Pollinator health information for crop growers
As part of the broader strategy to protect pollinators, Ontario introduced new rules on July 1, 2015, to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds
The requirements (Ontario Regulation 63/09) created Class 12, a new class of pesticides for corn and soybean seeds treated with three neonicotinoid insecticides (NNI): imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin. The Regulation also includes new rules for the sale and use of treated seeds, which restricts the use of NNI-treated corn and soybean seed to those areas where there is a demonstrated need. The regulation is being phased in to help farmers adapt to the new requirements.
Starting on August 31, 2016, farmers will need to submit the following to their sales representative, vendor or custom seed treater to purchase or plant neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) certificate number
Pest Assessment Reports
Learn more about the NNI-treated corn and soybean seed requirements at ontario.ca/neonics
Overview of Ontario Regulation 63/09 under the Pesticides Act: New Requirements Related to Pollinator Health
Resources for the NNI-treated corn or soybean seed requirements
Here's a list of resources to help crop growers understand and adopt the new requirements for NNI-treated corn or soybeans.
Scouting and Pest Assessment information
To print copies for upcoming industry meetings, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 for PDF versions of the resources above.
The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided to reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. While the BMPs provide many options, for best results, combine multiple options whenever possible.
Read and adhere to the pesticide label and seed tag directions
Directions for use on pesticide product labels or on treated seed labels [such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and buffer zones] must always be followed in order to minimize risks to human health and the environment.
Practice Integrated Pest Management when choosing seed treatments
Practicing integrated pest management (IPM) is essential for sustainable pest control. This approach can include cultural practices to discourage pests (e.g., crop rotation), correct identification of the pest problem and risk factors.
Develop and maintain shared communication with beekeepers to help protect honeybees
Communication and cooperation among growers, custom operators and beekeepers on the timing of planting treated seed and the location of hives can help to reduce the risk of bee incidents. This communication will enable growers to know which fields have hives located close by. Beekeepers will benefit from advanced notice of planting, allowing them to take actions to temporarily protect or relocate hives where feasible, and ensure clean water sources are provided.
Recognize pollinator habitat and take special care to reduce dust exposure
Bees collect pollen and nectar from flowering crops, trees and weeds, as well as water from puddles and moist soil in or beside fields. Pollinators can be exposed to treated seed dust when it is carried in the air or deposited on food and water sources.
Managing planting equipment to decrease dust drift
Research indicates significant levels of neonicotinoid concentrations are exhausted from negative vacuum planters during planting and may be susceptible to leaving the fields via drift.. Limited information is available on the extent of exposure through other planter types. All growers should take care to reduce/control insecticide containing dust exhausted from planters.
Avoid generating dust when handling and loading treated seed
Use appropriate seed flow lubricant
Seed flow lubricants may affect the generation of dust during planting.
Ensure proper clean-up and disposal
Take care when cleaning up after planting seed and follow provincial/municipal disposal requirements:
Report suspected pollinator pesticide poisonings
For suspected pollinator poisonings related to planting of treated seed or pesticides, contact the appropriate federal / provincial authority.
See the Health Canada's pollinator protection web page for appropriate federal and provincial contacts and additional information.
Enhance pollinator-friendly habitat on the farm
Enhancing habitat for pollinators around your farm will not only have an impact on improving pollinator health, but will also help to improve crop yields in pollinator-dependent crops. Managing the areas near your home, farm buildings, field margins and marginal lands to retain native flowers, plants and trees that provide blossoms throughout the growing season, and providing nesting sites, will contribute to improving pollinator habitat.
Ways to enhance pollinator habitat on your farm operation:
Learn about Programs and Services for Ontario Farmers.
Access various crop production resources.
Learn more about Ontario's Pollinator Health Action Plan a plan to strengthen pollinator health, agriculture and Ontario's economy.
Learn more about pollinator health in Ontario at ontario.ca/pollinators.
Learn more about the neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed requirements.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300