Know your maximum residue limits

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 18 Jul 2014

By observing several precautions, growers can ensure that grain coming off their farm is compliant with the maximum pesticide residue limits that apply to Australian exports. Violations of maximum residue limits (MRLs) affect the marketability of Australian grain exports, and consequences may include costs being imposed on exporters and/or growers.

Measures growers need to take to avoid MRL violations are detailed in a new Grain Marketing and Pesticide Residues Fact Sheet, produced by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). The Fact Sheet states it is essential that both pre-harvest and post-harvest chemical applications adhere to the Australian Grain Industry Code of Practice, only registered products are used and all label recommendations, including rates and withholding periods, must be observed. Other key points include:

  • Trucks or augers that have been used to transport treated seed or fertiliser can be a source of contamination – pay particular attention to storage and transport hygiene;
  • Silos that have held treated fertiliser or pickled grain will have dust remnants – these silos either need to be cleaned or designated as non-food grade storage;
  • Know the destination of your grain. When signing contracts, check the importing countries’ MRLs to determine what pesticides are permitted on a particular crop.

The Fact Sheet is included in the July-August edition of the GRDC magazine Ground Cover and can be viewed and downloaded via To subscribe to Ground Cover visit



Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
Phone 0409 675100

GRDC Project Code WJM00005

Region National, North, South, West