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May 4, 2017

Soybean Harvesting must end by Friday, May 5th in Mato Grosso

Friday, May 5th marks the end of the soybean harvest season in the state of Mato Grosso. Under new rules which took affect for the 2016/17 growing season, all the soybeans in the state must be harvested by that date or farmers will face a fine. The 2017/18 soybean crop may start to be planted planting in the state on September 15th and planting must be completed by December 31st.

The latest report from the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) indicated that very few if any soybeans are left to harvest in the state. In the past, the latest soybeans to be harvested were always safrinha soybeans planted after the first crop of soybeans were harvested, but the planting of safrinha soybeans in the state was expressly prohibited under the new rules.

Farmers in the state must also adhere to the soybean-free period between June 15th and September 15th. During that period, no live soybean plants are permitted, either planted or volunteer soybeans that germinate by themselves. This prohibition includes farmer's fields, around storage and transportation facilities, or along roadways or railroads that pass through or along a farmer's property. Eliminating all live soybean plants is difficult especially along roadways where soybeans spill out of trucks due to the generally poor condition of the roadways.

Inspectors from the state's Plant and Animal Protection Bureau (Indea-MT) will travel throughout the state starting on June 15th looking for live soybean plants. If they find live plants, the landowner will be notified and given 10 days to eliminate the plants. If they don't eliminate the plants, they can face hefty fines.

The reason for these rules is to help control soybean rust and reduce the chance of the rust spores surviving from one growing season to the next. The rust spores can survive for about 60 days without a host plant, so by eliminating its favorite host plant which is soybeans, fewer viable spores will be available to infect the next crop of soybeans.

The state of Mato Grosso has the strictest rules governing when soybeans may be planted and harvested and other states in Brazil are considering adopting similar rules.