Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our April issue.
H2-B? You can help
April 23—mark your calendars—is the date that the H-2B Program Rule goes into effect. That is, unless your phone call or e-mail to your legislators can sway opinion and convince them to intervene. ANLA and a host of other hort and ag entities—including the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, which has provided funds for the fight—are supporting litigation filed this week in the Northern District of Florida, which may—may—result in a temporary restraining order blocking the federal Department of Labor from implementing the rule. Its success depends on support from the industry, so take a moment and let your voice be heard. ANLA makes it easy for you to send a letter, and we’ve attached a link here. Do it! Read more here and here.
Tree-tagging in Chicagoland
It’s not what you think. On Friday, April 20, volunteers from the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., will hit the streets of Chicago and the surrounding ’burbs to place “price” tags on trees. But the tags don’t tell what the tree cost; they reveal the value of the plant—what it gives back to the environment. As part of the arboretum’s “Every Tree Counts” program celebrating Arbor Day 2012, more than 1,500 trees will be identified by these stealthy volunteers who, no doubt, will be asked by Chicago’s Finest to explain themselves. Good thing they’ll be armed with the facts—and the tags. Read more here and here.
PLANET National Day of Service
Boy, Friday’s a busy day. In observation of Earth Day, members of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) are participating in a nationwide Day of Service, organizing volunteer lawn and landscape projects in communities across the country. Projects range from helping to spruce up nonprofits grounds to planting trees in areas recently hit by spring storms—and everything in between. There’s still time to pitch in … Read more>
EAB detection results encouraging
After the first year of a three-year emerald ash borer biological control detection study, the Minnesota Department of Ag is pretty happy. A program of branch sampling has revealed that 20 of 300 trees tested were found to be infested with EAB; out of those 20, only one was outside the core infestation area. “These preliminary results are significant in two ways,” said Geir Friisoe, MDA Plant Protection Division Director. “First, we found fewer infested trees than we expected. Second, there were low numbers of EAB in the infested trees. This is likely due to the diligent efforts of St Paul, Minneapolis and others who have removed and destroyed infested trees, slowing the population growth of the beetle.” Read more here and here.
Rock the runway with Plant Fashion!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the wildly successful Sweet Melissa Fashion Show at the National Green Centre—lights, music, models and fabulous new plants. Well, for 2013, the show’s got a new name—Plant Fashion—and if you’re an early entrant, you have the opportunity to have your outstanding plant photographed by Better Home & Gardens magazine. Seriously, what an opportunity! But you have to act now—as in yesterday—to take advantage of this extraordinary exposure. Read more here and here.
Hollins and Kuester join Becker Underwood
Sherman Hollis has been named Becker Underwood’s regional sales manager for the eastern and southern U.S.; he will be based in North Carolina and will be responsible for sales covering 17 states. Dan Kuester has joined the company as marketing communications specialist in ag products including beneficial nematodes, inoculants and seed enhancements. Read more>
Schapper joins Valley Irrigation
Aaron Schapper has joined Valmont Irrigation, manufacturer of Valley center pivots and linears, as vice president and general manager of international irrigation. He will be responsible for international product development, management of service, sales, joint venture and acquisition opportunities. Read more>
Alexander joins Curtis Industries
Michael Alexander has been named vice president of marketing and sales for Curtis Industries, manufacturer of cab enclosures and accessories. Alexander previously worked for Club Car Corp. as director of global business development. Read more>
Clearwater Nurseries Inc. promotes staff
Eric Djafroodi has been named president of Clearwater Nurseries Inc.; Guy Miel has been named vice president of sales and marketing and T.J. Cape has been appointed vice president of operations. Read more>
Connecticut certifies 24 pros
Twenty-four green industry professionals have achieved certification as Connecticut Accredited Nursery Professionals following a rigorous, 13-week course: Of the 126 folks who studied, only two dozen qualified. Those who pass the CANP regimen are considered among the top professionals among the 48,000 persons who work daily in Connecticut’s green industry, and are entitled to use the certification letters “CANP” after their name. A complete list of names can be found by following the link provided. Read more>
Plagued by flocks of hungry, feathered beasts? Then try Avian Control™ from the Stone Soap Co. Recently approved by the EPA, the product can be applied by fog or spray and offers enhanced rain resistance. It’s said to be effective against all types of nuisance birds and is non-toxic to humans, plants and mammals. Read more>
Dosa-Klean is a water soluble concentrate that removes rust and calcifications from fertilizer injectors, while it lubricates the injectors’ interior seals and all moving parts. As part of the injectors’ yearly maintenance, clean injector parts by soaking them overnight in the Dosa-Klean solution, then just rinse and replace injector seals with new ones from a seal kit. Little or no scrubbing is necessary. Read more>
Pageant® Initrinsic fungicide
Said to be the ornamental industry’s first fungicide labeled for disease control and plant health, Pageant® Initrinsic from BASF has “superior, broad-spectrum control of fungal diseases.” Further, “Research has shown it to provide plant health benefits in the form of enhanced tolerance to stress and increased efficiency of plant processes.” Effective on all four classes of fungi, Pageant Intrinsic helps control downy mildew, powdery mildew, anthracnose, Botrytis, fungal leaf spots, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Cylindrocladium and others. Read more>
PTO driven fogger
TracFog from Dramm is a PTO driven fogger that rapidly applies all formulations of chemicals as a fog, evenly treating all surfaces with billions of ultra-fine particles that penetrate deep into the plant canopy. The TracFog 400 has a 100-gallon (400 liter) tank and can treat up to 2 million square feet with a full tank; it can treat an acre of greenhouse in less than 15 minutes. Dual, articulating nozzles can be positioned in any direction for optimal fogging and can be adjusted from the tractor seat. Read more>
Also from Dramm: a new, larger pressure compensated emitter designed to reduce clogging. The NEW PCAS Emitter has a larger body that allows for a larger labyrinth, which allows more debris to pass through without collecting in the emitter and clogging the flow. Filtration is still a requirement with the PCAS System for best practice, but the new, wider labyrinth will reduce the amount of clogged emitters in a system by allowing debris to pass through with less restriction. Read more>
Switchable sizing bird feeding system
As more hummingbirds buzz to your customers’ feeders, allow them to accommodate the li’l guys with the switchable sizing feeder system from Songbird Essentials. Wide mouths make for easier cleaning, and the bottles come in 16-, 32-, 48- and 80-ounce sizes. Bigger flock, larger feeder, more fun. Read more>