Good stewardship means adopting best management practices to ensure products are used safely and responsibly. Whether applied as a seed treatment, or as a foliar spray or soil treatment, neonicotinoid insecticides are used on farms and in urban landscapes because of their selective effectiveness against destructive insects and their proven safety to people and the environment, when used according to the label.
Because of these attributes, “neonics” play a critical role in most modern integrated pest-management (IPM) programs. These products protect plants and significantly increase crop yields, bringing billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and benefiting not only users, but entire communities. Like all insecticides, neonicotinoids must be used responsibly and in accordance with the label directions to avoid harmful exposures to people, wildlife, and the environment. Reading and following the label use instructions is the first and most important consideration when handling any pesticide. Labels provide precise information on how to minimize potential exposures to bees or wildlife, as well as how products may be safely used, handled, stored, and disposed.
Regardless of the method of application, following the label directions and using responsible stewardship practices are the best ways to ensure that neonicotinoids will not harm bees or other wildlife, whether using on crops, turf, ornamentals or trees, on farms or in urban landscapes.
BeSure! is an outreach initiative of Growing Matters, a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to scientific discourse on the stewardship, benefits and alternatives of neonicotinoid insecticides in North America. Learn more in the resources below.
Tips for Growers Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting treated seed, use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust. When planting treated seed, eliminate flowering plants and weeds in and around the field prior to planting. For foliar applications, ensure that sprays are directed away from any flowering plants, follow established buffer zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift. Before making an application, be aware of any honeybees and hives near the field and communicate with neighboring beekeepers. Remove and properly dispose of all treated seed. Keep all treated seed out of commodity grain channels.
Tips for Applicators: Comply with all regulations when using registered pesticide products, and ensure proper employee training prior to application. Apply best management practices when using treated seed, soil drenches, or foliar sprays to minimize dust or spray drift. Establish written protocols using best practices to ensure high-quality seed treatment, foliar or field application. Adopt stewardship documentation for the full life cycle of seed treatment products. Properly discard any unused product, rinse water or seed treatment by following the label disposal instructions to minimize any potential environmental impact. Ensure that all required and pertinent neonicotinoid treatment information, consistent with the product label, is conveyed to customers.
Other BeSure! Resources for Stewardship BeSure! is an outreach initiative of Growing Matters, a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to scientific discourse on the stewardship, benefits and alternatives of neonicotinoid insecticides in North America. Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Valent U.S.A. LLC are leading this coalition with support from Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc. BeSure! is supported by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC).