Oregon horticultural sales hit $932 million for 2014
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has released its new 2014 Census of Horticultural Specialties, which was the first taken since 2009. The massive, 583-page document contains national as well as state-by-state data for various industry sectors as well as individual plant genuses.
Topline figures show that U.S. growers sold $13.8 billion in horticultural specialty crops in 2014, up from $11.7 billion in 2009 and $10.6 billion in 1998.
The numbers placed Oregon as the number three state in the country for sales of horticultural specialty crops, with $932 million, behind California ($2.9 billion) and Florida ($1.8 billion), but well ahead of Michigan ($645 million), Texas ($594 million), North Carolina ($571 million), Ohio ($392 million), Arizona ($388 million), Washington ($366 million) and New Jersey ($355 million).
Within the broad category of horticultural specialty crops, nursery stock was Oregon's strongest sector with $484 million in sales, good for third in the nation behind California and Florida. Other areas of strength included Christmas trees ($126 million, 1st); annual bedding and garden plants ($80 million, 11th); propagative horticultural materials, bareroot and unfinished plants ($71 million, 4th); vegetable seeds ($25 million, 2nd) and "other" ($32 million).
Oregon growers were tops in the nation in coniferous evergreens ($129 million), deciduous shade trees ($114 million) and deciduous flowering trees ($50 million).
USDA Census of Horticultural Specialties
Omnibus spending bill expands number of H-2B visas
The U.S. Congress on Friday
approved a new $1.14 trillion omnibus spending measure which will avert a government shutdown and allow financial peace through most of 2016. A variety of related measures and trade-offs were included in order to gain the necessary votes from members of both parties to pass the bill.
Among the tradeoffs: Congress approved language expected to dramatically increase the number of H-2B guest worker visas granted for workers in jobs considered non-agricultural, including landscaping. A last ditch effort by anti-immigration conservatives to remove this provision failed. That's good news for program users, as the available visas are always immediately snapped up on the day they become available.
Republicans also attempted to insert rider language to block the EPA's controversial new Waters of the U.S. Rule. That rule, opposed by OAN and AmericanHort among many others, is currently on hold due to a federal court order.
Register-Guard calls for "safe harbor" on sick-leave compliance
The Eugene Register-Guard published an editorial critical of the way the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has handled the roll-out of the state's new sick-leave law. Oregon, unlike other states that have passed similar legislation, did not include a "safe harbor" clause that would protect employers from civil suits for at least the first couple of months, "to give them time to get their feet under them."
The article also points out that employers were given just 22 days to sort out the new legislation, "with little or no help from the state." Employers must implement the rules by January 1, 2016. Seminars explaining the new rules, offered to employers by BOLI, require a fee and many are already full.
Four employer groups, including the Oregon Association of Nurseries, Oregon Farm Bureau, Associated Oregon Industries, and Associated General Contractors, have voiced their frustration with BOLI's implementation of the new law. "We are disappointed that a safe harbor and transition period was not written into the rules," Betsy Earls of Associated Oregon Industries said in a joint statement.
BOLI does offer a Technical Assistance for Employers hotline that people can call with questions about sick leave and other workplace rules. The number is 971-673-0781.
OAN members are reminded they can get up to 30 minutes per month of free legal advice from the law firm Jordan Ramis P.C., via the OAN Legal Access program. Call Steve Shropshire at 1-888-598-7070 and have your member number ready.
Read the full editorial
Spraying for Asian gypsy moth to begin next spring in Portland
Oregon farm regulators plan to spray a pesticide across more than 8,000 acres in Portland next spring to prevent the establishment of the Asian gypsy moth, according to a story published by Capital Press. Spraying in southwest Washington is also planned.
Earlier this year, ODA trapped 12 European gypsy moths near Grants Pass. Officials in Washington trapped 10 of them at four locations in the state. The pest has previously been intercepted in Oregon in 1992, 2000 and 2006 along the Columbia River, likely due to Asian imports at the nearby Port of Vancouver.
Asian gypsy moths pose a serious threat to agriculture and the environment due to their ability to defoliate a wide variety of nursery and forestry hosts. For agricultural products, such as nursery stock, the pest's establishment would cause increased pesticide use and may impede shipments to other states and countries.
Senator proposes setting higher minimum wage for Portland, lower for rural areas
Oregon Sen. Michael Dembrow, chairman of the Oregon Senate Workforce Committee, has reportedly proposed three regional minimum wages in Oregon, according to an editorial that appeared this week in Capital Press.
