The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture reminds growers to ensure their crop is marketable by eliminating the risk of treated seed contamination saying several loads are turned away each year because of contamination. The solution is to thoroughly clean and inspect all of your harvesting and hualing equipment, and ensure your crop is safe.
The full release from the Wisconsin Dept. of Ag., complete with a postable sign, follows...
MADISON -Farmers, don't let a few treated seeds cut into your bottom line. Make sure you remove them all from any harvesting or hauling equipment.
"Every year we condemn loads of corn and soybeans, because they've been contaminated with treated seed when producers didn't clean out equipment after planting season," says Lori Bowman, director of the Bureau of Agrichemical Management in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "There is no tolerance. If even one grain of the treated seed shows up in a truckload or storage bin, the entire lot is considered contaminated and cannot be used in food for humans or animals."
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.
Greg Helmbrecht, the Department's seed specialist, 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.
For a sign [like the one pictured at right] that you can post as a reminder, go to http://datcp.wisconsin.gov and look under "Plants" for information about seeds or click below on either the JPEG or PDF version. You can also call 608-224-4596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.