SHORT CUTS

Washington bans clopyralid

This, from the Washington State Department of Agriculture Web site: “Effective March 1, 2002, herbicides containing the active ingredient clopyralid may not be used on lawns and turf in the state of Washington. The purpose of the ban is to keep clopyralid, a long-lasting herbicide, from potentially contaminating compost. The ban is initially in effect for 120 days. By late June, the department plans to make the ban permanent and will consider additional restrictions on the use of the herbicide.

“Golf courses are exempt from the ban as long as no grass clippings, leaves or other vegetation are removed from a course and sent to a composting facility that provides product to the public.”

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Clopyralid is the active ingredient in Dow's Lontrel broadleaf herbicide, as well as several other products that use clopyralid in combination with other herbicide active ingredients.

For more information, go to http://www.wa.gov/agr/clopyralid.htm.

Construction and housing strong

Existing home sales set a record in January, 2002, reflecting growing consumer confidence that the economy is improving. For the first time ever, sales exceeded 6 million units, a 16-percent jump from December.

Additionally, estimates released jointly at the end of February by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed new home sales in January 2002 to be down about 12 percent from last year, but still respectable.

These statistics are especially encouraging because of the influence that housing and construction have on the landscape industry. Construction spending was up in January compared to both the previous month and to January of last year.

Not just for firewood anymore

The United States Department of Agriculture announces Utilizing Municipal Trees: Ideas from Across the Country, by Stephen M. Bratkovich. This 90-page, color booklet provides stories from entrepreneurs, tree-care firms, city foresters and sawmill operators who see opportunities for making fine furniture, unique woodcrafts and other lumber products from otherwise wasted urban trees.

To obtain a free copy of Utilizing Municipal Trees: Ideas from Across the Country, call the USDA Forest Service at (651) 649-5262, or e-mail dkking@fs.fed.us. This document can be viewed and printed from the Web at www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/misc/umt.

Drop your sprayer and come out with your hands up!

A recently introduced Maryland pesticide security bill would require criminal background checks for those who apply for applicator's certification, plus on-site supervision, a tracking system for “unusual and suspicious purchases,” and other restrictions on application, storage and transportation. Not surprisingly, anti-pesticide activist are pushing hard for passage of the bill.

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