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Member Update: 03_09_16
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State revises proposal on nursery license fees, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader visits with OAN members, more
Welcome to the Oregon Association of Nurseries weekly Member Update
MARCH 9, 2016    |     IMPORTANT DATES     |     ADVERTISE

NEW: Important Dates you don't want to miss!

Oregon governor signs landmark minimum wage bill

The state of Oregon made history on two fronts last Wednesday when Governor Kate Brown signed the new minimum wage law. The measure makes Oregon the first to implement a tiered wage system that sets different hourly rates in different parts of the state. Second, it gives Oregon the highest minimum wage of any state in the nation.

The first in a series of annual hikes will start this July, raising the state's current minimum wage from $9.25 to $9.75 statewide. By 2022, the state minimum wage will be $14.75 per hour in Portland's urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties, and $12.50 in rural areas. Even the lowest rate is higher than any other existing or planned minimum wage for a state or the District of Columbia. There are still 21 U.S. states that keep to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25.

"It's a highly disappointing outcome for agriculture and nurseries," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "We worked hard to help legislators understand this will have a devastating impact on our industry and its small businesses. The final bill contained no provisions for a training wage, nor wage supports to help growers absorb the impact."

One thing the bill did accomplish was head off a union-promoted ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 immediately, statewide. Backers of the initiative announced Monday they were ending their campaign.

Read more: Jordan Ramis: What employers should do now

State revises proposal to increase nursery license fees

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has announced a revised plan to increase nursery license fees in the state of Oregon. The new proposal would increase the base fee by 15 percent and the millage fee (based on annual sales) by 8–18 percent based on the type of license.

"It's not easy to swallow a 15 percent base fee increase plus an increase in the millage fee," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "Still, this is a more palatable proposal than what we were presented with initially. I give ODA credit for walking back that proposal."

Back in January, the agency had proposed a 29–38 percent increase in the overall fee. Officials said it was needed to fully fund the nursery inspection program, which preserves grower access to national and global markets.

The new proposal raises less money, but makes up for it through cutbacks to the program. One nursery inspector position has already been eliminated, and the program's administrative specialist will not be replaced when the current employee retires in May.

ODA officials say the proposal will balance the program budget for this year, but a long-term plan is needed to make it fiscally sustainable into the future. That plan will be crafted with industry input. Members with input on the current increase or the direction of future fee discussions may contact Jeff Stone at

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader visits with OAN members

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader was the main guest speaker at Tuesday's meeting of the OAN Government Relations Committee.

During his hour-long visit, he touched on several topics. He said that Congress has been more productive of late, and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade proposal is a positive because it will open up new markets to American businesses, including nurseries. On the downside, he said, comprehensive immigration reform remains impossible at this time, considering the current makeup of both houses.

Schrader said one issue he is working on is recent revisions to the EPA Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS), which he and the agricultural community are concerned would overextend federal authority. The rule is currently tied up in federal court. "Trying to find a path forward on WOTUS is a big deal in our office," he said.

Overall, Schrader said he expects Congress will get less done this year, due to the divisive nature of a presidential election year. It's a reflection of the divided nature of the country. "I wish we had more groups like (OAN) nationally, and now at the state level, who look at the big picture," he said.

Wilbur Ellis

Lane Forest Products

Jordan Ramis

Leonard Adams


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Initiative Petition 28 would impose gross receipts tax on sales

Initiative Petition 28 is a union-backed measure that would impose a 2.5 percent gross receipts tax on C corporations (and businesses taxed as C corporations) who gross more than $25 million annually in Oregon. The measure is considered likely to qualify for the November 8 general election ballot — and that has several in the business community concerned.

Erica Hagadorn, a spokeswoman for Grow Oregon, gave a presentation on I-28 at Tuesday's meeting of the OAN Government Relations Committee. "This is a tax on sales, not profits," she said. "There are no exemptions for necessities that Oregonians buy every day."

The tax would be particularly difficult for businesses operating on low margins. It would disproportionately affect goods such as local microbrews that pass through several hands (hop grower, brewery, distributor, pub). "A product can be taxed at each step of the supply chain," she said. "This tax is so regressive. It would disadvantage home-grown companies."

Signature gathering is underway; if the measure qualifies for the ballot it will be assigned an official measure number for the ballot.

Twelve Oregon counties now free to ship pear to European Union

Officials with the European Union have recognized 12 Oregon counties as a pest free area, allowing shipments of pears and pear trees to resume following an earlier quarantine for the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

All these counties have tested free of the pathogen. They include Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Yamhill counties.

Three Oregon counties remain under EU quarantine. They are Linn, Hood River and Washington counties. Washington County had one positive detection. State and federal officials have a compliance agreement with that nursery and are working to get the county listed as pathogen free. At last report, the affected trees were in the process of being destroyed. The other two counties remain under emergency quarantine.

The pathogen is harmful not just to pear trees but a variety of hosts, including olive trees and grapevines.

High Desert conference organizers among those honored

Katie Lompa of the Oregon Department of Forestry and Gary English, owner of Landsystems Nursery and president of the OAN Central Oregon Chapter, were among more than 20 Oregonians honored by the OSU Extension Association for their volunteerism. The awards banquet took place Dec. 9 at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center in Corvallis.

