Alta. chickpea growers get emergency herbicide

Nufarm Agriculture and chemical maker FMC have picked up emergency use registration for Alberta chickpea growers to use their Group 14 herbicide this year.

Authority 480, a sulfentrazone herbicide Nufarm distributes in Canada on Philadelphia-based FMC’s behalf, is currently registered only for use by chickpea growers in Saskatchewan to control kochia, redroot pigweed, wild buckwheat and lamb’s-quarters.

When applied in a pre-emergent surface application, Authority gives chickpea growers “season-long control” of the problem weeds in question, said Nufarm, a company best known for marketing its own brands of off-patent ag chemicals.

The product is not to be used in coarse soils classified as sand, where the organic matter is less than one per cent; nor should it be used where the water table is high, the product’s makers warn.

Group 14 products are not commonly used in Western Canada, with Authority and very few others, such as Syngenta’s Reflex (registered only for use in Red River Valley bean crops in Manitoba), United Phosphorus’ Blazer (for use in soybean crops) and Nufarm’s CleanStart, a Group 9 and 14 combo.

Under the federal Pest Control Products Regulations, Canada’s health minister may register a control product, for a period not exceeding one year, for the emergency control of pest infestations that can cause “significant economic, environmental or health problems.”

Such short-term registration, commonly called emergency use registration, is allowed when there’s no effective product or application method registered in Canada for the control of the pest, and no effective, alternative control method is available.

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