NYS Ag & Markets Provides Interim Guidance for Horticulture and Nursery Operations

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets released the following Interim Guidance for Horticulture in response to COVID-19 on March 24, 2020.

This guidance is provided for greenhouse operations, landscapers, arborists, garden centers, and nurseries.

Background:
On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the “PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all nonessential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Essential businesses are exempt from this guidance. Horticulture operations as defined below have been deemed essential and are exempt.

Horticultural Operations:
For purposes of Executive Order 202.6/PAUSE Executive Order, “Essential Business” states “agriculture/farms,” which includes the horticulture industry. As outlined in Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA Section 301, horticulture is a key component of agriculture and New York State farms