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 January 08 2019

One thing the last Congress did manage to finish in December was a new farm bill.  And among the beneficial provisions of the new farm bill is a new plant breeders’ rights protection option. AmericanHort successfully supported the provision, which expands the USDA-administered Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) to enable protection of asexually-reproduced plants.  ...

Tal Coley January 08 2019

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and five colleagues sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the end of December, asking Administrator Ray Martinez for more clarification on the agricultural exemption under Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations.

The exemption, which was created in association with the use of ELDs to track Hours of Service (HOS) rules,...

Craig Regelbrugge January 08 2019

With growers in many states facing mandated H-2A wage increases of up to nearly 23 percent, a legal challenge was expected to be filed on January 8.  The National Council of Agricultural Employers, in which AmericanHort is an active leader, has been preparing to file suit in U.S. Federal District Court against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), challenging that the DOL has fa...

Craig Regelbrugge January 08 2019

Craig Regelbrugge & Laurie Flanagan*

Due to capacity issues and the huge H-2B filing volume, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) iCERT online filing system crashed right after midnight on New Years Day, preventing H-2B filing for the second half of the fiscal year, as well as H-2A and other labor certification application filing.  According to the DOL, “the U....

Craig Regelbrugge January 08 2019

Craig Regelbrugge & Laurie Flanagan*

The 115th Congress officially ended at noon on January 3, and the 116th Congress was sworn in that same afternoon. The American electorate’s historic preference for divided government is again the reality; Republicans continue to control the Senate, with 53 of 100 seats, while Democrats control the House, 235 to 199, with one seat stil...

AmericanHort Contributor January 04 2019

Stephany G. Small, Ph.D., and Travis W. Bliss, Ph.D., J.D.[1]
         
On Thursday December 20th, President Trump signed into law the Farm Bill 2018, which is officially known as the Agricultural...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 11 2018

Boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) on the right (white) Volutella blight (Volutella spp.) on the left (pink)
Boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) on the right (white) Volutella blight (Volu...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 11 2018

2018 has been a banner year for boxwood blight development; diagnosticians received record levels of reports of the disease in both landscape and production. It follows that infected plant material may spill over into the holiday season. If you ship boxwood greenery, now is a good time to be diligent in scouting and monitoring efforts to minimize transmission of infested boxwood material bound ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 11 2018

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) convened a national meeting of experts and industry stakeholders on December 11 and 12 to discuss and refine future research priorities for environmental horticulture.
 
About forty greenhouse and nursery professionals participated, along with several key researchers from the USDA, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State University w...

Craig Regelbrugge December 11 2018

As reported in our last edition of Impact Washington, the required minimum wages for H-2A agricultural visa program users are set to take a big jump in many parts of the country.  Based on recently-published USDA data, the national average of the so-called “adverse effect wage rate” or AEWR, is expected to increase by 6.3 percent, to $13.25, as soon as the Department o...

Quarterly webinars, exclusively available to AmericanHort Premium Members, provide the latest information in DC on pressing issues for our industry, led by AmericanHort’s Industry Advocacy & Research Team. 

Presenters: Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President - Industry Advocacy & Research, Jill Calabro Ph.D., Science & Research Programs Director, and Ta...

Quarterly webinars, exclusively available to AmericanHort Premium Members, provide the latest information in DC on pressing issues for our industry, led by AmericanHort’s Industry Advocacy & Research Team. 

Presenters: Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President - Industry Advocacy & Research & Tal Coley, Director of Government Affairs

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is conducting a nationwide initiative to strengthen compliance in the landscape industry, and particularly with labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program. AmericanHort will moderate a presentation by WHD officials, who will provide an overview of the nation-wide initiative, relevant laws, common violations, and resource...

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...