September 23, 2016
Cotton-Free Period to Start in Mato Grosso on October 1st
Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil and cotton producers in the state have been reminded that the cotton-free period in the state will start on October 1st. Until 2015, the cotton-free period across all of Mato Grosso was from September 16th through November 30th, but the regulations were modified in 2016 and the state was divided into two regions for the cotton-free period.
In Region I, which includes the south, south-central, and east-central regions of the state, the cotton-free period will be from October 1st through November 30th. In Region II, which includes the northwestern, north-central, and northern regions of the state, the cotton-free period will be from October 15th through December 14th.
During the cotton-free period, landowners are required to eliminate any live cotton plants from their fields, along the roadway, and from around storage and transportation facilities. If landowners do not eliminate live cotton plants, they could be subject to hefty fines.
The goal of the cotton-free period is to break the pest and disease cycle especially the cycle of the cotton boll weevil, which is considered the principal pest of Brazilian cotton production. With no live cotton plants available, it is hoped that fewer of the weevils will survive from one growing season to the next. A similar approach has been used to help control soybean rust with generally good success.