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Member Update: 02_10_16
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Welcome to the Oregon Association of Nurseries weekly Member Update
February 10, 2016    |     EVENTS     |     ADVERTISE

Oregon Senate to vote on minimum wage hike

A bill that would set three different minimum wage rates in the state is scheduled for a vote on the Oregon Senate floor this week. The bill would hike wages to $14.75 in the Portland metro area, $12.50 in rural and coastal areas, and $13.50 in the rest of the state by 2022. The first pay bump would start in July, increasing the minimum wage from $9.25 to $9.75 statewide.

The three-tiered proposal is just one of several that are still being kicked around by legislators and others in Salem. It is not clear whether any proposal has the support to pass, or will be enough for union leaders to withhold proposed ballot measures they are considering. These would raise the statewide minimum wage to either $13.50 or $15. What's more, they would do it much sooner.

The OAN continues to be involved in efforts to discuss an acceptable alternative to the various minimum wage ballot measures.

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State reps talk minimum wage at Government Relations Committee meeting

State Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and State Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay) met separately with members of the OAN Government Relations Committee on Tuesday afternoon in Salem. Both representatives stated that they are opponents of the minimum wage increases that are currently proposed.

Bentz said a wage hike in the Eastern Oregon counties he represents would harm the economy. He said he realizes income inequality is a problem, but the wage hike would hit small businesses that can't afford it. "I am absolutely astounded at the lack of understanding of my colleagues of basic economics," he said.

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Members hear update on nursery license fee increase

On Tuesday, OAN Government Relations Committee members heard an update from the Oregon Department of Agriculture on the state nursery license fee. Lisa Hanson, deputy director of ODA, said the issue is getting a careful look. ODA had announced a 29 percent fee increase in January, but withdrew it due to concerns from growers and the OAN.

The license-fee-supported program provides inspections to verify that Oregon plant material is free of pathogens and diseases, thereby assuring continuing access to national and international markets. Hanson said the program has lost $665,000 over the last three years, and the major cause is an ongoing decline in federal revenue ($730,000 in 2011 vs. $249,000 in 2015). As a result, its cash balance is under $500,000. Annual program costs are more than $2 million.

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Pear pathogen quarantine lifted in three more counties

The Oregon Department of Agriculture completed its survey for Xylella fastidiosa in seven of nine counties covered by Oregon's X. fastidiosa emergency quarantine.

Effective this week, Pyrus nursery stock can now move freely from Lane, Benton and Washington counties. Last week officials had announced the same for Jackson, Marion, Yamhill and Multnomah counties.

The testing found no positive plants in any of these counties, except for Washington County. There, a positive pear sample was detected. The property owner and ODA have entered into a compliance agreement aimed at eliminating the infected plant(s).

The two counties still under quarantine are Hood River and Linn counties. Testing is nearly complete in these counties. Both counties have pear trees confirmed positive for X. fastidiosa. ODA will soon be working on compliance agreements for the two positive locations in these counties. Hood River and Linn Counties remain in the quarantine until the compliance agreements are in place.

ODA is working with the USDA and the European Union to have all counties testing negative for the pathogen declared a pest free area. This will allow host plants to be certified for shipment to European Union countries.

OSU seeking assistant professor in nursery production

Oregon State University is currently looking for a full-time, nine-month, tenure-track assistant professor for nursery production. The position is based at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon. Click here to view a complete job description. The deadline for applications is Feb. 15, 2016.

EPA offers webinar briefing on pollinator risk assessment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold an online technical briefing on its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, from 10–11:30 a.m. next Thursday, February 18.

The webinar is intended to help inform the public about the results of the recently released preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid. Webinar participants will have the opportunity to submit technical questions about the assessment. The webinar has 1,000 slots for presenters and participants. Registration is live here. Those unable to attend will be able to view a recording from the Federal Pollinator Health Task Force: EPA's Role web page.

The EPA posted the pollinator risk assessment on January 6 and opened a 60-day public comment period on January 15. Since the assessment is preliminary and the comment period is still open, the EPA will not be speculating on potential future actions during the webinar. Comments on the assessment, including recommendations for future actions, should be submitted to the official docket.

View the docket and related documents

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ODA orders stoppage of use and sale of Guardian pesticide

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has ordered stoppage of sale of the pesticide product Guardian, which is labeled for use on ornamental, food and feed crops for mite control but also used by cannabis growers. In addition, ODA has asked growers who may have purchased the pesticide product to refrain from using it.

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Varroa mite and deformed wing virus pose deadly double threat to bees

A new study has found that the deformed wing virus, when found in combination with Varroa mites, can decimate managed bee populations — and it is spreading because of the human transport of bees.

On its own, the virus does not seem to be a major threat to hives. When a hive also has Varroa mites, however, the combination is deadly: The mites eat larvae and infect high numbers of bees with the virus.

