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. November 06 2017

The IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program convened a meeting recently to set research priorities for 2018 and 2019. On a national level, the priorities include:

  • Fungicide efficacy against Botrytis
  • Fungicide efficacy against root and crown rots caused by pathogens other than Phytophthora and Pythium
  • Crop safety of new fungicide...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 06 2017

The EPA has announced new restrictions on the use of the herbicide dicamba. Following hundreds, maybe even thousands, of claims this past summer of suspected crop damage by dicamba throughout several states, the EPA evaluated the use of dicamba formulations in agricultural crops. After discussions with dicamba registrants, land grant universities, and states, the EPA announced new, voluntary la...

Craig Regelbrugge November 06 2017

The latest immigration policy showdown is unfolding this week. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce as early as November 6 whether or not it will extend “temporary protected status” (TPS) for over 300,000 individuals who fled natural disasters or human conflict in El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and Nicaragua. The Central American TPS designations have been in p...

Craig Regelbrugge November 06 2017

On October 25, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.4092, the Agricultural Guest Worker Act (AG Act), on a close 17-16 vote. A separate bill called the Legal Workforce Act was also approved. It will mandate that all employers use the E-Verify program within three years to electronically verify work eligibility at the time of hire.
 
The Committee’s action was just...

Tal Coley November 06 2017

House Republicans released the details of their tax reform plan on November 2, setting off an array of analysis and opinions as varied as the current political scene in Washington, D.C.
 
The 429-page plan, estimated by the Chairman of House Ways and Means to cost $1.5 trillio...

Craig Regelbrugge November 06 2017

AmericanHort continues to push for H-2B cap relief this year. As a co-chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition, we participated in a fly-in on November 2. More than 200 H-2B users visited with their lawmakers on Capitol Hill urging immediate H-2B cap relief through the annual federal spending process as well as permanent H-2B reform.
 
On the same day, in conjunction with our st...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 24 2017

The emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to advance south (and west). South Carolina is the latest state where emerald ash borer (EAB) was positively identified, and it has become the latest state added to the EAB regulated area, effective immediately.
 
EAB was detected in monitoring traps in Greenville, Oconee, and Spartanburg Counties in August. In October, a statewide quaran...

Jennifer Gray October 24 2017

During Cultivate’17, AmericanHort had the pleasure of honoring Ernest Wertheim, who is celebrating his 75th anniversary as horticulture industry advocate and business owner. He received a standing ovation during the State of the Industry keynote session. Wertheim’s experience, insights, and ability to see opportunities in this industry continue to set an amazingly high bar for all h...

Craig Regelbrugge October 24 2017

Gregory IbachSeveral political appointees to serve in key Agriculture Department posts have advanced in the process. For horticulture, the most important is Undersecretary for Marketing and Regul...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 24 2017

Pollinator health remains a high priority for horticulture. A couple of key recent meetings delved into the latest research and stewardship developments and plans for the future.
 
The second Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes conference recently convened in Traverse City, MI. The meeting was organized by researchers at Michigan State University and North Carolina Sta...

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...