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October 1, 2015

Parana to follow Mato Grosso and Prohibit Safrinha Soy Production

It appears that the state of Parana may follow in the footsteps of Mato Grosso and prohibit the plating of safrinha soybeans in the state. A safrinha crop of soybeans is a second crop of soybeans planted immediately after the first soybean crop is harvested. The state of Mato Grosso was the first Brazilian state to prohibit safrinha production as a way to help control the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next.

It was also put into effect as a way to slow down the development of resistant strains of soybean rust. Currently, there are approximately six fungicides used to control the disease with various levels of effectiveness. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of several fungicides have been significantly reduced due to the near constant application of chemicals for two crops of soybeans during the same growing season. By only having one crop of soybeans and by rotating the chemicals used to control the disease, scientists hope to extend the effective lives of the fungicides.

There are no new chemicals expected to be approved in Brazil to control soybean rust for another seven or eight years, so scientists argue that everything possible must be done to extend the lives of the existing chemicals.

The state of Mato Grosso accomplished the prohibition of safrinha soybean production by extending the soybean-free period from its original period of June 15th to September 15th by backing up the starting date to May 1st. Since no live soybean plants are permitted during the soybean-free period, so by starting it on May 1st, it doesn't allow enough time for a second back-to-back crop of soybeans.

The same desire to control soybean rust is what led the State Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Parana to recently announce the possibility of prohibiting safrinha soybean production. The announcement was greeted with approval from the scientific community and the Agricultural Federation of Parana (Faep) as well as the Organization of Cooperatives in Parana (Ocepar), all of which are in favor of the prohibition as a way to reduce expenses in controlling rust. Some producers in the southwestern part of the state say they rely on the second crop of soybeans and they are against prohibiting the crop.

If the prohibition is approved, it would take effect in January of 2017, meaning this growing season would be the last one allowing safrinha soybean production. Other Brazilian states may follow the lead of Mato Grosso and Parana and prohibit safrinha soybean production as well.