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October 31, 2013

Soybean Planting Pace in Mato Grosso Advances Unevenly

While the soybean planting is nearly complete in some municipalities in Mato Grosso, in other municipalities there are farmers who have not yet received their seed for planting. Statewide, the soybean planting has passed the half way mark, which is ahead of the five-year average pace.

Farmers in the municipality of Sorriso, which is located in central Mato Grosso, started planting their soybeans about a week later than last year, but the planting pace was accelerated and they have now finished planting their 2013/14 soybeans about two weeks earlier than last year. The farmers in the municipality planted 630,000 hectares of soybeans (1,556,000 acres) making it the largest soybean producing municipality in Breazil.

As soon as the planting was finished in Sorriso, farmers started scouting their fields for the corn earworm caterpillar (Helicoverpa amigera) which was found in about 40% of the fields. Farmers have already started to spray for the pest at a cost of R$ 22 per hectare per spray in an attempt to keep this new pest under control. Some soybean fields that were planted during the second half of September have already been sprayed three times for the caterpillar. Other soybean pests and diseases in the region include the while fly and soybean rust.

While the soybean planting is already finished in some regions of Mato Grosso, in other municipalities such as Tangara da Serra, which is located in west-central Mato Grosso, some farmers have not even started planting due to a lack of seed supplies. Due to the increased soybean acreage in the state, some seed companies have delayed the delivery of seed and they have had to substitute older varieties when they ran out of the more popular varieties.

Farmers who have not received their seed are very upset because they had programed an early planting of their soybeans in order to allow enough time for a second crop of corn, cotton, or dry beans. The longer they have to wait for their seed to arrive, the lower the yield prospect for the soybean crop and for the second crop as well.