Jun 12, 2020

"Soybean-Free" Period Starts June 15th in Mato Grosso

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

On Monday, June 15th, the state of Mato Grosso will start its 90-day "soybean-free" period during which all live soybean plants must be destroyed. The soybean free period in the state will go through September 15th. Nearly all the main soybean producing states in Brazil have a similar program, but the dates may differ slightly depending on the state.

This program was started in 2006 as a way to limit the amount of soybean rust disease that can be carried over from one growing season to the next. Most observers feel this program has been very successful and it is considered the principal method of controlling the disease. The spores from soybean rust cannot survive for more than approximately 60 days without a host plant and soybean plants are their favorite host plants. So, if all live soybean plants are eliminated, then there will be fewer spores to infect the subsequent soybean crop.

Even with the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing in Brazil, the Plant and Animal Protection Bureau for the state of Mato Grosso (INDEA-MT) will send out technicians across the state looking for volunteer soybeans that germinated in fields, along the edges of fields, along the roadways, and around storage and transportation facilities. If they find live soybean plants, the landowner will be notified and given 10 days to eradicate the plants. If that is not accomplished within 10 days, the landowner will face a monetary fine.

In order to identify the owner of a specific property, INDEA-MT requires soybean producers to register with the state and during the 2019/20 growing season, they registered 12,441 soybean producers in Mato Grosso.

During the soybean-free period last year, INDEA-MT collected samples of volunteer soybeans growing throughout the state and found that 72% of the plants were infected with soybean rust. Since the state does not receive any freezing temperatures during the dry season, any live soybean plants must be destroyed either mechanically or chemically.