Resources to grow market-ready crops

Every year, Canada exports over 20 million tonnes of wheat, oats and barley to markets around the world, either directly or as processed products. These exports must meet the standards set by importing countries, including their tolerances for pesticide residues and traces of disease.

A few things to consider:

  • Tolerances for pesticide residues and traces of disease can differ from market to market.
  • Not all countries set import maximum residue limits (MRLs) at the same time or at all. This may pose a trade risk.
  • When a country does not have an established MRL (or has a default MRL close to zero), it may reject imports if low residue levels are found.
  • Importing countries use highly sensitive equipment to test for residues. New technology can detect levels close to one part per billion, and in some cases parts per trillion.

What Are The Crop Protection Products To Pay Attention To This Season?

For cereals production in Canada, active ingredients that may pose market risks include glyphosate (e.g. Roundup®), saflufenacil (e.g. Kixor, Heat) and chlormequat (e.g. Manipulator). Consult the information at the bottom of this page for product guidelines for specific crops and download the 2020 Products of Concern handout here:

pdf Download the 2020 Products of Concern Handout (1.81 MB)


Products Of Concern For Cereals – Updated April 2020

A. Pre-harvest weed control

Glyphosate (e.g. Roundup)

Oats Wheat Malt Barley Barley
Warning Warning Do not use Warning

Malt barley will not be accepted by grain buyers if treated with pre-harvest glyphosate. Do not use glyphosate on malt barley.

Only use pre-harvest glyphosate on barley and wheat once the least mature part of the field is at less than 30% grain moisture.

Oats may not be accepted if treated with pre-harvest glyphosate; growers are advised to consult their grain buyer before use. Where permitted, ensure the least mature part of the field is at less than 30% grain moisture before applying pre-harvest glyphosate.

Glyphosate is under increased scrutiny in the global marketplace. Rigorous adherence to guidelines will keep this important product in our toolboxes for years to come.

Saflufenacil (e.g. Kixor)

Oats Wheat Malt Barley Barley
Okay Okay Do not use Okay

Malt barley will not be accepted by grain buyers if treated with saflufenacil. Do not use saflufenacil on malt barley.

B. Plant Growth Regulator

Chlormequat (e.g. Manipulator)

Oats Wheat Malt Barley Barley
Okay Okay Warning Okay

Before using chlormequat on malt barley, growers are advised to check with their grain buyer to confirm contract obligations and acceptance.

Icon Legend

Okay No regulatory issues.
Warning Be informed. Treated grain may not be accepted by some grain buyers. Consult with your grain buyer before using this product.
Do not use Do not use. Treated grain will not be accepted by grain buyers.

Using only acceptable pesticides is just one of the ways to protect the marketability of your cereal crop. Follow the Keep it Clean 5 Simple Tips for more on-farm practices that can help you protect your investment and keep markets open for all.

What Are The Risks Of Using These Products?

For wheat, barley and oats, late-season applications of pre-harvest weed control products, if applied too early or too late, may result in elevated residue levels found in the seed. Apply only acceptable pesticides – those that are both registered for use on your crop in Canada and won't create trade concerns – and always read and follow the label for proper application rate, timing and pre-harvest interval (PHI) to ensure product residues remain below MRLs set by regulatory agencies.

Special Considerations for Malt Barley

Malt barley must never be treated with pre-harvest glyphosate or saflufenacil. Use of these products is not accepted by the malting barley industry in Canada due to the potential for compromised quality, such as a reduction in germination capacity.

Malt barley growers are also advised to consult with their grain buyer before using the plant growth regulator chlormequat – buyers may not accept malt barley treated with this product.

Important Information Regarding The Pre-Harvest Application Of Glyphosate

Glyphosate is under increased scrutiny. Rigorous adherence to guidelines, including following the label, will keep this important product in our toolbox for years to come.

Glyphosate is registered for pre-harvest weed control and is not to be used as a desiccant. Pre-harvest glyphosate must only be applied when grain moisture content is less than 30% in the least mature part of the field to prevent unacceptable residues in the harvested grain.

When using glyphosate for pre-harvest weed control in a tank mix with other products, such as Saflufenacil, glyphosate and the tank mix partner must still be applied when grain moisture content is less than 30% in the least mature part of the field and must also follow the PHI of the most restrictive product label. It is imperative to follow the application rate, timing and PHI on the label of glyphosate products to avoid unacceptable product residues.

For more information, including proper application timing and resources, visit Pre-Harvest Application of Glyphosate.