Changes to European Union maximum residue limits (MRLs) for the herbicide haloxyfop mean that Australian canola growers should not use the product in 2023 and beyond.
The EU has announced it intends to reduce the MRL for haloxyfop on canola from 0.2 milligrams per kilogram to 0.005mg/kg. While no specific time frame has been provided, the Australian industry expects the change to take place in the second half of 2023.
To meet the changing MRL, growers have been advised not to use haloxyfop on canola destined for export in the 2023-24 season and to use alternative weed control options.
Canola treated with haloxyfop in 2023-24 should not be delivered or received into the Australian grain handling system for canola segregations (grades) destined for export. This change is necessary as, if delivered, it will jeopardise market access to the EU for Australian canola.
While haloxyfop remains a legally registered product in Australia, any future use on canola will result in a residue detection above the expect new EU MRL. The post-harvest supply chain cannot mitigate the risk of any residues arising being above the expected new EU MRL.
The decision is only for the use of haloxyfop on canola and applies to both genetically modified (GM) canola and non-GM canola for export.
Consideration will also need to be made for any canola treated with haloxyfop from the 2022-23 or prior seasons that is already held on-farm in storage. Growers should speak to their respective grain traders for specific advice. The post-harvest supply chain will also need to review any stocks already held in their storages.
Changing European Union regulations
Australian canola is highly sought-after in overseas export markets. To maintain a strong trading reputation and ensure continued market access, it is critical that exported canola meets import country MRLs.
The EU has become the largest importer of Australian canola, purchasing more than half of the country’s total canola exports in recent years.
Industry and the Australian Government have been actively engaged with the EU on changes to haloxyfop MRLs on canola and other grains, including pulses, since a review of haloxyfop in that market was first announced in 2015.
The Australian Government has engaged with EU government authorities seeking the adoption of an MRL that would enable the continued use of haloxyfop by Australian canola growers. These submissions, however, were unsuccessful.
While there are a number of canola export markets, when canola is received from growers, the intended market is generally not known. As such, it is not possible to segregate canola receivals based on their intended destination, over and above the existing GM versus non-GM varieties.
Alternative chemistries on canola
A number of haloxyfop products are registered in Australia for the post-emergent control of a wide range of annual and perennial grass weeds in canola.
Some of the alternative chemical actives that can be considered for canola include: butroxydim (Factor), clethodim (Select), diclofop-methyl (Titan Diclofop-methyl), fluazifop-P present as the butyl ester (Fusilade), propaquizafop (Shogun), Quizalofop-P-ethyl (Targa) and Sethoxydim (Sertin).
Haloxyfop use on other commodities
The EU has also announced it will lower the MRL for haloxyfop on pulses. As the EU is a relatively small market for pulses, the industry is confident that management systems will be successfully enacted to manage exports of any pulses to meet the new EU MRLs for pulses when implemented.
However, growers have been advised to consult with their pulse grain trader prior to the use of haloxyfop this year.
More information: Gordon Cumming, [email protected]