Episode 11

Published on:

21st Jul 2021

Pulse Quality and an Update on MRLs with Todd Scholz

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

This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:

  • Meet Todd Scholz, vice president for research and member services at the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council
  • Explore the nuances involved in MRL regulations and the consequences of not working within them
  • Discover the advice he gives producers to ensure their product has a market

You can reach Todd and learn more about industry programs at the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council website: www.USApulses.org

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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About the Podcast

Growing Pulse Crops
The science and business of farming field peas, chickpeas, and lentils
This show features the latest in research, agronomy, and economics of pulse crops (peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.).

Demand for these nutrient-dense, high-protein foods continues to grow. There is also interest from farmers to include more pulses into diverse rotations for benefits like nitrogen fixation and soil health.

But the industry continues to face challenges, and we are eager to address these head on. So if you’re a pulse grower or in any way interested in these important crops, hit subscribe and stay tuned for future episodes. We’ll be back with plenty of information about challenges pulse farmers are facing throughout the U.S. and what solutions are working.

Brought to you by the Pulse Crops Working Group with support from the North Central IPM Center and USDA NIFA.

About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.