Growing regulations

Local plant industry officials say new inspection guidelines recently enacted at the state level will help the industry from invasive pests and high costs. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley this week signed legislation to better target plant nursery inspections based on risk of invasive and exotic pests.
Alex Doty
Apr 29, 2012


Nurseries will now need to be inspected at least every other year, and those distributing nursery stock on an interstate basis will require annual inspections.

Chris Howe, assistant general manager for Hortech in Crockery Township, said his business already goes above and beyond state inspection requirements.

“A state inspector has to conduct an annual inspection in order for us to get a license,” Howe said.

While Hortech has been on the up and up in regards to state inspections, Howe said he supported all greenhouses and nurseries large and small being inspected on a more frequent basis.

“I think it helps ensure the quality in general,” he said. “We’re always supportive of the state inspection process.”

Howe said that with everyone being inspected more frequently, it helps benefit the industry and ensure a better product for customers and clients.

The legislation also eases the financial burden on nursery dealers that purchase stock from in-state growers, lowering the annual fee from $100 to $35.

It will lessen the cost of doing business, said the operators of Hidden Grove Greenhouse in West Olive.

“A majority of our stock we do purchase in-state,” said owner Pamela Cater.

Cater said she purchases stock from all local greenhouses, which means that based on the new regulations, her annual fee would be $65 lower.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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