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Member Update: 02_25_15
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OAN Member Update: February 25, 2015
Welcome to the Oregon Association of Nurseries weekly Member Update
February 25, 2015    |      EVENTS     |     ADVERTISE

Immigration standoff may force Homeland Security shutdown

A standoff over immigration policy seems more and more likely to force a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday.

The House passed a bill extending the funding, but it included a "poison pill" provision overturning the president's immigration executive order, issued last fall, which shields many workers and parents of American citizens from deportation. That bill has failed in the Senate four times. Both the House and Senate, meanwhile, have failed to pass a clean extension of DHS funding.

If the shutdown takes effect, nonessential DHS workers would be furloughed and essential workers would remain on the job without pay. Former DHS officials have said that the longer this goes on, the more it will affect worker morale and the more it will compromise national security.

The immigration executive order was issued in large part because Congress failed to pass a comprehensive reform bill in 2014. The Senate approved it, and it had the needed support in the House, but Speaker John Boehner refused to allow a vote.

Tentative contract deal reached in West Coast ports dispute

According to an Associated Press report, negotiators have reached a tentative contract covering West Coast dockworkers, likely ending a protracted labor dispute that snarled international trade at seaports handling about $1 trillion worth of cargo annually.

The breakthrough came after nine months of negotiations that turned contentious in the fall, when dockworkers and their employers began blaming each other for problems getting imports to consumers and exports overseas.

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Emerald ash borer detected in Louisiana

On February 18, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry officials confirmed the detection of emerald ash borer in Webster Parish. First detected by a visual survey, immature beetles were collected from trees in a two-acre area.

Emerald ash borer, an invasive insect from Asia, has killed an estimated 100 million trees and caused more than $3.5 billion dollars' worth of damage and property value losses in the eastern U.S. since its arrival in the 1990s. The pest threatens all 16 North American ash species, including native Oregon ash. Emerald ash borer has been detected as far west as Boulder, Colorado — a day's drive or so from Oregon. Originally introduced to the U.S. via wood packaging material, the pest is now spread across the continent in infested firewood.

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USDA funds $2.2 million toward Oregon forestry restoration project

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will fund the Ashland Forest All-Lands Restoration Project to the tune of $2.2 million. The project, one of 15 restoration proposals to receive funding in 2015, is part of a nearly $37 million investment to mitigate wildfire threats to landowners and communities across the nation.

The project will restore forest stands and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through fuels reduction treatments in the Ashland Creek watershed in Jackson County, Oregon. Located in the southernmost part of the state along the Oregon/California border, Jackson County consistently experiences one of the highest occurrences of wildfire in Oregon and has suffered devastating losses to quality of life, property, natural resources and community infrastructure.

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Former OSU agriculture dean predicts "mind-boggling" growth in ag technology

In a recent interview with Capital Press, the former dean of Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences foresees the farm of the near future as a place where soil sensors, ground-based robots, overhead drones and plants themselves monitor crops, check conditions, collect data and even apply inputs.

Sonny Ramaswamy, now in his third year as director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), recently granted $3 million to four universities involved in various forms of robotics. The biggest slice, $1 million, went to Washington State University to work on robotic bin management systems in fruit orchards.

"We are on the cusp of seeing incredible advancement in the use of robotics and sensors supporting agriculture in this country," Ramaswamy said in a news release announcement of the grants.

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Wilbur Ellis

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Prices hitting new highs for snowdrops

In 2014, a rare variety of snowdrop (Galanthus) was purchased for a whopping $2,500 — for one bulb! Since around 2008, snowdrops have been the focus of a speculative craze, as reported by the Guardian. But as nurseries develop techniques for quickly propagating snowdrops in large numbers, prices are expected to fall.

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Garden Media Group launches YouTube video series

Each year, Garden Media Group publishes an in-depth whitepaper, as well as weekly blogs and infographics, focused on consumer gardening trends. This year, the home and garden marketing and public relations firm is expanding with a YouTube video series.

