The American Soybean Association as well as CropLife America, the American Seed Trade Association, the Agricultural Retailers Association, the National Cotton Council of America, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Corn Growers Association have joint an industry coalition and petitioned a federal court to allow them to join the Anderson v. McCarthy lawsuit.
The suit, brought to the court by environmental activists, is requesting a court order for neonicotinoid treated seeds to be controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency, just as pesticides are. While the EPA has authority over pesticides, the agriculture groups hope to join the lawsuit to ensure the court and the EPA understand the importance of treated seed in America’s agriculture.
“Treated seed provides ASA’s members with an economical means for managing risk and protecting seeds from early-season insects, pests, and diseases, improving plant vigor, and increasing crop yields,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins in his declaration before the court. “Without the ability to plant treated seed, ASA’s members would suffer reduced farm income from crop loss and incur hundreds of millions of dollars in added costs from larger and more frequent foliar applications of less effective pesticides, requiring extra passes over each field and additional time, energy, and capital. Some ASA members may also be forced to engage in costly higher-density seeding-planting more seeds per acre than they currently are planting- to offset inevitable stand loss caused by increased pest pressures.”