Moneywise: 'Crazy Soybean II' Worries in Brazil

March 7, 2011 10:37 PM

'Crazy Soybean II' Worries in Brazil

Scientists and farmers in Brazil are joining forces in a concerted effort to try and identify the cause of a relatively new soybean disease they are calling Crazy Soybean II, says Pro Farmer South American consultant and agronomist Michael Cordonnier.

The anomaly was first identified in 1996, but at the time it was not considered a significant disease. Since then, the disease has spread. Starting in the 2005 growing season, it was found primarily in the hotter regions of the cerrados in the states of Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Para and Maranhao. The disease is now causing economic losses in scattered areas throughout the northern soybean production areas of Brazil.

"The disease starts to appear on the average of 50 to 55 days after planting with blemishes on the stem of the plant. It impedes the maturation process of the plant and results in high rates of flower and pod abortion. If the plant manages to mature, the seeds are small, poorly formed and of lower quality," Cordonnier says. "In severe infestations, economic losses can be as high as 20% to 50% on a localized basis."

A farmer in northern Mato Grosso reported that he had two fields of 321 acres and 345 acres where the disease caused losses of 30% last year. This year, the disease is again present.

Crazy Soybean II is not widespread enough yet to cause a major reduction in Brazil’s soybean production, but it could become a problem in the near future. Visit
for Cordonnier’s updates on Brazilian agriculture.

Bond Information for Sellers to Eastern Livestock

One of the nation’s largest cattle buying companies is in receivership, and now more than 700 producers in 30 states are holding bad checks, according to USDA spokesperson Jim Brownlee.

Eastern Livestock Company LLC, began issuing unfunded checks to producers for livestock around Nov. 3, 2010. While Eastern was bonded for $875,000, the debit of bad checks to date totals more
than $130 million. The company, which is headquartered in New Albany, Ind., and has operations in 11 states, is registered with the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a market agency that buys and sells on a dealer basis and as a clearing service.

Producers who have not received payment from Eastern are encouraged to contact the GIPSA Midwestern Regional Office in Des Moines, Iowa, at (515) 323-2579 for information on fi nancial protections and how to file a bond claim.

Bond claims must be filed within 60 days from the date of the transaction on which the claim is based. Producers should also seek legal advice.

Biotech Crop Insurance Arrives

Growers planting Monsanto Company’s Genuity SmartStax corn and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans in 2011 can sign up for additional crop insurance. ARMtech, an approved provider of crop insurance, and Monsanto have introduced Biotech Yield Assurance, a private insurance option that allows growers to purchase an additional 10% of yield coverage over their federal insurance program, says Joe Nail, Monsanto business product manager.

The program is based on a 10-year rolling average of actual production history, so growers get coverage that is more in line with the level of technology they are planting. In the event of crop
loss, a Biotech Yield Assurance policy will cover more bushels than standard federal crop insurance, Nail says.

The product is available this year to growers planting Genuity SmartStax and SmartStax corn on 95% of an insured unit in Iowa and Minnesota, or Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans on
100% of an insured unit in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. To learn more, contact your insurance agent.

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