OPINION: Two simple spray tips can make or break the marketing of Canadian crops

Before spraying your in-crop application, ‘Keep it Clean’ with these best practices.

Farmers have a lot on their plates as they head into the spraying season.

The Canola Councilof Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada are reminding growers of best practices that can have a major impact on marketing grain. Proper pesticide use is a critical factor in growingexport-quality grain. As a world leader in producing high-quality exports to foreign markets,Canada’s ag industry relies on growers making informed choices in the coming months.

Here are two simple tips growers can follow for in-crop applications:

Use pesticides that are registered for your crop and acceptable to both domestic and export customers

Make sure to only use pesticides that are registered in Canada for that crop. Keep in mind that registration of a pesticide doesn’t guarantee it’s acceptable to export customers. Registration can occur in Canada before there are maximum residue limits (MRLs) in major export markets and in some cases, this can create a market risk.

Keep it Clean works to identify and manage these market risks so that growers can access crop protection products earlier and reduce marketing risks. Talk with your grain buyer before you spray to ensure the pesticides you’re using won’t limit your marketing options.

Use pesticides correctly

We’ve all been reminded to “Always follow label instructions” because it’s something that must always be top of mind. Applying the product without following label directions may result in higher than accepted residue levels in the seed.

Proper timing is key. For example, cereal growers should not apply glyphosate when kernels are too green (30% moisture or higher). Follow the correct rates and timing listed on the label, and stick to the pre‑harvest interval (PHI): the number of days that must pass between the last application of a pesticide and swathing or straight combining. See the provincial Guides to Crop Protection for more information. If you’re growing canola, visit spraytoswath.ca for tools to help you plan your spray.

In 2017, the Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada partnered together on the Keep it Clean initiative to inform Canadian growers of best practices in growing export quality grain.

Because growers continue to follow the Keep it Clean steps, Canadian agriculture continues to keep the confidence of our export partners. Visit keepingitclean.ca for information on producing export-quality canola, cereals and pulses.

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