The second general session of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo focused on seed treatments and pollinator health.
Laurie Adams with Pollinator Partnership discussed the Corn Dust Research Consortium, with a focus on some of the reasons we are seeing a loss in pollinators. With competing pressures for productivity in agriculture and for protection of pollinators like bees and butterflies, the actions of the seed trade have a significant impact on the future. Laurie discussed how sustainability for both high-yield landscapes and ecologically nurturing habitat can be achieved.
You can listen to Laurie’s remarks here Laurie Adams, Pollinator Partnership
Dr. Iain Kelly with Bayer CropScience focused on seed treatment and pollinator health. Declining pollinator health is currently attracting considerable scientific and media interest. A recent report summarizing the conclusions of USDA’s National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health outlined the various factors contributing to the decline, noting that the parasitic Varroa mite remains the single most detrimental pest of honey bees. Kelly discussed efforts by industry stakeholders to improve bee health, including assessing and minimizing any potential risks from seed treatment.
You can listen to Dr. Kelly’s remarks here Dr. Iain Kelly, Bayer CropScience
Jane DeMarchi with ASTA discussed the new Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship being rolled out in 2014. The Guide has been enthusiastically endorsed by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association, and has been shared with both EPA and USDA. As seed treatment technology advances, more resources are developed and the needs of the seed and crop production value chain evolve, Jane says the Guide will be updated to ensure the latest in seed treatment management information for seed companies and growers.
You can listen to Jane’s remarks as well as audio for the video they are using to promote Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship here: Jane DeMarchi, ASTA