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Michigan’s stay-at-home order “decimating” for garden centers

The Executive Director of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association says Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay home-at-home order is decimating her state’s greenhouse and nursery business.

Amy Upton tells Brownfield no plant sales are allowed in Michigan, and thousands of vegetable and flower plants are being thrown out or composted. She says, “I talked to one greenhouse grower that sells Easter lilies. They threw out $125,000 worth of Easter lilies. They dumped them. He said they’re in a big pile behind the greenhouses.”

And, Upton says in the greenhouse and nursery industry, the people make most of their yearly income within a six-week period, and being forced to shut down now will severely hurt Michigan’s growers. “Mother’s Day is another big time of year for us, and then with annuals, and if we are not able to sell those, we will see a lot of greenhouses go out of businesses.”

Upton does not yet know the financial impact growers will have from the stay-at-home order.

Governor Whitmer’s updated stay home order issued Monday is more restrictive than her first one, clearly prohibiting any retail garden center from operating in Michigan.  Upton says Michigan is the only state prohibiting garden center sales after Minnesota removed their restrictions, but she’s heard New York is considering a similar ban.

Michigan’s Farm Bureau has been working with the association trying to convince Governor Whitmer to modify her executive order. As of late Wednesday, Farm Bureau members and supporters have generated more than 55,000 text messages urging Whitmer to allow garden center sales.

Governor Whitmer’s stay-at-home order is considered one of the most restrictive in the nation.  Along with prohibiting garden centers and plant nurseries, the order prohibits the sale of carpeting, flooring, furniture, and paint.  It also blocks Michiganders from using motorboats and vacation properties.

Amy Upton discusses Michigan’s stay-at-home order and the impact on garden centers, greenhouses and nursery growers.

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