Editor's note: This is part of a periodic series on information regarding soybean rust. The goal is to provide media with the latest updates on the disease and Ohio State's role in research and education. These updates are expected to continue throughout 2005.
WOOSTER, Ohio — U.S. soybean growers now have no excuse to be unprepared for soybean rust with the recent development of two extensive management resources: a soybean rust monitoring Web site and a soybean rust fungicide manual.
The Soybean Rust Information Web site (http://www.sbrusa.net), managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), was launched to monitor the occurrence and movement of soybean rust throughout the country. The real-time data is based on nationwide sentinel plots, set up to be the first line of defense in identifying the disease and alerting farmers of its presence. Each state has at least 10 sentinel plots. Ohio has 45.
"This Web site is very good for us because we can monitor the movement of soybean rust as it's found based on the data coming from the sentinel plots around the U.S.," said Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the state's leading researcher on soybean rust. "If we can find the first infections, based on these plots, this will give us plenty of lead time to get on our fungicide applications. And timing right now is the most important key to their efficacy and the best use of a grower's money."
The Web site, which is updated based on weekly evaluations of the sentinel plots, consists mainly of a U.S. map. Areas that are scouted, but where no rust is found, are marked in green. Scouted areas with confirmed soybean rust sightings are marked in red.
Currently, some areas in western Florida have confirmed soybean rust cases from the discovery of spores on kudzu, a known host. Other areas in Florida, as well as in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Missouri have been scouted for rust, but no confirmed cases have been reported to date.
Once soybean rust is confirmed, an application strategy for potentially impacted areas is set in motion. But what fungicides should a grower use under what scenario? "Using Foliar Fungicides to Manage Soybean Rust," a new fungicide manual, is designed to help walk a grower through soybean rust management and proper fungicide applications.
"The manual outlines as several different scenarios about which types of materials producers can use depending on where rust is in the U.S. and whether it's been found in their field or not," said Dorrance.
The 60-page booklet is a multi-state, multi-organizational effort that covers such topics as a soybean rust overview, making fungicide decisions, fungicide basics, application basics, aerial application tips, bee toxicity and an overview of similar diseases. The publication contains articles, illustrations, photographs, maps, tables and charts, contributed by the nation's leading land grant universities' plant pathologists, as well as experts from Canada. Ohio State, South Dakota State University and the University of Kentucky have led the effort in developing and editing the booklet.
"This resource is unique in that it lays a solid foundation on which we will build our soybean rust fungicide experience in the U.S. We may not yet know all there is to know about managing soybean rust with fungicides in the U.S., but no other resource exists in the world which represents so much collective wisdom on soybean rust," said Don Hershman, a University of Kentucky Extension specialist for the Department of Plant Pathology, and an editor of the publication. "The editors and authors strove to develop a publication that was both easy to understand and follow, but at the same time summarized detailed scientific information in a way that was both logical and practical. I believe we have succeeded."
Added South Dakota Sate University Extension plant pathologist Martin Draper, "This publication pulls together the best and most complete information known on management of soybean rust. We have a lot to learn about how this pathogen will interact with soybeans in our environment, but it is our sincere hope that the information in this publication will help growers be prepared and realize a lesser impact from soybean rust." Draper is also an editor of the fungicide manual.
Interested parties, including those in Ohio, should contact their respective state Extension office for information on how to obtain a copy of the publication. For bulk orders in Ohio, contact Janis Cripe at Ohio State's Section of Communications and Technology at (614) 292-1607 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Price of the publication will vary from state to state. Ohio State University Extension/OARDC is charging a dollar per copy. So far, about 75,000 copies of the booklet have been ordered to meet national requests.
The publication is also available online at http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/SoyRust/index.htm, where chapters can be downloaded in a PDF format.
Contributing authors of the publication are from the following universities and organizations: University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, Mississippi State University, Iowa State University, University of Missouri, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Nebraska, North Dakota State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Kentucky, South Dakota State University, USDA Agricultural Research Services, Louisiana State University, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Cornell University, University of Delaware, Kansas State University, University of Maryland and University of Tennessee.
Support for the development of the publication was supplied through USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Smith-Lever Special Needs funds and soybean check-off dollars through the North Central Soybean Research Program.