Effective January 2021, Richardson Milling will only source Canadian oats that have not been treated with a pre-harvest desiccant.
However, Richardson Pioneer says it will continue to market desiccant oats based on market demand.
Jenneth Johanson is the president of the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA).
"It could in some cases, cause producers to have to change some of their management practices," she said. "It will increase the producers responsibility to be quite clear when they're contracting their production of what the contract states in regards to products used on the crop."
In a statement, Tom Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Richardson's Agribusiness operations, says the company developed its "Pre-Harvest Aid Free Program as a result of an informed business decision that was entirely based on customer and consumer demand".
He adds the company's "oat purchasing programs and their treatment of pesticides apply to all products and are not limited to glyphosate".
Johanson is hoping for some clarification on that point.
"Glyphosate is not registered as a desiccant, it is registered as a herbicide and it is registered for use as a pre-harvest herbicide option. Their notice is a little confusing and perhaps at some point Richardson will provide some clarity on that."
She's also hoping that producers will be compensated for their non-desiccant oats.
"There has been no discussion from Richardson that I am aware of in regards to a premium option," stated Johanson. "I would hope as a producer that grain buyers would be quite aware of increasing risk and taking options of tools that we have away. I would hope that they would take that into account when they put forward their pricing options."
Richardson's statement goes on to say the company "firmly acknowledge that registered products, including glyphosate, are safe when used according to labels directions. Our new program is simply intended to allow us to meet and manage our customer specifications".Click here to see more...