Spring has sprung and the growing season is upon us! This Earth Day, the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the third annual national campaign to promote pollinator health best management practices through BeSure!.
“Making sure farmers have access to the best and most up-to-date information is why NCGA has been a part of the BeSure! campaign from the beginning,” said NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider. “With planting season underway across the country, it’s a great time for farmers to again consider how they can help protect important pollinators around their fields.”
The benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in protecting corn seeds from early-season pests are well documented. But farmers and applicators can protect both their crop and pollinators and other wildlife by following a few simple guidelines.
- Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices.
- When planting treated seed, use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust.
- Additionally, when planting treated seed, eliminate flowering plants and weeds in and around the field prior to planting. For foliar applications, ensure that sprays are directed away from any flowering plants, follow established buffer zones, and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift.
- Before making an application, be aware of any honeybees and hives near the field and communicate with neighboring beekeepers prior to treatment.
- Remove and properly dispose of all treated seed. Keep all treated seed out of commodity grain channels.
- Comply with all regulations when using registered pesticide products and ensure proper employee training prior to application.
- Apply best management practices when using treated seed, soil drenches or foliar sprays to minimize dust or spray drift. Establish written protocols using best practices to ensure high-quality seed treatment, foliar or field application.
- Adopt stewardship documentation for the full life cycle of seed treatment products.
- Properly discard any unused product, rinse water or seed treatment by following the label disposal instructions to minimize any potential environmental impact.
- Ensure that all required and pertinent neonicotinoid treatment information, consistent with the product label, is conveyed to customers.
To learn more about best management practices to protect both crops and pollinators while handling neonicotinoid products, visit BeSure!, powered by the Growing Matters coalition and in conjunction with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC), the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, CropLife America and the Agricultural Retailers Association.