Pollinator Protection and Responsible use of Treated Seed
GUELPH, ON (February 6, 2014) – As part of an overall commitment to sustainable agriculture practices that protect pollinators Grain Farmers of Ontario welcomes Health Canada’s new label changes and best management practices that will help promote proper handling and safe use of neonicotinoid insect control.
Constant improvement and adaptation are essential ingredients in the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s commitment to sustainable agriculture. Over the past 3 years, Grain Farmers of Ontario has been raising awareness and building understanding of the issues facing honey bees in our province and working on solutions to reduce the risk of dust exposure during the planting of seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Part of these efforts include supporting the development of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) newly released Pollinator Protection and Responsible use of Treated Seed guidelines that include a series of label changes and recommendations for the use of neonicotinoids for spray application and seed treatment.
To help facilitate Health Canada’s new guidelines all corn and soybean seed deliveries will be accompanied by a new label and supply of the new fluency agent. Farmers are required by law to adhere to the label instructions that include safer handling procedures. Part of these new procedures ensure the replacement of talc (that creates dust) by making the use of the new fluency agent (that reduces dust) mandatory. Farmers are reminded to follow the instructions on the new fluency agent label.
“Grain Farmers of Ontario is committed to adjust planting practices to protect pollinators and we are pleased to see Health Canada’s label changes in place for the 2014 planting season.” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Protecting crops from insect damage is essential for farmers and PMRA’s new guidelines, along with Grain Farmers of Ontario’s initiatives, promote sustainable agriculture practices and the protection of pollinators.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario encourages all farmers to review PMRA’s recommendations for neonicotinoids and follow the new seed tag label. A tear-out listing of the 2014 best management practices can be found in the March issue of Ontario Grain Farmer magazine to post in farm offices as a convenient way to review and share what is required. The PDF version can also be downloaded anytime at www.gfo.ca/protectingpollinators.
Grain Farmers of Ontario
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.