New seed application technology to further reduce potential dust exposure to honey bees
As part of its commitment to sustainable agriculture, Bayer CropScience Canada announced very favorable field trial results of its new seed application technology, which is designed to further reduce potential dust exposure to honey bees during a typical planting process, while offering improved handling efficiencies to corn farmers.
The use of lubricants, such as talc and graphite, are a standard recommendation by seed planter manufacturers to reduce friction and improve uniformity, but recent scientific publications on this topic have triggered a debate as to the relationship between the already low level of exposure of dust from these planters and potential acute effects on bees. As an alternative, the new Bayer fluency agent – made of a polyethylene wax substrate – was shown to significantly decrease dust and emissions during laboratory testing:
• Ninety percent reduction in total dust versus talc
• Sixty percent reduction in total dust versus graphite