Drydown option cleared for pulse, sunflower growers

(Bruce Fritz photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Pulse growers whose products are headed to the European Union have one more desiccant option for this year’s harvest.

At the end of July, maximum residue levels (MRLs) were published for the Group 14 herbicide saflufenacil on field peas, soybeans, dry beans and sunflowers.

Gord Kurbis, Pulse Canada’s director of market access and trade policy in Winnipeg, reminded farmers that “as before, for lentils, there will be no adequate EU saflufenacil MRL in place this year, and the product is not registered for pre-harvest use on chickpeas.”

There are no marketing issues for pulse exports with saflufenacil residues sold into the U.S., Japan or countries following Codex MRLs.

Before spraying desiccants, growers should check labels carefully and consult with exporters and processors. Incorrect desiccant use may result in illegal residue limits on harvested crops. Pulse Canada has developed a chart outlining potential market problems.

CHART: 140724_SPG_Pulse_MRL_WEB-2

Saflufenacil is sold by BASF under the trade name Heat.

“Anytime you spray a product, especially at that pre-harvest interval, it is a possibility to detect those limits in the grain sample,” said Bryce Geisel, a technical market specialist with BASF in Saskatoon.

BASF recommends two different use rates for Heat. For growers mixing Heat with glyphosate for quicker weed drydown, Geisel recommended 21 grams per acre of Heat (40 acres per jug).

Geisel recommended also tank-mixing the surfactant Merge at a rate of 200 ml per acre (40 acres per jug.)

If growers are planning to use Heat on its own, Geisel said, “we do recommend they go to the higher rate: 29 grams per acre.” In this case, without glyphosate’s built-in surfactant, Geisel recommended increasing the Merge rate to 400 ml per acre.

The standard water volume recommendation for desiccant application is 20 gallons per acre, which may seem high to some farmers. Geisel said this recommendation ensures adequate coverage. At the pre-harvest stage, there is less movement within the plant.

Using more water will help ensure that the desiccant reaches the entire plant, Geisel said, and “will help you get the optimum drydown.”

— Leeann Minogue is the editor of Grainews at Griffin, Sask.

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