Over the last few years, the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost in Brazil, has grown soybeans in areas where rice is traditionally planted. It is not only a financial advantage for local farmers to rotate the crops, but also is good for the soil. However, there is a problem. There is low tolerance for very humid fields. In order to fight the issue, Cláudia Lange, a researcher at the Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul, coordinated a study which resulted in a new soybean variety called TECIrga 6070 RR. The genetically modified seed gathers characteristics which secure less losses, average maturation time, and low occurrence of phytophtora, revealed Lange.
“During dry years, soybean is planted successfully in the region. On more humid seasons is harder (to grow)”, she told local newspaper Jornal do Comércio. Lange also explained that soybean belong to a botanical family different than rice. A condition that makes crop rotation even more attractive. “The crop rotation is complementary because vermicides used on soybeans are effective on rice. This already facilitates the control of the rice risks. Because rice is not from the same botanical family of soybeans, the soybeans are not a host for the same diseases and pests”, she said.
Rice is mostly grown in the far west of Rio Grande do Sul, where it borders with Argentina, and in the coastal part of the state, in the extreme east. Fields which adapted to soybean in the last two years started to be called locally “soja na várzea” (soybeans on floodplains). The most traditional soybean region in Rio Grande do Sul is Northwest.
The Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul studies the new variety since 2004.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/brazil-traditional-rice-area-will-get-new-soybean-variety)