Protecting Pollinators

Grain Farmers of Ontario's request for appeal on seed treatment regulations was heard on March 9, 2016. On April 20, 2016, the Court of Appeal of Ontario denied the request.

Grain Farmers of Ontario has decided to immediately engage BDO, one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Canada, to conduct an audit of the impact of these regulations on Ontario's grain farms. You can learn more about the court's decision, and the audit, in Grain Farmers of Ontario's April 20 press release, Grain Farmers of Ontario denied appeal.


You can read Grain Farmers of Ontario's response to the Ontario government's proposed restrictions on neonicotinoid-treated seeds here, along with the recent Ontario Grain Farmer magazine article Farming Without Neonics and the Conference Board of Canada's Seeds for Success: The Value of Seed Treatments for Ontario Growers. Other relevant documents will be posted as they become available

Document Download
Grain Farmers of Ontario v. Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Submission to EBR Posting #012-3068
Farming Without Neonics (Ontario Grain Farmer)
Seeds for Success: the Value of Seed Treatments for Ontario Growers
BHRT Strategic Plan
Guide to Treated Seed Stewardship
Ontario Pollinator Health Blueprint

PMRA announcements

January 7, 2016

Two announcements came out of PMRA on January 6, 2016: first,the preliminary results of the Value Assessment of Corn and Soybean Seed Treatment Use of Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam, and second, the Re-evaluation of Imidacloprid - Preliminary Pollinator Assessment. These two reports have resulted in some positive headlines about the value of neonicotinoids and are currently out for consultation with the public.

Highlights of the announcements:

In the Value Assessment for neonicotinoid seed treatment for corn and soybeans, PMRA confirmed what we have been saying and what the Conference Board of Canada concluded that there is a value for using Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam seed treatment when growing corn and soybeans. The report states that seed treatments protect corn and soybean crops from potentially devastating insect damage and confirms that pest pressures vary from region to region. The report also states that it is difficult to predict pest pressure but that neonic seed treatments can be a critical tool that provides economic benefits to corn and soybean farmers. The report includes information about how seed treatments help farmers do their jobs in a more environmentally sustainable way through the adoption of practices such as minimal and no-till agriculture systems which help to improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The detailed report can be found here.

In the Re-evaluation of Imidacloprid - Preliminary Pollinator Assessment, PMRA looks at all crops and applications of Imidacloprid including seed treatment, soil applied and foliar spray. The report found that there was no potential risk to bees indicated for seed treatment use. The residue levels in crop pollen and nectar resulting from seed treatment uses are typically below levels expected to pose a risk to bees at both the individual bee and colony levels. The exposure route of dust generated during planting of treated seed was also considered. Dust generated from planting of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed was previously identified as a concern in Canada, and risk reduction measures were put in place in 2014 to reduce exposure to dust during planting of treated corn and soybean seed. Dust generation is related to multiple factors including the planting equipment and seed types, and at this time planting of other seed types in Canada is not associated with dust-generation or harm to pollinators. The report cites the role of the label in managing risks of other applications, including foliar. We expect to see a report come out about clothianidin and thiamethoxam later this year. Here is a link to the consultation document.

Comments are due for the value assessment on March 18 and for the Re-evaluation of Imadcloprid 60 days following the release of further information on January 18. Grain Farmers of Ontario will be submitting comments to both on behalf of our membership.

EBR Posting

EBR Posting

Regulatory Amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09 under the Pesticides Act to Reduce the Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides (March 23, 2015).

Submission by Grain Farmers of Ontaro

Re: EBR #012-3733 - Regulatory Amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09 under the Pesticides Act to Reduce the Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides (May 7, 2015).

