As planting season begins across the West, Western Plant Health is reminding farmers about the importance of following basic steps that will help ensure the ongoing stewardship of pesticide-treated seeds, which help reduce the overall use of pesticides.
This major agricultural advance provides seed treatments that help protect developing seeds during their most vulnerable time – at planting and germination. Their highly targeted, precise application means less impact on the surrounding environment.
Studies have shown that without this innovation, up to 5X’s more pesticides would have to be applied by traditional means to the crop. Fewer applications also require fewer tractor passes, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions and offers yet another way for farmers to mitigate climate change.
Treated seeds represent one of many valuable and innovative approaches enabling farmers in the West to be more productive, while using resources more efficiently and protecting the environment. That is why adopting these best practices is critical:
1) Follow label directions on seed containers;
2) Eliminate flowering plants and weeds in the field prior to planting;
3) Minimize dust by using advanced seed flow lubricants and mechanisms;
4) “Bee Aware” of honey bees and hives located near the field;
5) Ensure that any spilled seeds are removed to protect wildlife and the environment; and
6) Remove all treated seed left in containers and equipment after each planting, and dispose of any remaining seeds after planting is completed.
These are simple, effective and important stewardship practices when it comes to treated seeds. Let’s help protect this critical technology for farmers by observing these practices. Remember, always follow label directions on seed containers for proper handling, storage, planting and disposal to minimize risk to applicators, wildlife and the environment!
Farmers are the original environmentalists; properly using treated seeds is a way to continue that tradition and value to protect the land for future generations. – By Renee Pinel, President & CEO of Western Plant Health Association