Lack of Data on Seed Treatment Usage Limits Ability to Understand Economic and Environmental Impacts

Seed treatments are widely used in corn, soybean and cotton, and to a lesser extent in wheat. However, there are a lack of accurate, publically available data on seed treatment usage, which makes it difficult for researchers, farmers and regulators to understand the usage, balance costs and benefits, and assess environmental impacts including adverse effects on non-target organisms.Neonicotinoids have become the the most widely used insecticides in the world and are popular as seed treatments. They are highly toxic to pests and beneficial insects, and are persistent in the environment. The lack of data on seed treatment usage limits the ability to understand their impacts on non-target organisms.

One method of data collection, farmer surveys, is complicated by the fact that farmers know less about pesticides applied to seeds than the traditional, field-applied pesticides.

Read more in the BioScience Journal