Dec. 9 2019 09:06 AM

The software program helps keep green industry companies in compliance with plant shipping regulations.

AmericanHort, Columbus, Ohio, has announced the newest addition to its lineup of affinity business program partners, Plant Sentry. Plant Sentry is a software program pioneered by Nature Hills Nursery, Omaha, Nebraska. It’s a comprehensive plant compliance tool designed to ensure that wholesale, retail and e-commerce vendors grow and ship only plants that are fully compliant with all U.S. federal and state regulations and restrictions.

Plant Sentry maintains a consolidated national compliance database of all plant diseases, plant pests, invasive plants and quarantine regulations. It’s regularly updated to include the latest regulations for all 50 states and at the federal level.

The tool was modeled after the Systems Approach for Nursery Certification, a voluntary audit program developed under the guidance of the National Plant Board, AmericanHort, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection agency and green industry leaders.

“The Plant Sentry regulatory risk management tool saves countless hours in managing and understanding all federal and state rules,” says Jeff Dinslage, president and CEO of Plant Sentry. “The tool helps monitor revolving inventory against ever-changing regulations which can stop problems before they start by being proactive in ensuring you comply with the myriad of federal and state regulations. By using this tool, you can save labor hours, increase sales, protect your company’s reputation and limit the risk of liability.”

AmericanHort is a green industry association serving horticultural professionals. It supports nearly 15,000 member and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. AmericanHort members using the Plant Sentry program will be eligible for cost savings, which will vary based on each business’ needs.

With the continued growth of the green industry and online commerce, the number of plants shipped across states and being sold online is increasing, says Mary Beth Cowardin, vice president of Marketing and Member Engagement at AmericanHort.

“The increase in interstate shipping of live plant materials creates a greater risk of transferring pest-infested and invasive plants if shipments are not handled properly and requirements are not met,” says Cowardin. “We are pleased to not only provide AmericanHort members with a savings opportunity, but to also help the entire green industry mitigate the spread of pests and diseases.”