Whats New

Sometimes you just need to find the latest info and news industry-wide, and this is the place to find it. From business management to Washington’s impact you’ll find the latest articles and videos here.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 13 2019

Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has announced the top three locations under consideration for a new home for the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). They include multiple cities in Indiana, the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Two additional cities, St. Louis, MO and Madison, ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 13 2019

Registration of chlorpyrifos will be canceled in the state of California. This process may take up to two years, and state officials have allocated $5.7 million to fund safer alternatives.

California becomes the second state to take this action, following Hawaii’s announcement in 2018. New York is also considering registration cancelation.

Debates over chlorpyrifos&...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 13 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reaffirmed in a public announcement that there is no risk to human health from glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp® herbicide. A detailed examination of data gathered to date is included, as is a critique on the limitations of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer review of glyphosate, ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 01 2019

Effective May 20, 2019, some “regulated areas” for Phytophthora ramorum will no longer be regulated under the federal program, though “quarantine areas”, where the pathogen is established, will be.  Operationally, nothing really changes as this approach has been already in effect through federal orders previously established in 2014 and 2015.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 01 2019

The EPA has 90 days, or until July 18, 2019, to explain why chlorpyrifos should not be banned, says a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

This is the latest news in an ongoing issue surrounding the human health risks from chlorpyrifos. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit court granted EPA’s request to rehear the case en banc, or with a panel of ten ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 17 2019

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has expressed concerns over recent glyphosate rulings and their impacts on U.S. agriculture. At a House appropriations subcommittee hearing, Perdue asserted that it would ‘devastating’ if glyphosate were pulled from the market and added that it has ‘exponentially’ increased crop production in the last 25 years.

“I&...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 01 2019

A second U.S. jury has ruled that glyphosate caused cancer. A second phase of the trial will begin soon with the same jury to determine liability and damages. Bayer will likely appeal the ruling.

The jury in the first trial, also in California in August, 2018, awarded $78 million to a man who claimed glyphosate was responsible for his cancer. The ruling is under appeal, a...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 01 2019

Maps that forecast the life cycle stages of twelve insect pests critical to landscape management and nursery production have recently been improved. The pests include apple maggot, Asian longhorned beetle, bagworm, bronze birch borer, Eastern tent caterpillar, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, hemlock woolly adelgid, lilac borer, magnolia scale, pine needle scale, and winter moth. 

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 20 2019

The research collaboration focusing on rose rosette disease (RRD) announced a new resource to aid in the early detection of the disease. The two-page educational piece, titled ‘

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 20 2019

Pennsylvania may soon regulate as many as 120 plants over concerns of invasiveness. Many of these plants are common in environmental horticulture, while others have little if any commercial significance.

The Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA) asked its members via a survey to rate the 120 plants on their value to the industry. A reported forty-three members compl...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 05 2019

AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute are assisting a group of researchers focused on the growing challenge of weed resistance to herbicides. 
 
Even if you’re just concerned about persistent weeds, researchers need your input. Please take 5 to 10 minutes to complete this survey on herbicide-resistant weeds in nursery crops, Christmas trees, and lan...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 19 2019

Andrew Wheeler, the acting EPA Administrator, looks to be on track to be approved as the permanent Administrator. AmericanHort recently joined a group of 30+ organizations to urge the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to quickly confirm his nomination. Wheeler’s experience as a career EPA employee and time spent as staff director and legal counsel of the Senate committee with ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 19 2019

Authors: Jill Calabro, PhD, & Craig Regelbrugge

With the new spending agreement signed into law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $66 million to support 407 projects that will strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, and safeguard the nursery production system. USDA provides fun...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 19 2019

The chlorpyrifos debate continues, as the Ninth Circuit Court granted EPA’S request to rehear the case en banc. This means that the Chief Judge and a panel of ten randomly drawn judges will rehear the case in late March. The prior, three-judge panel decision will not be cited as a precedent in any court moving forward. 
 
The three-judge panel decided...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 06 2019

I’m not a big fan of winter. It’s just too cold and dark; plus, I like the greenness of spring and summer.

Since I won’t be moving to any subtropical or tropical climates anytime soon, I’ve learned to look for the positives of winter. For example, the first snow fall can be pretty, and I love seeing the arctic swans on the bay on my Sunday morning runs. An...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 22 2019

Seed Your Future has just launched its new career exploration resource.
 
The new website is not simply a list of the more than 90 careers in horticulture, it asks visitors to consider their interests and then lists careers in horticulture to match them. Each career page includes information on the educ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 22 2019

A contingent of House Democrats is strategizing to block the move of two USDA agencies. The Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are both slated to be relocated outside of the Washington area to a yet-to-be-determined site, by the end of 2019.

Citing cost-cutting measures and the desire to move ERS and NIFA closer to rural communi...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 08 2019

In December, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that boxwood blight was positively identified for the first time in Michigan.

