A TEMPORARY emergency permit from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for the late season use of glyphosate on barley crops as a desiccant has expired.
Grain Producers Australia (GPA), instrumental in getting the temporary permit through in 2016, have applied for another permit but have warned growers to plan on not using glyphosate as a desiccant in feed barley this year.
The APVMA permit has attracted controversy with some within the grain growing sector claiming it was not necessary given Australia's dry condition during the crop ripening period and that it could be a negative in terms of attracting international grain buyers.
The process can only take place in feed barley lines as applying glyphosate to malt barley would mean a loss of germination in the barley seed, critical to the malting process.
GPA chairman Andrew Weidemann said the major reason his organisation had applied for the late season usage permit was to maintain a maximum residue limit (MRL) for glyphosate on barley.
"Without the usage pattern you see the MRL disappear."
He said the APVMA had told GPA that old crop barley with glyphosate residue would be able to be traded this year, based on the current MRL of 10mg glyphosate per kilogram of barley seed.
Although GPA has applied for an extension, Mr Weidemann said farmers would have to plan to manage without crop-topping barley this year.
"It is generally a two or three month process for the APVMA to review cases so I would advise people to make sure they are not planning on crop-topping glyphosate this year."
Woomelang, Victoria farmer Chris Kelly said he hoped the application was refused.
"I am all for glyphosate but I don't think we need to be crop-topping in our environment," Mr Kelly said.
"We get hot ripening conditions, it is a completely different kettle of fish to the northern hemisphere when they are racing against the cold of autumn."
Mr Kelly said given glyphosate's controversial recent history, limiting crop residues was an important practice in order to market the grain.
"If we don't need to do it agronomically then why bother risking our markets, we want to do all we can to protect the ongoing availability of glyphosate for other applications."
However Mr Weidemann said he did not think glyphosate residues were likely to impact on markets.
"I have seen first-hand in China, there is not going to be any issue with glyphosate, nor in the rest of the world, they realise how important glyphosate is to growing a crop and how safe the product is."