The agriculture industry is working to show the benefits of neonicotinoids in the face of an EPA report released in October concluding that the seed treatments “provide little or no overall benefits to soybean production in most situations.”
During the ASTA CSS and Seed Expo last week, Dr. Pete Nowak with AgInfomatics discussed some of his findings on the value of neonics in North American agriculture to respond to the EPA findings. “A good $4 billion plus, direct costs to our economy if we lose neonicotinoids,” says Dr. Nowak summarizing the cost to all agricultural and green industry crops. “A very significant impact, not only on the producer, but also on the consumer in terms of food costs, as much of the four billion dollars would be passed on to the consumer.”
Several reports focused on different industries – such as soybeans, citrus and ornamentals – have already been released and a few more are expected by the end of the year. Since the EPA report focused specifically on soybeans, Nowak says they spent a lot of time listening to those growers. “I traveled around to all the major ag production areas in North America and spent a lot of time listening to growers and local agri-professionals,” he said. “These farmers were very frustrated by what they see as emotion driving much of the discussion and they felt that science really has to play a much more important role in establishing policy relative to neonicotinoids.”
Listen to Dr. Nowak talk about the research here: Dr. Pete Nowak, AgInfomatics
The research has been commissioned by Growing Matters, which is a group formed by a collaboration between Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, Valent and Mitsui, to help let the industry know what is happening on the federal level. The public comment period on the EPA analysis is open until December 22 and information on how to comment can be found by going to Growing Matters or AgVoice4Choice.com.