Want to keep up with the latest news in commercial horticulture? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Offshore-grown Cutting Certification Pilot Set to Launch in October
AmericanHort and the Society of American Florists are collaborating with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to initiate an offshore certification program for unrooted plant cuttings. A six-month pilot program is expected to be launched on October 1, and will include growing operations in six Latin American countries. Each year, the United States imports more than 1 billion unrooted cuttings of mostly annual and perennial plant varieties. This is an important supply chain for U.S. rooting stations and finished-plant growers.  Nearly half of all plants sold in U.S. retail stores start from cuttings produced offshore. The high volume of these imports, most of which enter between December and March, presents staffing challenges for APHIS and Customs and Border Protection as they inspect for plant pests and diseases. Beginning in October 2017, APHIS is expected to launch a six-month greenhouse certification pilot program. The pilot will include greenhouse facilities in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Colombia that produce generally admissible, unrooted vegetative cuttings for import into the United States. The pilot is being designed to determine whether greenhouse certification could effectively mitigate at origin regulated pest and disease risks associated with plant cuttings produced in approved facilities.

Arborjet Appoints Matt Andrus as Horticulture Technical Specialist
Arborjet Inc. announced that Matt Andrus has taken on a new appointment at the company as Horticulture Technical Specialist. Formerly the Horticulture Specialist for Arborjet, in his new role, Andrus will be responsible for helping to conduct research studies, promoting sales and providing consultations. Prior to his roles at Arborjet, he was the head propagator and manager of six large greenhouses. In addition to traditional greenhouse culture, he also started a “rooftop garden” business and teaches public and private classes about various cultivation techniques. He studied at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Wyoming and has also received Risk Assessment, Wilderness First Responder and Outdoor Educator Certifications from the Wilderness Medicine Institute.

New Hampshire Growers’ Annual Open House Event
Pleasant View Gardens and D.S. Cole Growers announced their 21 annual Open House event on August 3. Pleasant View and D.S. Cole open up their greenhouses and gardens for the day. Attendees will also learn the importance of strong genetics, get answers to technical questions from industry experts, and gain valuable knowledge as they network with other horticultural pros. Toss in a catered lunch and refreshments, and you have the makings of the perfect industry event. The open house runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on August 3, allowing attendees to tour D.S. Cole and Pleasant View Gardens.

Farwest 2017 Speaker Dr. Heinrich Löesing to Deliver Two Seminars
Dr. Heinrich Löesing will conduct two key seminars, sponsored by J. Frank Schmidt and Sons Co., at Farwest 2017. His first seminar, titled Roundup: The Situation in Europe, will offer insights for U.S. nursery growers and will take place on August. 23 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. His second seminar, Machinery Innovation for Field Grown Nursery Production, will look at challenges for nursery labor presented by physical demands and weather conditions and will take place on August 24 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.