Disposing of Unwanted Treated Seed

Submitted by Jeanette Gaultier, MAFRD Pesticide Use Specialist

‘How do I dispose of treated seed’ is not a question that comes up too often. But when it does, the person asking is likely to get a smattering of advice that, although well intentioned, may not be entirely correct.

Treated seed is not accepted by the Obsolete Pesticide Collection program. It’s also not accepted at most landfills because of risk of unintentional wildlife poisoning or environmental contamination. Seed of a known variety and seed treatment may be returned to the retailer in/with the original packaging (check with your seed dealer). Old unsaleable seed, seed treated with an unknown or deregistered seed treatment product, or otherwise unreturnable treated seed can be disposed of by the following methods:

Disposal of small quantities of treated seed (1 gallon or less): may be buried in a location not accessible to people, pets, livestock or wildlife.

Disposal of larger quantities of treated seed:

  1. Seed it – at the high end of recommended field seeding rates and spray out or disc under the resulting crop. The seed must go into the ground; broadcasting without incorporation is not an acceptable practice! Good seed to soil contact is needed for the breakdown of the seed treatment, which is why burial doesn’t work for larger seed quantities. Growers should plant unwanted treated seed in an area that won’t impact other crops and be aware of any plant back restrictions.


  1. Contact a hazardous waste facility – such as Miller Environmental, Tervita or Clean Harbors in Manitoba. These are licensed to handle and dispose of treated seed on a fee for service basis so growers must contact the facility for a quote.

The recommendations in this post are a combination of provincial rules and recommendations and industry guidelines.  More information on handling, planting and disposal of treated seed cab be found at: http://seed-treatment-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ASTA-Seed-Guide-Farmers.pdf


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