Banning neonics will have smaller impact on agriculture than industry estimates: leaked draft report.

Banning neonics will have a minimal effect on corn and soybean yields, an internal federal government draft report shows.

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides, are widely suspected of contributing to bee losses as high as 58 per cent in Ontario. In response, Ontario is enacting a partial ban on neonics and is facing stiff resistance from grain farmers and the pesticide lobby. The draft regulation is currently open for public comment until May 7. If approved, the new rules will take effect July 1, 2015.

The internal government draft report, obtained exclusively by 16×9, estimates that a ban on neonics could mean up to a $91.3 million net loss in revenue for farmers, out of a total $4.69 billion, or 1.9 per cent.

“This study should go some way to assure politicians that a huge financial hit will not happen,” as a result of a partial ban in Ontario says Dave Goulson, a bee expert and professor of biology at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. “There are not going to be catastrophic losses because of this.” Read full article