Spring is a great time to revisit the use of best management practices (BMPs) as farmers plant a new crop, and the National Corn Growers Association is encouraging thoughtful use and handling of neonic seed treatments to protect crops, pollinators and wildlife.
“Spring is a busy time for farmers. We literally set the stage for the success or failure of our new crop and the future profitability of our farm, said Bob Hemesath, Decorah, IA farmer and chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team. “It’s also a great time to reset and revisit the steps we are taking to improve stewardship and integrate best management practices as we grow the crops the public needs.”
Specifically, NCGA’s message to farmers is:
- Always read and follow the label when using treated seed
- Use the right amount of an appropriate seed lubricant to minimize dust
- Clean planters in non-sensitive areas and clean or cover up any seed spills
- Utilize the wealth of information online including this new seed treatment resource.
“Farmers understand the importance of reducing risks to bees and birds by using these products safely and responsibly. But, given the hectic pace of planting a timely reminder is helpful,” Hemesath said. “Seed treatments are a great tool that provide an economical means of protecting seeds and seedlings against early-season pests and diseases assuring they get a strong start, so proper handling and usage is in everyone’s best interest.”
NCGA applauds the new BeSure campaign supported by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) that makes it easy to find the most up-to-date resources related to the handling, planting and disposal of treated seeds and from other neonic applications used throughout the growing season.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.