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August 1, 2017

Parana Farmers may Plant their 2017/18 Soy Starting on Sept. 11th

Soybean farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil will be allowed to start planting their 2017/18 soybean crop a little earlier than in previous years. The Plant Protection Agency of Parana (Adapar) recently announced that the soybean-free period in the state will end on September 10, 2017, which is five days earlier than in previous years.

The change was made to accommodate regions of the state where the weather permits soybean planting to start earlier. Therefore, farmers in the state may start planting their 2017/18 soybeans on September 11th. Adapar made the adjustment for just the upcoming growing season and they will determine later if the change will be made permanent.

Just because they will be allowed to plant earlier does not mean that the weather will cooperate. If the weather does permit the earlier planting, some of these soybeans could be harvested by the end of December. It could also allow for and earlier than normal start to the Brazilian soybean export season as well. Generally, the first new crop soybeans are exported out of Brazil by the end of January.

This would also allow for the extra early planting of the safrinha corn, which is always beneficial for the second crop of corn. It is possible that farmers in Parana may take advantage of this change to switch even more of the corn production from full-season to safrinha production, which would free up more acreage for soybeans.

The entire point of having a soybean-free period is to help control the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next. The down side to the earlier planting is the possibility that soybean rust may end being a bigger issue for the later planted soybeans in the state. Scientists are already warning that an early planting of soybeans might lead to more rust on later planted soybeans.

Since 2006, eleven Brazilian states have adopted a policy of a soybean-free period that varies from 60 to 90 days. Most of the soybean producing states in Brazil have adopted a 90-day soybean-free period. Three states in northeastern Brazil, Bahia, Para, and Maranhao have adopted a 60-day soybean-free period.

Two soybean producing states in far southern Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, have not adopted a soybean-free period because the "winter weather" in these two states is cold enough to prohibit the survival of any volunteer soybeans.

During the soybean-free period, it is prohibited to have any live soybean plants on your property, along the roadways, or around storage or transportation facilities. The only exceptions are for approved scientific research or seed increases, which are rigorously monitored for the presence of the rust disease.