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May 12, 2016

Farmers in Mato Grosso must Finish Soy Harvesting by May 20th

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

As farmers in Mato Grosso wrap up their late soybean harvest, they have been informed by the Agriculture and Livestock Federation of Mato Grosso (Famato) that they have until May 20th to finish their soybean harvest. Under the new regulations established for the 2015/16 growing season, the soybean harvest was scheduled to end by May 5th, but the deadline was extended for 15 days this year due to dry weather which delayed the soybean planting last October and November.

The "soybean free" period this year in Mato Grosso will start on June 15th. After that date, all live soybean plants must be destroyed as a way to slow the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to another. Technicians from the state's plant protection bureau will fan out across the state searching for live soybean plants in fields, along roadways, and around storage and transportation facilities. If they find live soybean plants after June 15th, the land owner will be notified and given 10 days to destroy the plants. If the plants are not destroyed within the allotted time, they could face fines.

As part of these new regulations, the planting of safrinha soybeans in Mato Grosso was expressly prohibited starting with the 2015/16 growing season. Therefore, a second crop of soybeans planted in the same field during the same growing season is no longer allowed. In years past, the farmers planted several hundred thousand hectares of safrinha soybeans. The state of Parana has also adopted a prohibition of safrinha soybean production starting with the 2016/17 growing season. If farmers in Mato Grosso and Parana are not allowed to plant a second crop of soybeans, they are expected to plant more safrinha corn instead.

Even though adverse weather during the growing season resulted in lower crop yields in Mato Grosso, the state continues to maintain its leadership in grain and fiber production in Brazil. According to the latest report from Conab, Mato Grosso ranks first in Brazil's grain production accounting for 24.4% of the total followed by Parana with 17.9% and Rio Grande do Sul with 15%. Agriculture accounts for over 50% of Mato Grosso's GDP with soybeans being the most important crop.