Category: Pollinators

Record Colony Numbers, Neonics, & the Single Largest Threat to Bees

Contrary to what some headlines and marketing campaigns would lead us to believe, honey bee numbers in Canada are at record highs and trending higher. At the end of 2016, there were a record 750 thousand colonies in the country, according to Statistics Canada. “The state of the bee industry is quite strong right now,”… Read more »

Farming Gets Top Marks In Canadian Survey But Red Flags Appear

61% of Canadians have a “very or somewhat” positive impression of Canadian agriculture according to a new national survey released by Farm and Food Care (FFC) and the newly minted Canadian Centre For Food Integrity. That’s the highest ranking Canadians have given farming since FFC started asking Canadians for their impression of the industry 10… Read more »

“Continue the Fight for Neonics” says RealAgriculture Poll

A RealAgriculture reader poll suggests farmers and the agricultural industry want Grain Farmers of Ontario to continue the fight against the province’s new seed treatment regulations that restrict neonicotinoid use. Last week we asked readers: Should GFO Keep Fighting for Neonic Use? More than 75% of voters who cast ballots in the online poll indicated… Read more »

Should GFO Keep Fighting For Neonic Use?

After losing an Ontario Court of Appeal decision on the province’s new seed treatment regulations, what strategy should Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) now pursue on the neonic issue? We put the question to GFO chair Mark Brock. We’re also interested in your opinion. It appears the farm organization has three strategic options. Let us… Read more »

Entomologist Recommends Proactive Approach to Neonics on the Prairies

Regulatory restrictions are not on the radar in Manitoba, but the province’s agriculture entomologist suggests farmers in Western Canada should ask themselves “why?” before using neonicotinoid seed treatments. The Ontario and Quebec governments are restricting the use of insecticide-treated seed in response to concerns about neonics hurting bee health, but there haven’t been the same problems with pollinator populations… Read more »

Cold Weather Needed to Manage Pest Pressure, says OMAFRA Entomologist

A recent spurt of colder weather in Ontario is bad news for pests and good news for farmers, says OMAFRA Field Entomologist Tracey Baute. “It makes entomologists a little nervous, especially when we don’t see winter arriving until mid January,” says Baute who’s concerned that the warm fall and late-arriving winter of 2016 will mean… Read more »

Ontario Seeks Feedback on Pollinator Health Plan

After implementing restrictions on the use of corn and soybean seed treatments last summer, the Ontario government is now seeking public feedback on a “Pollinator Health Action Plan.” The plan is seen as the third component in the province’s pollinator health strategy, with the other two pillars being restrictions on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the… Read more »

Neonic Battle Returns to Court March 9

Grain Farmers of Ontario is heading back to court to fight another round in its court battle to contest the province’s new seed treatment regulations. GFO will be in court on March 9th. “We are pleased that the Ontario Court of Appeal has agreed to hear our case and to move quickly on the issue,” GFO… Read more »

Will New Reports Turn the Tide in the Neonic Debate?

It’s been a good news week for Grain Farmers of Ontario chair Mark Brock. But he’s unsure how positive reports on the impacts neonicotinoid seed treatments have on pollinators will affect provincial grain farmers. Earlier this week, reports from Health Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) delivered a one-two punch supporting the embattled… Read more »

GLASI Gets New Rules, Deadlines and Funding Levels

The Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI) has new application rules, deadlines and funding levels to better help farmers take advantage of the program. GLASI is targeted to farmers in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds, and Lake Huron’s southeast shores watershed, to help implement Better Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce phosphorus loading to… Read more »

Making Your Farm Bee-Friendly

What crop and seed mixes could farmers plant to make their farms more bee-friendly? That’s a question Bayer CropScience and Pollinator Partnership are trying to answer with a study aiming to give farmers recommendations on what they can do to improve bee habitat on their farms. Vicki Wojcik, research director for Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit… Read more »