Dept of Ag Nursery & Holding area Inspection

rachel_z6(7)April 4, 2007

Hi Guys. I'm about to have my first Nursery & Holding area inspection by the Department of Agriculture. I do fine gardening and my greenhouse space is small, comparably. It's used for contract growing for clients, miscellaneous plants I think I might need for jobs, and personal plants for my own yard and garden. The "holding area" is usually the end of my drive or outside the greenhouse: plants waiting to go to a job or delivered from a wholesale nursery.

I'm not too nervous because I think I've got everything in order, but I don't know what to expect, or if they're really tough. Are there things I should look out for (besides the obvious, like pests and disease)? I'm sure things vary from state to state, or inspector to inspector, but I'm in MD.

Thanks for easing my mind.

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You have done your best to obey the laws of science and those of man. Whatever is lacking is because 'I did not know'. The Inspector(ess) (can't find a politically correct term) is an authority on the latter and can provide you with good pointers to keep you 'in compliance'. Approach the inspection with an open mind and make notes of all suggestions. Whatever the circumstances, do not try to match wits with the Officer. It is a losing proposition! Accept the lumps (if any) and make genuine efforts to correct and give a reasonable time frame if a follow up visit has to be scheduled.
Above all, it must be obvious that you 'run a tight ship'.
Make sure that 'all uprights are vertical and all corners square'; I am sure that you have heard all the cliches.
Let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:41AM
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The inspector will pay you a brief visit. It is helpful if someone is there but not necessary.
The primary qestions will be what are your worst pest and disease problems. As long as you are not in PG County where the Emerald Ash Borer is you have nothing to worry about. The visit is just a formality. Dept of Ag is mainly concened whether or not you paid your NIC fee.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:52AM
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ronalawn: thanks. good advice in all areas of life!

Sam: I'm in AA Co (I've just moved to this state from further north), and have had no diseases and no real pests. They've already cashed my check! Do they just drop by unannounced? If so, I'm very likely to not be here. Thanks for your response!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Well.... I just wanted to update: It's been a month since they cashed my check, and I haven't had an inspection yet (unless someone stopped by and poked around while no one was here). I'm not sure if they decide to only selectively inspect, or if they might still show up at any time. The fee for the license was mostly based on how much area they'd have to inspect, so in some ways it's a rip-off if they take the money and don't inspect, yet on the other hand I feel a bit like a kid who got out of a pop quiz. I know I don't have diseases and pests, but what about the next nursery? I hope there aren't issues going unnoticed because the Dept. is either overwhelmed/understaffed, or not doing its job.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 1:10AM
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