The 2015 Garden Trends Report , "Unearthing the Best Life," identifies nine trends that will shape the garden and outdoor living industry for the coming year. Each video in the series will highlight one trend. A new trends video will be posted every two weeks. The newest video will be aired on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Watch the Video »

Chemeketa Community College announces spring schedule of hort classes

Chemeketa Community College's 2015 spring term is scheduled to run from March 30 through June 13. On offer is a wide range of horticulture and related courses for degree-seeking students as well as those persons interested in simply continuing their education.

Beginning March 10, returning students can register on the web at; online registration starts March 17 for new and non-credit students. New degree seeking students should contact Counseling and Career Services at 503-399-5121 or 503-399-6071.

Download the schedule of classes »

Become a Master Naturalist of the Oregon Coast

Interested in becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist? Oregon State University is offering the 2015 Oregon Coast Ecoregion Course . Studies focus on the ecology and natural history of Oregon's coast and its diverse ecosystems, from ocean and beaches to nearshore and intertidal, to forests, rivers and estuaries. The course runs from March 14 to June 20 and takes place at various locations on the Oregon Coast.

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Oregon Invasive Species Council seeks coordinator

The Oregon Invasive Species Council has posted a coordinator position, and is accepting applications now through March 20. The position is a competitive contract and will be awarded based upon a contractor bid system and review of applicants' qualifications.

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Senninger Irrigation launches new website

Senninger Irrigation, manufacturer of agricultural irrigation, announced the launch of its newly redesigned website . According to a company press release, the website "has been rebuilt as a resource hub for all Senninger customers and enhanced with streamlined menus, easier navigation, images, videos and quick access to the information customers need."

Website visitors can now search for products by industry or irrigation method, and browse for detailed information using a new tabbed interface that makes it quick and easy to get answers to frequently asked questions. They can also see products operating in real world conditions on the image and video galleries on each page.

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Register today for Garden Writers Association meeting — Feb. 27

Wednesday, Feb. 25, is the last day to register online for the Garden Writers Association networking event at the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. Organizers hope the meeting will enhance communications between like-minded groups and create more opportunities to promote the entire horticulture industry to the gardening community.

The meeting will take place from 5:30–8:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, at the Oregon Convention Center, room C123-C124. A panel discussion will feature representatives from the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers, Oregon Botanical Artists, Oregon Flower Growers Association and Oregon Landscape Contractors Association. Cost to attend is $30 for GWA members; $40 for non-members. To register, visit the Garden Writers Association website.

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ONF scholarship applications due by April 1

The Oregon Nurseries Foundation (ONF) awards scholarships to students preparing for a career in ornamental horticulture and related fields. In all, 16 different awards — ranging from $500 to $1,500 — 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 1.

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OAN Events

Yard, Garden & Patio Show
February 27 - March 1 - Join us at the 2015 Yard, Garden & Patio Show

Pioneer Dinner
July 21 - Save the date for the Mt. Hood Chapter Annual Pioneer Dinner

In case you missed it

Kate Brown takes office as Oregon's new governor

Top legislators meet with OAN Government Relations Committee

Texas judge suspends Obama's immigration executive action

Home Depot requires new neonicotinoids plant tag, despite inconclusive evidence

Orenco site added to National Register of Historic Places

Energy Trust posts updated rebate forms for 2015

Forestry official: Inspections miss 72 percent of plant pests

Dogwoods star on the cover of the February Digger

Scholarships offered to Clackamas County students — Applications due April 3

Save the date: Soil School 2015 — April 4

2015 Farwest Show will host the 2015 International Trials Conference

Farwest signs customer service expert for keynote address

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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

The 2015 OAN Media Kit is now available
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Send your story ideas, tips and comments to publications manager Curt Kipp via e-mail, or call him at 503-582-2008.

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