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January 22, 2018

Soybean Pods Dropping of Plants in Parana for Unknown Reason

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

Farmers in southern Brazil are concerned about too much rain especially in the states of Parana and Santa Catarina. The region has been inundated with rain since before Christmas and there is more rain in the forecast. Some areas have only had two days of sunshine in January and farmers are very concerned about the lack of photosynthesis, diseases, and pests.

Farmers in at least three municipalities in western Parana are also reporting the soybean pods are dropping off the plants for an unknown reason. In some fields, the ground is covered by full-size green pods that are still flat. The pods look healthy, they are not shriveled or covered with fungus or brown as they would be during a drought. Researchers are not sure why the pods are dropping and I am not sure either. If I had to guess, and this would be a pure guess, it might be due to insect damage. Agronomist are reporting that farmers who have adequately controlled diseases and pests are seeing fewer dropped pods.

The Brazilian National Weather Service reported some areas in western Parana received up to 8 inches of rain over the past two weeks prior to this past weekend when more rain fell. The forecast is calling for more rain this week. The rains have not come in one or two heavy downpours, but in nearly constant light rain day after day, which makes it very difficult for farmers to apply insecticides or fungicides.

There has been a lot of soybean rust reported in Parana. Embrapa has confirmed 89 cases of rust in Parana, which translates to 51% of all the rust cases reported in Brazil (173). Farmers in the region are generally preparing for their third fungicide application to combat rust. Many farmers made a preventative fungicide application before rust appeared and then one more to combat the disease. Farmers will need to continue trying to control diseases and pest for about another 30 days. The soybean harvest will begin about mid-February.

In addition to rust, farmers are combating white mold, anthracnose, white flies, stink bugs, worms, and mites.

It remains to be seen how these diseases and pest will impact the overall soybean production in the state. The Department of Rural Economics for the state of Parana (Deral), is still rating the state's soybean crop as 13% average and 87% good.

The adverse weather did cause the C.Vale Cooperative to cancel their Summer Field Days that were scheduled for January 16-18 in Palotina, Parana. The stated reason for the cancelation was the forecast for continued rain during last week.