Industry Awaits EPA Decision on Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments

January 4, 2016

Editor’s note: For more information about the fatal flaws in EPA’s soybean-neonic economic analysis, see CRE’s Data Quality Alert to EPA, Data Obfuscation Biases EPA’s Neonicotinoid-Soybean Study Against Farmers.

From: KTIC | 840 Rural Radio

BY DTN/Progressive Farmer

Soybeans will still be treated with neonicotinoid insecticides in 2016, but that could change when the EPA finalizes its economic assessment of the practice. (DTN photo by Jim Patrico)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has missed a few of its 2015 deadlines in its scheduled review of neonicotinoid insecticides. Among them is the finalization of an economic assessment of the use of neonicotinoids in soybean seed treatments, which the agency released in October of 2014.

In the preliminary draft of that assessment, EPA concluded firmly that neonicotinoid seed treatments have no economic benefit for Midwestern soybean farmers. Often called neonics, the chemicals are added to most corn seed and roughly half the soybean seed sold, primarily to combat sucking insects and soil pests. As companies, farmers, university and Extension scientists and environmental groups rushed to defend or castigate the report’s conclusions, more than 41,000 comments piled up on the EPA’s public posting of the report.

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