Seed Treatment Concerns

Minimize Off-Site Drift of Seed Treatment Materials

pile of treated seedSeed treatments (insecticide and/or fungicide active ingredients) reduce potential risks to workers, minimize potential runoff to waterways, and lower the overall amount of pesticide applied in the environment. To reduce pollinator exposure, follow these precautions (specific label information takes precedence).

  • Always use high-quality seed free from excessive dust.
  • For seed types that require that pesticides be coated onto the seed, always use an appropriate coating system that keeps abrasion of coated pesticide to a minimum.
  • Follow planter manufacturer recommendations for use of talc, graphite, or other flow agent. Avoid excess use to minimize dust.
  • Avoid releasing dust from seed treatment into the air. When opening seed containers and during filling, emptying, or cleaning of the planting equipment, avoid dust movement that could cause exposure.
  • Avoid off-site movement of dust from treated seeds during planting. Be aware of wind speed and direction.
  • To protect birds and mammals, treated seeds must be incorporated into the soil at proper planting depth, in particular at row ends and field corners.
  • Be aware of the presence of flowering crops in or adjacent to the field which could attract pollinators.

Ensure that no blooming weeds are present in the field at planting, through the use of herbicides or tillage.

For more information:

  1. The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship and web site: from the American Seed Trade Association and CropLife America.  The Guide contains recommendations for planting, handling, transport, and storage of treated seed; selection and safe use of seed treatment product; and treated seed labeling. A seed treatment glossary and list of resources are included.
  2. Pollinator Protection: Reducing Risk From Treated Seed. Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Canada.
  3. Best Management Practices: Seed-Applied Insecticides and Pollinator Safety. CropLife Canada.