Would you like to hear some good news?

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Aerial Shot of Native Sons Wholesale Nursery, courtesy of the Native Sons website.

It isn’t often that we get some good news going and yet, this morning we heard two nice, connected pieces of info.

Tim Fross, from Native Sons Wholesale Nursery in Arroyo Grande wrote this email to Robert Hall, who shared it with the online Yahoo Group: ”

With regards to neonicotinoids, we discontinued using any product containing them at the beginning of the year.” That’s great!

And that led Jean Struthers to mention that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just announced they will ban neonics and GMOs in All Wildlife Refuges. “We have determined that prophylactic use, such as a seed treatment, of the neonicotinoid pesticides that can distribute systemically in a plant and can affect a broad spectrum of non-target species is not consistent with Service policy,” James Kurth, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, wrote in a July 17 memo.

Thank you to those who have lobbied, discussed, written about and generally raised awareness level on this issue. We are making progress.


An Announcement about Neonicotinoids from Suncrest Nurseries

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From the Suncrest Nurery home page – Arctostapylos 

This announcement is from Suncrest Nurseries, a supplier of native plants to native nurseries in the Bay Area. It was brought to my attention by Patrick Pizzo and is reprinted here with the permission of Nevin Smith.

Some of you have asked us about the use of neonicotinoid pesticides at
Suncrest Nurseries, usually because your customers have demanded to know
whether they have been applied tothe plants you sell. This, in turn, is
related to widespread recent publicity about the potential  toxicity of
these chemicals to honeybees and other pollinating insects.

We have made very limited use of these chemicals during the past few years,
largely as drenches for mealybug on Phormium, certain succulents and
bamboos, and have avoided their use on flowering plants that might be
visited by pollinators. However, recognizing current public concern over the
neonicotinoids, we have decided to stop using them altogether at Suncrest,
beginning July 1, 2014.

We do this with somewhat mixed feelings. The neonicotinoids were developed
as part of a search for  materials less toxic than traditional
organophosphates and others to mammals, birds and fish. Also, they are by no
means the only common pesticides toxic to honeybees, despite the recent
focus of public debate. Yet avoiding chemical control of insects altogether
is impossible under commercial nursery conditions, where pests can multiply
at astounding rates and ruin whole crops.

We have been committed for over twenty years, and remain so today, to
finding and using the safest, least intrusive means of both pest and disease
control at Suncrest Nurseries. Thank you for your support of this effort.