National Plant Board Meeting Held Here

“Workable Innovation” was the focus of a two-day National Plant Board subcommittee meeting hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures Aug. 21-22 at its San Diego office. Representatives from the Departments of Agriculture for seven state governments worked to create a new nationwide standard for pest-free certification of nursery stock, including the European brown garden snail and Japanese beetle. Production nurseries are finding the process of certifying plants for export increasingly challenging and costly. The National Plant Board is exploring a “Systems Approach to Nursery Stock Certification” that would reduce pest risk while increasing cost efficiency and uniformity among states. The California Department of Food and Agriculture selected San Diego to host the meeting because “the size and diversity of the nursery industry here is so significant on a state and national level.” Committee members toured two of the county’s 800 production nurseries. They also listened to a presentation by the Agricultural Commissioner and a demonstration by the Detector Dog Teams.