Dioon edule from Foremost Co. is one of the hardiest members of the cycad family. It is extremely resistant to all scale insects and hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 8. It is the perfect replacement to the King Sago. Dioon edule has flat, 3-6 inch wide leaves with fronds that are a nice silver/green color. It grows 3-5 feet tall, eventually developing a stocky trunk.
The regulatory chaos that has ensued during the past several years has made it exceedingly difficult for current and potential H-2A users to understand and comply with the complex rules that govern participation in the H-2A program, said Craig Regelbrugge, ANLA’s vice president of government relations and research.
The new rule retains the 60-75 day recruitment and filing period in advance of the date of need that makes anticipation of labor needs difficult, he said.
In addition, the Department of Labor published in the Federal Register the 2010 adverse effect wage rates (AEWR) that became effective March 15, 2010.
American agriculture submitted extensive comments on the practical problems created by the proposed regulations. While a few suggestions were adopted by DOL in its final rule, the final regulations retain almost all of those provisions that will make the program difficult and costly to use and which will subject agricultural businesses to substantial exposure from overly broad and punitive enforcement measures for violation of highly complex and technical program terms.
The need for a legislative fix of the H-2A program through Congressional enactment of the extensive H-2A reforms of the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS) has never been higher. AgJOBS would achieve extensive statutory reforms that would establish fair and balanced H-2A provisions with respect to a streamlined application process, wage relief, housing flexibility, program expansion to certain industries such as dairy currently ineligible to use the program, and a uniform and streamlined legal framework for the settlement of disputes.
Go here for a summary of some of the more problematic provisions of the rules.
At some point in February, almost every state had snow on the ground, but that wasn’t enough to keep house-bound consumers from a little shopping therapy. According to the National Retail Federation, February retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 1.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
February retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 4.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
“February could be the direct result of cabin fever with consumers eager to get some fresh air and enjoy a day of shopping,” said Rosalind Wells, Chief Economist for NRF. “We expect sales increases to continue but high unemployment and other economic factors will restrain consumers’ ability to splurge on discretionary items.”
Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores increased 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted over January but decreased 1.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Electronics and appliance stores sales rose 3.7 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month but decreased 0.3 percent unadjusted over last year.
Other sectors who had their share of sales increases include clothing and clothing accessory stores whose sales increased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 0.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted from January and 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Not surprising, sales at food and beverage stores also saw solid increases with sales rising 1.3 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2009 sales of $4.1 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations.
The United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a call for the phase-out of peat in compost material.
The phase out would mean that gardening centers and DIY stores would cease to sell peat-based composts for the amateur gardening market within ten years and switch to peat-free alternatives instead.
“The horticultural industry has made progress in reducing peat use over recent years, but given the urgency of reducing our emissions we need to go much further,” said Environment Secretary Hilary Benn. “I know that the proposed 2020 phase-out target for the amateur market will be challenging, but we know this is what we need to do. Peat soils are extremely valuable carbon stores as well as being home to wildlife and important to archaeology, and we should be doing everything we can to protect them.”
The California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) and the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) are suing the State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The suit seeks to overturn a new regulation aimed at blocking California and Oregon nursery growers from shipping plants to that state.
Last year, the South Carolina Assembly passed legislation that limits California and Oregon growers from shipping to that state unless they comply with additional inspection, documentation and advance notice requirements which overstep the federal rules concerning Phytophthora ramorum. Nurseries in Oregon and California have had their shipments blocked or plants destroyed as a result of the regulation.
The suit challenges that state’s regulation as unconstitutional. “It is disappointing that the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, which runs programs to promote its home-state products for sale in other states as well as at home, chose to follow this path,” said Robert Dolezal, CANGC’s executive vice president.
States are prohibited from taking such steps under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Plant Protection Act, which gives the federal government the exclusive power to protect plants sold in interstate commerce.
“Nurseries take very seriously the threat of plant diseases,” said OAN executive director John Aguirre. “Over 70 percent of Oregon's nursery sales are destined for buyers outside our state. Oregon growers cannot allow states to violate federal law in an effort to close their markets to our growers.”
In 2004, the CANGC successfully sued the State of Kentucky under similar circumstances. “Despite that precedent, our polite requests were ignored and we had no other option but to defend our nurseries from being cut off from their customers in South Carolina,” Dolezal said.