  • Grain Farmers of Ontario is extremely disappointed with the Ontario government’s announcement to reduce neonicotinoid seed treatment on corn and soybeans by 80%.
  • Despite reductions of bee mortalities by 70% in 2014 and over 90% compliance by farmers of the new fluency agent across Ontario – the installation of planter deflectors by some farmers and the adherence to pollinator BMPs – the government has let politics trump science and practicality.
  • The implementation of this near-ban has not been thought-out. The implications will have serious negative impacts on farmers and the public, both environmentally and economically.
  • An 80% reduction will result in winners and losers in the farm community. This regulation will put grain farmers at a serious competitive disadvantage both domestically and internationally.
  • Loss of neonicotinoid seed treatments will significantly reduce the number of acres of conservation tillage and zero-till farming in Ontario because farmers will no longer be able to control the insects that thrive under these conditions.

New Neonic Regulations

New regulations restricting the sale and use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seeds in Ontario were passed Tuesday, June 9. They came into effect July 1, 2015. The regulations are posted here.

Get Involved

Write a letter to your local newspaper. For letter-writing support, contact Maegan MacKimmie at or  519-767-4137.

Contact your Grain Farmers of Ontario District Director to learn about other opportunities to get involved. Find Your Director.

Media Inquiries: Meghan Burke at or  519-767-2773.

Press Releases

April 20, 2016 Grain Farmers of Ontario denied appeal
March 9, 2016 Request for appeal on seed treatment regulations heard
January 15, 2016 Letter to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
January 12, 2016 Grain Farmers of Ontario appeal to be heard in March
January 7, 2016 New Report Confirms Value of Neonicotinoids to Corn and Soybeans
November 3, 2015 Grain Farmers of Ontario Appeals Courts Decisions
October 23, 2015 Ontario Court Denies Application on Seed Treatment Regulations
September 2, 2015 Simcoe North NDP and PC Candidates Support Science Based Approach to Agricultural Policy
August 28, 2015 Simcoe North Grain Farmers Want Next MPP to be a Champion of Agriculture
August 18, 2015 Court Date Set for Seed Treatment Regulations
June 29, 2015 Grain Farmers of Ontario Pursues 'Absurdity Test' on Neonic Regulations
June 18, 2015 Federal PMRA Reports 80% Drop In In-Season Bee Mortality Over Two-Year Period
June 9, 2015 Activists 1, Agriculture 0: Ministry of Environment Pushes Through Regulations Offside With Farmers
June 1, 2015 Ontario is Out of Step with Rest of North America on Pollinator Health
May 28, 2015 Frustrated Grain Farmers to Demonstrate at Two MPP Riding Offices Friday
May 21, 2015 Anti-Pesticide Movement Within Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee
May 6, 2015 Seed Treatment Regulations Part of a Thinly Veiled Attack on Agriculture
May 4, 2015 Grain Farmers of Ontario Responds to Government's Rejection of Neonics Ban Extension
April 30, 2015 Farmers are Being Cut Out of Ontario's Agricultural Plans by Government
April 27, 2015 Grain farmers ask Province to Play Fair on Proposed Seed Ban
April 9, 2015 Grain Farmers of Ontario Firmly Opposes Draft Seed Treatment Regulations


Pollinator News Archive

April 21, 2016 Ontario court rejects grower appeal on neonic rules (
March 11, 2016 Huron-Bruce MPP says Liberals botched neonic regulations (Ray Baynton, Blackburn News)
March 10, 2016 Neonics ban continues to fly in the face of common sense (Toby Barrett, Question Period)
March 9, 2016 Ontario farmers show support for neonics pesticide at hearing (Eric Atkins, The Globe and Mail)
March 8, 2016 Ontario farmers prepare for fight against pesticide laws (Eric Atkins, The Globe and Mail)
February 6, 2016 Curious path to pollinator input (Darcy Cheek, Recorder and Times)
January 12, 2016 Court to hear growers' appeal of Ontario neonic rules (Staff, Canadian Cattlemen)
January 7, 2016 Neonicotinoid use on seeds poses no danger to bees, report says (Trevor Terfloth, Chatham Daily News)
protecting pollinators
mobile apps by grain farmers of Ontario