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MRL Concerns for Oilseed Crops

By: Barbara Ziesman, A.Ag, Provincial Specialist, Oilseed Crops

Pesticide application decisions, such as product rates, timing and product selection, will influence whether or not you will have difficulties marketing your grain due to buyer concerns over maximum residue limits (MRLs). Following the product label is the number-one way to ensure that the residue limits in your harvested grain will not exceed the MRL. Using off-label rates or failing to adhere to pre-harvest intervals may result in residues higher than the established MRL.

When selecting a pest control product, you should consider whether or not established MRLs exist in importing countries. An MRL is established when a product is registered in Canada; however, that does not mean that MRLs are established in all countries that we export to. In order to meet the requirements of these countries, it may be recommended that producers not apply a particular pest control product until MRLs are established for that crop in the countries we export to.

This is the current situation for quinclorac, the active ingredient in two products registered for use in canola (Masterline Quinclorac and Clever). Though MRLs have been established in the United States and Japan, there are still no established MRLs for quinclorac on canola in China. To address this concern, member companies of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) and the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) will not accept canola that was grow and harvested in 2016 that was treated with quinclorac, and they will require farmers to sign a declaration form stating that they did not apply quinclorac to their canola. More information about quinclorac can be found on the SaskCanola website.

In general, if you are using a newly registered pest control product or a product with a recent crop addition, it is important that you talk to your grain buyer prior to application to ensure that there are no market access concerns. More information on MRLs and strategies to get your canola or grain ready for export can be found on the Canola Council of Canada’s website.

For a general understanding of what an MRL is and how it is set, check out our What is an MRL? article.

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