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 September 18 2018

The landscape sector’s H-2B visa program users are being targeted for a U.S. Department of Labor-Wage & Hour Division (DOL-WHD) compliance enforcement and outreach initiative, according to an agency announcement
 

AmericanHort is in communication with the DOL-WHD on compliance ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 17 2018

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has announced the intent to move USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) outside of the Washington region by the end of 2019. The stated objectives include a desire to place USDA resources closer to stakeholders and farm communities, improve USDA’s ability to attract and retain quality...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 17 2018

Sightings of spotted lanternfly were confirmed recently in Maryland and New York. One isolated detection was reported in Maryland (details not available), while two detections in New York were made in Albany and Yates Counties.
 
USDA APHIS attributed this most recent spread to movement of non-agricultural materials. An adult was discovered in a vehicle in the Albany area, wh...

Craig Regelbrugge September 17 2018

Since 2003, USDA-APHIS has required offshore producers of geranium (Pelargonium) cuttings to be certified and approved after implementing a systems approach that meets or exceeds minimum requirements for facility construction and operation, sanitation, recordkeeping, and traceability. The program is required to address the risk of a federally regulated bacterial pathogen, Ralstonia...

Craig Regelbrugge September 17 2018

Last week, the Appropriations Committees filed the conference agreement on the FY 2019 Labor-HHS and Department of Defense “minibus” appropriations bill.  It also includes a continuing resolution to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal Departments through December 7, 2018.  
 
Congress will not take up an ...

Tal Coley September 17 2018

AmericanHort has successfully placed an op-ed entitled “Congress should finish work on the farm bill for Ohio – and America” in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The op-ed, which was bylined by AmericanHort former chairman of the board Tom Demaline, emphasized the need for ...

Tal Coley September 17 2018

With time running out on striking a possible deal, it looks more likely that Congress will file an extension of the current farm bill, allowing for more time to deliberate the differences of the new farm bill in the conference committee. The deadline for completion without an extension is September 30.

Making matters even more difficult, the House is currently out of session and ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 04 2018

At long last, commercialization of the “smart sprayer” technology is moving forward. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Smart Guided Systems, Inc., announced finalization of a licensing agreement in late August.
 
Dr. Heping Zhu, ARS-Wooster, designed the Intelligent Spray Control System to help bring precision agriculture to environmental horti...

Craig Regelbrugge September 04 2018

AmericanHort represented the horticulture industry at the annual meeting of the National Plant Board, held in mid-August in Cleveland, OH.  Topics covered in our formal report included domestic and international greenhouse and nursery plant certification programs, the Farm Bill, boxwood blight, Phytophthora ramorum/sudden oak death, spotted lanternfly, a European proposal to restr...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 04 2018

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has allocated over $5.8 million towards helping the environmental horticulture industry in the class of grants awarded for the 2018 Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant, according to a recent announcement.
 
Two full grants were awarded:  one on the optimization of the cost-effectiveness of lightin...

The first webinar of our brand-new series: Quarterly Advocacy Brief - An Advocacy Update on Workforce Development and the ABC's of H2A featuring Chris Schulte, CJ-Lake LLC, and Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort

Part one of the webinar will provide a brief but comprehensive update on our advocacy for labor relief - H-2A visa reform, more ...

In this segment of Charlie's Angle, Charlie clarifies a couple of things from his mid-year economic outlook webinar and emphasizes that there is still time to make strategic investments in your business before the next economic downturn. These investments can be technology-related, of course, and what makes ...

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...