Sunday September 21, 2014


  • What type of housing development would you like to see replace the East View Lodge building?
  • Assisted living
  • 52%
  • Personal care home
  • 6%
  • Low-income housing/apartments
  • 42%
  • Other
  • 0%
  • Total Votes: 31

Export Markets, Pesticide Labels and Our Reputation


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Will Rogers once said, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.”  That is a quote worth remembering, and one that applies to every part of the Canadian grain industry, including farmers.


Canada has a strong reputation for consistently delivering high quality grains, oilseeds and special crops to our domestic and international customers.  There are circumstances when this reputation can be damaged by things outside of the control of an individual producer.  Individual producers can’t control the impact weather has on quality. Individual farmers can’t speed up rail car delivery. Foreign governments might apply non-science based rules that cause some consumers to question the safety of imports from other countries. Finding solutions to problems like these are the cooperative responsibility between governments and organizations like Cereals Canada.


But there are some factors that impact our international reputation that farmers can control entirely. Religiously following the labels on pesticide products is the most prominent example of this.


In the fall rush, it might seem like there’s simply not enough time to get that pre-harvest application done before the combines roll through the field. Some farmers might think to themselves, “combining a few days before the pre-harvest interval is up won’t really make a difference right?” Or perhaps, “I really don’t have time to clean out the truck, that little bit of treated seed won’t matter will it?”  They couldn’t be more wrong.


Shipments of Canadian grain are tested for pesticide residues in parts per billion or even parts per trillion. Unless your name is Dr. Sheldon Cooper, most of us can’t quite grasp the magnitude of a billion.  It might help to think of a part per billion as 1 second in 32 years.


Customers of Canadian grain will complain if samples of vessel shipments contain pesticide residues that are at, or are close to, international maximum limits. There is only one reason why this happens, and that is because of individual producers not following application guidelines on pesticide labels. Fortunately this is a rare occurrence – but it’s an entirely preventable problem – and it should simply never happen.



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