CDFA nursery advisory board report Winter 2015
By Loren Oki
CDFA NURSERY ADVISORY BOARD REPORT
by Loren Oki
What is NAB?
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) consists of many programs supporting agriculture in the state. If you grow and sell plants, then you probably have a Nursery License to Sell Nursery Stock. The Nursery Licenses are administered by the Nursery Services Program and the fees from the licenses support that program. The Nursery Services Program oversees nursery inspections, quarantines and other activities. The mission is “to prevent the introduction and spread of agricultural pests through nursery stock and protect agriculture and the consumer against economic losses resulting from the sale of inferior, defective, or pest-infested nursery stock” in order to protect agricultural interests and the natural resources of California. This program also organizes the Nursery Advisory Board (NAB) that “shall advise the Secretary and make recommendations pertaining to his or her responsibilities under those sections of Division 4 of the Food and Agricultural Code and corresponding regulations relating to the sale, production and movement of nursery stock in California.” The NAB is relatively new having been formed in 2013.
Who is the NAB?
NAB consists of 12 voting members from the various segments of the nursery industry that are geographically representative.
The industry segments represented may include:
• General Ornamental.
• Foliage Plants.
• Cut Flowers (production & wholesale).
• Retailers (large & small businesses).
• Sub-Tropical (e.g., citrus, avocado).
• IAB assessed nursery stock (grapevines, fruit and nut trees, olives).
• Landscapers (must be licensed to sell nursery stock).
Non-voting members include:
• Chair of California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA) Nursery, Seed and Apiary committee.
• Chair of the CACASA Pest Prevention Committee.
• One additional county agricultural commissioner.
• One representative from each of the following organizations:
- University of California Cooperative Extension
- University of California
- California Cut Flower Commission
- California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- National Ornamentals Research Site at Dominican University of California.
John Kabashima, Orange County Cooperative Extension Environmental Horticulture Advisor, was a member of the NAB, but on his retirement last July, his vacancy has been filled by Jim Bethke, San Diego County Cooperative Extension Director and Nursery and Floriculture Advisor. I serve as the other UC representative.
The NAB meets in person two times each year in about late February and late August with additional conference calls as needed. Meetings regularly cover the topics of invasive diseases and pests with information presented by CDFA staff on new discoveries and quarantines.
Highlights of Most Recent NAB Meeting The most recent in-person meeting took place in Sacramento at the CDFA Plant Diagnostics Center. The predominant agenda item was on cannabis production and potential regulatory impacts. There were presentations describing the production processes. Research on the crop cannot involve UC or CSU academics since that would compromise the ability of these institutions to receive federal funding. So, new information on cannabis production will have to come from private groups or other institutions that do not receive federal funds. The cannabis nurseries are expected to obtain nursery licenses, so there will be a large influx of fees as a result. There will also be an expectation that the agricultural commissioners will be conducting inspections of growing facilities.
Other items covered were the expansion of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) quarantine areas resulting from detections outside of the previously quarantined areas, light brown apple moth (LBAM) quarantines in Southern California (these have existed in Northern California for awhile), and Pierce’s disease (PD) and glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) updates.
The next meeting hasn’t been set, but will be in late February.
Coverage of the CDFA NAB will be a regular feature of the UCNFA Newsletter.
Loren Oki is UC Cooperative Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis.