National news roundup

August 26, 2019 -  By and
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We take a quick look at the industry news happening around the nation over the past month that landscape contractors should be aware of.

Drought free

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), as of March, California is drought free for the first time in over seven years. The state remains largely drought free as of Aug. 1, with only the southwestern tip of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Prior to March, the state had experienced some form of drought for 367 consecutive weeks, NDMC said.

The Vermeer campus after the July 2018 tornado. (Photo: Vermeer)

The Vermeer campus after the July 2018 tornado. (Photo: Vermeer)

Ground broken in Iowa

Vermeer Corp. held the groundbreaking for a monument commemorating the buildings destroyed by an EF3 tornado last July, while celebrating the rebuilding of Vermeer Mile in Pella, Iowa. The first facility scheduled to open this summer is a new engineering and R&D building named Shop 48. Plant 7 was formally announced as the new facility being built where Plants 5 and 6 once stood. The new facility will connect to the original Plant 7 that was damaged in the tornado but repaired in the months following. It’s scheduled to be completed in fall 2020. Additionally, a new Eco-Center will replace the one lost in the tornado, placed behind Plant 1, and will open its doors in January 2020. Read more about the rebuilding efforts.

Hurricane Barry

Hurricane Barry made landfall on July 13 in Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane, before being downgraded to a tropical storm. The storm created power outages, damage to homes and flooding in Louisiana. However, it produced much less rainfall than expected, with some parts of the Gulf Coast receiving just 2 to 6 inches of rain.

Heat wave

A record-breaking heat wave scorched many parts of the U.S. from July 18 through July 22 from the Front Range of the south-central Rockies to the East Coast. Many places saw heat indexes in the 90s, with some areas topping 100 degrees F. Atlantic City, N.J., for example, hit a record high of 100 degrees F on July 21.

Pesticide ban in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Md., banned the use of state-approved pesticides on private lawns in 2015. After a nearly six-year fight to stop the ban, legal remedies available to challenge the county’s law on state preemption grounds have been exhausted, according to Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. On July 11, Maryland’s Court of Appeals denied the petition of Complete Lawn Care Inc., et al., v. Montgomery County, seeking judicial review of the Court of Special Appeals’ May 2019 decision upholding Montgomery County’s ban on most pesticides used on private lawns and landscapes.

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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