The disease was found in three separate locations in Oakland County, at a landscape firm, a homeowner’s yard, and on holiday wreaths sold in a retail garden center. Oakland County is just outside of the Detroit metro...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 08 2019

Effective December 2019, the European Union has announced a ban on the importation of certain plants deemed as high-risk ornamentals in relation to risk of pest introduction. So far, banned plants include the following genera: 

Acacia, Acer, Albizia, Alnus, Annona, Bauhinia, Berberis, Betula, Caesalpina, Cassia, Castanea, Cornus, Corylus, Crataegus, Diospyros, Fagus, Fraxi...

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...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 28 2018

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation issued temporary guidelines regarding the use of chlorpyrifos while the agency completes a formal process to list it as a toxic air pollutant.
 
The recommended restrictions include discontinuing use on most crops, only allowing for critical uses with few or no alternatives. The University of California Extension service will ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 28 2018

A collaboration of researchers seeks input from our grower community on the production of culinary herbs in greenhouses and other controlled environments. The survey should only take about five minutes (or less!) of your time.
 
Researchers from Michigan State University, Purdue University, Iowa State University, Clemson University, Kansas State University and the USDA-ARS ar...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 13 2018

As expected, the EPA has announced new changes to three dicamba formulations, including DuPont’s FeXapan®, BASF’s Engenia®, and Monsanto’s XtendiMax®. The registrations were extended two additional years with amendments to mitigate off-site damage following the second summer in a row that saw hundreds to thousands of reports of non-target crop damage due to offs...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 13 2018

The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) was recently confirmed in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Xf was first identified in the European Union (EU) in olive groves in Italy in 2013, triggering a quick response from the EU in the form of stringent regulations on plant material imported to the EU. Now plant material known to be susceptible to Xf originating from the U....

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 01 2018

While recent reports of a new (to North America) insect pest of boxwood in the Toronto area have not yet been confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or USDA APHIS, many in the nursery and landscape industries are rightfully concerned and asking questions.

In case you missed it, a homeowner reported seeing an unusual moth on her neighbor’s boxwood hedge in O...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 29 2018

The USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed a new, interactive tool to explain the story of emerald ash borer (EAB) in the U.S. The ‘Story Map of EAB’ includes high resolution pictures and details of symptoms of EAB infestations and an interactive map illustrating th...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 29 2018

San Francisco’s Superior Court of California Judge Suzanne Bolanos recently affirmed a verdict against Bayer AG unit Monsanto. It found that glyphosate is responsible for a groundkeeper’s terminal cancer, but she reduced a $250 million a punitive damages award assessed by a jury to $39 million if the plaintiff agrees. Bayer’s lawyer said it would appeal the decision if the pla...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 15 2018

New York State announced new regulations targeting the spread of spotted lanternfly (SLF). Certificates of inspection are now required for the following materials originating from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia:
 

  • Brush, debris, or yard waste
  • Landscaping or construction waste
  • Logs, stumps, or any tree parts
  • Firewood of a...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 15 2018

Several box tree moth specimens were recently reported in the Toronto, ON area, marking the first reports of this Buxus pest in North America.
 
The reports come by way of iNaturalist, a citizen science site. The photog...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 02 2018

How do you define a green roof? The first image that comes to my mind is a little, hobbit-like house somewhere in Scandinavia with a goat eating grass on the roof. That may be a bit simplistic; the green roofs of yore have come a long way.
 
The ‘urban renaissance,’ a term used to describe the comeback of many city centers in the US, coincides with the revival of ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 02 2018

USDA’s Animal & Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) is recommending an end to the federal quarantine for emerald ash borer (EAB), citing that such quarantines have “outlived their usefulness.” This follows APHIS’ announcements earlier this year of newly regulated areas in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 02 2018

The court-ordered chlorpyrifos ban is on hold, at least temporarily.
 
EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice requested a rehearing of the case, specifically asking the 9th Circuit Court to revisit the issue either en banc (meaning a panel of all the judges of the 9th Circuit) or by the original three judges.
 
The three-judge...

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...

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...

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...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 04 2018

Chlorpyrifos – Little clarification is available following the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court revoking the chlorpyrifos registration in sixty days. EPA has yet to formally respond and reveal a course of action. However, a few key points are certain:
 

  • At this time, if EPA takes no further action, all sales of chlo...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 21 2018

Spotted lanternfly, an invasive exotic insect pest first identified in Pennsylvania, was detected in New Jersey’s Warren and Mercer Counties this July, and the quarantine area in Pennsylvania expanded by an additional five counties, to a full thirteen counties. The change in Pennsylvania represents a shift to county-level rather than municipality-level regulation of the pest. Likewise, Ne...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 21 2018

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the EPA to remove chlorpyrifos from sale in the U.S. within sixty days. This ruling applies to all cropping systems and all products containing chlorpyrifos. Three judges reviewed the suit, known as League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wheeler, and the decision was split 2-1.
 
