7 Nov 2013

Safety guide for chemically treated seeds

9:45 am on 7 November 2013

The seed and agri-chemical industries have launched a new safety guide for handling and using chemically treated seeds.

Seeds are treated to protect them from diseases and insect pests and reduce the need for spraying crops after they are sown.

Some of the treatments, such as insecticides, are a threat to bees, especially if dust is released during planting.

Agri-chemical body Agcarm chief executive Graeme Peters says the 32-page guide describes how to minimise those sorts of risks and also to protect the health of anyone handling the seeds, from processing through to planting.

He says a number of things can be done to improve the quality of seeds such as coating them with fungicides, herbicides or a colouring agent.

Mr Peters says the coating is nearly always done in a seed treatment plant, so workers there need to follow good practice.

Once the product goes out the door, it must be properly transported and the seed tag or label instructions must be followed clearly, he says.

Mr Peters says it is hoped that anything a person may want to know about seed treatment is in the document.