Bayer Pulls NemaStrike for 2020, Citing Skin Irritation Concerns

Bayer hung new signs at the former Monsanto St. Louis sites. ( Sonja Begemann )

Today German-headquartered seed and chemical giant Bayer announced it would not be selling the NemaStrike seed treatment for the 2020 season in the U.S. This isn’t the first time the product has been cancelled over safety concerns as it was first pulled in the 2018 season.

The product is designed to be used in corn, soybeans or cotton to defend crops against nematodes. It’s a synthetic chemical that kills the yield-robbing pests. However, the company has received reports of skin irritation after handling NemaStrike or seeds treated with the product.

Just like in the 2018 cancellation, users reported rashes that appeared in association with handling and application of the product. NemaStrike was first approved by EPA in 2017 and was used across the U.S. during the 2019 season.

“After a careful assessment of the applicator and grower experience in 2018, Bayer has made the decision that NemaStrike Technology will not be offered broadly in 2020,” the company said in a statement to Agweb.

“While this [the skin irritation] was a small number relative to the total number of users, we strive to ensure a positive user experience for all our customers and therefore decided to take this action,” the statement continued.

As of press time there is no word on whether the company will offer the product in future seasons, or if the cancellation is permanent. Stay tuned to for updates as they come in.

"We will provide additional information to our customers in the coming weeks, including which alternative products will be available for the 2020 planting season," the statement reads.