At the end of the 2024 session, Vermont  became the second state in the nation to ban neonicotinoid treated seeds with H.706. The House Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry led by SiX CROP members, Representative Mike Rice and Representative Heather Surprenant, took weeks of testimony from farmers, scientists, and other experts across the fields of agriculture and conservation biology in considering the implications and benefits of this bill.

 The vast majority of neonicotinoids in use in nationwide and in Vermont come in the form of treated corn and soybean seeds, which are coated with the pesticides and used prophylactically on nearly 100% of the corn acreage despite overwhelming evidence that they provide no economic or crop yield benefit to farmers.

Legislators, recognizing that pollinators and farmers are both essential to Vermont’s food system and that both are facing substantial pressures, worked closely on the bill in partnership with communities to find a solution. HB 706 will both restrict the use of pesticides that are devastating  native and managed pollinator populations, while protecting the farmers who have been forced to rely on them from undue harm through a timeline and waiver process that will ensure a just transition.

In addition to banning these treated seeds and helping to encourage the industry to make other options available to our farmers, H.706 bans agricultural applications of neonicotinoids to vegetable and ornamental crops in bloom to further protect pollinators. HB 706 is expected to be signed into law by the Governor in the coming months.


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