The minimum wage would be highest in Portland and lowest in rural Oregon. "We needed to take into account cost of living and economic vitality in different parts of the state," Dembrow said.
The proposal, the details of which have not yet been determined, is aimed at averting a ballot initiative that would increase Oregon's statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour. Another initiative would increase it to $13.50 and give cities the authority to increase it more.
More wet weather forecasted for Oregon
The National Weather Service has forecasted a strong "Grinch Storm" during Christmas week. Starting Monday, central and southern Oregon may see heavy rain, tree-downing wind and hefty snow in the higher elevations. The wet weather pattern could extend until the end of the month, and cold temps could cause icy conditions as well.
Relief from the rain isn't expected until the New Year, when a dry spell lasting two to three days is predicted.
Gov. Kate Brown has already declared a state of emergency for 13 Oregon counties following December's heavy rains, high winds, mudslides, localized flooding and road damage.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries has been in communication with state leaders and the U.S. Farm Service Agency, and will advocate for any nurseries requiring assistance. In the event you sustain damage from rain and/or flooding, please contact OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OAN office will close for Christmas and New Year's Day
The OAN office in Wilsonville will be closed at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 23, and then all day Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24 and 25, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The office will reopen to serve you on Monday, Dec. 28. The office will close again on Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1 for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, and reopen to serve you on Monday, Jan. 4.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries staff and Board of Directors wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.
Anger management workshop scheduled for Jan. 11–13
An intensive, three-day anger management workshop for English speakers will take place Jan. 11–13 in Forest Grove, Oregon. The workshop is recommended for supervisors in the workplace, educators and social change advocates.
The workshop is presented by Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit organization that assists low-income Latina women. Titled ESPERE (Escuela de Perdón y Reconciliación—School of Forgiveness and Reconciliation), the program trains individuals to manage conflict with compassion and understanding that leads to healthy and violence-free relationships.
The classes will take place from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and be held at the Adelante Mujeres office, located at 2036 Main Street, Suite A, Forest Grove. Cost is $150. For more information, contact Leocadia Montero-Hainley at email@example.com or call 503-537-8562.
Energy Trust of Oregon rebate applications due Dec. 31
The Energy Trust of Oregon reminds growers that rebate applications for qualifying energy efficiency improvements purchased in the last six months of 2015 are due Dec. 31, 2015. Rebates are available for irrigation, greenhouses, insulation, natural gas and compressed air. Complete a rebate application and submit it into Energy Trust to receive cash incentives.
Download the rebate application
Register today for OAN Seminar Series at the Northwest Ag Show
Sign up for the OAN Seminar Series at the Northwest Ag Show and prepare to learn all about herbicide resistance, combination fungicides, bee-friendly noxious weed control, and what kind of weather to expect during this El Niño season. These topics will be discussed from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26 at the Portland Expo Center (2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland). Recertification credits will be available.
Limited space available for Winter Trucks to Trade Shows program
Many OAN members have already made preparations to 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 with the OAN's Winter Trucks to Trade Shows program. The registration deadline has passed and trucks have been confirmed, however there are still limited spaces available on the trucks headed to most shows.
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. Questions? Contact Mellissa Sumner or Crystal Cady at 503-682-5089.
Renew your OAN membership for 2016 — 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 at www.oan.org/payments, or call 503-682-5089 and pay with a credit card. We appreciate your continued support!
Sign up your co-workers to receive Member Update
Are your co-workers missing out on Member Update? Add your employees to have access to all "Members Only" areas at www.oan.org, receive the electronic Member Update, and all other OAN electronic communications to its members.
Sign up today!
Employers receive short notice on sick leave implementation
Mt. Hood, Clackamas chapters celebrate Christmas season
State of emergency declared for 13 Oregon counties
Terra Nova Nurseries launches garden decorating guide
Drone owners must register with the FAA
Funds available for Wasco County farmers to save water, improve salmon habitat
Live Christmas trees in short supply this year
Oregon agriculture poised for growth, according to new OSU report
Quarantine alert: Xylella fastidiosa detected in Oregon
Thanks to beekeepers, U.S. honeybee colonies hit 20-year high
Paid sick leave law to take effect January 1
Petitioners collecting signatures to put minimum wage increase on next ballot
Ballot measures may include gross receipts tax on business
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 Media Kit for all the details and contact Blair Thompson at 503-582-2012 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how OAN advertising and sponsorship can help your business grow.
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