April 16, 2014
In an effort to reduce pollinator exposure to Neonicotinoid Insecticides during corn and soybean planting, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently released Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Responsible Use of Insecticide-Treated Seed.
Due to an unusually high volume of bee losses recently, studies were conducted seeking answers. It has been determined that a possible cause for the rise in bee kills may be associated with corn and soybean seed treated with Neonicotinoid Insecticides. According to a document released January 8, 2014, by Health Canada, “Research indicates that use of vacuum (i.e., negative pressure) planters poses a significant risk of pollinator exposure from drift of insecticide-containing dust exhausted from these planters.” 1 Health Canada also indicates in its Reducing Risk from Treated Seed publication, “The use of pneumatic seeders for planting corn may increase dust exposure to pollinators. Some planter models can have exhaust vents that are directed away from the ground and into the air and may operate with high air pressures, thus emitting more dust from the planter into the air.” 2
Great Plains Yield-Pro® Planters utilize a patented positive air flow system that discharges exhaust directly towards, and in close proximity, to the ground, not “directed away from the ground” and up into the atmosphere.
In addition, Health Canada also announced “When using a seed flow lubricant for planting corn or soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid, only the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience is permitted to minimize the potential for abrasion that produces insecticidal seed dust.” 3 Great Plains has successfully tested its Yield-Pro Planters with the Bayer Fluency Agent and is prepared to ship the Bayer product to its Canadian customers.
Great Plains Air-Pro® Meters have an extensive list of disc options for planting corn, soybeans, milo, sunflowers, cotton, wheat, sugar beets, and canola. The Meter is available on all Yield-Pro Planters.
1 “Pollinator Protection and Responsible Use of Insecticide Treated Seed,” Health Canada, January 8, 2014, p. 2.
2 “Pollinator Protection: Reducing Risk from Treated Seed,” Health Canada, April 8, 2013, p. 4.
3 “Pollinator Protection and Responsible Use of Insecticide Treated Seed,” Health Canada, January 8, 2014, p. 1.