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January 24, 2012

Rains Could Lead to Significant Soy Loses In North of Mato Grosso

The heavy rains in northern Mato Grosso have prompted concerns about the potential for significant yield loses for the soybean crop in the region. According to the president of the Rural Syndicate of Sinop, which is located in northern Mato Grosso, soybean losses could be as high as 15% due to the heavy rains. A combination of poor quality, increased disease pressure, and lack of solar radiation could all contribute to the losses.

The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) reported that 2.7% of the state's soybeans had been harvested by last week and in the municipality of Sinop, only 2% of the crop had been harvested.

The rains don't only keep the combines out of the field; they can also greatly increase the disease pressure on the plants. Embrapa reported that 44 cases of soybean rust have been reported in the state and that is expected to continue increasing in the weeks ahead. Even without rust being reported in the region, the average farmer in the state is expected to apply two applications of fungicides to their soybean fields. When the disease is spreading quickly like it is this growing season, the farmers may have to apply four or maybe five applications.

Since the fungicides used to control rust are contact fungicides, the heavy rains can easily wash off the chemical allowing the disease to continue colonize the plant.

The wet weather is also delaying the planting of the second crop of corn and they are also impacting the cotton crop that has already been planted. The excessive moisture and lack of sunshine is slowing the growth of the emerging cotton plants.