January 11, 2016 – The Canola Council of Canada is continuing to advise against use of quinclorac on canola because of ongoing questions about residue limits in one of our largest export markets.
Until these questions are resolved, growers should use other options to control cleavers on their farms. More information about herbicide and agronomic solutions can be found by contacting a Canola Council agronomist. If growers have used quinclorac on their canola in 2015, they should contact their local elevator or processor to discuss options.
Keeping the door open to export markets
Because over 90% of Canadian canola is exported, meeting the requirements of major export markets is extremely important to the profitability of Canada’s canola industry.
One of the most important markets for canola is China, which imports one-third of the canola we produce. China has no Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for quinclorac on canola and no history of accepting imports of canola where the presence of quinclorac residues has been detected. There is also no MRL for quinclorac in the CODEX Alimentarius, the international standard-setting body of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which is considered by Chinese authorities in assessing whether imported products meet Chinese requirements. Data from the 2015 growing season confirmed that quinclorac leaves residues that can be detected by today’s testing equipment – not just in canola seed, but also in the processed oil and meal. When samples were tested from canola fields that had been treated with quinclorac according to label directions, residues were found most of the time. Therefore, the value chain believes there is a significant risk to Chinese exports if quinclorac is used on canola.
In the past year, there has been some progress in clarifying international residue limits for quinclorac in canola. Japan established an MRL in late 2015. However, the canola industry remains concerned about meeting requirements in China.
A shared responsibility
Meeting the requirements of export markets is the responsibility of all members of the canola value chain, including:
- Life sciences companies who sell crop inputs,
- Growers who use these inputs,
- Elevators and processors who buy farmers’ crops, and
- Exporters and processors who must meet the legal and contractual requirements of importing customers.
It’s essential that every part of the value chain cooperates so that undue risk is not created for other parts of the industry. When input products are sold to farmers, risk is transferred from life science companies to growers. When growers sell canola with residue levels that are unacceptable in some export markets, the risk is transferred to elevators and processors – and potentially to the entire industry if our international reputation as a reliable supplier is compromised.
For these reasons, life-science companies who sell crop protection products need to commercialize them responsibly. Growers should use only registered pesticides that don’t cause concerns in export markets and use them according to label directions. These practices are integral to a profitable, sustainable and innovative canola sector.
The canola value chain is committed to an objective and consistent approach regarding crop protection products of concern to canola exports. This is important to support continued investment in innovation.
Through the Canola Council, the canola industry promotes a policy of responsible commercialization that respects the standards of our customers by not supporting the use of crop protection products that result in residues of concern to export markets. When crop protection products lacking MRLs are in use, they are evaluated to determine whether they pose significant risk to canola exports.
To learn more
Please read more about quinclorac and crop protection products of concern at our Keep it Clean site: www.canolacouncil.org/crop-production/keep-it-clean/
Media may contact:
Melanie Greene, Communications Program Manager