Soybean Seed Treatments

Soybean Aphids

Soybean Aphids on Buckthorn Leaves

The EPA has released a report, “Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production“. The report discusses the economic benefits (or lack thereof) to soybean growers. The bottom line,”In comparison to the next best alternative pest control
measures, neonicotinoid seed treatments likely provide $0 in benefits to growers and at most $6 per acre in benefits (i.e.,a 0% – 1.7% difference in net operating revenue). You read correctly: at most $6/ acre on a crop that is worth around $500/acre. Neonicotinoids are extremely toxic to bees and there are concerns with environmental persistence. Neonicotinoids are primarily insurance against unpredicted pests. There are alternative treatments if the late season pests do appear. The combination of lack of benefit to growers in most situations and the negative effects on bees and the environment beg for a reduction in neonicotinoid use.

As part of its review process, the EPA is required to accept comments from the public. If you have a thoughtful comment or something to contribute to the discussion, the EPA comments page is open through December 22. Neonicotinoids have some good qualities but should be used judiciously. Pesticide products are often promoted by marketers who are paid to increase sales. Marketing, unfortunately, is prone to ignore scientific evidence when convenient. This is why there is a review process and the science community and public are given a voice.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Pest Management, Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

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