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New York Farm Bureau Asks Gov. Hochul to Veto Birds and Bees Protection Act


The bill would remove oversight by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, taking a step backward in protecting our environment and reducing climate impacts.

Harvest season has wrapped in what has been a challenging year for New York’s farmers, including a wet growing season and increased pest and disease pressures. Farmers need safe and effective risk management tools at their disposal to grow food needed to feed a growing population. This is why New York Farm Bureau is asking Gov. Hochul to veto the so-called “Birds and Bees Protection Act” (S1856-A/A7460) that would ban an entire class of pesticides and treated seeds known as neonicotinoids.

The bill is deeply concerning, especially because of the precedent it sets. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and its scientific expertise should maintain the authority to properly review and register risk management tools, something the legislature is stripping away. This is the same justification cited by Gov. Hochul in her veto message earlier this month of S5957/A5949, that would have allowed local governments to ban the use of certain pesticides in freshwater wetlands.

Seeds treated with neonicotinoids were designed to be safer and reduce pesticide use. In many cases, it uses 99 percent less of a chemical versus traditional broadcast spraying. While New York Farm Bureau shares the same goal as supporters of the legislation, to always look for ways to reduce our environmental footprint, we believe the result of this ban will force farms to revert back to spraying greater amounts of older, more toxic pesticides as well as increasing tillage to combat harmful pests. This would release more carbon from the soil and increase the likelihood of soil erosion, creating additional environmental and climate issues for the state, moving us backward. 

Click here to view press conference recording with NYFB's Public Policy Director Jeff Williams

Click here for video of vegetable farmer Karin Reeves of Baldwinsville, NY discussing her concerns on the corn crop should this bill become law.

Click here to learn more about the safety and efficacy of treated seeds.

Click here for video of grain and crop farmer Brad Macauley of Geneseo, NY discussing his safety concerns should this bill become law.

Click here for a graphic comparison of neonic vs. traditional pesticide application.



New York Farm Bureau is the State’s largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.” New York Farm Bureau’s mission is “Supporting today’s agricultural needs and creating member opportunities for tomorrow through advocacy and education.”