Successful Farmers Choose the Right Hybrid

Understanding Ontario's Regulatory Requirements for Neonicotinoid-treated Seed in 2017


The Ontario neonicotinoid regulations set are in their second year, and, although there are not many changes for the 2017 season, they may be causing some confusion. You can be confident that the DEKALB brand is continuing to work to provide the most up-to-date information.

We are confident that we can help provide our dealers with the knowledge they need to serve you, and we are confident that you will make the right decisions in the face of the new regulatory reality. 

​Support from the DEKALB Brand to You, the Farmer

The DEKALB Agronomy team has a wealth of experience with our hybrids and varieties, and we have an extensive lineup to serve the needs of farmers in Ontario through these challenging times. Always remember that the number one decision for your farm should still be selecting the right hybrid or variety for your field. Research with our own DEKALB hybrids shows that correct placement of the right hybrid in the right environment is a major factor in optimal yield performance.

Take hybrid A for example (in the chart to the right). It excels in the Mid and High yield potential zone and Hybrid B has its best performance in the low yield potential zone. No matter the seed treatment, a key agronomic choice is to get the right hybrid or variety planted in the right field. The DEKALB brand team can show you the data that helps you make the best hybrid choice for your farm.

We want to help you learn more about the regulations for neonicotinoid-treated seed and insect scouting; and we have put together the resources to do so.

What You Need To Know About Neonicotinoid-Treated Seeds

Last year, new regulatory requirements for the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated seed in Ontario came into effect. These regulations are continuing to be phased in over a period of time and are in their second year. The regulations support the province’s target to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. The government plans to accomplish this by ensuring that neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds are used only when there is a demonstrated pest problem.

The regulations define corn and soybean seed treated with Imidacloprid, Clothianidin or Thiamethoxam as a Class 12 pesticide. This is a new way of defining “pesticides”. Many people hear “pesticide” and think of something that comes in a jug; now it can also refer to a bag of seed.

To be clear, neonicotinoid-treated seed is defined as a Class 12 pesticide, and, as of July 1, 2015, is regulated like other pesticides. ​When you hear the term “Class 12 pesticide”, remember to be thinking about neonicotinoid-treated seed, not a pesticide that is sold in a jug or a tank.

/_uploads/images/agronomic-info/click-here.jpg to request more information from the DEKALB Brand team on the right hybrid choice for your farm

Further Sources of Information on the New Regulations

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has published resources online. They also have a toll-free number and an email address to ask questions. We encourage you to ask your questions so that they understand the scope of this issue and the impact on the farmers of Ontario.

Guidelines and Forms

MOECC : Tel: 1-800-565-4923

OMAFRA : Tel: 1-877-424-1300

Now that neonic treated corn and soybean seed is considered a pesticide, what does that mean for those who grow these crops?

Here is a summary of our best interpretation of the responsibilities of farmers who wish to buy and grow Class 12 pesticides (neonicotinoid-treated seed) in Ontario:

  1. If you, as a farmer, do not want ANY seed treated with neonics, you do not have to do anything differently. You can simply purchase non-neonic-treated seed and plant.
  • If you, as a farmer, want to purchase seed treated with neonics, you must complete the following:
  • Complete the Integrated Pest Management Course (IPM) that is offered at various locations and online by Ridgetown College which is free until August 31st, 2017. Your certificate number obtained from completing the course must be presented to your dealer when you purchase neonic treated seed.
  • Conduct pest assessments and completed documents for your fields you wish to plant with neonic treated seed; these documents must be presented to your seed dealer. There are two options for this assessment:
    • A Soil Inspection Pest Assessment; completed by a grower that has completed the IPM training or a professional pest advisor*


    • A Crop Inspection Pest Assessment; completed by a professional pest advisor


 * For the 2017 season, a professional pest advisor can be any person that is CCA accredited   

What is a Soil Inspection Pest Assessment and how do I do it?

  • Divide your farm into “plots” that are not more than 100 acres (i.e. If your farm is 250 acres, you will have 3 plots). Conduct the soil pest assessment on 5 locations per plot (in the above example there will be 15 locations). If the average number of grubs is 2 or more, or if the average number of wireworms is 1 or more in each plot, then a Class 12 pesticide may be used if you submit a Pest Assessment Form prior to delivery of your seed.
  • For 2017 farmers can do the above soil pest assessment themselves, provided they have completed the IPM training course. No limit to the number of tests or timing for when they can be done has been prescribed.
  • For the 2017 season, a farmer can also provide a Crop ​Inspection Pest Assessment Report completed by a Professional Pest Advisor.
  • Beginning on August 31, 2017, to be phased in a geographic basis across Ontario over time, the soil pest assessment report will also need to be completed by a Professional Pest Advisor.

Placing an Order for DEKALB Seed Treated with Neonicotinoids

You can place a seed order for neonic-treated seed with your DEKALB dealer this fall. In fact, we encourage early orders to help us meet production requirements. However, your DEKALB dealer will need to have the appropriate paperwork (Pest Assessment Form and an IPM Written Declaration Form) in hand before they can complete your order and deliver your seed next spring.

If you need to conduct a pest assessment and you don’t know where to start, the DEKALB Agronomy team recommends starting with:

  • Fields with a history of pests
  • Fields with high weed pressure early in the season
  • Fields that you are able to plant early each year
  • Field edges in the fall
  • Fields with cover crops

If you have a mix of neonic-treated and fungicide-only or untreated seed, these are the areas the DEKALB Agronomy team has determined are most likely to benefit from using neonic-treated seed:

  • Light soils
  • Short rotation intervals
  • Lower average yields
  • Fields that get manure
  • Fields with cover crops

Further Resources

The DEKALB brand is your trusted source for agronomic information – direct from our expert DEKALB Agronomy Team – to help you stay informed on relevant issues such as how to scout for pests and where best to position your neonicotinoid-treated hybrids and varieties.

Click Here for more Insect Scouting Resources

As we have more information on the regulations and how they are interpreted, we will continue to update this webpage. For now we’d like to keep everyone informed for the 201​7 growing season.

Last Updated on: September 20, 2016

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