Combined seed treatment helps protect NZ crops

July 11, 2016

From: Scoop Sci-Tech

Combined seed treatment helps protect NZ crops

A new version of an insecticide used to help protect corn, wheat grass and brassica crops has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).


What is the risk to bees from this neonicotinoid?
The EPA risk assessment indicated that the risks to bees from the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin were well below the level of concern.

The assessment looked at the mechanism by which bees would be exposed to clothianidin on treated seeds. The substance on the seed must be absorbed by the growing plant and distributed within the plant’s tissues to the nectar and/or pollen, which is then accessed by bees. For bees to be exposed, plants grown from the treated seed must be allowed to flower, which is not the case with all commercial crops.

Clothianidin remains present in the plant, grown from the treated seed, for several weeks after germination, giving the plant a longer period of protection compared to other seed treatment active ingredients. This reduces the need for later soil treatments and at least one foliar treatment can be removed from the recommended spray program when Poncho Votivo is used.

Neonicotinoids have been implicated in colony collapse disorder and are harmful to bees. Why is the EPA approving another one?
Bee colony collapse has not been identified in New Zealand. It is a multi-factor issue, caused by a combination of disease (eg varroa mite), poor nutrition, habitat changes/loss, climate changes and exposure to various pesticides.

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