Canola School: Keeping the Chinese Market Open — The Canola Council's Position on Quinclorac Herbicide


China imports about one-third of the canola grown in Canada. It’s critical Canadian canola meet the requirements for selling into the Chinese market.

That’s why the Canola Council of Canada is advising against the use of quinclorac herbicide on canola in 2016, explains Brian Innes, vice president of government relations for the CCC, in this Canola School episode.

Quinclorac is the active ingredient in the product known as “Clever,” which was registered last year and marketed for its control of cleavers in canola. The Canola Council issued its first warning about using the product last June. Several grain companies also announced they wouldn’t accept quinclorac-treated canola.

China has no maximum residue limit (MRL) for quinclorac in canola and has no history of accepting canola with quinclorac residues. In testing last year, tresidues were found “most of the time” in canola from fields where quinclorac was applied according to label directions, leading the Canola Council to believe there’s “significant risk” to Chinese exports if growers use the product. Japan, another major market, just established an MRL for quinclorac in December 2015.

“The Canola Council has a policy to only support the use of pesticides that don’t result in concerns in our major markets,” explains Innes.

The recommendation has left some growers wondering what has changed, as quinclorac has been used in the past for weed control in Western Canada.

“We’re seeing a lot more sensitivity to pesticide residues — sensitivity on the consumer side and also on the government side, where regulations are changing and there’s a lot more sensitive testing going on than ten or fifteen years ago,” says Innes.

He explains it’s the Canola Council’s role to encourage responsible introduction of new products by pesticide manufacturers. Beyond that, the council aims to help growers understand what needs to be done to meet export requirements and to ensure coordination throughout the whole value chain.

Which products contain quinclorac? (courtesy the Canola Council of Canada)

Currently, only one quinclorac product, Clever, is both registered for use on canola and available in the marketplace. Clever is a generic dry formulation by Productierra that is distributed in Canada by Great Northern Growers. Three other products with this active ingredient are registered for use on canola, but are not commercially available for canola at this time:

  • Masterline Quinclorac, a recently registered generic dry formulation from Univar.
  • Facet, a new liquid formulation from BASF. BASF has said it will not introduce the product until the potential impact on export sales has been resolved, in keeping with the canola industry’s voluntary responsible commercialization policy.
  • Accord, an old product from BASF that is registered for use on canola but hasn’t been commercially available since 2002 (although some product may still be in storage).

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Other Episodes

Canola School (view all)Season 8 (2016) Episode 27

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