Most grain elevators in Western Canada are going to be asking producers to declare whether they used a plant growth regulator containing chlormequate chloride when delivering this year’s crop. If the answer is yes, they’re going to reserve the right to not accept delivery of the grain.
All the companies that are members in the Western Grain Elevator Association, including Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Richardson, Parrish & Heimbecker, Paterson and Viterra, have added a clause to the existing producer declaration. Starting in the 2015-16 crop year, growers will have to indicate whether they used a product containing chlormequat chloride. This active ingredient is found in a new plant growth regulator sold in Canada by Engage Agro under the brand name “Manipulator.”
The WGEA’s reason for the declaration is to ensure Canadian grain containing chlormequat is not inadvertently shipped to the United States. Chlormequate chloride has been approved for wheat in Canada, Europe, Australia and most wheat-producing countries, but it has not yet been approved in the U.S.
“The application for an MRL is currently under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We are hopeful an MRL for Manipulator will be established as soon as possible,” Tom Tregunno, product manager for Engage Agro, told RealAgriculture back in April.
A notice published by the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association on June 4th notes “that means maximum residue limits for shipments to the United States are technically zero and unattainable for any production treated with chlormequate chloride.”
“We raise these concerns to ensure that individual producers and the reputation of Canadian export sales are each protected and preserved. Producers and grain exporters must work together to respect and protect our market relationship with the United States,” said MWBGA chair and Reston area farmer Fred Greig.
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association has also circulated a notice reminding growers to “be aware of how this may affect your marketing options and to declare your use of the product to any and all buyers of your grain, including those buyers who are not members of the WGEA.”
Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) member companies have added the following wording (or something similar) to their delivery declaration:
I understand that chlormequat, the active ingredient in “Manipulator”, is registered for use on wheat in Canada, but is not lawfully registered for use in the United States. Therefore, grain exported to the United States must be free of chlormequat. I hereby represent and warrant that (please check one):
__ Any and all deliveries of wheat or any other grains made by me or on my behalf have not been treated with any crop protection product containing Chlormequat, including the product known as “Manipulator.”
__ My delivery has been or may have been treated with “Manipulator” and/or a product containing Chlormequat.
In the event of noncompliance of this warranty, the Grain Handling Company and/or the Grain Buyer may refuse to accept delivery of the grain and/or oilseed offered for sale.