Farming, Politics, Soybeans

Helicoverpa Caterpillar – An Ongoing Fight

Three months ago, just before planting, we were scared on how the now famous Helicoverpa caterpillar would behave in our crops…

This motherf****r goes right in the pods

…scared because we knew that the pesticides currently allowed in Brazil do not control helicoverpa effectively. According to research and previous farm experiences in Bahia, they are only efficient until helicoverpa reaches about 0,5 inch. After that, they look more like vitamins to the caterpillars. Half an inch is a risky threshold and there wasn’t a safeguard, a last minute weapon, so we urged to the approval of emamectin benzoatean effective inseticide available in more than 77 countries, including Australia, Argentina, USA, and Europe, but still under the stuck-in-the-mud brazilian government studies, who apparently judges itself much better than its international counterparts.

Meanwhile, and knowing that this approval could take months to come(or never come), Mato Grosso’s institutions and companies acted quickly to intruct farmers on how to monitore, recognize, and control this plague.  Constant monitoring has been the order since then and fortunately it has worked. We are now in the middle of 2013/14 soybeans season in Brazil. Early fields will start to be harvested next week and by now everything is under control in most places. Costs are higher but yields are not being affected.

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