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September 10, 2020

Soybean Planting Starts in Parana, Brazil Today, September 10th

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Today, September 10th, farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil are allowed to start planting their 2020/21 soybeans. September 10th marks the end of the soybean-free period that started on June 15th. Up until two years ago, farmers in the state were not allowed to start planting soybeans until September 15th, but farmers petitioned the state government to advance the start by 5 days and the state agreed two years ago. Farmers in Parana must complete their soybean planting by December 31st.

During the soybean-free period, no live soybean plants are permitted in fields, along the edges of fields, along roadways, or around storage or transportation facilities. Inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture fan out across the state looking for live soybean plants. If live plants are found, the landowner is notified and given 10 days to eliminate the plants. Most farmers observe this regulation and eliminate any volunteer soybeans, but 204 landowners in the state of Parana were fined in 2020 for not eliminating all live soybean plants.

The goal of the soybean-free period is to delay the entry of soybean rust disease into newly planted soybean fields. Soybean rust spores can only survive for less than 60 days without a host plant. By eliminating soybean plants in between growing seasons, the hope is that there will be less viable rust spores once the next crop is planted.

Soybean rust is the most serious disease affecting soybeans and Brazilian farmers spend approximately R$ 2 billion per year on control measures. The number of soybean rust cases in Brazil have been declining in recent years and scientists attribute the decline in part to the soybean-free period.