Chlorpyrifos, the most...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 07 2018

As the threat of emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to grow, so does the regulated area. USDA APHIS announced the latest additions to the EAB regulated area: all of Wisconsin and parts of South Dakota (all of Minnehaha County and parts of Turner and Lincoln Counties). Interstate movement of hardwood firewood, EAB-host wood and wood products, nursery stock, and green lumber waste, compost, and...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 07 2018

The EU has taken a tougher stance against plants created by new breeding technologies, which will impact breeding efforts there.

 

The European Court of Justice has ruled that plants created through gene editing, such as CRISPR-Cas9 and others, are subject to the laws restricting genetically modified organism (GMO) use. This falls in line with EU’s traditional ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 25 2018

USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded $2.1 million to a collaborative effort to create decision-support tools for pollinator health. Researchers from the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University, University of California-Davis, University of Minnesota, and Dickinson College received the grant from NIFA’s Foundation for Food and Agric...

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...

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...

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...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 21 2018

Implementation of the EPA’s revised worker protection standard (WPS) has just become a bit more complicated.
 
EPA failed to issue a notice that new, improved training materials were available. This lack of notification means that companies do not have to offer the training. EPA regulations require a public notice to be filed 180 days prior to implementation. The materi...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 21 2018

AmericanHort has been invited to participate in the upcoming Customer-Stakeholder Workshop for USDA-ARS National Program 305, which is planned for the end of May.
 
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 enhancing worker sa...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

Many states heavy in soybean production have enacted restrictions on dicamba above and beyond EPA’s added restrictions in 2017. The restrictions seek to mitigate off-target damage to plants, including nursery crops. States that currently ban dicamba use during parts of the growing season include:
 

  • Arkansas - statewide ban from April 30 until October 31 on all crop...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

California can move forward with plans to list glyphosate as a carcinogen on the Proposition 65 list, according to a California appellate court. All products containing a compound on this list must have a label warning consumers and employees of exposure potential.
 
To be added to the Proposition 65 list a compound must be declared carcinogenic by an institution considered t...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

Research on how alcohol in trees impacts ambrosia beetle populations has been recently featured in major scientific news outlets. Dr. Chris Ranger, USDA-ARS, recently published new results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a highly reputable scientific and peer-reviewed journal.
 
PNAS features innovative, cutting-edge research that is often highl...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

HRI congratulates Leala Machesney as the 2017-2018 recipient of Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship.
 
Machesney is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Maine pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture with hopes to eventually attend a graduate program in horticulture. Machesney has always been passionate about horticultur...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 24 2018

USDA APHIS has announced new areas being brought under the imported fire ant (IFA) quarantine, effective immediately. Counties in North Carolina and Tennessee are impacted.
 

  • North Carolina: all of Warren County
  • Tennessee: all of Cumberland, Hamblen, and Jefferson Counties, as well as portions of Trousdale County
 
IFA infestations wer...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 24 2018

The Protecting Bees website now offers a searchable tool to help identify plants that are attractive to bee pollinators.
 
The ‘Find Plants’ function enables a search for pollinator-attractive plants based on zip code, desired bee type, bloom period, sun exposure, soil moisture, and level of be...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 10 2018

Reports of traditionally non-plant businesses entering the crop world are on the rise. Amazon, for example, has entered in the live goods market with the announcement of new efforts to sell indoor plants. The latest entrant is Walmart, which has filed for patents to use drones in agricultural practices.
 
One patent relies on drones to identify certain pests and deliver appro...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 10 2018

In late March, USDA formally announced that it has no plans to regulate plants developed using new breeding techniques, such as gene editing, as long as the plants are created without the use of a plant pest vector or donor and they themselves are not plant pests.
 
This continues USDA’s previous position and provides clarification following proposed revisions regarding...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 27 2018

An article in the new issue of the Journal of Environmental Horticulture (JEH) summarizes studies conducted to determine the sensitivity of Calonectria pseudonaviculata, the causal agent of boxwood blight, to select fungicides.
 
Boxwood blight has been known to b...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 13 2018

First, a judge ordered California agricultural officials to stop spraying pesticides on public and private lands to control pests. The injunction only impacts applications made by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and not farmers and property owners. Mosquito control efforts are also exempted.
 
CDFA regularly sprays pesticides to control pests deleteri...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 27 2018

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the foundation of AmericanHort, has announced the portfolio of research projects receiving funding in 2018. $232,000 will be provided to 10 projects to investigate solutions in the areas of horticultural production, pest management, environmental stewardship, and business and marketing.
   
2018 FUNDED PROJECTS:
&nb...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 27 2018

Your input is needed!
 
The Economic Committee of the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is seeking insight into benchmarks and tools used by our industry to manage their businesses – basically what numbers are important to our industry and are there any gaps.
 
