Audubon, TreeVitalize Seek Coupon Participants in Southeast PA
Audubon Pennsylvania, the state office of the National Audubon Society, and DCNR have teamed up to offer members a discount coupon redeemable at participating nurseries and garden centers. They are seeking participants in DCNR’s TreeVitalize “Tree’s Count, PA!” coupon program which has been active in central PA but now expands into the southeast where Audubon’s Bird Town program has a potential reach of more than 500,000 residents. The coupon allows for $15 off a tree purchase of $50 or more. Southeast and central PA businesses are sought from these counties ...(more)
Protecting Bees & Pollinator Video Demystifies What Horticulture Needs to Know
WASHINGTON and COLUMBUS, OH - March 26, 2015 - The Horticultural Research Institute, in collaboration with AmericanHort, Society of American Florists, and the American Floral Endowment, released an educational video that provides information on the horticultural industry's essential role in bee and pollinator stewardship.
Titled, "Protecting Bees & Pollinators: What Horticulture Needs to Know," the video narrates the current state of bee and pollinator health, provides information on factors that impact pollinators and the environment including the use of pesticides, and underscores the beneficial role horticulture plays in providing healthy and nurturing pollinator ecosystems.
Click here to see the video and to obtain more information about this important stewardship program.
PDA’s Fertilizer Panel Recommends Removing Professionals from Fertilizer Bill
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s (PDA) Fertilizer Advisory Board, in a unanimous vote, recommended at its March meeting that lawn care professionals be taken out of the EPA-backed turf grass fertilizer bill, SB 563. The PDA Fertilizer Advisory Board provides advice on fertilizer regulatory issues to the Secretary of Agriculture. Dan Eichenlaub of Eichenlaub, Inc. a PLNA member, serves on the board. Eichenlaub made the motion to take lawn care... (more)
PDA Releases “Final” Draft of New Noxious Weed Law
HARRISBURG – At the March 19th meeting of the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council, PDA released the “final” draft of the new noxious weed law, now renamed the “Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act.” PLNA is still reviewing the latest draft, but there are new provisions in the bill to bring industrial hemp under the new law. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the growing of industrial hemp for research purposes and this draft closely parallels the industrial hemp provisions of... (more)
H-2B Program Continues to Confound
WASHINGTON, D.C. - If you are a landscape contractor who relies upon the H-2B guest worker program for any part of your spring and summer crews, then bless your heart. The program has started to implode. The problems started when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in January that the cap for visas for workers for the first half of the federal fiscal year had been reached more than two months before the second round of visas was to become... (more)
And if the H-2B Problems Weren’t Enough, Here Comes E-verify
WASHINGTON, D.C. – While Congress fiddles as H-2B burns, they are doing other things to “help” the industry by proposing a bare E-verify bill that would mandate that all employers in the U.S. use the E-verify system for new hires. The prime sponsor of the bill called the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147) is Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino (R-Lycoming County) is also a sponsor on the bill. The bill would not allow E-verify to be used to vet... (more)
PLNA Member Fred Strathmeyer, Jr. Appointed Ag Deputy Secretary
HARRISBURG - PLNA member Fred Strathmeyer, Jr. of the Strathmeyer Companies has been appointed by governor Tom Wolf as deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Before assuming his new position at PDA, Strathmeyer had been vice president at The Strathmeyer Companies, a group of companies that include Strathmeyer Forests, Inc., Strathmeyer Landscape and Strathmeyer Christmas Trees... (more)
EPA-Backed Turf Grass Fertilize Bill is Back
HARRISBURG – The federal EPA-backed bill to regulate the application of turf grass fertilizer is being re-introduced in this session of the General Assembly by Senator Richard Alloway (R–Franklin County). Last session’s version of the bill, SB 1149 sponsored by Senator Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster), died at the end of the session without a vote by the full Senate. Senator Brubaker retired from his Senate seat in November of 2014... (more)