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February 4, 2016

Minister of Agriculture asked to Step up Efforts to Control Soy Rust

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

The state of Parana has registered the most cases of soybean rust this growing season (121 of a total of 371 confirmed cases of soybean rust in Brazil) and as a result, the Agricultural Federation of the State of Parana (Faep) is requesting that the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture step up its efforts to slow down the spread of the disease.

First and foremost, they are requesting a nationwide uniform soybean-free period and a limit as to when soybeans can be planted. They want to have these same limits on when soybeans may be grown to be implemented in the neighboring countries of Argentina and especially Paraguay where farmers plant a lot of safrinha soybeans. The concern is that two crops of soybeans back-to-back can allow rust spores to easily move from eastern Paraguay across the Parana River to western Parana during the time when Parana is in the midst of its soybean-free period.

The most effective way to slow the spread of the disease from one growing season to the next is to institute a prolonged soybean-free period during which time the rust spores die. The states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Goias have already determined that December 31st is the last day that soybeans may be planted and planting of the new crop may only start after September 15th. Faep wants similar dates for the end of soybean planting to be imposed in all the states in addition to an expressed prohibition of any safrinha soybean production.

Scientists and farmers are also very concerned that existing fungicide used to combat the disease are losing their effectiveness and that it could take up to eight years to develop new fungicides. Therefore, they argue that every measure possible must be taken now in order to extend the life of the existing fungicides.