Cornucopia’s Take: Minnesota is a major producer of soybeans, a conventional crop known for being farmed with bee-killing neonicotinoids. Governor Dayton’s executive order aims to limit farmers’ use of these harmful chemicals.
Minnesota’s governor on Friday ordered the broadest restrictions yet in a U.S. state on the use of agricultural pesticides that have been blamed for hurting bees, fueling concerns that farmers there will not be able to protect crops from insects.
Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order that requires farmers to verify that they face “an imminent threat of significant crop loss” before using the chemicals, called neonicotinoids.
Details of how farmers would prove their need have not yet been determined.
Minnesota, the country’s third-largest soybean producer, carried out a special review of neonicotinoids that prompted the new limits, the first U.S. state to do so.
Honey bees have been in serious decline in the United States for three decades, threatening billions of dollars in crops. In recent years, their death rate has become economically unsustainable, according to the U.S. government.