By understanding the economic data, NICH will identify ways to increase ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 27 2018

As Amazon.com delves further into the fresh live plant market, the company recently settled allegations surrounding the illegal sale and distribution of pesticides not registered in the U.S. Amazon reached an agreement with EPA to pay a $1.2 million penalty and begin the close monitoring and removal of illegal pesticide products.
 
These products were immediately removed from...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 13 2018

Spread of a damaging new pest has been confirmed:  spotted lanternfly was positively identified in Frederick County, Virginia in January. Meanwhile, USDA is stepping up the fight. On February 9, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania. The monies will be shared between ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 13 2018

Rose rosette continues to be a major concern both in nursery production and landscape management. You can find out the latest information on the threat in an upcoming webinar titled ‘Managing Rose Rosette in the Landscape,’ scheduled for Monday, February 26, 1:00-3:00 pm eastern.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 30 2018

A ban on dicamba herbicide applications in Arkansas was approved recently in an effort to mitigate damage to non-target plants. The new regulation prevents dicamba applications from April 16 through October 31, but exempts applications to turf, ornamentals, some forests, pastures, and rangelands. The Arkansas Legislative Council will revisit this issue for the 2019 growing season.
 ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 16 2018

The controversy over California’s “cancer-causing” label requirement for glyphosate is intensifying.
 
Attorneys general from eleven other states filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in the challenge of the State of California’s decision to label glyphosate as a carcinogen, arguing that this mandate forces businesses to state false and misle...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 16 2018

A newly published research article compared the uptake and dissipation of two neonicotinoid residues in nectar and foliage of Ilex and Clethra. The research was led by Dr. Dan Potter, University of Kentucky, and partially funded by the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) through the Pollinator Stewardship Initiative.
 
The two neonicotinoids evaluated wer...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 03 2018

EPA has been busy lately; issuing several year-end notices of interest to the green industry.
 
First, EPA has announced that the new Worker Protection Standard (WPS) may be amended. The WPS amendments to be reconsidered include the minimum age requirements, the designated representative, and the application exclusion zone (buffer area). We’ll be watching for a notice o...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 03 2018

Plant pathologists and the green industry were treated to a trifecta of disease headlines this holiday season.
 
First, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture confirmed that a new boxwood blight quarantine will go into effect February 4, 2018. The new quarantine includes all material currently known to transmit the disease, including Buxus species, Sarcococca

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 19 2017

The collaboration of researchers focused on combatting rose rosette disease (RRD) recently convened virtually to summarize key recent findings. AmericanHort and HRI participated. Some of the key updates reported include:
 

  • Diagnostics of the virus and the mites that transmit the disease both continue to be high priorities for the group. Ongoing efforts seek to develop fi...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 05 2017

A research report to be released soon points to a connection between fungicide usage and prevalence of Nosema, a fungal pathogen, in bumblebees. The study is unique in that it is the first to consider multiple factors on a landscape scale associated with bumblebee decline. In total, 24 such variables were factored into the analysis and included things such as habitat, land use, and pesticide us...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 05 2017

After two years of consideration, the EU recently approved a five-year license renewal for glyphosate. Glyphosate was given another look following a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) cancer agency that declared the herbicide a probable carcinogen. Germany was reportedly the last holdout but voted in favor of extending the license, against the wishes of France. The fight will co...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 21 2017

Your input is very important to researchers! A research collaboration led by Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M, will be submitting a proposal to conduct research on the use of remote sensing to assess plant traits.
 
These researchers would like to better gauge the interest of the industry in using remote sensor technology for monitoring purposes (such as for abiotic and/or dise...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 21 2017

Environment Secretary of the United Kingdom Michael Gove has indicated that the UK will no longer object to a proposed ban of neonicotinoids in the European Union.
 
The announcement was made recently and follows a proposed expansion of the ban put in place in 2013. The original ban introduced a moratorium on clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam use on outdoor floweri...

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...

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...

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...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 10 2017

The Arkansas State Plant Board recently voted unanimously to ban the use of dicamba in the state from April 16 through October 31, effectively encompassing the growing season. The ban would include only agricultural uses and not impact uses on ornamentals, forestry, lawns, gardens, turf, and pasture as in the past.
 
Following a public hearing in November, the proposed regula...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 10 2017

Boxwood producers and landscape managers:  your help is needed to direct future research! Please consider completing a short, less than five-minute survey to help identify attractive groundcovers as potential boxwood companion crops.
 
Dr. Chuan Hong, Virginia Tech, and his team ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 25 2017

Tennessee has become the second state to pursue establishment of a quarantine to restrict movement of boxwood and Sarcococca that could be infected with boxwood blight. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture recently held a hearing to discuss the proposal.
 
