An agricultural industry collaboration led by Growing Matters, a coalition committed to neonicotinoid product stewardship, launched “BeSure!” — a stewardship-awareness campaign to promote best-management practices to farmers and applicators who use neonic products and treated seed.
Powered by Growing Matters along with the American Seed Trade Association and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center, BeSure! is designed to strengthen awareness of stewardship practices to protect bees and other wildlife during the handling, planting and disposal of treated seeds, and from other neonic applications used throughout the growing season.
As farmers and applicators take to the field for planting, they’re reminded to do the following:
- Be sure to always read and follow the label when using treated seed
- Be sure to use the right amount of an appropriate seed lubricant to minimize dust
- Be sure to clean planters in non-sensitive areas and clean or cover up any seed spills
- Go to GrowingMatters.org for a wealth of free tips and reminders
“Seed treatments provide farmers with an economical means of protecting seeds and seedlings against early-season insect pests and diseases – resulting in stronger and more uniform stands, healthier plants and higher crop yields,” says Jane DeMarchi, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for ASTA. “Farmers understand the importance of reducing risks to bees and birds by using these products safely and responsibly. Through efforts like the Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship and ‘BeSure!’, the seed industry is committed to reinforcing product stewardship by providing useful guidelines for managing treated seeds to minimize potential off-target exposures to wildlife.”
The first phase of the campaign uses traditional, social and digital media to target Midwest farmers and emphasize effective stewardship practices when using neonic products. Farmers will be directed to GrowingMatters.org, an interactive website with up-to-date stewardship tips and information. The BeSure! site also integrates ASTA’s Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship, which includes videos and brochures to show how treated seeds can be used to avoid harmful exposures to bees and other wildlife. Additional links will explain how other neonic applications should be used responsibly, including the comprehensive Insect Pollinators and Pesticide Product Stewardship guide.