This week, the Task Force released its strategy, under the joint leadership of EPA and USDA and agriculture industry reaction to the plan has been very positive overall.
Andy LaVigne with the American Seed Trade Association says the industry had a seat at the table in developing the strategy. “We were part of the original program pulled together at the White House that was held about a year ago now,” said LaVigne.
Part of the strategy involves an EPA review of products used in agricultural production that could impact honey bees, including the neonicotinoid class of pesticides, and LaVigne says the industry is taking an active role there as well. “Our main focus is that EPA needs to look at this from a scientific standpoint,” he said.
The pollinator strategy highlighted the industry’s seed treatment stewardship program as an example of working with the public sector to mitigate pollinator exposure to agricultural chemicals. “What they were pleased with is that we took that initiative to raise awareness within the agriculture community on how farmers can be aware of pollinators in the area when they’re planting and make sure there aren’t any adverse affects from dust or anything,” said LaVigne.
In this interview, Andy also talks about the upcoming 132nd ASTA Annual Convention in Washington DC, June 17-20, where pollinator health will be one of many topics on the agenda. [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/asta/asta-andy.mp3″ text=”Interview with Andy LaVigne, American Seed Trade Association”]