January 8, 2018

Soybean Planting Extension in Parana criticized by Industry

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

On December 20th the Plant and Animal Protection Agency for the state of Parana (Adapar) extended the end of the soybean planting period in the state from December 31st to January 14th. The reason stated for the extension was to allow farmers to plant a second crop of soybeans after they harvested their first crop of dry beans or corn. Dry conditions during September prevented farmers in the state from planting their first crop as early as they had intended, thus delaying the harvest until past the end of December.

This decision has been met with heavy criticism from the scientific community and the agricultural chemical industry because they contend they were not consulted concerning the extension. They are concerned that planting soybeans later than originally allowed will encourage additional generations of soybean rust to develop making it even harder to adequately control the disease.

Criticism of the decision was summarized in a letter sent to the state government from the National Plant Protection Association (ANDEF), the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC-BR), and the National Syndicate of Plant Protection Products (SINDIVEG). In that letter, these organizations emphasized that the planting extension would increase the risk that the disease would develop even further resistance to the fungicides used to control it.

They indicated in the letter that while the decision may have been made in good faith, it will make it harder to control the disease in the long run. The industry has been struggling to control the disease due to the rapid development of resistance to existing fungicides. Many of the traditional chemicals no longer offer adequate control of soybean rust. Soybeans are the most important crop in Brazil and soybean rust is the most serious disease of soybeans.

The decision to extend the planting date is coming at an unfortunate time because the state of Parana currently has the most confirmed cases of soybean rust in Brazil. Embrapa is reporting that of the 81 confirmed cases of rust in Brazil, 47 are in the state of Parana (58%). The recent weather in the state has been very wet with some areas recording rain for three straight weeks. The wet conditions prevented farmers from applying the fungicides needed to control the disease.

The start of the soybean harvest in the state will be 20-25 days later than last year due to dry conditions delaying the plating. The soybean harvest in the state is expected to start about February 20th. Any late-planted soybeans in the state must be harvested by May 15th.