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ONF scholarship applications due by April 15

The Oregon Nurseries Foundation (ONF) awards scholarships to students preparing for a career in ornamental horticulture and related fields. Ranging from $500 to $1,500, the awards are sponsored by individuals and OAN chapters as a way to support the next generation of green industry professionals. Applications must be postmarked by April 15.

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Time to renew your listings in OAN Nursery Guide

It's now time to renew your Nursery Guide listings! Each OAN member gets a free profile and one free listing.

On, you can add, drop and update listings at will throughout the year. All listings that are submitted and paid by May 1 will appear in the annual OAN Nursery Guide book that is mailed to members and subscribers and distributed at the Farwest Show and other industry events. Listings that are renewed by May 1 will remain on the website through April 30 of the following year.

To update your listings, go to and log in. Once logged in, click on the "My Listings" link at the top of the page. If you need help recovering your user name and password, or would like to pay for your listings over the phone, please call the OAN at 503-682-5089 or 1-888-283-7219.

Renew your listings today

Wanted: New plants for the New Varieties Showcase at Farwest

Do you have one or more exciting new plant introductions? The New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show is the place to show them off to garden centers, growers, landscape designers and architects, trade publications and garden writers.

Farwest organizers are now accepting submissions for the 2016 show. They're looking for plants with such characteristics as new colors, better manners, increasingly compact shape, extended seasons of interest, and improved landscape and production performance. To be eligible, all plant selections must be:

  • new to the market for 2016 or 2017;
  • available for order from a Farwest Show exhibitor; and
  • have different attributes than plants currently on the market.

The submission deadline is March 31, 2016. Questions? Contact Crystal Cady at 503-682-5089 or

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Schrader to host Salem town hall on Feb. 17

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-5th) will host a Town Hall Meeting from 6–7 p.m. on Feb. 17. The event will take place in the Loucks Auditorium at the Salem Public Library (585 Liberty St. SE, Salem). This is a great opportunity to share your concerns and ideas with him.

Schrader represents the fifth district of Oregon, which includes all of Marion, Polk, Lincoln and Tillamook counties as well as the bulk of Clackamas and small portions of Multnomah and Benton counties. Schrader has served on the House Committees on Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, and as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture. He is regarded as a strong advocate for agriculture, rural communities and the nursery industry.

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Register for the 4-County Pull-Together

The eighth annual 4-County Pull-Together will be held from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 24 at the Oregon Zoo (4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland). The event is presented by the Cooperative Weed Management Area, a partnership of organizations throughout Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon dedicated to combatting invasive weeds for the preservation of native habitats.

Topics covered during the day will include up-to-date information about invasive plant impacts, control, data collection and outreach for land managers, field contractors and the gardening public. Certified herbicide applicators may earn up to five Oregon or Washington re-certification credits (pending approval). Cost to attend is $43.19 and includes snacks, beverages and lunch.

Check out the agenda and register

Sign up now for fall tour of Israeli nurseries and greenhouses

John and Kelly Schroeder of Valleybrook Gardens are leading a horticultural tour of Israel in October 2016. Israel is a world leader in irrigation technology and exports a wide range of horticultural products.

The tour will take in greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries, and includes opportunities to explore the incredible culture, history and sights of the country. Tour dates are October 24–November 7, with an optional two-day extension to visit Petra in Jordan. For more information, contact John at

Apply for USDA crop insurance by March 15

The deadline to apply for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and insurance coverage on spring crops is March 15. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to natural perils, such as drought or excessive moisture.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) Agent Locator. Producers can use the RMA Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

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Free pesticide collection coming to Southwest Oregon

Attention: Growers in Southwest Oregon. The Medford Water Commission and the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership are sponsoring a FREE Pesticide Collection Event for agricultural, commercial and industrial users. Events will take place in Grants Pass on March 4 and in Medford on March 5.

Any farm or agricultural business that has old or unusable materials can take this opportunity to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Even if you don't know what the material is, it can still be brought in. Questions? Contact Amy Sager Patton at Patton Environmental LLC (541-690-9983) or Graham Gadzia at Clean Harbors (206-900-3930). Pre-registration is required by February 18.

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In case you missed it

Four counties now able to resume pear plant shipments

New website launches

February Digger looks at issues involved with cannabis production in Oregon

New study details 'weed blasting' control method for organic growers

OAN Conference Room renamed for Dick Joyce

Supreme Court will review immigration executive order

Oregon horticultural sales hit $932 million for 2014

Spraying for Asian gypsy moth to begin next spring in Portland

Advertise with the OAN

Ready to grow your business with OAN Publications and Events?

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 to discuss how OAN advertising and sponsorship can help your business grow.

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29751 SW Town Center Loop W., Wilsonville, OR 97070
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