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Federal action needed to protect soybean crop
With soybean prices reaching a seven-year high this week, the Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging federal action to protect the U.S. soybean crop from the threat of a soybean rust epidemic. Earlier this week, U.S. soybean prices took a hefty leap when Brazil, the world's second largest soybean-producing country, reported its crop, which is currently being harvested, has been impacted by soybean rust and drought. On Friday, the Aurora Co-op Elevator reported soybean prices at $8.58 per bushel. In a recent letter to Nebraska's congressional delegation, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Keith Olsen said yield losses of 20 to 80 percent due to soybean rust have been reported in South America and it's likely the airborne disease will reach the United States in the next few years. Soybean rust is a fungal disease that inhibits plants from setting pods and results in reduced soybean yields. Last year Nebraska was the fifth-ranked soybean-producing state, with 7.5 percent of the U.S. production of 2.4 billion bushels. "An epidemic of soybean rust would be a blow to the entire Nebraska economy," Olsen said. News of the disease-ridden Brazilian soybean crop comes at a time when the U.S. soybean supplies are expected to fall to a 27-year low because of strong demand from China and a smaller-than-expected U.S. soybean crop last fall. To treat soybean rust, Olsen said, producers would need to spray a fungicide at a prohibitive cost of $30 to $60 per acre. "The better strategy is for the U.S. to be prepared with new soybean hybrids that have more resistance to the disease," he said. Along with asking Congress to appropriate more dollars to develop a soybean variety resistant to rust, Nebraska Farm Bureau is also encouraging the EPA to issue emergency use permits to enable producers to use the necessary fungicides in the event of an outbreak. Nebraska Farm Bureau is also encouraging USDA to validate a speedy test for soybean rust so its presence can be identified quickly, along with ensuring that USDA maintains a rigorous inspection and quarantine process to safeguard U.S. soybean production. They also want to ensure that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service uses a science-based protocol to address the likely future need to quarantine international shipments of whole beans long enough to prevent transmission of soybean rust. Olsen said Farm Bureau is not supporting a blanket embargo on soybeans or soybean meal because there is no science-based evidence that it would be useful at this time.
MGR Archive 22.2.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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