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 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.<...

Tal Coley June 19 2018

The Senate Agriculture Committee unveiled its version of the Farm Bill during the first week of June, receiving praise from AmericanHort and allied organizations for its inclusion of our key priorities. The bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, was developed in a surprisingly bipartisan fashion, something that Capitol Hill hasn’t seen a lot of lately.
&...

Craig Regelbrugge June 19 2018

Immigration votes in the House during the summer of an election year? Strange, but looking to be true.
 
As of this reporting, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on two immigration policy bills during the week of June 18. Neither bill is certain to pass. And what happens will shape what’s next for agricultural labor reform. Here is the setup.
...

Chris Schulte June 06 2018

Current Developments

AmericanHort offers the following updated guidance with regard to enforcement actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for immigration-related workplace compliance. This update comes at a moment of extraordinary transformation in immigration enforcement. The ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 04 2018

The delay in implementation of new Worker Protection Standard by the EPA became more controversial over the last week as attorneys general from New York, California, and Maryland filed suit against the EPA. The three states allege the EPA illegally suspended the worker protection standard revisions through violation of the Administrative Procedures Act without proper public notice and opportuni...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 04 2018

The Bee Informed Partnership released the latest survey results of managed honey bee colony losses for the period of April 1, 2017 through April 1, 2018. During that period, responding beekeepers indicated an average colony loss of 40.1%, or less than 3% higher than the ten-year average colony loss.

Beekeepers report losses for three separate periods throughout the year--winter l...

Craig Regelbrugge June 04 2018

As recently reported in Politico, the expected growth gains resulting from tax reform may be completely offset by Trump administration-imposed cuts in legal immigration. Here’s the setup: the Census Bureau recently revised its forecast for U.S. population growth downward, cutting projected immigration by 23% and births by 1.6%. A prominent economic forecasting firm sees the tax l...

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...