ODA seeks to double pesticide fines
The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to ask state lawmakers to double the maximum fines for pesticide violations during the 2015 legislative session, according to a report published this week by Capital Press.
ODA can fine a pesticide applicator a maximum of $1,000 for a first-time offense and $2,000 for a repeat offense. The ODA wants to raise those penalty levels to $2,000 for a first-time offense and $4,000 for a repeat violation, said Katy Coba, the agency's director, during the Dec. 4 meeting of the Oregon Board of Agriculture. The agency hasn't raised the cap on pesticide fines since the 1970s and believes the increase is necessary to appropriately enforce pesticide rules.
"The Oregon Association of Nurseries believes in the importance of proper pesticide application," Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "We support this increase in the fine for improper applications, because we believe it will prevent such incidences from occurring."
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Consumer sales of live Christmas trees expected to top $1.16 billion this year
Americans are expected to top last year's sales of live Christmas trees, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, consumers spent $1.16 billion dollars last year, with the majority of trees being pre-cut and bought at lots and stores. The average cost for a live tree last year was $35.30, down from an average cost of $41.30 in 2012. Oregon is the top state in the nation for Christmas tree sales, followed by North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
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Capital Press profiles OSU plant disease detective
When growers want to know why their plants are sick, many consult OSU's Plant Clinic, led by chief diagnostician Melodie Putnam. "The plants don't lie," Putnam said in an article published this week by Capital Press.
Likening Putnam to Sherlock Holmes, the story came out a week after it was announced that OSU had received a $3 million grant to study destructive pathogens. Putnam is part of the six-person OSU team that will use the USDA grant to battle two bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhodococcus fascians, that cause severe damage to Oregon's nursery industry.
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Seasonal plant disease watch: Holly-Phytophthora leaf and twig blight
Phytophthora ilicis is a fungus-like microorganism that develops during the cool, rainy weather of fall and winter and subsides in warm, dry summer months. It may be very severe in dense orchards where air circulation is poor. In some orchards on the Oregon coast, the disease has caused almost complete defoliation and severe twig blighting, particularly on lower limbs.
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Japanese holly plants that tested positive for Phytophthora ilicis.
Photo by Lyle J. Feilmeier, Collier Arbor Care.
Watch movie promoting 'soil consciousness' for free until Dec. 12
The 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 the "International Year of Soils." The goal is to highlight the complex and dynamic relationships between water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, and the precious resource of soil. To help promote the initiative, the feature-length movie "Symphony of the Soil" was produced. It can be streamed online for free until Dec. 12.
Watch here »
Skagit Gardens hires operations manager
Mollie Hoare has rejoined the Skagit Gardens team as operations manager. She will oversee production of the grower's finished and SuperStarts!™ divisions.
After graduating from the University of Idaho, Hoare began her career as a grower at Skagit Gardens in 1986. She has also worked for Color Spot and Smith Gardens, where she ultimately assumed the role of site manager of their perennial growing facility in Marysville, Washington.
Based in Mt. Vernon, Washington, Skagit Gardens produces small plants for growers nationwide, as well as a wide selection of annual and perennial color to independent garden centers, landscape companies and hardware stores in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit their website at www.skagitgardens.com.
Scholarship available for students pursuing green industry careers
Garden Center magazine has opened the application period for its annual scholarship program. Two awards worth $2,500 each are up for grabs. The Richard Foster Award is available to students planning careers in a landscape, lawn care or horticulture business. The Stanley Zontek Award is available for students planning careers in the golf course maintenance business.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled at a recognized two- or four-year college or university working toward a degree in horticulture, turfgrass management or other field related to the green industry. Applications are due April 15, 2015, and can be downloaded at www.gardencentermag.com/horticultural-scholarship.aspx.
Next Tuesday, join OAN's Mt. Hood Chapter in celebrating the season
On Tuesday, December 16, the annual Mt. Hood Chapter Christmas Dinner will be held at the Persimmon Country Club, 500 S.E. Butler Road, Gresham, Oregon. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner, a program and a raffle. Cost is $20 per person; kids under 18 are free. Food, winter coats, blankets and toy donations will be accepted for the Boring Fire Department Snow Cap Program. To register or donate door prizes, contact Rhonda Boni-Burden at 360-693-5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited space left! Ship and save with OAN Winter Trucks to Trade Shows program
The OAN is coordinating trucks to ship plant material to some of the larger industry trade shows — MANTS, The Western, CENTS, and others — taking place this winter.
If you are an OAN member exhibiting at any of these shows and would like to send plant material via the Trucks to Trade Shows program, please complete this
reservation form (including booth number and number of pallets) and
fax/email it back to the OAN office. The early-bird deadline has passed and all prices have increased to an additional $50 per pallet. Space is limited and all reservations are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information, contact Kate Crawford, OAN event and program coordinator, at email@example.com or 503-682-5089 (800-342-6401 toll-free).
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Renew your OAN membership for 2015 — and save!
By renewing before December 31, you can skip the dues increase that's coming after the first of the year. Plus, OAN membership also comes with these benefits:
Renew online or call 503-682-5089 and pay with a credit card. We appreciate your continued support!
Renew Today! »
Emerald Empire Chapter Christmas Party
♦ December 10 - Emerald Empire Chapter Holiday Social
Mt. Hood Chapter Christmas Party
♦ December 16 - Register for the Mt. Hood Chapter Christmas Party
OAN Seminars at NW Ag Show
♦ January 28, 2015 - Registration is now open for the Northwest Agricultural Show Seminar Series
♦ July 21, 2015 - Save the date for the Mt. Hood Chapter Annual Pioneer Dinner
OAN Publications and Events: Plant your brand and watch it grow
Looking to grow your business? Want to make the most of your marketing dollar? OAN offers a full portfolio of respected publications, events and electronic media that help you reach your targets, your way. As an OAN member, you get exclusive discounts on ads and sponsorships, and you can save even more by buying into multiple publications or issues. Download our 2015 Media Kit today for all the details. To schedule your ads for 2015, contact the OAN at 503-682-5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the OAN Media Kit »