Barley growers hail glyphosate nod

Jenne BrammerCountryman
Lyndon Mickel.
Camera IconLyndon Mickel. Credit: Countryman

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s issuance of a permit for use of glyphosate on feed barley has been met with a warm response from grower groups.

The APVMA last week approved the late season, pre-harvest glyphosate application, which is effective immediately. The new permit will expire on 31 July 2019, and is for use only on feed barley crops and does not support use on malt barley crops.

WAFarmers Grains Section President Duncan Young said it was a sensible decision that would ensure growers had the appropriate regulations to support on-farm activities.

“We congratulate Grain Producers Australia for their lead on this issue, and the APVMA for working collaboratively with industry to fast track the permit as a priority for the upcoming season,” Mr Young said.

“Now that growers are able to use the registered glyphosate product on their feed barley crop, we look forward to seeing more research work undertaken for permanent label registration and for future additions to the label registrations.”

GIWA barley council chairman Lyndon Mickel said the permit provided an option for farmers to clean up their barley crops when weeds got away.

“This stops weed carry over in to the following year. I would like to see farmers use this only as a salvage operation and respect the fact they can only deliver this as feed barley,” he said.

GPA chairman Andrew Weidemann said the response from the APVMA was a great example of sensible, science-based decision-making and the speed with which the matter had been considered would be of great benefit to grain producers ahead of harvest.

"Weed control is a serious issue for Australian grain growers, with herbicide resistance reducing the available options – the very best time to stop weeds is before they get started, so spray topping late season weeds, particularly ryegrass, before they set seed is a major benefit for subsequent crops," he said.

"We simply have to have the right tools available for this job in barley and that means glyphosate, which is already registered for crop topping in Australia on various pulses, canola, wheat and sorghum.

"It is also registered for barley in the EU and North America, so the practice is well established."

"We have had a very wet season in many cropping areas and growers have been calling for this urgently to help control fungal diseases common to ryegrass in wet areas and also lodged barley crops with large amounts of regrowth barley holding up harvesting, so the fact that the APVMA has been able to respond in time is very encouraging," Mr Weidemann said.

"This permit announcement means Australian growers have access to the same tools as overseas competitors.

"Growers must ensure they follow the permit conditions of use, recognising that many grain buyers will require vendor declarations about in-crop chemical use.

"GPA will be working with research agencies to further the full registration of glyphosate for use on barley," he said.

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