Submitted by Jeanette Gaulthier, MAFRD Pesticide Use Specialist and Holly Derksen, MAFRD Field Crop Pathologist
The PMRA requires the use of Fluency Agent as the seed flow lubricant when planting corn or soybean treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide (a list of products is included in the link below). Fluency Agent produces 65 percent less dust than talc or graphite and may significantly reduce the risk of neonicotinoid exposure to bees and other pollinators.
This requirement only applies to treated corn and soybean seeded using vacuum planters. Although not required, Fluency Agent can be used in all types of planters.
As with anything new, producers using Fluency Agent for the first may have a bit of a learning curve before things run smoothly. Nathan Klassen, Seed Growth Specialist, with Bayer CropScience offers these tips to avoid hiccups:
- Give it a mix. Add Fluency Agent to the seed tote or planter box and give it a quick stir with a stick or gloved hand – 30 seconds is more than enough. A thorough mix before the first run of the year with your planter helps lubricate the equipment; a quick mix when refilling the planter during your subsequent fills ensures the product is mixed within the seeds.
- When it comes to Fluency Agent, less is more. A 1/8 cup treats 1x 50 lb bag of seed or a 400 gram container treats 1 seed tote (50 bags). Don’t over apply the product; there is no advantage to adding extra to your seeds before going into the planter.
Fluency Agent is available from your corn and soybean seed dealers as well as select equipment dealerships.
Use of Fluency Agent is just one way to reduce the risk of neonicotinoid exposure to bees. Visit the Manitoba Corn Growers Association website for a full list of Best Management Practices: http://manitobacorn.ca/public-policy/
Pest Management Regulatory Agency Requirement when using Treated Corn/Soybean Seed: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/pest/_fact-fiche/pollinator-protection-pollinisateurs/treated_seed-2014-semences_traitees-eng.pdf