Updated Treated Seed Best Management Practices

The Updated Treated Seed Best Management Practices document is now posted to the Health Canada website:  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_fact-fiche/pollinator-protection-pollinisateurs/treated_seed-semences_traitees-eng.php

The PDF of the updated document is also available:  Pollinator Protection and Responsible Use of Insecticide Treated Seed_January 8, 2014 (Health Canada)


Best Management Practices

Insect pollinators are vital to agricultural production and the environment. Many farmers, including those who grow corn and soybeans, use insecticide treated seed to protect their crop from insect pests. Some insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, are toxic to pollinators. Planting of treated seed can spread dust that contains insecticide into the air, placing pollinators at significant risk of exposure to toxic insecticides. Factors that impact the risk of exposure include the use of treated seed, type of planting equipment, planting conditions, flowering resources and bee yard locations.

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided to reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. The BMPs provide a toolbox of options that should be used in combination wherever possible.

  1. Read and adhere to the pesticide label and seed tag directions
  2. Practice Integrated Pest Management when choosing seed treatments
  3. Develop and maintain shared communication with beekeepers to help protect honeybees
  4. Recognize pollinator habitat and take special care to reduce dust exposure
  5. Avoid generating dust when handling and loading treated seed
  6. Managing planting equipment to decrease dust drift
  7. Use appropriate seed flow lubricant
  8. Ensure proper clean-up and disposal

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, MAFRD Cereal Crops Specialist & John Gavloski, MAFRD Extension Entomologist

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