Citing the significant risk to nursery production and landscapes, the quarantine was deemed necessary for pro...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 12 2017

The Whitefly biotype Q Task Force (WTF-Q) coordination council met recently in Florida to discuss future direction. The coordination council is made up of two representatives each from industry, the regulatory community, and the research community, as well as a USDA-APHIS coordinator. AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) co-chair the industry part of the coordination coun...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 12 2017

AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), in conjunction with the National Plant Board (NPB), are pleased to announce that Boxwood Blight Best Management Practices, version 2.0 is now available!
 
The original version was published in 2012 on the heels of...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 28 2017

Is there a pest problem that’s been giving you grief because you can’t find adequate control tools? Now you have the opportunity to tell someone about it – someone who may actually be able to find a workable solution.
 
The IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program conducts research studies to develop efficacy and crop safety data to support new and expanded pest...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 28 2017

The green industry will benefit from the funding of four projects through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), a Farm Bill-funded grants program administered by USDA-NIFA. The four projects are as follows:
 

  • Systematic strategies to manage crapemyrtle bark scale, an emerging exotic pest, led by Dr. M. Gu, Texas A&M, was awarded $3.2 million...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 28 2017

The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) is a common plant disease in the U.S. that causes Pierce’s disease on grapes and scorch on many other plants. However, XF is not common in the European Union (EU) and was first identified in Italy on olive trees in 2013 signaling significant risk to olive and olive oil production.
 
The EU responded quickly and by ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 15 2017

A county circuit court judge overturned a Montgomery County-wide ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides on lawns. The law was passed in 2015 by a county council and was set to take effect in 2018. Agricultural land, gardens, and golf courses were exempted. The judge determined that the law would conflict with current federal and Maryland state regulations allowing the use of pesticides.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 15 2017

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the latest results of its honey bee health survey, and the results are positive! Overall, honey bee numbers look to have increased 3% and colony loss declined about 27%, which are both compared to this time last year.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 15 2017

The mild winter coupled with the hot and dry weather conditions in the southeast U.S. have resulted in high populations of whitefly this summer. Vegetable and cotton producers in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida are reporting higher than normal populations earlier than normal.
 
Historically, whitefly populations are localized in the Southeast with population surges normally obs...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 31 2017

On July 27, 2017, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule and replace it with a recodification of the text that existed prior to 2015.
 
According to EPA and the Corps, this proposed rule is intended to provide certainty du...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 20 2017

Fresh off Pollinator Week 2017, you can keep the pollinator buzz alive by attending the 2nd National Conference for Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes! This meeting is jointly planned by Michigan State University and North Carolina State University. 
 

  • Who should attend? Leaders of the green industry, university educators, and state government officials.
Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 20 2017

Both Arkansas and Missouri have enacted emergency regulations banning the sale and use of dicamba for agricultural purposes. Both bans exclude weed control in ornamental and turf areas; therefore, dicamba can still be used in these markets.

The ban in Arkansas will last 120 days, while the actions in Missouri are considered temporary, pending investigations. Both states report an...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 03 2017

The Arkansas Plant Board recently approved an emergency ban on sale and all uses of dicamba. The ban would cover all agronomic crops except pastureland for 120 days. Pest control and homeowner uses are excluded. Whether or not the noncrop uses are restricted as well remains to be determined. If Governor Asa Hutchinson signs it, it will become enforceable immediately.
 
In ear...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 03 2017

It’s always something. If it’s not boxwood blight, it must be impatiens downy mildew. Or some sort of Phytophthora. Or worse – some threat you don’t even know about! It seems like there’s always a plant disease lurking about production and landscapes, plotting plant destruction and wreaking havoc with your livelihood. Below are some of the latest reports o...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 06 2017

How green are urban trees? A group of researchers from the University of Illinois, University of Florida, and University of Kentucky posed that very question.
 
A great deal of research illustrates how trees benefit urban environments, such as filtering particulate matter, lowering urban heat island effects, and storm water mitigation. One more attribute to consider is a tree...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. June 06 2017

The Bee Informed Partnership released their preliminary survey results of honey bee colony losses from April 2016 through March 2017, and the news is cautiously good! Annual honey bee loss was estimated to be the second lowest rate recorded (over the last seven years), at 33.2%. Winter ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 23 2017

The comment period for EPA’s draft ecological risk assessment review of the pyrethroid class of insecticides was recently reopened. If you did not previously submit a comment in the first comment period, please do so now at the AmericanHort Voter Voice si...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 23 2017

The EPA recently announced a further delay in the implementation of the Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators rule. This time around, implementation is extended a full year.

The original effective date of March 6, 2017 had been extended twice already by the Trump administration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt acknowledged the need for additional time to enable states ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 09 2017

Senator Portman (R-OH) and Senator Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) to the Senate at the end of April. The RAA updates the Administrative Procedures Act for the first time in over 70 years to increase accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process. An overall goal is to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on job creators yet still allow age...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 25 2017

Dr. Chuan Hong, Virginia Tech, is leading a large study to evaluate the efficacy of several biologically based control products against boxwood blight and released a report on the work thus far. Please keep in mind that this study was only conducted one time, and final conclusions cannot be drawn yet. However, some of the products warrant further examination.
 
