December 17, 2013
Brazilian Farmers being alerted to the Spread of Soybean Rust
Scientists in Brazil are advising farmers to pay close attention to the presence of soybean rust in their fields. The recent weather in parts of central Brazil has been very rainy which is ideal for the spread of the disease and the soybean crop is now at a stage of development which makes it more susceptible to rust invasion.
Embrapa has reported that there have been 44 confirmed cases of soybean rust in Brazil and that number is expected to increase rapidly this week. The state of Goias has the most cases at 25 followed by Sao Paulo with 11, Mato Grosso with 5, Parana with 2, and Minas Gerais with 1.
Farmers are being advised to make sure that they adequately control the disease in the earliest maturing soybeans. Farmers have a tendency to maybe skip the last fungicide application when the crop is nearing maturity in order to save money, but scientists are warning that skipping the last application could make the situation much worse for nearby fields where the crop is still developing.
If an early maturing field of soybeans is saturated with rust spores at the time of harvest, the physical process of harvesting the soybeans can disperse the lightweight spores to nearby fields that may still be developing making it a much more difficult problem to control in these later developing fields.
Scientists are reminding farmers that soybean rust still remains the number one yield threat to their soybeans even though a lot of the news this growing season has been directed toward the newest pest in Brazil - the corn earworm. This new pest has caught the attention of everyone in Brazil, but thus far it appears that farmers have successfully controlled the pest, at least for now. If soybean rust is left uncontrolled, it can result in yield losses as high as 80%.