Photo courtesy of Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University;

California implements historic water restrictions

California’s State Water Resources Control Board has approved an emergency regulation to address the use of water under continuing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. According to the board, “Most Californians use more water outdoors than indoors. In some areas, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping.” Under the new regulation, which is expected to go into effect on or about August 1, “all Californians will be expected to stop washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; . and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.” Local agencies would be allowed to ask courts to fine water users up to $500 per day for failure to implement conservation requirements. The emergency regulation is expected to remain in effect for 270 days; it can be extended if drought conditions persist.

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Darwin acquires Aris Hort perennial production location

Ball Hort’s division Darwin Perennials has acquired the Bogota, Colombia-based perennial unrooted cutting production facility of Aris Horticulture Inc. (formerly Yoder Brothers Inc.), strengthening Darwin’s supply chain in North America. With the decision, Aris Horticultural Services will cease its distribution activity; orders booked for delivery on or after August 1 will be serviced by Ball Seed Company.

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AAS 2015 winners announced

Mom said to eat your Brussels sprouts. And she was right. Brussels sprouts Hestia F1 has been named an All-America Selections 2015 regional winner (Southeast and Mountain/Southwest); five other veggies were honored. Note, please, that this first batch of winners consists of all edibles. Joining Hestia F1 in the winners’ circle are Cucumber Parisian Gherkin F1, Pak Choi Bopak F1, Pepper Sweet Sunset F1, Lettuce Sandy, and Radish Roxanne F1.

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NASS releases sales results

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service tells us that for the reporting year 2013, the top five states for wholesale value of floriculture crop sales were California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and North Carolina. Expanded wholesale value for operations with $10,000+ in sales (for 15 reporting states) is at its highest level since 2004: In billions of dollars, the figure in 2004 was $4.11; it peaked in 2007 at $4.32, then again at $4.36 in 2012. The total for 2013 is reported at $4.40 (remember, that’s in billions). When considered by plant category for 15 reporting states, operations with $100,000+ in sales, annual bedding/garden plants scored $1.356; potted flowering plants rang in at $778; foliage plants, indoor/patio use scored $631 and herbaceous perennials rated $602. Cut flowers sold $419; propagative floriculture materials $390 and cut cultivated greens $77.

For more information: http://www.nass.usdahttp://.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Floriculture_Crops

Seneca Nation to plantnatives only

The Seneca Nation of Indians ( has committed to using only native plants in public landscaping on Seneca properties. Approved by the Seneca Tribal Council in New York, the planting policy stems from the tribe’s “Food is our Medicine” gardening program that was launched last year. The Senecas already have reintroduced nearly 30 native species on their lands, and are considering establishing a nursery to ensure a continuing supply of indigenous plants.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Herms, The Ohio State University;

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