Seeds for Success: The Value of Seed Treatments for Ontario Growers

The Conference Board of Canada, 76 pages, July 10, 2014
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Seeds for Success: The Value of Seed Treatments for Ontario Growers explores the potential economic consequences for corn and soybean farmers—and the Ontario economy—of a hypothetical Ontario-wide restriction on neonicotinoid insecticides.

Document Highlights

Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used by farmers around the world to protect crops from insect pests. In this report, we explore the economic consequences that a hypothetical restriction on neonicotinoids in Ontario would have on Ontario corn and soybean farmers. Such a restriction would likely reduce crop yields, increase farmers’ costs, or both, causing farms to exit the market or reduce acreage. We estimated that this would decrease farmers’ revenues by $630 million annually, and reduce Ontario’s GDP by nearly $440 million. Policy-makers considering changes to neonicotinoid regulations should fully examine all of the costs and benefits of such a policy, and clarify the potential costs to the farming community in Ontario.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Method
  • Organization of the Report

Chapter 2—Controlling Pests and Striking a Regulatory Balance

  • Why Do Farmers Use Pesticides and What Are Neonicotinoids?
  • The Rationale for Increased Neonicotinoid Regulation
  • How Are Neonicotinoids Regulated in Canada?
  • Neonicotinoids and Crop Yields
  • Alternatives to Neonicotinoids
  • Efficacy of Alternative Insecticide Treatments
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—Ontario’s Grain Economy

  • Corn and Soybean Farming in Ontario
  • Ontario’s Contribution to North American Corn and Soybean Supply
  • Organization of Farms
  • Seed and Pesticide Costs
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—Economic Impact of a Restriction on Seed-Applied Neonicotinoids

  • The Model
  • Initial Impact
  • Impact as Farmers React
  • Impact on Ontario’s Economy

Chapter 5—Implications for Policy

Appendix A—Modelled Economic Impacts Resulting From Changes to Seed Costs

Appendix B—Bibliography

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