Alternative plan to proposed seed treatment regulations
GUELPH, ON (March 9, 2015) – The Pollinator Task Force has shared the Ontario Pollinator Health Blueprint (Blueprint) with the Ontario government.
Developed over several months, the Blueprint offers a practical and sustainable alternative to the Ontario government’s proposed seed treatment regulations. The Blueprint was developed by the Pollinator Task Force, a coalition of beekeepers, farmers, and value-chain stakeholders.
“Over the past several months, the Pollinator Task Force has consulted over 900 farmers and received numerous presentations from stakeholder groups,” says Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are confident that our Blueprint is workable and delivers the necessary elements for the long-term success of pollinators alongside agriculture.”
The Blueprint identified five key areas to enhance the health of pollinators in Ontario: habitat and nutrition, pesticide exposure, diseases and parasites, communication between beekeepers and farmers, and verification and collection protocols for insects. Within the Blueprint, there is a commitment to establish one million acres of self-sustaining pollinator habitat on public and farm properties across the province and to reduce the risk of bee exposure to neonicotinoids as well as reduce the volume of neonicotinoid seed treatment in Ontario.
“Over the past three years, Grain Farmers of Ontario has encouraged dialogue and collaboration on this issue – and this is why we felt it was important to complete the work of the Pollinator Task Force,” says Mark Brock. “The Blueprint was developed through open communication among key stakeholders with the shared goal of a healthy ecosystem, thriving pollinator population, and productive agricultural industry. It is our hope that the work of the Pollinator Task Force will be well received and respected, while also demonstrating that, through cooperation, positive relationships and outcomes can be achieved.”
The Blueprint is available 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.