The Kroger Co. has announced a new policy to protect pollinators that includes a commitment to phase out sourcing of live garden plants in stores and garden centers that have been treated with neonicotinoids by 2020.
Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.
Entomologist Jonathan Lundgren has filed a whistleblower complaint alleging USDA retaliated against him because of his research on the adverse effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees and monarch butterflies.
Ball FloraPlant has announced its offshore cuttings farms did not use neonicotinoid-based pest management chemicals during its spring crop production last shipping season, and will continue to be neonic free this year. Instead, the company and its greenhouse managers have relied on alternative means to supply insect-free cuttings to its global customer base.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s companies announced April 9 that it has committed to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores in a gradual phase-out over the next 48 months. In response, horticulture industry associations issued a statement that Lowe’s position is surprising, considering the most recent and positive reports on the state of honeybee health and recent peer reviewed research, and that this is an issue for which sound science must take priority.
An extensive study of the diverse turf and ornamental industry (“The Green Industry”) reveals that neonicotinoids are the top-rated products used by professionals to control their most important pests in greenhouses, landscapes, lawns, nurseries and trees.
According to results of a survey by AgInfomatics, professionals in the turf and ornamental industries fear the loss of neonicotinoid products would reduce the quality of their plants and services, increase costs and negatively impact their ability to manage pest resistance.
AmericanHort encourages industry members to contact their members of Congress to support legislation that would require federal agencies to take greater action to deal with parasite and disease factors impacting the health of managed bees, specifically focusing on Varroa mites.
The New Jersey Green Industry Council’s 2014 Pollinator Summit is an event and issue briefing for everyone who works in the green industry, agriculture, or related industries. The event will take place Nov. 11 at the National Conference Center, East Windsor, N.J.