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July 28, 2014

Brazilian Government will Attempt to Limit Safrinha Soy Production

The Brazilian Minister of Agriculture confirmed last week in press interviews that the government is seriously considering limiting safrinha soybean production in Brazil. This is the practice of planting two soybean crops in a row in the same field during one growing season. Safrinha soybean production has been heavily criticized by Brazilian scientists because it can greatly complicate efforts to limit the spread of diseases such as soybean rust or insects such as the corn earworm from one growing season to the next.

The limited benefit from safrinha soybean production can result in much higher production costs for the main crop of soybeans. The 2013/14 growing season saw an increase in safrinha soybean production, but the cost of production was high and the yields were disappointing especially in Mato Grosso.

Details of how the government will try to achieve this goal have not been released and the Minister has said it will be implemented on a regional basis. There has been speculation that the government may extend the current 90-day soybean free period (June 15th to September 15th) to 120-day or longer period, which would essentially eliminate the planting of a safrinha soybean crop. A 120-day period would mean that the soybeans need to be harvested by May 15th and a 150 day period would mean the soybeans need to be harvested by April 15th. If either was adopted, 120 days or 150 days, it would be virtually impossible to plant two crops of soybeans during the same growing season.