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Earworms cost major Brazil soy state R$1 bn

Soybean growers in the major Brazilian soybean growing state of Mato Grosso have been hit with cumulative losses of "almost R$1 billion" from earworm (Helicoverpa armigera) infestations this season, media report. Additional costs in order to control the pest have reached R$118 (US$49)/ha, or some R$985 million (US$407 million) across the state's soybean sector. That includes a loss of some 3% of the crop, resulting in a 4.3% rise in costs at about R$85 (US$35)/ha. The calculations assume an extra three insecticide applications on detection of the pest, following a study from the agri-business agency, the Imea. Official statistics reveal that the state planted some 8.4 million ha of soybeans in the spring.

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