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.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 02 2018

Enid Haupt Garden and Smithsonian Castle, site of Pollinator Week reception
Enid Haupt Garden and Smithsonian Castle, site of Pollinator Week reception
 
National Pollinator We...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 02 2018

USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that previous changes surrounding sudden oak death regulations would be formalized, resulting in codified regulatory relief for many nurseries. Operationally, there are no changes, as all proposed changes have been already in effect through federal order.
 
So-called “sudden oak death,&rdquo...

Craig Regelbrugge July 02 2018

On June 26, a group of about 80 Members of Congress, led by Representative Harris (R-MD), Representative Bergman (R-MI), Representative Keating (D-MA) and Representative Pingree (D-ME) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen and Labor Secretary Acosta urging them to immediately resume processing H-2B visas.
 
The Fiscal 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Law provides th...

Tal Coley July 02 2018

AmericanHort sent formal letters to Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) this week to announce support for H.R. 5949, The Agricultural Business Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018.
 
This bill gives the option for agricultural busine...

Craig Regelbrugge July 02 2018

The last two weeks have featured not one but two efforts to pass immigration legislation in the House and two stunning legislative failures. Is there any hope of a path forward? 
 
As you may recall, a group of House Republican moderates, weary of inaction to resolve the fate of the young folks brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, sought to use a rare procedur...

Tal Coley July 02 2018

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the farm bill on Thursday by a landslide vote of 86-11, concluding a week of debate. The next step is for what’s called a conference committee, which will seek to work out the legislative differences between the Senate and House versions, produce a final piece of legislation, and then hope to pass the bill through both chambers. As noted in prior upda...

Craig Regelbrugge June 19 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire was June 15, 2018. However, growers who failed to respond by June 15 still have until the end of July to complete the Census onlin...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 19 2018

AmericanHort participated in the USDA ARS National Program 305 Customer-Stakeholder Workshop in May to inform researchers of stakeholder research needs in the next five years.
 
National Program 305 (NP 305) aims to increase cropping efficiency, productivity, quality, marketability, and protection of annual, perennial, greenhouse, and nursery crops while maintaining or enhanc...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 19 2018

EPA officially announced the availability of the new worker protection training materials in the Federal Register this past week.

The materials have been available for some time on the Pesticide and Education Resources Collaboration web site; however, they are unenforceable until public notice is provided, under federal law. The updated training materials must now be use...

Craig Regelbrugge June 19 2018

On June 11, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began to notify H-2B users lucky enough to have their H-2B petitions processed under the temporary final rule that allowed for the release of an additional 15,000 H-2B visas. DHS received petitions for more than the 15,000 visas, and conducted a computer-generated random lottery on June 7.<...

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...