Crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says growing talk that producers in Mato Grosso might plant a second crop of soybeans in January and February (known as a safrinha crop) after harvest of regular-season soybeans is raising concern about an increased amount of soybean rust or corn earworms, which would do economic harm to the state. As a result, he says the idea to start the soybean-free period earlier in the year is being considered.
"The Soybean and Corn Producers Association of Brazil (Aprosoja) is scheduled in the near future to release technical guidelines concerning safrinha soybean production and indications are that they will recommend that farmers not plant a second crop of soybeans. Their concern is that two crops of soybeans could result in long term severe problems as far as diseases and pests are concerned," says Dr. Cordonnier.
Dr. Cordonnier reminds that in the mid-2000s, many Brazilian states adopted a 90-day soybean-free period between June 15 to September 15 in order to control soybean rust. "The idea being floated now is to start the soybean-free period earlier in the year, which would essentially prohibit a second planting of soybeans. Most of early maturity soybeans in Mato Grosso are 95 day to 100 day maturity varieties. If these varieties are planted in October or early November, then they are then ready for harvest in January or early February,
Doing so would essential eliminate any possibility of a second-crop of soybeans, although Dr. Cordonnier doesn't expect new regulations to be in place in time to impact 2013-14 acreage.
"Farmers are contemplating this second crop of soybeans due to the low domestic prices being offered for corn. The current prices being offered for corn in Mato Grosso are below the cost of production and many farmers are still trying to decide what to plant for their second crop," adds Dr. Cordonnier.