Jun 14, 2023

90-Day Soybean Free Period In Effect In Most of Brazil

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

The annual soybean-free period is set to start in the major soybean producing states in Brazil. The soybean-free period started in Parana on June 10th and will start in Mato Grosso on June 15th, Goias on June 15th, and Rio Grande do Sul on July 13th and it will be effect for a period of 90 days. During this period, no live soybean plants will be permitted in the state. Farmers must eliminate any live soybeans in their fields, along the roadways, and near storage or transportation facilities.

The goal of the soybean-free period is to reduce the chance of any live soybean rust spores (Phakospora pachyrhizi) surviving from one growing season to the next. Soybean rust spores can survive for approximately 60 days without a host plant, so eliminating soybean plants as a potential host reduces the possibility that the disease will infect newly planted soybeans at the start of the growing season. If farmers can delay the introduction of soybean rust into their fields, they can reduce the number of fungicide applications necessary to control the disease and maintain the efficacy of the treatments.

In addition to monitoring pervious soybean fields for live soybean plants, farmers need to monitor safrinha corn fields and winter small grains such as wheat, oats, and barley. States such as Parana have established a series of collection stations across the state that track the spread of rust spores.

State agencies will send out teams of technicians to scout for live soybean plants during the 90-day soybean-free period. If live plants are located, the landowner will be notified and instructed to destroy the plants. If the landowner does not comply, the state levies a hefty fine. Generally, Brazilian farmers are diligent in eliminating any live soybean plants because it can save them money in reducing the number of fungicide applications.

According to data released by Embrapa, since its introduction into Brazil in 2001,soybean rust has become the most serious soybean disease in Brazil. The disease can cause losses of up to 80% if not controlled and the cost of controlling rust and other diseases exceeds US$ 2 billion per growing season.