Ontario Releases Draft Regulations for Neonics Effective for 2016 Season

Courtesy Bob Vernon
Courtesy Bob Vernon

The Ontario government released today its draft regulation concerning the sale and use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed as of July 1, 2015. The draft regulation is open for comments until May 7, 2015. The stated goal of the regulations is to reduce neonic-treated corn and soy acres by 80% by 2017.

In the draft regulations, Ontario plans to create a new class of pesticides — Class 12 — for corn and soybean seeds treated with the following neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin.

Of note, farmers wishing to access the newly created Class 12 pesticide will have to complete a soil pest assessment ahead of the growing season and demonstrate that pests (grubs and wireworms, corn rootworm and seedcorn maggot) are above threshold levels. This change will be brought in in two stages:

  • For 2016, the proposed regulation sets out “a voluntary approach” to reducing the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soy. This fall, farmers may purchase up to 50% of their determined corn and soy acres with neonicotinoid treated seed without a pest assessment. Above that level would require an assessment.
  • For the 2017 growing season, farmers who want to order neonicotinoid-treated seeds would need to have IPM training and a pest assessment demonstrating a pest infestation, regardless of acreage needed. Pest assessments would be completed by an independent professional pest advisor. Pest assessments would be completed by people with IPM training and independent professional pest advisors, as defined in the proposed regulation, the province says.

Also proposed, seed companies will have to become a licensed treated seed vendor and will only be permitted to sell seed to those with IPM training or other licensed treated seed vendors.

The proposed regulation will also require that sales data is to be submitted annually to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and pest assessments are to be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, allowing for a “open and transparent system.”

To access the draft regulations or to submit a comment on the draft, click here.


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