Dear Members,


Unfortunately, after a long, hard-fought battle, Governor Hochul has signed the Birds and the Bees Act into law. There were several line-item changes in the bill that work to our favor, but, with the exception of sod farms, imidacloprid cannot be used on turf after December 31, 2026. There are provisions for use after that time for invasive species on woody ornamentals if approved by NYSDEC and NYS Ag and Markets. There were also line-item changes to allow for agriculture and seed treatment. However, there were no additional amendments made for turfgrass.

Although this is not the decision we were looking for, we were granted an extra year of use.  We will be working closely with NYSDEC to see if there might be a restricted use option for Acelyprn for certified applicators on Long Island, but there is no guarantee. This was a long, hard-fought battle over the last three years, largely under the lead of NYSTA's Vice President Tom Kaplun and our Government Affairs team. Tom attended numerous meetings with legislators, the governor's office, sent op-eds to media publications, and conducted radio interviews. We really hoped the governor would veto this bill and/or recognize its importance to the turf community, but she did not. Unfortunately, the political pressure from the Legislature, coupled with the fact that New Jersey had recently banned neonicotinoid use in turf, was too great. We want to thank Todd Vandervort from The Vandervort Group, Michael Lee, from GCSAA, and all the affiliated associations around New York State who helped our efforts to lobby against this bill.

Although the time extension was a small win, it is vital that the turf industry establishes a greater presence in Albany face to face with legislators. We urge you to please consider joining us on Monday, March 4th for NYSTA's Lobby Day!

Thank you,

Tom Kaplun and Bob Nielsen, Jr., CGCS

NYSTA Government Relations Co-chairs