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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Asian Rust Outbreak Causing Critical Situation for South American Soybeans

Researchers in Brazil warn of the critical situation developing for soybeans in South America due to the outbreak of Asian Rust brought about by the practice of farmers planting a ‘second crop’ of soybeans within a single year instead of opting for crop rotation.

Government officials in Brazil have acted to curb the practice through enacting new rules of production which most growers in the country have complied with, however, in neighboring countries, such as Paraguay, the practice of second-crop soybean production continues to expand each growing season. Experts are warning that if regulations banning the practice are not put in place, soybean production may become an impossibility.

"The productive system in Paraguay is at risk,” says agronomist Claiton Rodrigues, “If an intervention is not done, it is possible that in the next conference we will be talking about an infeasibility of soybean production in that country.”

Noting that the Asian Rust fungus spores can be transported on the wind, researchers point out that Brazil needs to organize joint production agreements with Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.

In addition to regulations regarding second soybean cropping, agronomists advise that additional measures are also needed, including increased fallowing to reduce the presence of host plants in fields.

"The issue is no longer controversial, once it enables the sustainability of the productive chain and not a matter of choice," concluded the technical director of the Brazilian Association of Soybean Growers of Mato Grosso, Luiz Nery Ribas.

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