BASF says it has cleared all necessary approvals, including the establishment of maximum residue limits (MRLs) in all major export markets, enabling pre-harvest application of Heat LQ herbicide on wheat and barley in Western Canada.
“This is something producers have been asking for for a really long time, and now that we’re in a position where we have full market access for the grain that gets treated with it, we’re excited to be bringing this tool to Western Canadian growers,” Dan Packer, BASF’s manager for cereal crops, tells Real Agriculture.
BASF received Canadian registration for saflufenacil — the active ingredient in Heat LQ (and Eragon in Eastern Canada) — as a harvest aid in wheat and barley several years ago, notes Packer, but the company had been waiting for the necessary MRLs in export markets before introducing it in Western Canada. That news was made public on Friday, as the company announced the Codex Alimentarius international standards body has established the necessary MRLs for Heat LQ as a harvest aid in cereals.
Saflufenacil does not aid with the drydown of cereal crops, but accelerates drydown of broadleaf plants — weeds and crops (ie. pulses and canola), notes Packer. That means additional weed control and easier harvesting.
“In addition to glyphosate, you’re going to have improved drydown of some of those weeds glyphosate isn’t so good on, like Roundup Ready canola volunteers, for example, or wild buckwheat, sowthistle, pigweed, some of those tougher harvest weeds,” he says. “And that’s going to give growers a more efficient harvest because the weeds are going to be dry at the same time the crop is.”
The Western Grain Elevator Association has endorsed the announcement, after representatives with BASF held a conference call with grain companies earlier this week. Since the MRLs weren’t in place in spring when grain companies distributed their 2017-18 producer declaration cards for delivering grain, WGEA members say they’re going to waive this clause for the 2017-18 season.
“With the recent establishment of CODEX MRLs for Heat LQ as a pre-harvest herbicide in wheat, durum and barley, grain companies will now omit those crops from the 2017/18 declaration forms,” said Wade Sobkowich, WGEA executive director. “Growers can now use Heat LQ as a pre-harvest application on wheat, durum and barley and these grains can be marketed to Canada’s major export
Since most grain from Eastern Canada is not destined for overseas markets, growers in Eastern Canada have had access to Eragon as a harvest aid in cereal crops for several seasons.