All products w...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 11 2017

A great deal of the horticulture industry’s success at managing insects, mites, pathogens, and weeds would not be possible without the IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program, a USDA-sponsored entity dedicated to increasing the specialty crop industry’s access to labeled control products. We have come to rely on the sound research sponsored by the IR-4 Program for both assistance in pe...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 11 2017

The EPA announced the denial of a petition to ban chlorpyrifos, the most common insecticide used around the world. In October 2015, the EPA proposed to revoke the all food residue tolerances for chlorpyrifos, based primarily on epidemiological studies.
 
Several groups challenged the methodology and scientific gaps on which EPA drew its conclusions. Among them are USDA ARS, t...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 28 2017

The Horticultural Research Institute is pleased to report progress with two weed-related research efforts, one benefiting landscape managers and another benefiting greenhouse and nursery propagators.
 
Landscape managers face the challenge of scheduling a variety of activities, and labor bottlenecks can jeopardize spring weed control. One strategy to overcome this is to move ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 28 2017

EPA has announced a further delay in the effective date of new regulations governing certification of pesticide applicators. Proposed new rules include:
 

  • Enhanced applicator competency standards
  • Minimum age for certified applicators
  • Maximum recertification interval of five years
  • Training program requirement for noncertified applicators u...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 28 2017

Renewed interest in regulatory relief and improvement abounds these days. In addition to the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) that has passed the House, a series of similar measures is also being considered in the Senate. AmericanHort recently endorsed the most important of them.
 
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) recently introduced five separate bills aiming to improve fede...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 14 2017

The Ornamental Horticulture group of the IR-4 Project has released another report important to the green industry - a summary of products evaluated for control of scales and mealybugs.
 
Scales and mealybugs are common pests in nursery and greenhouse production and landscapes. They feed on plant fluids, either from xylem or phloem depending on the species, and are capable of ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. March 14 2017

We know how important water as a resource is to the green industry. Researchers know it, too and are taking steps to ensure the results of their efforts are utilized and valued. To best do that, they need your input.
 
A national group of researchers led by Dr. Sarah White, Clemson University, was awarded a multi-million dollar grant over a five-year period to encourage the u...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 28 2017

The IR-4 Project recently released two reports important to the green industry -- a summary of products evaluated for control of borers, beetles, and white grubs and a summary evaluating methods for controlling invasive insect pests during shipment.
 
The first report summarized testing of 66 products representing 43 different active ingredients for efficacy against various c...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 14 2017

Dr. Joe Munyaneza was recently appointed as National Program Leader for Specialty Crops at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). In his new capacity, Dr. Munyaneza will be our primary contact for the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI).
 

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 14 2017

Attack of the Green Slime! What almost sounds like a B-horror movie is actually a serious worker safety concern in plant production businesses. The green slime is caused by Nostoc spp., a type of cyanobacteria (often called a blue green alga) that forms globs of green to brown squishy, slimy ooze.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 14 2017

The White House-directed regulatory freeze has impacted the public comment period for the EPA’s draft risk assessments of the pyrethroid insecticides. The original deadline for comments was January 30, 2017. It is now subject to a 60 day halt, pending executive review.
 
However, reopening of the official comment docket remains uncertain. Therefore, we now encourage you...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 31 2017

The White House was not the only federal entity busy the last couple of weeks. USDA-APHIS made some news by announcing the release of a new biocontrol agent and deregulation of a glyphosate-resistant turfgrass.

Biocontrol Agent for Control of Giant Reed—Giant reed, Arundo donax, is an invasive riparian area weed on the federal noxious weed list tha...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 31 2017

The Horticultural Research Institute, the AmericanHort research foundation, has released new Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Bee Pollinator Health in the Horticulture Industry. Relevant to greenhouse and nursery growers as well as landscape managers, the BMPs were developed by a team of researchers, including those funded directly by HRI, to convey researc...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 17 2017

Back in 2015, HRI embarked on a journey to fund and support sound research to help develop stewardship practices for bee pollinator safety. The Grow Wise, Bee Smart™ website was borne of this campaign, and five key projects were funded. The first wave of research is soon coming to a close, bringing a wealth of new information with it. New, interim best management practice (BMP) guidance i...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 17 2017

The famous lyric ‘You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone’ immediately came to my mind when thinking about this issue.
 
