The recent visit to Iowa by Chinese Vice Premier Xi Jingping helped underscore the importance of China as the primary overseas market for U.S. soybeans. However, the Chinese government has very strict rules forbidding the presence of any treated seed in commodity soybean shipments arriving at its ports. Because Chinese officials have detected some treated seed within U.S.-origin commodity soybean shipments during the past year, U.S. laws governing what must be done by farmers for proper and legal disposition of treated seeds remaining on farm after the planting season is over must be followed.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council and ASA feel U.S. farmer compliance is critical to avoid disruption of U.S. soybean exports to China and other applicable overseas markets. Below are recommendations garnered from the “Treated Seed Disposal” section of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship website of the Center for Integrated Pest Management.

“The best way to dispose of a small quantity of leftover seed that has been treated with a pesticide is to plant it in fallow or other non-cropped areas of the farm.

“Other possible options include:

  1. Disposal in an approved municipal landfill (only permitted in some states; plus permits may be required)
  2. Use as a fuel source for electrical power plants or cement kilns
  3. High-temperature incineration by a waste management facility
  4. Fermentation in an alcohol-producing process at an ethanol plant (but then the ethanol plant’s resultant mash or distillers grains must not be used as feed)

“However, the farmer must first contact the specific facility to determine if it can accept pesticide-treated seed. For disposal of large quantities of leftover treated seed, the farmer must contact the pesticide manufacturer if the farmer needs more information. If the seed treatment was applied by the seed company, the farmer should contact the seed company."

More information is available online.