As regulations increase, growers may decrease their production of oats, one commodity group rep says
In 2021, Richardson Milling will no longer source oats treated with pre-harvest desiccants.
The new procurement program will not source oats treated with glyphosate, even though it’s registered as a pre-harvest herbicide, said Johanson.
Although oat growers learned of this change in a May 11 email from Richardson International Ltd., the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) recently posted a response to this decision on its website, said Jenneth Johanson. She’s the president of the POGA. The group is highlighting their concerns with the move.
“Some producers will have to reassess how they manage their oat production. In some cases, they may choose to (decrease their oat acres) if they have another option that's lower risk,” she told Farms.com.
In the Prairies, where producers grow 90 per cent of Canada’s oats, how growers harvest their crop ranges from swathing before harvest to straight cutting, said Johanson.
“Having tools taken away that allows producers to leave their oats standing until they’re ready for harvest creates more challenges and increases growers’ risks,” she said.
This change comes from customer demand for desiccant-free products, Richardson said.
But, as a result of this development, producers may start to expect a premium for their oats, said Johanson.
“In the last few years, oats had increased demand. We have a lot of interest from an export standpoint. … Oat producers are extremely proud of the product we grow. It's high quality, nutritious and safe. We want oat producers to want to supply … the demand that's there and we will continue to strive to do so.
“With that said, if there is increased risk, some things need to change,” she added.
The POGA staff still have questions about Richardson’s decision and sent an email to company representatives requesting clarification. The POGA staff await a formal response.
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