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Corn earworms critical on Brazil's new soy crop

Early infestations of corn earworms (Helicoverpa armigera) are at "critical" levels in parts of the major soybean-growing state, Mato Grosso, media report. That is the assessment of the Ministry of Agriculture's plant health commissioner, Wanderlei Dias Guerra. The detections came days after planting following the end of the 90-day isolation period in which land is left fallow between seasons. Ministry officials note that the pests may have transferred from "guaxa" plants that germinate from grain lost at harvest, and have grown before the soybean crop had been planted, Mato Grosso soybean grower association, the Aprosoja, reports. It advises "intense surveillance" and early control. The earworms caused $1,000 million of cotton and soybean losses in two Brazilian states in the last season (Agrow No 673, p 19).

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