Treated seed can reduce the number of spray applications of insecticides, help increase yield potential, and support a sustainable means of crop production.
Below are some recommended best management practices in connection with the handling and planting of treated seeds to minimize dust-off and reduce exposure and potential risks to people and the environment.
- Consider environmental factors, such as wind speed and direction, when opening seed containers and during filling or emptying of the planting machine.
- Follow planter manufacturer recommendations for use of seed flow lubricants (such as talc or graphite) and avoid excessive use.
- Avoid shaking the bottom of the treated seed bag when filling planter. This reduces release of dust that could have accumulated during transport.
- The planter should be filled at least 10 yards inside the field to be planted, avoiding proximity to apiaries, hedges, or flowering crops or weeds.
- Be aware of the presence of honeybee hives, or crops or weeds in the flowering stage within or adjacent to the field which could attract pollinators.
- Direct planter exhaust downward toward the soil surface, if possible. Use of downward deflectors may decrease off-site movement of dust.
- If spills occur, treated seed should be securely covered or collected as soon as possible to prevent exposure to humans, animals or the environment.
- Return leftover treated seed to its original seed lot containers, if treated seed is intended for storage, and use at a later date.
For more information, refer to The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship, produced by the American Seed Trade Association.