MARYLAND NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION
Promoting the use of ornamental plants, products and services.  The association supports all constituent groups of the horticulture industry.


Maryland Nursery and Landscape presents their directory of products and services.  Find a vendor who is a member!  It is easy try it now!

 
























 

February 25, 2003                                           mnacma@aol.com        (410) 823-8684

Potential Storm Damage Relief

Maryland Farm Service Agencies (FSA), a division of the USDA, are currently collecting loss estimates for agricultural structures damaged in last week’s storm.  Once collected, the FSA will report this information to the federal government to determine Maryland’s eligibility to receive disaster relief.  If you have reported damage, you could be eligible to receive monetary relief in the form of reconstruction cost-shares.  If your business sustained damage to an agricultural structure in last week’s storm, please contact your county FSA office to report the damage.

Baltimore County and City 410-666-1188                 Kent County 410-778-5353

Cecil County 410-398-4411                                        Queen Annes County 410 758-1671

Carroll County 40-848-6696                                        Talbot County  410-758-1671

Harford County 410-838-6181                                    Montgomery County 301-590-2855

Howard County 410-381-4550                                    P.G. County 301-574-5162

If the phone number you need is not listed here, please call the MNLA office at 410-823-8684.  You may also get this information through the FSA website www.fsa.usda.gov.  Click on Local Offices.

University of Maryland Budget Cuts

Due to the significant Maryland state budget deficit, the University of Maryland has been asked to cut its budget, and may likely be forced to accomplish this reduction through a down-sizing of its labor-force.  The impact to the members of the MNLA would be further reduction in the number of extension agents and industry support personnel that would be hired and retained.  The Cooperative Extension program has already had many of its open positions frozen in the last few years, placing a greater burden on the remaining personnel to serve fully the needs of our members.

The MNLA urges all members to contact your local delegated and senators to oppose further cutbacks to the University of Maryland.  You may telephone, e-mail, or fax your representative.  Go to the General Assembly website http://mlis.state.md.us.  Click on find a legislator to directly contact your legislators. 

Maryland Green Industry Council (MaGIC)/Legislative Update

There are currently several bills before the Maryland State Legislature that we have been following, along with the assistance of our lobbyist, American Joe Miedusiewski.  If you would like to review the text of any of these bills, go to the MD General Assembly website: http://mlis.state.md.us.  Click on bill info and status.  Then type in the bill number with the format HB or SB followed by the bill number.

 We welcome any input and comments you have regarding proposed legislation.  Please contact the office with your feedback.

 

New Legislation

 Senate Bill 617 – Concerning the Suspension of Enforcement of Nutrient Management Penalties

bulletThis bill would extend the period of nutrient management compliance enforcement from June 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004.
bulletHearing Date – March 7
bulletOur position – We take no opposing position

 House Bill 503 – Concerning establishment of a Maryland Pesticide Advisory Council

bulletHearing Date – February 26
bulletOur position – Opposed – The MD Department of Agriculture already has a pesticide advisory council

 Senate Bill 643 – Concerning Sales and Use Tax Exemptions on Ag Products

bulletThis bill would make non-exempt from sales and use tax the sales (for ag. purposes) of the following items:  fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide, and insecticide.
bulletHearing Date – March 12
bulletOur position – opposed. 

 House Bill 1053 – Concerning the Increase of MD Sales and Use Tax Rate

bulletThis bill would raise the MD sales and use tax by 20% - from 5% to 6%.
bulletHearing date – not yet scheduled
bulletOur position – opposed.

 

Follow-Up on Legislation Previously Communicated

House Bill 80 – Concerning the applicability of Nutrient Management Plans.

bulletThis bill serves to increase the minimum gross income of an agricultural operation subject to nutrient management plan requirements.  Old law minimum was $2,500; proposed new minimum is $10,000.  This means those ag operations who gross less than $10,000 annually would not have to file nutrient management plans.
bulletOur position – We take no opposing position. 
bulletGeneral Assembly Action - unfavorable. Not to be persued.

Senate Bill 540  - Concerning Use and Access of Restricted Use Pesticide.

bulletThis bill would require, under certain circumstances, employers to conduct criminal background checks; prohibits certain persons from using, applying, etc. restricted use pesticides; provides civil penalties for violations; requires MDA to establish a tracking system of pesticide purchases  . . .
bulletThis bill was proposed last year, but was killed late in the session.
bulletOur position – opposed.
bulletHearing date – March 7.  MaGIC is prepared to testify against this bill.

We will continue monitoring all proposed legislation to determine its impact on Maryland’s Green Industry.  We will continue to keep you informed of all issues that may affect your business.  We ask for your feed back in helping us to represent our industry.  If you have comments or concern about any proposed legislation, please contact our office.

 Contact your legislators:  We encourage you to contact your local legislators to make them aware of how proposed legislation will affect your business.  You can contact your legislators through via telephone, U.S. mail or e-mail.  The MD General Assembly website (http://mlis.state.md.us) provides any contact information you need.  You can even type in your zip code to find out who your representatives are.  If you don’t have access to the web, and would like this information, please contact the office. 

 

International Marketing Opportunities

The MNLA office has recently received information on two international horticulture events.

Plantarium - a Nursery Trade Fair, to be held in the Netherlands in August 2003.  This event is billed as a “ specialized fair for the tree cultivation sector…” and expects attendees from 39 countries.

U.S. Demonstration Gardens Showcase and Trade Mission to Japan – sponsored by SUSTA and Food Export USA Northeast.  You may opt to participate in the US display garden, or simply attend.  The program includes a one-day showcase/trade show, followed by a trade mission to local nurseries and botanical gardens.  The event is scheduled for September 8 – 12, 2003.

For more information of either of these events, please contact the MNLA office.

P.O. Box 726 - Brooklandville, Maryland 21022
Phone: 410-823-8684  Fax: 410-296-8288   E-mail: mnacma@aol.com