Jan 10, 2019

Researchers Criticize Proposal for Late Planting of Soy in Brazil

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

As soon as the Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja/MT) proposed allowing farmers in Brazil's number one soybean producing state to plant soybeans later in the growing season if it was for personal seed production, they received a lot of criticism from the scientific community. Aprosoja is proposing planting soybeans as late as mid-February because they feel it results in better quality seed. Currently, in Mato Grosso no soybeans are allowed to be planted past December 31st and a second crop of soybeans in the same field during the same growing season is prohibited.

The main critics of this proposal include The National Association of Plant Protection (Andef) as well as the companies that produce and sell agricultural chemicals. They argue that such a change in the planting regulations could severely imperil soybean production.

Researchers at the Antirust Consortium feel that a limited planting window for soybeans is imperative for preserving the efficacy of chemicals used to control soybean rust as well as other diseases and pests. Extending the planting window would keep the disease active for a longer period of time and require more applications leading to increased resistance to the chemicals.

Embrapa released data in 2017 indicating that herbicide resistance has the potential to cause losses of R$ 9 billion per year in lost productivity and additional chemical costs.

Andef lamented the fact that the number of new agricultural chemicals approved in Brazil has been declining in recent years. They attribute the decline to regulatory barriers and the high cost of research. In Brazil there are 35 chemicals in the pipeline for approval, but 28 of those chemicals are already in use by farmers in Brazil's main agricultural competitors.