ALBANY, N.Y. — As New York State begins to reopen under Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward plan, the horticulture industry, which includes greenhouse operations, nurseries, sod farms, and arborists, has been deemed as an essential service and these businesses are now permitted to resume business statewide, in all regions. In addition, landscaping businesses can continue to operate statewide, and permissible activities have been expanded to include the care and planting of grasses, sod, plants, shrubs, and trees and the mulching, trimming, and removal of these items. These businesses, which are considered low-risk, must create a plan to reopen safely using guidance from the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines to protect public health.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “As New York begins to slowly bring business back online, the horticulture and floriculture industry—which are important to the agricultural economy—are permitted to open across the State. This includes greenhouses and nurseries, even if they are not selling food-producing plants. Our equine businesses have also been permitted to resume day-to-day operations, on a regional basis. All of our businesses must adhere to the designated standards, have a plan for how to open safely, and those new measures need to be in place to protect employees and consumers.”
In addition, gardening is also allowed statewide. This includes the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruit, trees, shrubs, and more at home and in community settings and locations.
Equine operations are permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1 of the State’s NY Forward plan, and only in regions that have reached the State’s benchmarks and the proper criteria for reopening. Equine operations include activities such as the breeding, boarding, exercise, and transport of horses, riding personal or for-hire horses at facilities, and the oversight or instruction of riders at the operation. Equine operations must also follow the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines and Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Non-food Agriculture found here.
Questions should be directed to the respective Regional Control Room at https://esd.ny.gov/nyforward-faq. For more information on NY Forward, visit https://forward.ny.gov/. For help determining whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, use the reopen lookup tool, found here: https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward.
For the latest information and guidance on agricultural industry operations, please visithttps://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.
–NYS Agriculture and Markets