CBH: no IMI-treated barley segregations
CBH has opted not to create new malt barley segregation for Scope and Spartacus varieties this harvest, despite the tightening of maximum residue limits in Australia’s second-biggest and eighth- biggest malt barley markets.
Japan and South Korea have cracked down on maximum residue limits affecting Clearfield varieties Scope and Spartacus barley, slashing their limits for a herbicide called imidazolinone, or IMI, to 10 per cent of former levels.
It means the maximum residue limits for IMI herbicides for barley delivered to the countries has changed from 0.10 to 0.01.
The MRL changes affect crops sprayed with the Group-B based herbicides Intervix by BASF, and Intercept by Nufarm.
It is understood the changes were made as part of regular MRL reviews, with industry insiders telling Countryman the reductions were not consumer or politically motivated.
CBH operations general manager Ben Macnamara emailed grower members on Monday, saying there would be “no separate segregation for IMI-treated barley this harvest”.
“CBH will ask growers to provide a harvest declaration for the current growing season on their Carters Delivery Form for IMI application on Spartacus CL and Scope CL barley varieties this harvest,” he said. “As yet, nothing has come to the attention of CBH, including clear trends regarding IMI detections, to support the introduction of a segregation this harvest.”
Mr Macnamara said CBH would continue to work with overseas customers to “meet their requirements and monitor market acceptance of IMI-treated barley”.
He said CBH would provide growers with an “update on the situation” regarding IMI-treated barley “no later than” March 31.
Mr Macnamara said growers would be required to provide a harvest declaration on their CDF or IMI app for Spartacus and Scope barley.
While not segregated, Mr Macnamara said declaring IMI application would provide the company with up-to-date information on grower use and help CBH “understand the impact on the supply chain in the future”. CBH last year introduced segregations for pre-harvest applications of glyphosate on barley, and growers will be asked again for this information at harvest time.
WA grain industry leaders have praised the decision, with WAFarmers grains section president Duncan Young and WA Grains Group chairman Doug Smith saying CBH “deserved credit” for the decision.
“We think this is a good, informed decision and not knee-jerk reaction,” Mr Young said.
“CBH has realised it is manageable through their supply chain this year and I think not segregating will both benefit to the grower and CBH.
“This is an issue that is going to be resolved in the very short term.”
Both Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann and Mr Young said the Japanese and Korean MRL issues were likely to be resolved within 12 months.
A consortium of industry groups has been leading the charge on Australian barley industry negotiations with Japan and South Korea, including Barley Australia and GPA.
“It absolutely will be resolved within the next six to 12 months,” Mr Weidemann said.
“We would hope we can get them to accept 0.07, which would mean that IMI-treated barley could be traded into those countries.”
Barley Australia has recommended to growers “to carefully consider the use of IMI chemicals on their IMI-tolerant barley”.
Australia’s barley industry was already bracing itself for a Chinese Government ruling that could shut the door to the nation’s biggest market.
Industry has been waiting to find out whether the Chinese will slap a 56 per cent tariff on all barley imports from Australia after launching an anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley exports in November last year, followed by an anti-subsidy probe in December.
WA’s barley industry had been expecting an announcement by July, but no decision has been made.
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