On today’s episode we talk pulse crop quality standards and how residues and MRLs play a role in perceived quality from buyers and consumers around the world. Todd Scholz, vice president for research and member services at the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, joins us to discuss some of the nuances of MRLs (maximum residue limits) and what growers need to know to deal with the complex standards that exist in different global markets. He has been with the Lentil Council for over 20 years and provides great insight into navigating MRL’s and international trade.
“As countries are becoming more involved in international trade, they're establishing their own registration authorities and that's becoming a mosaic of different MRLs at different levels across the world which makes trade more complicated and makes our job as farmers more difficult.” - Todd Scholz
In order to ensure quality when it comes to residues, countries establish tolerances or maximum residue limits. This is becoming an increasingly important part of producing quality pulses for the global market because there are different approaches to determining these standards. The trend is for these requirements to become increasingly more strict. So how are growers supposed to adjust to these constraints? Todd recommends communicating with your processor, following the labels to the tee, and being keenly aware of the potential for drift.
"It is important to our production practices to be able to use chemical pesticides, but there is an increasing concern across the world for the use of those pesticides. And you can see it in the way the registering authorities are enforcing their MRL’s. They're reducing the MRL standards, eliminating them or establishing a level of detection so that even a drift accident can cause a shipment to be rejected. The cost to that is huge.” - Todd Scholz
Despite all of the complex dynamics at play here with quality and MRLs, the most important take home is to develop that good relationship with your buyer to make sure they know what they’re getting and you know how you can maximize your revenue from your crop and the way you produce it.
“We’re working really hard to try and harmonize MRL’s and make it as trade friendly as we can, but it's a complicated process and we need the help of our producers. ” - Todd Scholz