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June 10, 2021

"Soybean-Free" Period to Start in Mato Grosso June 15th

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

The Agriculture and Livestock Defense Institute (INDEA) of Mato Grosso announced that the annual "Soybean-Free" period in the state will start on June 15th and extend until September 15th. During this period, no live soybean plants, either planted or voluntary, will be permitted in harvested fields, along roadways, or around storage or transportation facilities.

The "Soybean-Free" period started 15 years ago as a way to slow the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next. Brazilian scientists feel it has been very beneficial in reducing the occurrence of soybean rust especially early in the growing season. Similar programs are in effect in most Brazilian soybean producing states, although the dates may differ depending on the region.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, technicians from INDEA will visit more than 5,000 soybean farms in the state looking for live soybean plants. If live plants are found, the landowner will be notified and given a 10-day period to eliminate the plants. The landowner will face hefty monetary fines if the plants are not eliminated.

Rust spores can only survive for about 60 days without a host plant, so by eliminating live soybean plants between growing seasons, there are fewer sports available to infect the newly planted soybeans. The weather in central Brazil during the dry season is warm and very dry, so there are no killing frosts to eliminate any volunteer soybean plants that may have germinated after harvest. Therefore, the volunteer soybeans must be eliminated either mechanically or with chemical applications.