Beware treated seed at harvest time
September 21, 2012
Don't Let Last Spring's Treated Seed Cost You This Fall's Harvest (1 page PDF)
Editors note: A jpg of the reminder sign is available on Flicker
MADISON – Farmers, be sure there is no treated seed left on equipment you use in harvesting. Wisconsin's seed specialist cautions that those few seeds could cost you a truckload of money.
Seeds treated with insecticides and fungicides are commonly used by farmers to protect seedlings at planting. These seeds are dyed bright colors to differentiate them from untreated seeds. If even a few grains of the seed show up in a truckload or storage bin, the entire lot is considered contaminated and cannot be used in food for humans or animals.
Greg Helmbrecht, seed specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, offers this advice to farmers who plant treated seed:
- Before hauling harvested grains or forage, use a pressure washer to clean all equipment used for treated seed, including gravity boxes, truck beds and wagons. Then visually inspect it, looking for any of the brightly colored seeds.
- If you are borrowing equipment for harvest, ask the owner what was stored or hauled in in previously.
- Check with your supplier about returning or disposing of any unused treated seed. If you are going to store it, keep it separately from grain, forage and feed storage areas. Secure it so that birds and other animals cannot get into it.
Here is a link to a sign you can post as a reminder: http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Plants/pdf/ArmPub172.pdf. You can also call 608-224-4596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.