Making the case in the neonic debate

April 30, 2015

From: CountryGuide

Can agriculture afford to lose to the non-science of neonic opponents? The costs would be even higher than you probably think


Here in early 2015, it’s becoming a recognized pattern in agriculture: another day, another article, another proclamation and another call for action, all revolving around farmers’ use of neonicotinoid seed treatments and the alleged damage this does to bees and bee colonies.


But the damage to farmers’ management practices and overall production levels are just two of many facets. Two separate studies, one from the Conference Board of Canada and another from a group of agricultural economists and scientists with AgInfomatics in the U.S., forecast crippling economic impacts in both countries. The Conference Board’s research estimates Ontario farmers would lose more than $630 million annually. That would affect jobs throughout the food value chain, from country elevators and ag retailers to equipment manufacturing and research and development. And it’s likely that it would affect jobs in urban centres, as well. The AgInfomatics research was a little more conclusive and ominous, stating, “Research results prove that neonicotinoids add billions of dollars to the economy and benefits entire communities, not just individual farmers.”

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