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February 13, 2020

Attorney General in Mato Grosso blocks Late Planting of Soybeans

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Brazilian soybean seed producers in the state of Mato Grosso wanted to conduct an experiment with 1,500 hectares of soybeans planted in February, which would be designated for seed production. They claim that soybeans planted on February produce better quality seed because they would be harvested as the summer rainy season is ending.

The Attorney General for the state of Mato Grosso disagreed with their proposal and he prohibited the planting of any soybeans outside of the approved planting window which runs from September 16th to December 31st. He cited opposition from research scientists who contend that planting soybeans that late in the growing season would extend the period of time during which the disease soybean rust would remain active, requiring many more fungicide applications to control the disease.

Scientists also contend that extending the soybean growing season would accelerate the creation of more resistance to existing fungicides. The disease has already become resistant to many of the commonly used fungicides and producing a second crop of soybeans during the same growing season would make the situation even worse. The scientists also feel that the late planted soybeans could also jeopardize the mandatory soybean-free period in the state allowing rust spores to remain viable during the dry season, which could result in an early infestation of the next soybean crop.

The Soybean & Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja/MT) contend that they had an agreement with the Plant and Animal Protection Bureau in the state (Indea) to conduct the experiment in a controlled manner, but the Attorney General questioned the validity of the accord because it conflicted with existing regulations.

The seed producers have said they intend to go to court to advance their desire to at least conduct an experiment concerning late planted soybeans in the state.