Stand Loss Assessments for Ontario’s Neonic Regulations

Seedcorn maggot damage in soybeans (H. Bohner, OMAFRA)
Seedcorn maggot damage in soybeans (H. Bohner, OMAFRA)

Once corn and soybeans emerge, keep an eye out for crop injury.  If you experience stand loss from wireworms, grubs, seedcorn maggot, bean leaf beetle (in soybeans only) or corn rootworm (in corn only), then you can choose to have an Inspection of Crop Pest Assessment done this spring.  If the stand loss thresholds are reached (see below), then a Pest Assessment Report can be submitted for the purchase of Class 12 pesticides for the next growing season for that entire farm property under one roll number.

A few important criteria:

  1. The Inspection of Crop Pest Assessment can only be done in an area on the farm property that was planted with corn or soybean seed that is not a Class 12 pesticide (corn or soybean seed treated with a neonicotinoid)
  2. A professional pest advisor (PPA) must be the person to conduct this assessment as this method requires specialized knowledge of pests and crop damage.  They will also need to fill out and sign the Inspection of Crop Pest Assessment Report.
  3. The assessment must be done in a 100 acre or less area of the farm property.

The definition of stand loss that applies to this Inspection of Crop includes:

  • either through failure of plants to emerge or
  • lack of plant vigour, resulting in stunted, damaged or dead plants

The professional pest advisor will assess the stand loss by following the steps outlined in the Pest Assessment Guide.  They will assess 5 “good stand” locations within the 100 acres or less plot and compare them to 5 “poor stand” areas within the same 100 acre or less plot.  If the stand loss threshold is reached, the PPA will fill out and sign the pest assessment report.

Stand loss thresholds

  • The stand loss threshold for a corn crop is 15 percent.
  • The stand loss threshold for a soybean crop is 30 percent.

An approved professional pest advisor is an individual who fits one or more of the following criteria:

  • recognized as a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) certified by the American Society of Agronomy and a member in good standing of the Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association
  • a registered member (i.e. a professional agrologist) under the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists Act 2013 with a field of practice relating to pest control or the production processing and protection of agricultural, horticultural and related products and supplies
  • a person who  holds an authorizing certificate issued by an out-of-province regulatory authority in respect of a field of practice similar to a professional agrologist or CCA
  • a person who  has the qualifications equivalent of a CCA or professional agrologist as determined by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

NOTE: As of August 31, 2017, a Professional Pest Advisor cannot derive a financial benefit from either the sale of Class 12 pesticides or the sale of pesticide products used to treat seed for producing Class 12 pesticides

Other Important Resources:

Guide to Early Season Field Crop Pests

Pest Manager app:  Android    iPhone, iPad

Integrated Pest Management Course for Corn and Soybeans Manual

Neonicotinoid Regulations for Ontario Corn and Soybean Growers