Seed World

Growing Matters Launches 2021 BeSure! Stewardship Campaign

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With the start of spring, the industry is all a-buzz when it comes to protecting pollinators. Leading the charge? Growing Matters, with their BeSure! campaign.

Launched on April 7, BeSure! is the third annual stewardship campaign to promote best management practices on the farm and in urban landscapes when using neonicotinoid products. It uses a wide range of media channels — from print to radio to social media — to remind farmers and industry stakeholders to follow label directions and responsible stewardship measures for neonics. This will minimize any potential impact on pollinators and other wildlife.

“We are pleased to be partnering once again with the BeSure! campaign that has reached millions of farmers, applicators, retailers and other agricultural industry stakeholders since it began,” says Bethany Shively, vice president of strategic communications for the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). “BeSure! complements ASTA’s ongoing outreach efforts around the value of seed treatments and the importance of following proper guidelines at every step of the process, including treating, handling, transporting, planting and disposal.”

In addition to ASTA, the campaign has been endorsed by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC), CropLife America and the Agricultural Retailers Association, among others.

Targeting the Midwest, where farmers use neonicotinoid-treated seed on major crops like corn and soybean, BeSure! also extends to fruits, nuts, vegetables, turf, trees and ornamentals treated with neonic products. The campaign is also furthering its reach to the Northeast.

“Neonicotinoid products have been proven to be very effective in stopping invasive pests such as the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP),” says California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer. “Staying diligent with proper treatments, including neonicotinoids, are essential to protect the California citrus industry from the deadly citrus disease Huanglongbing.”

To learn more about BeSure!, be sure to visit the website, where you can find up-to-date stewardship tips and information, such as the ASTA Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship and the comprehensive Insect Pollinators and Pesticide Product Stewardship Guide.

“Like many farmers across the country, I am committed to respecting and protecting our air, land and water today and for future generations, while growing crops to help feed the world,” says Kevin Paap, farmer and president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. “Neonicotinoid seed treatments are effective in helping to control pests that damage crops and reduce yields. But it is also very important for farmers to follow the stewardship practices promoted by the BeSure! campaign to help protect honey bees and other wildlife.