Protecting honeybees and pollinators is a key focus for Ontario farmers. Limiting exposure of the bees to certain insecticides, namely neonicotinoid-based corn and soybean seed treatments, plays an important role in a thriving bee population in the province.
Corn planter air exhaust has been identified as a possible risk to moving neonicotinoid particles off the ground and field and into the air, risking bee exposure. To circumvent the problem, farmers have eagerly adopted first the Fluency seed agent to reduce dust, but are waiting to have access to air deflectors on the planters to further decrease the risk.
Related: Assessing the risk and highlighting the solutions to continued honeybee health in Ontario
How do the deflectors work and how easily are they attached to different planters? In this video, Gerard Pynenburg, seed care specialist for Syngenta in Ontario, explains current deflector research in Europe and outlines a recent project by Syngenta to evaluate not just air deflection, but whether or not seed singulation was affected.
Pynenburg also walks us through where the deflectors go on the equipment, and highlights how long it took to install the deflectors on different planter brands, and adds why it was so important to validate the European work here in Ontario.
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