December 27, 2010
Crazy Soy II attacks crops in the Cerrado

Anomaly prevents the maturation of plants and causes abortion of flowers and pods

Experts cautiously follow the occurrence of an anomaly called Crazy Soy II, which has caused losses in some crops in Brazil in the hottest areas of Cerrado.

"We do not know the cause of the disease or disorder observed in soybean plants. We set up the working group and we are analyzing samples from this crop," said Maurice Meyer, Embrapa researcher who coordinates the work of the group.

The abnormality prevents the maturation of plants and causes abortion of flowers and pods. The problem is detected, on average, 50 to 55 days after the time of planting. And even when you can reach the final stage, the plant produces a lower quality bean, green or rotten.

The working group established to research the disease brings together researchers from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), representatives of the Association of Producers of Soy of Mato Grosso State (Aprosoja) and research foundations in the state. Through this partnership, researchers are building experimental units of observation to evaluate the anomaly in the properties.

The researchers are analyzing samples from three farms in Mato Grosso, one in Tocantins and one of Maranhao. According to Meyer, this assessment will form the basis for evaluating the effect of management of crops and if there is any relationship with straw mulch, cover crops in no-till systems.

The group also plans to conduct a study to determine whether genetic changes occur in genes, but it is a more expensive and which may need more resources.

Meyer has noted that problem the first time during a trip to Maranhão in 1996/97 cycle. "But it was a sporadic problem and found no significant losses," he said.

"The problem grew and began to cause more losses in the warmer areas of the Cerrado, Maranhão, Tocantins, Pará and northern Mato Grosso from 2005/06," says Meyer. But he says there are reports about the anomaly, but with smaller losses in the north of Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná and part of Goiás

The analysis of samples of these three states should be out sometime this month, but more conclusive results about the extent of affected areas and the impact of the disease are available only at the final stage of the season, between March and April, calculates the reseacher.

Technical manager of the Association of Soy Producers of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja), Luiz Nery Ribas, emphasizes the anomaly attacks on "patches" that is part of the blocks, whose size varies on each property. In cases recorded in the last four years,
Crazy Soy II came to cause loss of 20 to 50 percent in productivity.

Asked if the problem is linked to excessive use of pesticides such as glyphosate, the technical manager said that this possibility is being evaluated. But notes that the anomaly was also detected in very young plants, even before the applications of these products.

"Do not rule anything out. Everything is being researched, as well as studies on sucking pests or type of trash," said Ribas.

The Aprosoja suggests that producers do the monitoring of crops, as has been done to soybean rust. If any anomaly or difference in the formation of the plant is detected, the recommendation is to communicate to Aprosoja, so that the working group could take samples to the analysis.


The agricultural producer Roseli Giachini, who farms 5,500 hectares with soybeans at Cláudia municipality, in northern Mato Grosso, said she had detected the first occurrence of
Crazy Soy II first time in 2005, but last season was that she saw the greatest losses.

She said that in 2009/10, in two parcels of 140 hectares and 130 hectares losses exceeded 30% both in areas of transgenic crops as conventional seed. "My average (productivity) was 59 bags, but in these plots was only 40 sacks (- 33%) in one and 46 (-22%) in the other", said Roseli referring to the volume produced per hectare.

This season, she has found the so-called "spots" on crops in some points. She said in one of the stands of about 100 hectares occurrence exceeds 10 hectares. "We are now taking the samples, but from my experience in the field, and also as an agronomist, I can say it is the
Crazy Soy II", she says.

To Roseli, the anomaly may be even more severe than the rust because is not yet know the forms of control. "The challenge of science to discover the causal agent to know how to control the Crazy Soy II," she adds.
Sources: Reuters, newspaper O Estado de São Paulo (Fabio Gomes), with the AgribusinessWatch
Translation by Google Translator with copy-desk by Maurício Galinkin, editor of the AgribusinessWatch.