Editors Note: The pesticides mentioned in this article are of the type that do the most damage to pollinators when sprayed aerially. It is unknown what the effects are of the residual amounts used as seed treatment, though there appears to be consensus that seed treatments reduce the overall pesticide use in agricultural settings.
Science should make for good farm policy as the NYS Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Holds Hearing On Important Risk Management Tool For Agriculture
New York Farm Bureau speaks out on proposed pesticide ban that would deny environmental and health benefits for New York’s family farms and employees
The following statement may be attributed to New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher regarding legislation to ban neonicotinoid seed treatments, as well as the products’ use on ornamental trees and shrubs, and turf (S.699B/A.7429).
“Seed treatments are a precision tool for farmers to manage their risk by protecting their crop from catastrophic destruction from pests. As more farms turn to no-till and cover crops to improve soil health and sequester carbon, the improved soil biology also attracts additional pests, like wire worm and seed corn maggots, that can proliferate and do real damage to a crop. The neonic seeds are treated before they go into the ground, the equivalent of less than one ounce of pesticide per acre as opposed to spraying less targeted, above-ground pesticides, which will be the case if farmers are forced to move away from seed treatments. Farms would also be forced to return to less climate friendly tillage practices that turn over the soil to help fight off harmful bugs should lawmakers ban this class of pesticide.
Neonics were developed as a much safer pesticide for the user as well as for the environment. The New York State Assembly must let science be their guide when setting farm policy. Seed coatings are a valuable part of New York State’s highly regarded Integrated Pest Management programs that works to protect pollinators. Banning this precision technology that minimizes spraying would just increase exposure to less safe pesticides while also depleting soil health. A ban would be a step backwards for the health of our people and environment.”
About the NY Farm Bureau
New York Farm Bureau is the State’s largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.” New York Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community.
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