For 16 years, Lompa and English partnered with OSU Extension to bring the High Desert Green Industry Conference (HDGIC) to Central Oregon. English coordinated the trade show and secured sponsorships, while Lompa served as program developer, speaker liaison and procurer of continuing education units for professional certifications.

"Our volunteers are the backbone of Extension," said Deborah Maddy, associate provost for University Outreach & Engagement. "They bring so much talent and skills to the organization, including that most precious commodity — their time. We want to honor the dedication of individuals and businesses that have significant impacts on our educational programs."

The HDGIC was not held this year, but organizers are hoping for a return in 2017.

Read more

Pest Alert: White pine weevil

According to a tip from OSU Extension entomologist Robin Rosetta, now is the time of year when adult white pine weevils normally begin to emerge from their overwintering sites in the duff at the base of the plants.

"They will climb to the tops of hapless spruce trees to lay their eggs in the terminal shoots," Rosetta writes. "Many growers with predictable losses to this pest begin to protect those terminals during this time of the year."

For more information about white pine weevil, visit the Pacific Northwest Nursery Integrated Pest Management website.

EPA approves new Syngenta insecticide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted federal registration of Mainspring GNL insecticide from Syngenta.

Featuring the active ingredient cyantraniliprole, Mainspring GNL provides broad-spectrum control of key pests, including thrips, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars, leafminers and leaf-feeding beetles. It can be applied as a spray or drench in greenhouses, nurseries and residential and commercial landscapes, and is compatible with many biological control agents to strengthen integrated crop management programs, the company said. State registrations are pending.

Read more

Free Farm Succession Workshop next Monday, March 14

If you're thinking about transitioning your farm, nursery, orchard or forestland to a future generation, this free event will provide the information you need to make the best choices for you and your family. Speakers will discuss the legal, financial and business factors that a farm family should consider when planning for the future. They will present real world examples of how to address these important issues while balancing the complexities of family dynamics.

Presented by the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, the workshop will take place from 6–9 p.m. on Monday, March 14 at the Holiday Inn Express, 477 NW Phoenix Dr., Troutdale.

Register Today!

Application deadline for science and leadership course extended to March 15

The Pacific Biodiversity Institute (PBI) has extended the application deadline for its new four-week Conservation Science and Leadership Course, which will take place May 23–June 19, 2016 at the North Cascades Basecamp in Mazama, Washington. Applications are due by March 15. Scholarships are available for students who cannot afford to cover the full food and lodging cost.

Students will participate in PBI's ongoing research projects and hands-on activities focused on ponderosa pine forests, wildfire impacts, riparian ecosystems, endangered wildlife and ecosystem restoration.

Read more

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

Read more

Important Dates

Deadline to apply for USDA crop insurance
MARCH 15 - Last day to apply for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and insurance coverage on spring crops. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to natural perils, such as drought or excessive moisture. More Info »

Farwest New Varieties Showcase submission deadline
MARCH 31 - Do you have one or more exciting new plant introductions? The New Varieties Showcase is the place to show them off to garden centers, growers, landscape designers and architects, trade publications and garden writers. More Info »

OAN membership renewal deadline
APRIL 1 - Membership includes opportunities to market your business, provide the industry with a strong voice, keep your industry knowledge current, and save money. Our member savings calculator helps you quantify your membership return on investment. If you're an existing member and haven't paid your 2016 dues, renew today and stay part of the action!

ONF scholarship applications due
APRIL 15 - Applications must be postmarked for the Oregon Nurseries Foundation (ONF) scholarships. 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. More Info »

Clackamas County student scholarships due
APRIL 29 - Applications are due for the two $2,000 scholarships being offered by the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District for the 2016–17 school year. For questions, contact Lisa Kilders at 503-210-6002. More Info »

Nursery Guide listings due
MAY 2 - It's now time to renew your Nursery Guide listings! Each OAN member gets a free profile and one free listing. Listings that are renewed by May 1 will appear in the printed book and remain on the website through April 30 of the following year. Renew your listings today.

Nursery Guide display advertising due
MAY 2 - Reserve your ad space in the OAN Nursery Guide book by May 2, or get a banner ad on (call anytime for availability; space is limited). Contact Blair Thompson ( or 503-582-2012) or download our ad kit for details.

In case you missed it

Portland considers changes to approved plant list

2016 Farwest Show announces keynote speaker

Growers: Take this survey to help migrant and seasonal Head Start planning

Oregon nurseries launch Lean consortium

PEST ALERT: Winter cutworm

House committee passes bill to relax hemp licensing laws

Cultivate'16 announces show details

Members hear update on nursery license fee increase

Pear pathogen quarantine lifted in three more counties

ODA orders stoppage of use and sale of Guardian pesticide

Oregon horticultural sales hit $932 million for 2014

Spraying for Asian gypsy moth to begin this spring in Portland

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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.

The 2016 OAN Media Kit is now available
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29751 SW Town Center Loop W., Wilsonville, OR 97070
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