Jul 20, 2017

M. Grosso do Sul joins other Brazil States Prohibiting Safrinha Soy

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

The state of Mato Grosso do Sul is preparing to join the other Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, Goias, and Parana in prohibiting the planting of a second crop of soybeans in the same field during the same growing season, which is known as safrinha soybean production.

The state legislature approved the legislation prohibiting safrinha soybean production for the second time so it now goes to the governor for his signature, which is expected. The goal of the legislation is to help control the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next. The legislation also has specific calendar dates as to when soybeans may be planted in the state

During the 2016/17 growing season, farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul planted approximately 25,000 hectares of safrinha soybeans (61,750 acres), which is less than 1% of the soybean acreage planted during the regular growing season. Even though safrinha soybeans accounted for a very small acreage in the state, scientists feel the prohibition is vitality important in their overall efforts to control soybean rust.

The prohibition on safrinha soybean production reduces the number of rust spores that can survive from one growing season to the next, thus potentially reducing the number of fungicide applications needed to control the disease in the following crop. This effort goes hand in hand with the prohibition of any live soybean plants during the soybean-free period regardless of the stage of development of the volunteer soybeans.

There is one exception to the prohibition for seed producers who may plant a second crop of soybeans, but it cannot be planted in the same field where there was a first crop of soybeans. In all practicality, a second crop of soybeans for seed production would probably be planted after a first crop of corn. The soybeans planted for seed will be closely watched for the presence of soybean rust.

With Mato Grosso do Sul joining Mato Grosso, Goias, and Parana in prohibiting safrinha soybean production, approximately 60% of Brazil's soybean acreage will now have restrictions on safrinha soybean production. Even more states are expected to follow suit with the prohibition in the coming years.

Brazilian scientists have also been trying to persuade neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia to also prohibit the planting of a second crop of soybeans. Fields of safrinha soybeans in Paraguay and Bolivia may sit right across the dry border from soybean fields in Brazil. Scientists contend that a regional approach is needed to effectively control the most dangerous known soybean disease - soybean rust.