The controversy over glyphosate herbicide has increased awareness of the farmers’ practice of drying down or desiccating crops, such as wheat, oats, and beans, with glyphosate right before harvest. Now steps are being taken to end this practice. Canadian dealers of dry beans, such as white, cranberry, navy and pinto beans, recently decided that glyphosate cannot be used at harvest starting with this year’s harvest.
According to Derwyn Hodgins of Hensall Co-op, a major buyer of dry beans, bean dealers saw a clear trend and decided Canada was behind other regions in the world in abandoning desiccating crops with glyphosate.
“Canada is two years behind and we must continue to have market access for Canadian beans,” Hodgins said at the recent Ontario Bean Growers research day.
Several factors led to push dry bean dealers to ban the use of glyphosate as a desiccant. These included the fact that most U.S. states, especially ones that produce dry beans, have eliminated the use of glyphosate as a desiccant. Also, European bean buyers have also expressed a clear preference for beans not desiccated with glyphosate.
The elimination of glyphosate as a desiccant for dry beans follows a trend in other crop sectors where it is discouraged as a desiccant in durum wheat, as well as pulses and other grain crops.
Italy has dramatically reduced its wheat imports from Canada because Canadian farmers “burn down” wheat with glyphosate prior to harvest.
U.S. grain buyer Grain Millers stopped buying oats desiccated with glyphosate two years ago.
Source: Farm Ontario
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