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Seed Restrictions in Vermont?

March 26, 2024

By Whitney Burgess, PMNRCD, and Heather Darby Ph.D., University of Vermont

Pesticides, and more specifically neonicotinoids (or “neonics”), have been topics of conversation in Vermont with legislation currently being proposed regarding their use.  Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide that is chemically related to nicotine. Neonicotinoids are often simply referred to as “neonics.” These proposals have been made due to the concerns associated with broad scale applications of neonicotinoids and their potential to impact non-target organisms, like bees and other pollinators. For crop producers in Vermont, the proposed legislation would impact the use of seed treated with neonicotinoids. Currently, much of the purchased corn seed comes coated with neonicotinoids to control insect pests that threaten these crops.  They have become widely used due to their relative affordability, ease of use, wide availability, and lower toxicity to mammals and humans than traditional insecticides.

For more information on neonicotinoids, it is recommended that you watch the webinar series, “Managing Neonicotinoids in Row Crops” hosted by Heather Darby of the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension. The topics included in the webinar series are: An introduction to the Agricultural Innovation Board (AIB), neonicotinoids and pollinators, integrated pest management (IPM), cover crops and no-till, reducing bee exposure, and transitioning away from neonic treated seeds. Each webinar was recorded and is available at the link below, just scroll to the “Past Events” section of the webpage.

The webinar series is at

Additional information is available from the following resources created through UVM Extension.

Neonicotinoids & Risk Management is found at

Wireworm and Neonicotinoid Treated Seed in Row Crops is at

Seedcorn Maggot and Neonicotinoid Treated Seed in Row Crops is at