Minnesota Department of Ag Clarifies Governor’s Ban on Neonicotinoids

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is clarifying aspects of Governor Dayton’s executive order limiting the use of neonicotinoids to control pests.

Commissioner Dave Frederickson says farmers and commodity groups have been asking for specifics on verifying significant crop loss before applying the pesticide.

“If you abide by the label of the neonic product, you are in fact verifying your need because the label’s pretty clear.”

He uses the example of 250 aphids per soybean plant as a threshold level, which follows guidelines on the label.

Frederickson says the other primary concern from farmers has to do with seed treatments for next year.

“I would suggest they just keep moving ahead and plant the seeds that you are ordering, whether they’re seed-coated or not. The odds are they are going to be seed-coated. We’re not going to stop something from happening and cause a complete disruption in the growing cycle.”

He says the state legislature would have to grant authority to the Department of Ag to manage seed treatments, and the earliest that could occur is following the 2017 Legislative Session.

Dayton issued the order restricting neonic use during the Minnesota State Fair, saying the pesticide has been linked to the decline of bees and other pollinators.

Source: AgriMarketing

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