As the voice of Michigan’s Green Industry, the Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association is the lead organization shaping public policy and regulatory policy to benefit and protect Michigan’s Green Industry. Through professional staff, the MNLA Board of Directors and Legislative Committee, professional lobby firms, and our national partnerships, MNLA works hard to protect your interests before Legislators and Regulators at our State Capitol and in Washington, D.C. 

We have a seat on and/or serve on many State and National Boards and Committees to ensure a balanced blend of industry and natural interests, serve as a conduit for communication between industry and other interests, provide education and information about our industry to consumers, the Michigan Legislature, Congress, State and National Agencies and work to maintain a sound, science-based voice as it pertains to issues affecting our industry.

For questions or more information on MNLA’s Advocacy efforts please contact Amy Upton at either (517) 381-0437 or Email Amy Upton.

Capitol Bldg, Lansing, MI

June 12, 2024: Senate Bill 645
Introduced in November 2023, this Bill removes the requirement of a medically documented condition by a physician for someone to be added to the Pesticide Notification Registry and increases the distance for notification from 100 feet to 500 feet from a linear boundary line. In addition, this Bill add the requirement that notification be done for mosquito applications.

If passed as currently written, SB 645 would greatly expand Michigan’s Pesticide Notification Registry potentially adding thousands of people that professional pesticide applicators would have to notify prior to an application. This would dramatically increase the amount of time and resources you spend making pre-notification calls that are often confrontational and always a distraction from your ability to focus on what matters – operating your business.

Additionally, the bill sets a precedent that pesticides are dangerous which will lead to more regulations and potential bans.

Bill Status
There was no movement on this Bill until April of this year when it was put on the agenda of the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee. The Green Industry came in force to testify in opposition of this Bill as written. Our Legislative Committee has put together compromises that we’ve actively promoted with the Bill’s Sponsor and are  waiting to hear if the Bill sponsor has any willingness to consider our changes.

If our compromises are not accepted, stopping this Bill will be our priority. Should this happen we’ll need to engage our grassroots network and will be reaching out to our membership with a Call to Action. This will be a focused Call to Action to our members in the districts of Senators on the Senate Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee and we’ll provide detailed instructions on who you should call and talking points.

May 2024: Green Industry Updates to Help Your Business Thrive & Comply

1. US DOL Final Overtime Rule Takes Effect July 1, 2024
2. New federal Independent Contractor Rule Takes Effect
3. MNLA Advocacy Update
4. USDA Risk Management Agency Expands Insurance Option for Nursery Growers
5. EPA Proposes to Cancel All but One Use (tree injection on ornamentals) of Pesticide Acephate to Protect Human Health

April 2024:

The MNLA Legislative Committee has been holding monthly meetings to protect your interests on the legislative and regulatory fronts. Here are updates on legislative and regulatory issues that are impacting our industry. 

I. Box Tree Moth Update As we reported in March, AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) continue to actively collaborate with federal and state regulators who are working to establish a new certification program to facilitate the safe interstate movement of boxwoods. USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) leadership is expected to review and approve the certification framework in early March. Meanwhile, the National Plant Board is vetting the framework with state regulatory officials, who will play a key role in implementing program components, including compliance agreements with affected producers.

At our Segment Community Meetings in late March, AmericanHort provided an update and the draft language for the Compliance Agreement. We contacted the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development and they confirmed that they were preparing for the Compliance Agreement by updating the Box Tree Moth Quarantine. Any firm that enters into this Compliance Agreement will be able to ship Boxwood plants out of the quarantined areas. We’ll continue to encourage MDARD to move quickly on this to allow adoption by our members as soon as it is approved.

II. MDARD Pesticide Applicator In-person Exams Added The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) offers in-person testing for the private core, commercial core, fumigation, and aerial standard exams. Additional exam sessions have been added to the 2024 schedule. Visit Michigan State University's website for registration details. Attendance at the Michigan State University Core Review before the exam session is mandatory. 

All other category exams can be taken through Metro Institute. Visit MDARD's pesticide certification homepage for additional certification information.

III. An Index of Prices Paid by Growers in the Green Industry, By Dr. Charlie Hall. This White Paper focuses on the grower sector of the Green industry and the costs incurred in the propagation, production, and shipping of plants to retail and landscape customers. While there are already-existing indices that are available that reflect general inflationary pressures in the economy, the use of standard measures such as the Producers Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) for this purpose is insufficient because wholesale growers in the Green Industry purchase different goods and services from those used for calculating these indexes. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service also calculates an Index of Prices Received by Farmers for their crops and livestock and an Index of Prices Paid by Farmers for the inputs they use during production. However, these indices also fall short in that they contain many items that are not applicable to nursery and greenhouse growers or exclude items that are applicable. 

This Index of Prices Paid by Growers overcomes these challenges and includes major production inputs (e.g., containers, soil mixes, propagation stock, plant protection products, fertilizers, and fuel), along with the costs of labor, maintenance supplies, packaging materials, labels and other signage, freight, and other shipping-related expenses. Click HERE to read more.

IV. USDA Risk Management Agency Expands Insurance Option for Nursery Growers Nursery Value Select (NVS) is a pilot program that allows nursery producers to select the dollar amount of coverage that best fits their risk management needs. NVS, which is an asset-based form of insurance, covers damage due but not limited to the following: adverse weather conditions; fire, provided weeds and undergrowth near the insured plants or the buildings in which the insured plants are grown are controlled by chemical or mechanical means; and wildlife (refer to the Crop Provisions for a complete list). NVS is available in all states and counties. Informational workshops are being held on the NVS on April 18 and July 18. Click HERE to learn more.

V. How the IR-4 Project’s Environmental Horticulture Program Impacts Growers, From AmericanHort. Specialty crop growers face challenges in managing pests and diseases due to fewer pest management solutions. Unlike major commodity crops like corn, soybeans and cotton, the market for specialty pest management products is limited. 

Major crops have large acreage, so chemical companies can gain a higher return on their investment in registration, production, and marketing costs for a pesticide. The IR-4 Project bridges this gap by producing the information needed to get pest management solutions labeled and available for specialty crops and specialty uses—products that otherwise would not be labeled or available.

Established in 1963 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and land-grant universities, the IR-4 Project works in collaboration with growers, crop protection product registrants, and other stakeholders in the specialty crop community to facilitate the regulatory approval of pest management technologies. 

The project advances the regulatory process by generating the data required by the Environmental Protection Agency for product registration. This streamlines the availability of safe and effective pest management solutions for specialty growers to prevent crop losses and ensure the availability of crops to consumers. READ MORE...