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October 8, 2015

Parana follows Mato Grosso in Prohibiting Safrinha Soy Production

As expected, the Plant and Animal Protection Bureau for the State of Parana (Adapar) in southern Brazil announced its decision on October 7th to prohibit the planting of two soybean crops back-to-back in the state during the same growing season starting with the 2016/17 growing season. Starting in 2016, farmers in Parana will be allowed to plant their soybeans starting on September 16th and they must finish planting by December 31st. The prohibition was not put into effect for this growing season because it is too late in the year and farmers have already made plans and purchased their inputs for this growing season.

The soybeans in Parana must then be harvested by May 15, 2017. If the soybeans are not mature by that date, the producer must apply a descant to kill the crop and the crop must then be harvested or face a fine. The only exception to the new rules will be for research plots. Parana is the second largest soybean producing state in Brazil following Mato Grosso.

The state of Mato Grosso has already taken this same step of prohibiting a second crop of soybeans as a way to facilitate the control of soybean rust. Mato Grosso was the first state in Brazil to do so and its prohibition took effect this growing season. The same planting dates (September 16th through December 31st) will apply for Mato Grosso, but the date by which the soybeans must be harvested is a little earlier on May 5th. It is expected that other Brazilian states will follow the lead of Mato Grosso and Parana and also prohibit the planting of two soybean crops during the same growing season.

The state of Mato Grosso is 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 and to slow down the development of fungicide 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 has been significantly reduced due to the near constant application of chemicals on 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.