November 13, 2023
LO Growers Group Newsletter - November 2023

1. Growers' Group Meetings

The October 5 barbecue event had 19 farms in attendance and the owners present clearly wanted to re-start the sector group. See attached for the draft minutes of the meeting that outlines who was there and the proposed priorities for the group. We need all owners to contribute feedback (there are over 45 farms that I know of!) on their wishes and concerns so we can shape this group to have the maximum benefit for the sector. Would you like to be on the Board but couldn't attend the meeting? Virtual participation is an option. Please let Jeanine know before November 20! The next meeting of the group is November 21 (more on this in Item 2 below) to review research and minor use priorities. This meeting will include a discussion on the organizational structure of the growers group (finalize the Board participants, determine what subcommittees are needed and how to include non-voting members) and prioritizing of action items. See meeting minutes.

2. Nov. 21: Research and Minor Use Priorities Meeting

All growers are invited to provide feedback in advance of the Minor Use Priorities meeting on Nov. 21. The proposed Growers' Group Board and the previous Research Subcommittee members are asked to attend the meeting, chaired by Bart Brusse and Cassie Russell. Please confirm your attendance since we need to order lunch as well!

Cassie’s instructions are:
  • Work is underway preparing for the 2024 National Priority Setting Workshop currently being planned for March 19-20, 2024 in Gatineau, Que. Throughout the month of November, OMAFRA Minor Use Coordinator, Joshua Mosiondz will work with OMAFRA specialists and industry to hold individual commodity meetings to discuss and rank each plant/pest combination for each commodity.
  • To represent Ontario Outdoor Ornamentals, Cassie Russell (OMAFRA) will be coordinating getting grower feedback on priority pest issues to feed into the minor use priority setting process.
  • Nursery Owners/Growers are asked to meet with their applicable staff to fill out the attached survey. Please submit the survey ASAP to Cassie. The firm cut-off date is Wed. Nov. 15, at 10 p.m. This will allow Cassie time to sort through responses prior to the grower group meeting on Nov. 21 so we can make the best use of everyone’s time at that meeting and finalize our priorities before the cut-off date.

All Ontario Nursery producers are encouraged to fill out a survey (not just growers in the grower group).

This survey can be done by either:
  1. Filling in the survey electronically and emailing it back to Cassie.
  2. Printing out the survey, filling it in manually and scanning it back to Cassie.
  3. If you’re not able to do this, please reach out to Cassie directly to schedule a time to meet over the phone to go through the survey so she can collect your responses.
Some notes about the survey:
  • Only one survey per nursery operation.
  • Information about nursery production/customer base is collected to help group and strategize priorities. This information will not be shared with others.
  • Anonymity of the data collected will be respected and not shared with the group. Information collected will not be used for ANY reason other than helping to inform pest priorities and gaps in registered pest management tools.
  • There are no right or wrong answers, please work with your staff to rank pest as best as you can with the given criteria.
  • This will not be an exercise we do every year, so please take the time to answer this thoroughly.
  • If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns about the process, please connect with Cassie by email at
Your time and effort are greatly appreciated, thank you in advance!

For the research portion of the meeting, please see attached agenda, priorities from 2021 and direction from COHA attached.

fall dinner meeting graphic3. Fall Dinner Meeting - Nov. 21

Join us at Piper's Heath for our Fall Dinner & Networking event! Registration is now open online and we need to finalize a head count by Nov. 15. Please register ASAP!

4. Protected Agriculture Stewardship (PAS)

REMINDER: As of Jan. 1, 2024, farms wishing to purchase pesticides labelled for greenhouse use will either need to be registered as either recirculating (Category 1 - closed-loop irrigation facilities) or have a waiver in place (Category 2 - open irrigation systems where chemigation liquid is not captured). Full certification for Category 1 farms has now been delayed until June 30, 2024. If you recycle your indoor water, you will need to go through the audit process for Category 1 which will take several months. Note that there are some concerns with the program's potential reach, and you are welcome to reach out to Jeanine to discuss any questions you have prior to registering. Registration link is here.

5. CNLA Update

CNLA presents at National Plant Board Meeting on Box Tree Moth
On October 24-25, I was invited to attend the NPB meetings in Cincinnati to hear from state and federal regulators, researchers and industry on the US response and future directions for BTM.

My presentation focused on the Canadian experience with BTM, the need for the U.S. to recognize B.C. as a pest free area, and that future regulations in the US should be harmonized with Canada’s systems approach and pest module.

USDA-APHIS has established a National Plant Board – APHIS PPQ working group to develop systems approaches and standardized compliance agreements for box tree moth. USDA-APHIS also announced it is their intention to deregulate Ilex spp. and Euonymus spp. (but will increase inspections for E. alatus and E. japonicus) and to limit imports of Buxus spp. from Canada to plants grown in a pest-free area (B.C. should meet this criteria).

This is all very positive. Although slowly, the U.S. is moving forward in a direction that is congruent with what Canadian growers asked for back in our first meeting at Cultivate in 2022.

Many thanks go out to AmericanHort for their solidarity and support helping us to get to this point.

International Garden Centre Association Congress coming to Quebec
The 64th IGCA Congress, hosted by Garden Centres Canada, is coming to Montreal and Quebec City from August 25-32, 2024. A pre-tour will be offered in Quebec City from Aug. 22-25. More than 10 garden centres will be visited plus local attractions. Business sessions and interactive tours will allow garden centre owners to exchange best practices, ideas and experiences.
Registration is now open, for more information and to register visit IGCA 2024.

6. Upcoming LO Professional Development Seminars

Jan. 24: Safety Health & the Law for Greenhouses
Feb. 23: Compost as the Key to Regenerative Soil Management
March 1: Soil Health and Climate: An Overview for the Landscaping Industry
March 11: Introducing the 6Cs of Regenerative Soil Management
March 12: Earthworms in Canada – the Silent Invasion
This report is provided by LO’s Grower Technical Analyst, Jeanine West.
Please contact Jeanine for more information: or 1-705-796-8812.
We need your feedback! If there are items you wish us to include in these updates, please let Jeanine know.