Farmers lack information on seed treatments found to harm pollinators, new paper

Minneapolis– The effectiveness and costs of pesticide seed coatings are not being made clear to farmers, according to a new paper by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Over the last decade, a small handful of seed companies often require or add neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings, particularly for genetically engineered crops. A growing body of science directly implicates neonic pesticides in the significant decline of bee and other pollinator populations. The most prevalent use of neonics is as seed coating material for agricultural commodity crops like corn and soybeans. The new IATP report, Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings, Crop Yields and Pollinators, found that independent seed companies and dealers are willing to provide farmers with information and choice around seed coatings. Moving forward, the paper stressed the need for credible, farmer-led field trials that compare different seed coatings and traits and that information should be publicly available and shared with other farmers. Read Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings, Crop Yields and Pollinators.