All agricultural chemicals used in New Zealand including seed applied products are rigorously assessed by the Environment Protection Authority to ensure that when they are used in accordance with label directions, agricultural chemicals present no unacceptable risk to humans, livestock, birdlife or the environment. 

Handling treated seed

  • Treated seed is not for human or animal consumption.
  • Care should be taken to avoid personal contact with treated seed, as an allergic reaction may occur in sensitive individuals.
  • Wear protective clothing, gloves and a dust mask when handling treated seed and wash hands and exposed skin prior to meals.


Storing treated seed

  • Keep out of reach of children, livestock, birds and unauthorised persons.
  • Left over seed bags should be appropriately sealed. 
  • Do not use empty seed bags for purposes other than storing treated seed.
  • Store treated seed in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight.
  • The storage facility should be secure with restricted access. 


Planting treated seed

  • Be aware of the presence of bee hives, crops or weeds in the flowering stage, within or adjacent to the field which could attract pollinators during planting.
  • Minimise dust movement from treated seeds during planting.
  • Avoid adding excess seed dust from the bottom of the seed bag to the planter.
  • If using vacuum or pneumatic planters direct seed dust into the soil.
  • To protect birds and livestock, treated seed must be incorporated into the soil.
  • Ensure any spilled seed is collected up or buried immediately.
  • Clean seed planters away from sensitive environmental areas, especially those that are attractive to pollinators.
  • Avoid contamination of any water supply with treated seed or empty packaging.
  • Treated seed should be planted in the season of purchase.


Withholding period

  • Livestock should not graze insecticide treated forage crops and pasture for a period of six weeks after sowing. For grass seed under-sown into an existing pasture sward the withholding period is three weeks after sowing.


For further information refer to the joint AGCARM and NZGSTA publication “Stewardship Guide, Handling and Planting Treated Seed” on the AGCARM website.

For urgent medical advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call the National Poisons Centre (NZ)   0800 POISON – 0800 764 766