Policy Initiatives

Lambda-cyhalothrin for Alberta producers

Alberta producers are familiar with following the label when using pesticides. A recent re-evaluation decision by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has resulted in important changes to use patterns for Alberta farmers using products containing lambda-cyhalothrin (lambda-cy) such as Matador® (SyngentaTM Canada) and Silencer (Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd) in their crop management strategies for 2023.

According to the decision, the label has now been revised to disallow applications of lambda-cyhalothrin on crops intended for livestock feed, including any seed screenings or aftermath.

Lambda-cyhalothrin is commonly sold under the trade names Matador & Silencer. In foliar applications of wheat and barley, it is used for the control of grasshoppers and armyworms. Registration for these products remains in place and use in crops destined for food use is on-label. However, use in feed crops is now off-label. This creates an unworkable distinction for most farmers as well as the grain handling system.

Farmers should be aware that while wheat and barley destined for food markets are registered uses of lambda-cy; all grains intended or redirected to the feed market are off-label for use of all lambda-cy products.

For instance:

  • Malt barley not meeting malt quality specifications. Due to various factors, such as weather or disease, malt barley may fail to meet malt quality standards, resulting in its redirection to the feed market.
  • Hail, drought, or other environmental conditions causing partial or full crop failure. Severe weather conditions or other environmental factors may result in partial or full crop failure, prompting farmers to consider alternative options such as grazing or swath grazing.
  • Downgrading of wheat to feed due to pest or environmental factors. Wheat crops may be downgraded to feed quality because of pest infestations or environmental conditions that affect grain quality.
  • Purposeful redirection of crops from food to feed markets due to environmental or market pressures. In some cases, producers may decide to redirect their crops from food markets to the feed market as a response to market pressures or other unforeseen circumstances.

Farmers are advised, as always, to follow the label on any products and to be aware of the distinction between food use (allowed) and feed use (not allowed) on the label of lambda-cy products.

Producers should evaluate their pesticide application strategies, consider potential risks associated with redirected crops, and consider alternate, available pest control options (Insecticide Options in 2023). Farmers should consult with their agronomist or crop advisor to assess their situation and explore suitable, available alternatives that comply with the updated regulations.

Alberta Grains is closely monitoring the decision and support ongoing value-chain discussions with the PMRA surrounding the unworkable use change and food/feed distinction that has not been adopted in any other G20 country We are concerned about farmers competitiveness and this is further augmented by a lack of clarity on how the new provision will apply to grain brought in from other countries to be fed to animals.

For additional information on lambda-cyhalothrin:

Alternative OptionsKeep it Clean Resources
For any inquiries related to grain marketing, please contact:

Shannon Sereda

Director of Government Relations, Policy and Markets


For any agronomic inquiries, please contact:

Jeremy Boychyn

Director of Agronomy and Extension