Quinclorac and canola

Quinclorac is a pesticide registered in Canada to control cleavers. It is not currently registered for pre-emergent application on canola. The member companies of the Western Grains Elevator Association and the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association have individually advised that they will not accept delivery of canola grown and harvested in 2017 that has been treated with quinclorac. Residues can occur in canola seed, oil and meal and there is no tolerance established to facilitate trade with China. Growers are encouraged to speak with their local elevator or processor for additional detail. 

Until exporters and processors are confident that they can ship quinclorac-treated canola to China without trade concerns, growers are advised to avoid this marketing risk by using other cleavers control methods.  

Why quinclorac has affected marketing options for canola

There has been a great deal of uncertainty about whether certain important export customers will accept canola treated with this pesticide. Quinclorac leaves detectable residues, and without a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) either in China or in the CODEX Alimentarius, the international standard setting body, exporters and processors are concerned that residue in shipments will create a significant export risk.

Products containing quinclorac

Currently, one quinclorac product, Clever, is registered for use on canola and available in the marketplace. Other products with this active ingredient are registered but not commercially available.  

How the Canola Council is addressing market risks linked to pesticides

The Canola Council monitors residue requirements in major markets and encourages crop protection companies to ensure any market access issues or other potential problems have been addressed before a new product is introduced, or before a new use is added to the label. If we see an issue emerging, we discuss our concern with the company and encourage them to consult with other parts of the value chain that will be affected. With rare exceptions, co-operation throughout the industry has been very strong.

When considering the market risk of using a pesticide, our value chain looks at a combination of factors, such as:

  • the likelihood of a product leaving detectable residues
  • the frequency and quantity of detectable residues
  • regulatory changes in export markets
  • industry intelligence on market sensitivities
  • pest pressures and product use patterns
  • regional concentration of use

We are also helping growers understand these issues and control pests in ways that align with our export customers’ requirements.

The larger problem is the lack of consistent global tolerances for pesticide residues and other sanitary/phytosanitary issues. The Council is active in the MRL Task Force, which is seeking greater international cooperation among all trading partners. Progress is being made but the global regulatory landscape remains complex.