We are studying the environmental impact of agricultural practices and insecticide use in the Canadian Prairies. One group of insecticides, the Neonicotinoids - are an economically important group of chemicals - but with chemical properties that potentially threaten Canada's freshwater resources through reduced aquatic insect production with consequences for birds and wildlife that are dependent on insects for food.
IMPACTS OF NEONICOTINOIDS AND OTHER AGROCHEMICALS
Shifts in agriculture toward large-scale production, mechanization and mono-cropping have seen exponential growth in chemical inputs designed for improved crop yields. Current agricultural practices are highly dependent on pesticide use. Neonicotinoids are valued for their versatility in application, most are used as seed treatments on major Prairie crops such as canola (oilseed rape). In Canada’s Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), this is problematic as prime agricultural land is directly adjacent to ecologically important freshwater wetlands. We currently have a comprehensive set projects investigating potential impacts of neonicotinoids and other agrochemicals on Prairie wetland ecosystems.