Boehner getting serious about immigration reform?
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has hired a new adviser on immigration policy, and at least one journalist believes it shows a desire to get serious about reform.
Rebecca Tallent (pictured) previously served as director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force. Before that, she worked for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped negotiate the bipartisan reform package that passed in the Senate earlier this year.
Tallent recently wrote an op-ed article on how to get reform through the House of Representatives— a task that may become her first assignment in her new job.
» Immigration reform: the politics of the possible
Plant problems to watch out for this winter
Mistletoe may be a much-loved decoration during the holiday season, but it's also a plant parasite that growers should guard against. Heavy infections can cause the host to weaken and grow more slowly. Fungal, bacterial and abiotic disorders are additional plant ailments to watch for during December, according to the "December Highlights" published by Oregon State University's Plant Clinic.
» Read OSU Plant Clinic's "December Highlights"
» Read the Digger article on mistletoe (November issue)
Schrader reports progress on Farm Bill
A House-Senate conference committee is making good progress at negotiating Farm Bill differences, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader reported in a guest editorial for the Capital Press (Salem, Ore.).
According to Schrader, things are looking particularly good for horticulture and research programs. There's also a provision further restricting "hot goods" orders by the Department of Labor, in which shipped material has been held without due process.
Leaders have reportedly agreed on cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but no precise figure has come out. The House wants $40 billion in cuts, but the final figure is likely to be closer to the Senate's number of $4 billion. With the House set to adjourn for the year by Friday, a Farm Bill vote is not likely to take place until January. Congress is expected to extend the current law in the meantime.
Courtney: Driver's card 'a defining moment'
Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) expects a busy workload when the Legislature convenes for a five-week session starting on Feb. 3, he told the OAN Government Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Courtney said passing the driver's card bill in 2013 was a "heavy lift," and he expects a tough campaign when voters decide its fate in November 2014. "I think it's going to be a defining moment of how Oregon sees itself," he said.
Courtney indicated his support for other nursery priorities as well, including water supply development and tuition equity (also passed in 2013). Courtney's visit continues the OAN's method of keeping communication lines open with both political parties to best serve the interests of the industry.
Save the Date: High Desert Green Industry Conference — Feb. 12–13, 2014
The annual High Desert Green Industry Conference will be held Wednesday–Thursday, February 12–13, 2014 at the Deschutes Fair & Expo Center, 3800 S.W. Airport Way, Redmond, Ore.
This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Kathleen Wolf, research social scientist with the University of Washington. Wolf will discuss how community green spaces provide an array of health and well-being benefits; she will also talk about the valuable role played by green industry professionals who supply, design or maintain landscapes.
» Get more information
Comment on new ODA regulations by Dec. 31
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is proposing housekeeping changes to six rules related to insect and other invertebrate quarantines. ODA welcomes comments, but they must be emailed by Dec. 31 to email@example.com or mailed to:
Rule Coordinator–Sue Gooch
Oregon Dept. of Agriculture
635 Capitol St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
» Download the ODA Notice(PDF)
Exporters can qualify for significant Oregon tax savings, must apply by year-end
One of the provisions of House Bill 3601, part of the "Grand Bargain" passed by a special session of the Oregon Legislature and signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber this past October, provides additional tax-favored treatment to Oregon businesses that export goods to international markets. Oregon companies can lower state taxes by setting up an IC-DISC (Interest Charge-Domestic International Sales Corporation), but they must do so by January 1, 2014.
» Learn how to set up an IC-DISC prior to the Jan. 1 deadline
Emerald ash borer detected in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected in Essex County, Massachusetts, this past November.
As a non-native insect, EAB lacks predators to keep it in check. EAB only attacks ash trees and is responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees in the Midwest and East Coast. To date, 22 states across the country have confirmed detections of the destructive beetle. Its migration has been documented as far west as Colorado.
» Visit the emerald ash borer website
Celebrate the season with OAN chapters
The Central Oregon and Clackamas chapters are hosting holiday parties next week. Please click the links for details and to register.
Last chance to attend Online Nursery Guide hands-on training — Dec. 18
For the past month OAN has presented a series of free, hands-on training sessions. The final session will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Woodburn Nursery & Azalea (13009 McKee School Rd. NE, Woodburn).
Learn how to maximize your online Nursery Guide presence so buyers can find you. Make changes to your free company profile. Modify your plant, service and/or supply listings online at any time during the year, and more. The session will start at 9 a.m. and is scheduled until noon. You may finish in an hour or take all the time available. The goal is to get you comfortable with the site so you can easily make changes to your online profile, as well as your listings.
Bring electronic images you want to upload to your profile, including a logo and up to 10 photos. If you have a laptop, bring it to the training session; if you don't, we'll have laptops on hand. Space is limited; advance registration is advised.
» Register today!
OAN seminars at the NW Ag Show
The Oregon Association of Nurseries will present four hours of grower seminars from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the NW Ag Show, which is held at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland, Ore. Your paid seminar registration includes admission to the expo floor.
The seminar topics are "Neonicotinoids, Bees and the Buzz about Label Changes," "Pesticides and Pollinators – Risk Assessment and Management," "Brown Marmorated Stink Bug: An Emerging Threat to Oregon Agriculture," and "Ornamentals Gone Wild: The Dark Side of Old-Time Ornamentals."
» Registration is now open!
Welcome to OAN's new members
Three new companies and individuals joined the Oregon Association of Nurseries in November. To these new members, welcome!
Ship and save with OAN Trucks to Trade Shows
The OAN is coordinating trucks to ship plant material to some of the larger industry trade shows — MANTS, The Western, CENTS, and others.
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. For details, contact Jamie Fletcher, OAN membership and events coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-682-5089 (800-342-6401 toll-free).
» Download the registration form(PDF)