Improper application leaves residue in the plant
By Jonathan Martin
Misusing crop protection products can jeopardize growers’ investments, create market risk and jeopardize market access for all ag commodities.
If growers apply pre-harvest glyphosate when seed moisture content is above 30 per cent, the plant may absorb some of the product, leaving residues behind.
The Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada joined forces to spread the message through their Keep it Clean! initiative.
Greg Bartley manages crop protection and crop quality for Pulse Canada. He spoke to Farms.com about the effect glyphosate contamination could have on Canadian ag’s international access.
“To avoid (developing) unacceptable levels (of the herbicide in your crop), glyphosate should be used for pre-harvest perennial weed-control, but not as a desiccant,” he told Farms.com.
Producers use desiccants to dry down crops and speed up maturity. Glyphosate, on the other hand, is a systemic herbicide, which crops absorb through their roots or foliage and move throughout the plant.
It could take weeks for a crop to die back after applying glyphosate, whereas a crop which received an application of true desiccant would only take days.
“When we see farmers apply glyphosate too early, we see residue beyond the maximum allowable limit,” Bartley said. “The limit varies depending on where you’re sending your product. Some countries follow the Codex (Alimentarius) Standard, but some have adopted their own national list, where the limit might be lower.”
Different grains and pulses have different limits, too.
If Canadian products break the rules too often, it might hurt the country’s reputation as a high-quality exporter, Bentley said.
“This is something that affects all producers, which is why we have to work together,” he said.