Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (PANTS) Cancelled for 2015
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA) was informed by PANTS Show producer, Townsquare Expos, LLC, that they are cancelling the 2015 PANTS show scheduled for November 4 – 5, 2015.
PLNA last produced the show in 2012 and subsequently sold the show to MAC Events LLC. In 2014, MAC Events LLC was acquired by Townsquare Media Group of New Jersey. PLNA held a continued interest in the show through assistance in developing the educational programming and promoting the show.
“We are saddened by the news that Townsquare Expos has opted to cancel the show,” said Hagan Hetz, CEO of Fairview Evergreen Nurseries of Fairview, PA, PLNA board member and long-time PANTS exhibitor. “This is a loss for the green industry and, unfortunately, PLNA will be unable to pick up where Townsquare left off and produce the 2015 show with such a short time frame to November.”
The PLNA Board of Directors will review the impact of the cancellation of the PANTS show on its members and research options to meet the Pennsylvania green industry’s educational and networking needs in the future.
Boxwood Blight Spreads in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has alerted PLNA that new cases of boxwood blight have been found in Pennsylvania. The new cases apparently came into the state from boxwoods shipped to big box stores from an Oregon nursery. PDA is advising the public that if they suspect boxwood blight to dispose of the plants and leaf litter by burning, burying or double bagging the diseased plants and disposing of them in a landfill. The catch to this latter disposal method is that it is illegal in Pennsylvania to dispose of yard waste in a.. (more)
EPA Seeks Comment on New Pesticide Regulations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing stronger training and certification standards for pesticide applicators who are certified to apply the riskiest pesticides, known as restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Federal regulations require applicators to be certified in order to apply RUPs. Additionally, RUPs may be used only by, or under the direct supervision of, certified applicators. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of RUPs and ensure a consistent level of protection among states... (more)
Proposed Federal Law to Raise Lyme Disease Awareness, Fund Research
WASHINGTON, D.C - Pennsylvania regularly ranks among the top one or two states in diagnosed cases of Lyme disease. And the landscape and nursery industry ranks among the most susceptible occupations to contracting Lyme disease. Government researchers say the tick-borne infection affects about 10 times as many Americans as previously indicated by confirmed case reports. About 329,000 cases of Lyme disease occur every year, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in their analysis of a nationwide health insurance claims database for... (more)
PennDOT Implements New CDL Exam
HARRISBURG – PennDOT began implementing new federal CDL skill test requirements this past June 15. If you or your employees are prepping for the CDL, be sure that you have the new skills test materials. While it has not yet been implemented in Pennsylvania, be aware that the new federal regulations require that when you take your CDL skills test, whether you take it in a vehicle with a standard shift or an automatic transmission will matter. If you take... (more)
Crack-Down on Truck, Trailer Rules Continues
HARRISBURG – PLNA continues to receive reports from members that police are not letting up on their enforcement of truck and trailer regulations. A PLNA member reported in July receiving a $1,000 fine for having one of their employees drive a truck and trailer combination that exceeded the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds without a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Members are reminded that the truck and trailer weights... (more)
State Budget Impasse Drags On
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania heads into its second month without a budget and state spending authority, but a solution to the impasse is not in sight. Although the Democratic governor and Republican state legislative leaders have had meetings during July, they are still taking occasional pot shots at each other in the press. Hopes rose that a compromise agreement could be reached in late July when the governor’s chief of staff Katie McGinty resigned to... (more)
STARS Act Simplifies Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Ayotte (R-NH) along with Sen. King (I-ME), and Sen. Blunt (R-MO) introduced the "Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality" or STARS Act in the Senate- S.1809. The Senate STARS Act reflects H.R. 863, introduced mid-February in the House of Representatives. The legislation could to a certain extent simplify and streamline Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance. This bill would modify the ACA to define a "seasonal employee" ... (more)
AmericanHort Launches the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
COLUMBUS, OH – On June 3, 2015, the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN), an unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, conservation, and gardening groups, launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. This is a strategic effort to promote and protect the needs of pollinators in North America. In the fall of 2014, AmericanHort and seven other organizations were convened to propose public/private sector efforts to help restore... (more)
Grow Wise, Bee Smart™ Website Launches
WASHINGTON, D.C. and COLUMBUS, OH - The Horticultural Research Institute, the research affiliate of AmericanHort, today announced the launch of the Grow Wise, Bee Smart™ website. This resource is a key component of the Horticultural Industry’s Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative, which was created to provide leadership and guidance to the industry on pollinator health. The site serves as the communications hub for the latest research... (more)
H-2B Language Advances in Senate, House
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As a co-chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition, AmericanHort and allies are seeking to address some of the current threats to the H-2B program via the appropriations process. On June 25, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. The bill includes language that would allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule... (more)
Bill Introduced to Exempt High Tunnels from Storm Water Management Act
LANCASTER – Some townships in Lancaster are requiring that high tunnels constructed within their jurisdictions be subject to storm water planning and engineering requirements. These requirements can cost the nursery or farm constructing the high tunnel thousands of dollars.
In response, Rep. David Zimmerman (R – Lancaster) has introduced HB 1103 that would exempt high tunnels from the planning and regulatory requirements of the Storm Water... (more)