediate family, with an expanded definition of immediate family.
As additional details on the new rules emerge, the OAN will continue to keep members informed. For a fact sheet on the changes, click here. (PDF) For a "before vs. after" chart on the changes, click here. (PDF)
The 2015 Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook has been revised and is now available for purchase. The comprehensive guide to weed management covers biological weed control agents, pesticide safety and disposal, agrichemicals and their properties, and control of problem weeds.
The handbook is updated quarterly. The June 2015 revision includes updates in the sections on forestry and hybrid cottonwoods; nursery, greenhouse and bulb crops; professional landscape maintenance; home garden and landscape management; and pasture and rangeland. The nearly 600-page handbook sells for $60 and can be purchased directly from the OSU Extension.
Rules and regulations for cannabis farming to be discussed at Oct. 14 meeting
The Oregon Farm Bureau and the Oregon Association of Nurseries will present two informational sessions on cannabis production for farmers. The first session will run from 9 a.m.–noon on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and a second will be held from 1–4 p.m. that day. Both sessions will be at the Salem Armory (2320 17th Street, NE, Salem).
Attendees will learn about the current regulatory environment for growing cannabis in Oregon, including pesticides, lab regulation, water rights, ag water quality, land use, ag waste management and agribusiness energy framework.
Reservations and inquiries must be directed to Jenny Dresler at Oregon Farm Bureau, email@example.com, by Oct. 12.
New ODA strategic plan hopes to address current challenges
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is drawing up a new strategic plan to guide the agency's activities now and into the future, according to a report published this week by Capital Press. The most recent version of the strategic plan was completed before ODA Director Katy Coba was appointed in 2003.
Some of the challenges cited include the difficult coexistence among different types of agriculture, water quality concerns, and the need to expand outreach efforts and to develop future leaders.
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for making the nursery industry better? Our industry is made up of an incredible group of hardworking people constantly driven to improve their business, help their neighbors and contribute to our shared success. The OAN awards process is designed to recognize these people in a variety of categories, but we need your help to identify them!
The official OAN awards nomination form is available here: (Online | PDF). Completed forms must be returned no later than October 9, 2015. Your OAN Awards committee will review every nomination as a critical aspect of the selection process.
OktoberPest 2015 kicks off with ash whitefly information session on Oct. 8
Ash whitefly, a pest of numerous ornamental and fruit crops that has been seen swarming around the Willamette Valley lately, will be the focus of the first of four OktoberPest workshops.
The workshops will take place every Thursday in October starting Oct. 8 and be held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (15210 NE Miley Rd., Aurora).
"[Ash whitefly] could be a shipment contaminant pest and directly damaging pest on different hosts," OSU Extension entomologist Robin Rosetta said. "Growers should look at host lists and expand from there to monitor."
There is no cost to attend the session on ash whitefly. To register, contact Jan Egli at 503-678-1264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following this session, topics will range from optimizing sanitation (Oct. 15); advanced insect biological control for nurseries (Oct. 22); and strategies to protect pollinators (Oct. 29).
Invasive Species Conference coming to Vancouver, Canada on Oct. 19–22
The North American Invasive Species Management Association will hold its annual conference October 19–22 in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to a great lineup of speakers and topics, the association will host on the final day a session on biocontrol, including information on agents currently being researched for a variety of weed species. The full agenda and registration information can be found at www.naisma.org.
Get the 'wet and wild' winter forecast at OAN Willamette Chapter meeting
Meteorologist Phil Volker of ERF Company will share his insights into the upcoming weather season at a luncheon meeting of the OAN Willamette Chapter. Attendees will congregate at 10:30 a.m. on October 20 at the Days Inn Black Bear Conference Center (1600 Motor Court NE, Salem, Oregon).
According to some weather forecasters, this upcoming winter could bring the "Godzilla" of El Niños. That means much-needed rain could drench California and the Pacific Northwest, while Australia could suffer from drought, and other parts of the world might experience other highly disruptive weather events. The last truly massive El Niño appeared in 1997–98 and caused an estimated $35 billion in destruction and more than 23,000 deaths around the world.
Cost to attend the meeting is $25. You can register online or mail your meeting fee to Dave Malcolm, 1511 SW Skyline Blvd., Portland, OR 97221. Please make checks payable to Willamette Chapter. For questions, contact Denece Messenger at 503-510-4029.
Register today for First Aid and Adult CPR training classes
The OAN Safety and Insurance Committee is presenting First Aid and Adult CPR training classes in October, as a service to members and the industry.
Successful completion results in certification that is good for two years. The classes teach adult CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). The First Aid portion covers medical, injury and environmental emergencies as well as how to handle minor situations. Each class runs from 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Classes are offered in Hillsboro, Boring and Wilsonville. Some are taught in English and others in Spanish. Check the OAN website for specific dates and locations. The cost is $42 for first-time or expired certifications and $32 for renewals. Register and pay at www.oan.org, or call Debbie Hopkins at 503-682-5089.
Save the dates for the two-day 2015 OAN Annual Convention — Nov. 13–14
The annual OAN Convention will expand to a two-day format this year and will take place Friday–Saturday, Nov. 13–14, at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon. This year's theme will be "Friends in Growin' Places," a reference to nurseries as well as the current economic rebound.
The agenda includes the return of the hospitality suites reception on Friday evening, the Annual Membership Business Meeting and General Session on Saturday, and the President's Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. There will be optional golf on Sunday as well.
For more information, watch www.oan.org/convention and your mailbox for details on the schedule, registration and room reservations. If interested in becoming a convention sponsor, contact Jeff Stone at 503-682-5089 or email@example.com.
OSU's Plant Disease Diagnosis online short course begins Oct. 6
OSU's Plant Disease Diagnosis Certificate is a self-paced, online course that equips landscape professionals, gardeners and farmers with a framework to diagnose and promptly treat plant problems. You'll receive personalized feedback from OSU horticulturalist Neil Bell, who continually refreshes this nine-week course to address current issues in plant management. Continuing education credits are available for professional landscapers.
Sign up now through December 3 for Winter Trucks to Trade Shows program
The 2016 winter trade shows are fast approaching! To help get you there, the Oregon Association of Nurseries is continuing its Trucks to Trade Shows program for members as an optional benefit.
OAN members can ship plant material to the key nursery events held in January and February across the country — MANTS, The Western, CENTS and others — at economical, less-than-load rates. This form has the per pallet prices for shipping to each of the seven shows the OAN will ship to. You must pay in advance and in full for the pallet(s) you wish to send. The deadline to sign up for is December 3. Questions? Contact Mellissa Sumner at 503-582-2010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our range of respected publications and engaging events provide valuable opportunities to strategically deliver your message and help achieve your sales and marketing goals. From print to digital to in person at the Farwest Show, we can help you find the best way to reach key nursery industry decision-makers through advertising and sponsorship. And as an OAN member you receive exclusive discounts and can save even more with our frequency discount for multiple ads. Download our 2016 Media Kit for all the details and contact Blair Thompson at 503-582-2012 or email@example.com to discuss how OAN advertising and sponsorship can help your business grow.