The EPA is currently evaluating whether or not to further restrict use of pyrethroids in all markets, including those in the green industry. Additional regulations could severely limit normal business operations for nursery ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 03 2017

As we’ve reported previously, an important class of insecticides for nursery and floriculture production and landscape management – the synthetic pyrethroids – are undergoing an EPA registration review with a focus on certain potential environmental effects. Pyrethroids, such as bifenthrin, have long been important in our industry. In fact, they are the lynchpin for compliance...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 19 2016

Concerns over damage from dicamba drift are heightening at the state level. The Arkansas Plant Board unanimously voted to adopt measures limiting some dicamba use by 2017. The governor must approve the restrictions before they are enacted.

The proposed restrictions are based on formulation. For example:
• Use of the traditional formulation, dimethylamine (DMA) salt of...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 19 2016

As you think about your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017, don’t forget to include updating your compliance plans for the EPA worker protection standard (WPS) and pesticide applicator certification.

EPA finalized changes to the WPS earlier this year and some will take effect January 2, 2017. The revisions are meant to strengthen protections for agricultural workers and ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 05 2016

Herbicide resistant weeds, or superweeds, have emerged as a major concern in worldwide agriculture and the concern is being felt in non-crop industries, such as turf, aquatics, and potentially in nursery production. Even news organizations deem the issue newsworthy, with macabre headlines such as ‘The Rise of the Super Weed Around the World” (Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 14 2016

According to a newly released study: yes, if you plant the right things.
 
More research is confirming which plants are attractive to pollinators. The latest report is from the University of Georgia, where 74 different plant taxa, including annuals, perennials, and woody shrubs, were observed and sampled during the summer of 2014. Both native and nonnative plants were include...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 14 2016

When was the last time you hugged a tree? Trees can make you feel good, literally, according to a new report released from The Nature Conservancy.
 
As professionals in the green industry, we all understand the value of plants, especially trees. But for the general public, trees are often viewed as strictly ornamental and not essential. They are still considered to be one of ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 28 2016

The American chestnut tree is an icon of forests of yore, before their populations were decimated by chestnut blight, caused by Cryphonectria parasitica. Once the dominant hardwood of Eastern forests, American chestnuts ranged from Maine to Georgia with an estimated 3-4 billion trees across 30 million acres. Approximately 50 percent of Eastern forests were comprised of chestnut, until ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 28 2016

USDA APHIS’ list of regulated pests just got a little shorter; six insects were recently demoted to non-regulated status at ports of entry in the continental U.S. They are:
 

  • Flat scarlet mite, Cenopalpus pulcher
    • Hosts = pome fruits, stone fruits, walnut, willow
  • ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 28 2016

Downy mildew is a significant problem on many horticulture crops. While not technically fungi, these microorganisms can cause devastating disease problems and have increased in prevalence in recent years.
 
Many greenhouse and nursery plants are susceptible to a downy mildew. Impatiens downy mildew (IDM), caused by Plasmopara obduscens, has, perhaps, receive...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 13 2016

California’s severe drought has persisted the last five years and looks to continue for the foreseeable future, so efforts to encourage reduced water-use in the state continue as well. One such initiative promoted by Los Angeles county is “Cash for Grass,” a program incentivizing the replacement of turfgrass with a drought-tolerant landscape.
 
Plant selecti...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 13 2016

USDA APHIS has established a new plum pox quarantine for portions of Ulster and Orange Counties in the Hudson Valley area of New York. In September 2015, one plum tree was identified in the area as being positive for plum pox. The infected tree was located in a commercial orchard of mixed fruit trees and was identified during a Farm Bill-funded survey. Additional surveys in the area were subseq...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 13 2016

With all th...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 13 2016

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced that applications and pre-applications are being accepted for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program. The closing date is November 15, 2016. Over $48 million is estimated to be available in this round of funding.
 
The SCRI program awards grants to support research and Extension that address t...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 03 2016

The USDA Specialty Research Crop Initiative (SCRI) program is seeking volunteers in the horticulture industry to serve on review panels for funding applications that support research and extension in the specialty crop industry. These panels help decide grant recipients. To be eligible, you must be engaged in horticulture, either breeding, growing, or selling. Reviewers will help identify proje...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 03 2016

  Fiel...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 03 2016

Have you ever wondered what your pour-through results really mean? If so, now there’s help!
 
The variety of media available to the container industry is astounding. Many operations have water sources with unique quality and their own special blended fertilizers and soilless substrates (i.e. media) to ensure they have what works best for them. These selected fertilizers...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 23 2016

With all the discussion about honey bee health, the implication is that a wealth of information exists about what is normal or healthy for a honey bee. Sadly, there is not. Very little information exists detailing the presence of honey bee pests in the US. Finally we are getting some answers.

