Legislation to restrict treated seed advances in Minnesota House

Legislation to further regulate certain seed treatments is advancing in the Minnesota House.

Minnesota Corn Growers Association president Richard Syverson says the bills involve seed treated with neonicotinoids (nee-oh-nick-eh-tih-noyds), a commonly used pesticide.

“The third (proposal) is probably the most problematic. This one would require certification of need before you could use treated seed.”

He tells Brownfield the proposals would put stricter regulations on seed treated with neonics than what the EPA has in place.

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president Bob Worth suggests restrictions like these could set farmers back decades.

“You know, I don’t know when they’re going to go after herbicides or whatever. I mean, we could be going back farming the way we did 20 or 30 years ago with cultivation, etc. We’ve come a long ways in terms of soil health, we’ve come a long ways for erosion.”

On the Senate side, Agriculture Committee chair Aric Putnam tells Brownfield he’s gathering feedback from farmers.

“I think it’s important to keep that front of mind as we figure out what we’re going to do about things like pesticides. No one wants to pollute, no one wants to harm the earth, the water, or the bees. So let’s find a way to help people do better, rather than ban things.”

A bill to regulate the sale, use and disposal of seed treated with neonics was approved by the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee on a party-line vote Monday and now heads to the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee.

Richard Syverson interview:

Bob Worth interview:

Aric Putnam interview:

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