Kentucky and California Agree on Nursery Plants Settlement

August 6, 2004 - 12:07

In an effort to end the recent suit filed by the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) regarding the ban on nursery stock from California to Kentucky, Kentucky recently reached a settlement with CANGC allowing locally grown nursery stock to be shipped to the Southern state under the stipulation that the plants have been certified disease-free under guidelines established by the federal government, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The dispute started this past spring after the finding of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) at Monrovia Growers facility in California. Many states across the country began a ban on all nursery plants from the state when the infection started popping up around the country from the shipments from California. Despite that fact that the USDA prevented the shipping of any more plants out of the state until they were declared disease free, after the disease was discovered, many states still imposed a ban of their own, according to the AP.

“In the lawsuit that was filed July 9 in Frankfort, Ky., CANGC argued that federal law prevents individual states from establishing rules that deviate from the USDA quarantine and inspection program,” in an article from the AP.

Last week in the effort to settle, Kentucky agreed to sign a consent decree stating it agrees to adhere to USDA rules.

California hopes that this suit can be seen as test case that will help eliminate bans by Florida, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana, Delaware and Montana.

According to the AP, California ships about $500 million of plant material across the country every year. “The state bans and the destruction of infected plants, as well as the expense of complying with the USDA's actions related to oak death disease, have cost growers millions of dollars,” stated the AP article.

For more information on SOD visit www.suddenoakdeath.org.

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