Ontario’s agriculture minister recently announced a move to increased rules and regulation regarding use of neonicotinoid seed treatments on corn and soybeans. As noted, there are no new set regulations on the product’s use at this time, however the government is set to begin a consultation process ahead of rolling out changes to the insecticide’s use.
On the heels of the government’s announcement, many called foul — stating that there needed to be science to back up any restriction placed on the use of the insecticide. Tracey Baute, entomologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, is one of the lead scientists on this issue, and has, in fact, been conducting research for a few years to gauge not just the potential risk of neonic seed treatments, but also the value and need of the treatment by area.
In this interview with Bernard Tobin, Ontario field editor for Real Agriculture, Baute summarizes what we know of neonic ‘dusting-off’, the potential risks, the benefits, and, most importantly, what information, maps or assessment tools farmers need and may have access too in the face or increased regulation.
Looking for more on the neonicotinoid issue? Click here.