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Brazil state seeks lower soy agchem use

Researchers in the Brazilian state of Parana claim to be able to cut insecticide use on soybeans by half, the state’s news agency says. It cites rural development agency Emater, which says that some 4.2 applications are made each season. Emater is setting up 50 IPM demonstration units, taking in monitoring techniques developed by the agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, and selecting the most environmentally benign but effective selective chemical or biological control techniques. The major soybean pests in the state are brown stink bugs ( Euschistus heros) and velvetbean caterpillars ( Anticarsia gemmatalis). “The indiscriminate use of insecticides has led to resistance issues with these pests,” Emater’s project co-ordinator Nelson Harger reportedly says. Fungicide applications against Asian soybean rust ( Phakopsora pachyrhizi) are expected to rise in Brazil ( Agrow No 629, p 17).

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