The National Honey Bee Disease Survey was initiated in 2009 to document honey bee pests ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 07 2016

There’s no question that precision agriculture has emerged as a premier tool to optimize field-level management in row crops, orchard systems, and even turf. However given the mobility of plants grown in greenhouse and nursery systems, this tool has not been readily adapted to our industry…at least not yet. Dr. Tom Fernandez at Michigan State University is working to change that.&n...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. September 01 2016

Botrytis is considered to be one of the most serious diseases threatening crop production. This airborne pathogen can infect over 240 plant species worldwide. Often called gray mold, the most common causal agent is Botrytis cinerea; however, several other species of Botrytis are known to be problematic. Only aboveground plant parts are susceptible; roots are not.
 
M...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 12 2016

Water is the most valuable resource we have. Everyone is familiar with the current crisis in California, where the severe drought continues. 2016 marks California’s fifth consecutive year of drought, which is not expected to end anytime soon. The problem, however, is bigger than just the State of California. With a warming climate, 80 percent of state water managers expect water shortages...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 12 2016

Rules and regulations regarding certified pesticide applicators are likely to change in the near future. The EPA drafted final changes to the current certification of applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs) that are aimed at better protecting applicators, the public, and the environment from risks associated with RUPs. Minimum age requirements would be established, as would certificatio...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. August 12 2016

Over $2.8 million has been awarded toward pollinator protection in our industry through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). The funds will be distributed over a period of two years, with additional funds available over a total five-year period, to a collaboration of researchers facilitated by Dr. Cristi Palmer, IR-4 Project, Rutg...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 11 2016

AmericanHort continues to work toward better options to facilitate exports of plant material identified as potential hosts for Xylella fastidiosa from the U.S. to the European Union, and to network with affected breeders and growers. Currently, the EU restricts the importation of 179 plants as potential hosts of the bacterial pathogen under emergency quarantine measures. This impacts U.S...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. February 11 2016

Employers relying on the H-2A and H-2B seasonal worker visa programs, beware. Processing delays are building, and the next few months could be rough.

AmericanHort and the H-2B Workforce Coalition, which we co-chair, continue to work with Congress to address processing delays at the Department of Labor (DOL). DOL blames processing delays on information technology system changes, th...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 29 2016

APHIS recently announced the addition of nine varieties of barberry to the list of black stem rust-resistant species, including:

  • Berberis thunbergii ‘BailAnna’ Moscato
  • B. thunbergii ‘BailElla’ Lambrusco
  • B. thu...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 29 2016

The latest good news on the pollinator front arrived in the form of research results from a team of scientists at Washington State University (WSU). The principal investigators (T. J. Lawrence, E. M. Culbert, A. S. Felsot, V. R. Hebert, and W. S. Sheppard) set out to conduct a survey and risk assessment of honey bee colony exposure to four neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, dinotefuran, ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. January 14 2016

The EPA has released its preliminary findings on imidacloprid’s impact on pollinators, and when you dig deeper than the headlines and the hype, the news is not all bad. In fact, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

Yes, imidacloprid has the potential to kill bees. That much is absolute fact and hasn’t changed. However, as we (including the EPA) all know, it ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. December 10 2015

The American Association of Pesticide Control Officials met December 8 to discuss proposed metrics to evaluate whether or not state-managed pollinator protection plans (MP3s) result in improvements to pollinator health. Some states have pollinator protection plans in place, and others are working to develop these plans. This latest stakeholder workgroup provided a forum for state regulators to ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 26 2015

The Ohio State University will host a workshop in January focused on the use of biopesticides, biostimulants, and beneficial insects in ornamental and vegetable production in controlled environments. AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute will participate. The objectives of the meeting are to explore current and new research advances involving biopesticides in the greenhouse indu...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 12 2015

A new consortium is afoot: the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH), spearheaded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This group aims to create a coherent voice for all aspects of consumer horticulture. According to the National Gardening Association, over 70 percent of all US households spend time and money on some form of horticulture, whether it is a lawn...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 01 2015

More than a little history is made in Washington, DC. Sometimes it’s a joy and privilege to live and work close to it. Sometimes, not so much.

Both were the case two weeks ago. First, Pope Francis came to town. Events were ticket-only affairs, but regular folks in the right place at the right time had the chance to catch a glimpse, as was the case for us when the “Papal Fiat” made...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 16 2015

AmericanHort is preparing comments on EPA’s “Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products.” According to the Federal Register notice, “EPA is proposing mandatory pesticide label restrictions to protect contracted managed bees, e.g., honey bee colonies that are under contract to provide pollination services, from foliar applications of pesticides that are a...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 16 2015

By Lauren (Tuski) Snyder

SHIFT: An AmericanHort Initiative takes a hard look at what the future of the industry looks like while leveraging extensive data and research to offer recommendations for businesses to begin shifting strategies and paradigms today. The scope of this research, as well as insights into customer ...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. July 02 2015

The Horticultural Research Institute, the research affiliate of AmericanHort, has announced the launch of the Grow Wise, Bee Smart™ website. This resource is a key component of the Horticultural Industry Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which was created to provide leadership and guidance to the industry on pollinator health....