Industry still wrestling over neonic pesticides

Categories: News
Published on: June 15, 2014

Eastern Ontario Agrinews / June 2014 – Vol. 38, No. 6

Neonicotinoid-treated seeds are going into Ontario farmland again this spring.

While researchers may be building an increasingly strong case against ‘neonic’-coated seed as a chronic honeybee killer, there’s no consensus here yet on the adoption of a European-style ban.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario remains dead-set against the idea, diplomatically calling the notion “inappropriate” in a May 24 press release. The GFO predicts a ban would cut farmers’ corn and soybean revenues by $600-million negatively affect Ontario’s GDP by $400-million.

The GFO also points to measures its members are undertaking in cooperation with the Ontario Bee Health Working Group. That includes this year’s new mandatory use of a seeder fluency agent intended to reduce neonic dust emissions from planting equipment.

But the National Farmers Union says it’s time for a five-year moratorium on a neonics.