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Continued: Pesticides that hurt bees don't help farmers, study finds

“Not only was it not killing soybean aphids, but it also was harming the natural enemies that would have resisted aphids when they did arrive,” he said.

Iain Kelly, head of North American Bee Health for Bayer, said that the company’s own research showed different results, though it hasn’t been published or peer reviewed by outside experts. On average, he said, corn yields increase by six bushels per acre and sometimes higher. The chemicals also protect seeds and seedlings from pests that appear early in the year, giving farmers a longer growing season, he said.

Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394

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