CHATHAM — Many crop farmers have yet to fill out the paperwork for their seed dealers to be allowed to use neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds this spring.
But for those farmers who have dug the holes to test for grubs and wireworms and filled out the forms, many found it took longer than expected.
Simon Crouch went down to the Chatham-Kent Farm Show last month and asked farmers: How much time have you put in to satisfy the new neonicotinoid-treated seed regulations?
“In theory, (the field work and paperwork) is a good idea. In practice, it is the single biggest contributor to wasted productivity in the province. If you have wireworms, they are there for six years and we know by our soil type where we have pressures.
“For 300 acres, it probably took me the better part of the day (with) all the paperwork. The paperwork in general is taking more than the actual farming now. Compliance is an incredible burden.”
“I wasted a morning at the class. To be honest, I didn’t do the field testing this year. I’m going to have to next year. I’m just going to cut back on the neonics.”
South Lambton, Ont.
“I have taken the neonic course and I’m going through the paperwork. I’m saying for about 1,200 acres of corn it is probably a two-week process the way it is now. That’s everything.
“We are not all done yet. We are still going through roll numbers and varieties and splitting farms that are 180 acres to 100 acre parcels. It’s not an easy process. I cannot farm without neonicotinoid treatments on my corn seed for sure.”
Kent Bridge, Ont.
“I have taken the course. That’s a half day, then you’ve got field work. I dug the pits and then dug them up (to get the test results). A couple hours per 100 acres.
“I’m not happy with the process. We should have been thinking about this long ago. Even if it is completely safe, the idea of blowing chemicals into the air wasn’t a good idea. Encouraging deflectors would have been a great idea. The government mandating this just upsets me.”
“I don’t know how many hours it is going to be. The course was a half day. We’ve got to document the farms, so I’ve got to sit down with my seed dealer or someone like that.
“I’ve thought of not using (neonic-treated seeds) but we took samples out of our ground and there are a lot of wireworms and I’ve seen damage.”