Record of pesticides may help expand canola

Despite the growth of canola have begun for more than 30 years in the country, there are few pesticides recorded to use in this crop. Nevertheless, producers bet this crop, aiming at the liquidity the vegetable oil market offers. The advantages and difficulties of this crop were the focus of the discussions at the VI Curso de Capacitação e Difusão de Tecnologia na Cultura da Canola, which was held on March 15th at EmbrapaTrigo.

Canola is known as a "winter soybean", not only because it creates byproducts like edible oil, oil for biodiesel production and protein for feed production, but because of the price of grains in comparison with the soybean price mainly, in sale contracts. Therefore, there is another comparison which is the Government's concern: the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, indicated for soybean growth, where they are also used in canola, a situation in which, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), is irregular. According to the representative of the sector at MAPA, Arlindo Bonifácio, the use of pesticides demands specific Registration, but in the case of canola, the majority of the products used are not registered. Today, the Ministry counts on 1.600 products recorded to the use of it in Brazil, but only two insecticides are recorded to the use in canola farming. According to Bonifácio, pesticides companies do not have much interest in investing in this crop, because there is not a great demand on the amount of pesticides that canola requires when compared to soybean or other winter cereals, which demand products like fungicides and others, that are not necessary for canola. "The company makes the records, the producers' organizations create the demand, the research institutions indicate and support the product, but the initial record process depends on the companies' interest that have the right on certain molecule or active principle", says Arlindo Bonifácio. Nowadays, the record of a pesticide takes two years long average, and it reaches R$ 30 thousand per crop. "The great cost for the record is the accomplishment of studies on residues, a laboratorial process which demands great investment in personnel and infrastructure, and it may end excluding crops which are economically less attractive ", the expert of MAPA evaluates, by saying that the easiest way is the growth of the crop and the organization of a productive chain to attract the industry of pesticides.

To the researcher of Embrapa Trigo, Gilberto Omar Tomm, the first obstacle of the crop, which depends on the organization of the chain, was solved: the agroclimatic zoning of canola that makes the producer to take out an insurance against bad weather. Now, the discussion is on technological issues that include investment in research on handling, identification of more adequate hybrids for several Brazilian regions and other improvements.

With respect to the evaluation of the Chairman of ABRASCANOLA and BSBIOS, Erasmo Carlos Battistella, the course is an important moment to join strengths among the ones who are involved with the productive chain to search for improvements and public policies for the crop. "Canola gained a new breath with the National Program of Production and Use of Biodiesel. Because of biodiesel, a new market began with conditions for investments and opportunities to producers in the winter, that is why it is necessary to support the public power in order to overcome some points which are still in development", Battistella emphasized.

Producers are motivated

The producer of Santa Rosa, RS, Etson Gross, is excited about canola, he has kept the area of growth in the last few years. "We have always believed in canola. Despite some frustrations, common in any crop, we learned how to plan the crop. In the first growths, we observed that acidity and low fertility demanded investment in the soil improvement before planting canola. Then, the ‘black cinnamon' arose and resistant hybrids were introduced. Now, we learned how to deal with sclerotinia by reducing the plants amount. The threshing problem was solved by reducing spacing between lines to 17 centimeters, leaving the crop denser and less affected by wind", tells the producer and he concludes by saying: "We cannot disapprove this crop because of any occurrence. It is to evaluate this system. If maize or soybean will be produced in sequence and nitrogen used, or producing wheat, then with the increase of yield in these growths the next year, it is worth investing in canola".

In São Luiz Gonzaga, RS, producer Edelmar Pieniz reserves, every year, around 100 hectares for canola growth, a way of optimizing machinery and keeping the property running. "Land, machines and labor available in the property are very high investment so they cannot be without use. As soon as I end the harvest of soybean, I begin sowing canola. Canola will be done in October, in time to use the machines to collect wheat in November and begin sowing soybean again. The soil cannot stand idle, it breaks the cycle of diseases and reduces weed infestation", Pieniz says.

Photo: Paulo Kurtz