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Light disease pressure, favorable weather for Uruguay soybeans

Agriculture.com Staff 02/08/2006 @ 12:16pm

In Uruguay, I toured the state of Colonia with Silvina Stewart, a leading plant pathologist and her husband Ricardo Cibils, an agronomist and a farm manager.

Uruguay received 250 mm (10 inches) of rain just in time to save their first planting of soybeans. They are now in as good of shape as they were last year at this time. The second planting (after winter crops of wheat, barley and oats) suffered extensive damage. Many soybean farmers had to replant.

In Uruguay, weather conditions for a good crop is sunny warm weather, but this summer has been unusually cool. The current stages of soybeans range from R3-R5. Overall, the crops look good. So far, the soybeans seem a bit stressed, but with very little disease pressure. Normally, insect pressure is greater in Uruguay because they have legume crops which grow all year round and pests jump from winter leguminous forage crops to soybeans. Crops are heavily scouted for pests which give them an upper hand in dealing with rust scouting.

In general, Uruguay has yet to find rust on this year's planting. Spore traps which line the borders of Uruguay with Brazil and Argentina have caught spores since December which is much earlier than last year, where spores were not detected until February.

Another difference from last year is that with rains occurring in southern Brazil, spores are being found coming in from Brazil, where last year they were mostly detected from Argentina. Also, rust was found on volunteer soybeans overwintering in Uruguay. Silvina expects a sooner and more extensive infestation this year. Uruguay and Argentina seem to be a good model for U.S. study as our production, climatic and cultural practices are similar to the U.S.

In recent days, Southern Brazil has received rains that have saved their soybean crop, but has increased the Asian soybean rust pressure. Matto Grosso has definitely received the most rain, too much as a matter of fact. As in Brazil, the large size of the soy producing region of Argentina has seen a great variation in rainfall. Some areas of Argentina also experienced some drought, while other areas had enough and even more than usual rainfall.

In Uruguay, I toured the state of Colonia with Silvina Stewart, a leading plant pathologist and her husband Ricardo Cibils, an agronomist and a farm manager.

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