Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests


I haven’t picked on Ottawa lately…creating some resistant super bugs by reducing classes of chemistry, allowing the consumer to buy whatever they want off a shelf, increase allergies and illness and downtime at work to keep the weeds happy.  Ahhh…those were some rants!

All for the sake of keeping everyone 100% “unexposed”.

Ideological…but have they forgotten risk benefit trade-offs?  The Risk/Benefit equation exists in every aspect of our lives, but their Mantra must be “No Risk and Damn the Benefits”.

But wait, aren’t those levels of safety already built in as part of the registration process?

But…..On to the next challenge defying logic.

And going right to the heart of one of  Canada’s major exports.

In their ever and ceaseless, on-going battle to eliminate (not actually regulate) pesticides, the government is now taking a stab at protecting the lives of confused flour beetle, Indian meal moth and rice weevil even though it may have a HUGE impact on the grain Industry.

That’s right…a new list of protected species.

The problem…in a nutshell?

Further label restrictions on products to treat insect infested grain may reduce the ability to use, or make the product so restricted it’s impossible to use.  Methyl is gone, which may be a good thing, but now phostoxin products?

A quick projection:

The market for grain insecticides shrinks due to restrictive legislation.  No attraction for new research, development dollars from the major suppliers.

They pull out, as there’s no sustainable market dollars (or actually their just get fed up)

And we’re left with reduced quality grain, poorer grades, poorer prices, quarantined product, and generally… loss in trade.

Nothing to worry about.

The #2 leading exporter of wheat, with 20 million tonnes annually, may have to scrap or down grade anything that is infested with insects.

Will we have more insect problems…sure as hell.

In all the elevators I’ve ever been to, bring in a load of buggy grain…whoops you don’t get market price.  It’s all about quality quality quality.

Estimated impacted on not being able to treat grain on farm or at the mill?

Big question…



Lets be easy on ‘em and say there’s just a 10% downgrade in quality and loss of yield.

So 20 million tonnes, less the 10% that has been downgraded or rejected…that gives us 2 million tonnes that may be at risk.

At today’s rate of $281/tonne of #2 Canadian Red Spring Prairie….

That’s $562,000,000 loonies.

In easier terms….$500 million

Or even easier…HALF A BILLION DOLLARS!@!#!

Okay….so maybe I inflated the damage..  Maybe it’s only 1%…like $50 million dollars.   That’s a lot of bread to go around to a lot of workers…..ouch!  Bad pun there.

Oh Oh Oh…..we have alternatives….

Hmmmm, some DE pixie dust, one old organophosphate, and ….

Oh, well…eliminate the risks…ignore the benefits.

That’s a mighty big number to ignore.