Wheat School: Talk to Your Buyer Before Using Chlormequat

Before applying a plant growth regulator containing chlormequat to wheat, make sure you’ve confirmed you have a buyer willing to purchase it, because most of the major grain companies say they won’t.

Potentially a valuable tool in reducing lodging, many growers are interested in applying Manipulator, a PGR introduced in Canada by Engage Agro in 2015. The problem is it’s still not approved for exports into the U.S., explains Jeanette Gaultier of Manitoba Agriculture in this instalment of the Wheat School.

Members of the Western Grain Elevator Association, which include Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, P&H, Paterson, Richardson International, and Viterra, have said they will not accept wheat that’s been treated with chlormequat in 2016-17. They’ll require growers sign a declaration saying they haven’t used the product before accepting delivery.

“It’s better to err on the side of caution and talk to your grain buyer now, rather than later,” explains Gaultier. “After the year, you’ve put all that work in, getting your crop off, there’s nothing worse than having a crop stuck in the bin.”

As reported a few weeks ago, Engage Agro is hopeful the export issue with the U.S. will be resolved for 2017. Engage’s Tom Tregunno noted they’re also “encouraging growers to talk to their grain buyers before applying Manipulator to make sure they have a market. It’s important that Manipulator-treated grain does not enter the US.”

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