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Ontario farmers Twitter bomb province over neonicotinoid ban

Grain farmers in Ontario have taken to Twitter to blast their province for regulations that demand farmers plant only half their acreage with neonicitinoid-treated seeds this year.

Grain Farmers of Ontario start online campaign to 'help everyone see impact of new neonic regulations'

Ontario farmers are being encouraged to Twitter bomb the province's agriculture minister Glen Murray with pictures of bugs. (Dan Alyea/Jess Snobelen/Twitter)

Grain farmers in Ontario have taken to Twitter to blast their province for regulations that demand farmers plant only half their acreage with neonicitinoid-treated seeds this year.

Farmers started Twitter bombing Environment and Climate Change Glenn Murray earlier this week.

Grain Farmers of Ontario on Thursday then started encouraging farmers to tweet pictures of bugs and pests, accompanied with the hashtag #grainbugs, to "help everyone see impact of new neonic regulations."

Grain Farmers of Ontario represents Ontario's 28,000 growers of barley, corn, oats, soybeans and wheat.

An Ontario Superior Court in October 2015 upheld the provincial regulation designed to dramatically reduce the number of acres planted with corn and soybean seeds coated with a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which are toxic to bees.

Some farmers began tweeting on their own back in April, adding the hashtag #needneonics to their tweets.

Close to 100 per cent of Ontario's corn and canola seeds and about 60 per cent of soybean seeds are treated with neonicotinoids, nicotine-based insecticides that contain neurotoxins that make all parts of the plant harmful to insects feeding on them.

Starting in the 2017 planting season, farmers must complete a pest assessment report to prove they need the neonicotinoids before any use will be allowed.

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