You can protect your investment and help keep markets open for all by ensuring you always follow the label when applying crop protection products. Improper or off-label use of pesticides is illegal and may result in unacceptable residues.
I always take the time to read and follow the label
for products I might be using on my crop, and understand the label instructions, requirements and any limitations for those products. Taking that bit of time to learn about the products you are using before application to ensure you are making smart decisions is always worth it.
The Product Label
Before you apply any crop protection product, read the label to find the application rate, timing and pre-harvest interval (PHI). If you require clarification about information found on the label, or have further questions, contact the manufacturer before proceeding.
Rate: Always follow the correct application rate.
Timing: Apply crop protection products only at the recommended crop stage.
For example, glyphosate for pre-harvest weed control should only be applied once grain moisture is less than 30% in the least mature areas of the field. Applications made too early increase the risk of unacceptable residue in the grain.
Tip: Refer to the pdf Keep it Clean Pre-Harvest Glyphosate Staging Guide (1.07 MB) for visual examples of various crops at 30% grain moisture.
PHI: Stick to the product’s PHI – the number of days between spraying and swathing or straight-cutting the crop.
PHIs can vary greatly between products – from as little as none (zero PHI) to up to 60 days. Be aware of the PHI for each product you intend to spray and understand the implications it has on harvest timing.
Tip: “Harvest” refers to the point that a crop is cut, whether by swathing or straight-cutting.
PHIs are set to ensure a product’s active ingredient has enough time to break down in the plant and not leave unacceptable residues behind.
Interpreting a product label can be intimidating sometimes,
but there are numerous industry resources to help you out if you need. In my experience, a quick call to a retailer, agronomy company hotline or other industry professional with any questions or clarifications is always a friendly, fast and easy way to ensure you are making the right spray or variety decisions.
Meeting Harvest Goals
While working to meet harvest goals, it is crucial to stick to the PHI, even if your crop is facing a late- season threat as cutting approaches.
As fields get closer to cutting, pesticide choices become more limited, based on the PHI. To help time applications or choose an acceptable product, canola and pulse growers can use the Keep it Clean Spray to Swath Interval Calculator, an interactive interval tracking tool.
Using the tool to calculate PHI: Enter the crop type and the product you have sprayed, and the calculator will tell you how many days after application you must wait to cut your crop.
Using the tool to find a product to suit a specific timeline: Enter your crop type and pesticide type, then drag the slider to indicate when you would like to cut the crop. The calculator will tell you which (if any) products can be applied to meet that timeline.
Tip: The Spray to Swath Interval Calculator can sync with the calendar on your smartphone.
Following the label is just one of the 5 Simple Tips. By taking steps to Keep it Clean throughout the growing season, you can protect the marketability of your crop and help keep markets open for all.