Washington

Impact

Government impacts business. And it impacts horticulture businesses in ways that it may not understand until its too late. That's why our team on Capital Hill exists to share the industry's voice and keep you informed of exactly what's happening as soon as -- if not before -- it does. The Washington Impact newsletter and briefings are exactly what you need to stay abreast of what Uncle Sam is up to.

Craig Regelbrugge June 20 2017

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation offers a “nursery policy” in all 50 states. However, the nursery crop insurance system has always been complicated and, well, at least a little dysfunctional. Over the years, we’ve had several industry leaders testify before Congress on problems with the program, yet little if anything has changed for the better.
 
Ther...

Craig Regelbrugge June 20 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has rescinded one Obama-era executive action granting relief from deportation to certain individuals, while it has left a second, affecting the so-called DREAMers, intact.
 
On June 15, Secretary John F. Kelly signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Ame...

Craig Regelbrugge June 20 2017

USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was scheduled to publish a Federal Register notice on June 19 announcing additions to its list of plants it considers to be “not authorized pending pest risk analysis” (NAPPRA). Plants listed as NAPPRA may be restricted from entry because they are believed to be hosts of quarantine pests or because they are considered...

Chris Schulte June 20 2017

As the country approaches the five-month mark in the Trump Administration, we can look back on current trends in regulations and enforcement activities and look ahead to what these changes and future changes might mean for labor issues in horticulture. Key positions in the Administration have nominees but are yet to be filled, including Administrator of the Wage & Hour Division (WHD) and U....

Craig Regelbrugge June 20 2017

Offshore-produced plant cuttings of diverse varieties of annuals and perennials have become an important component of the greenhouse and nursery industry supply chain. Over one billion unrooted cuttings are imported each year from farms primarily in Latin America and Africa. They are rooted and finished in growing operations across the country.
 
Unrooted cuttings are highly ...

Jennifer Gray June 06 2017

As we usher in June, the horticultural industry has continued opportunity to extend sales and participate in the ongoing pollinator health discussion.

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Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 06 2017

How green are urban trees? A group of researchers from the University of Illinois, University of Florida, and University of Kentucky posed that very question.
 
A great deal of research illustrates how trees benefit urban environments, such as filtering particulate matter, lowering urban heat island effects, and storm water mitigation. One more attribute to consider is a tree...

Craig Regelbrugge June 06 2017

Nearly a month has passed since President Trump signed legislation that could address the H-2B cap. Sadly, the Secretary of Homeland Security has not yet exercised its new temporary authority to approve additional H-2B visas this year despite an intensive lobbying effort from the H-2B Workforce Coalition and users in industries such as landscaping, resorts, fairs and carnivals, and seafood proc...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 06 2017

The Bee Informed Partnership released their preliminary survey results of honey bee colony losses from April 2016 through March 2017, and the news is cautiously good! Annual honey bee loss was estimated to be the second lowest rate recorded (over the last seven years), at 33.2%. Winter ...

Craig Regelbrugge June 06 2017

President Trump’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year is out and has created a stir, especially regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture where significant cuts are proposed. Trump has proposed $4.7 billion less for FY2018 for all of USDA, which is a 21% reduction as compared with FY2017. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in particular, was singled out with a pledge to refo...

In May 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final final rule doubling the salary level for "white collar" employees exempt from overtime pay, as well as the role of the overtime exemption for agricultural workers. We will discuss efforts to block the new overtime rule and possible strategies for employers to comply with the rule when it takes effect on December 1, 2016. From the...