Several weeks ago an article appeared in the Bulletin (issue no. 13, June 21, 2002) with some basic information on soybean rust. As noted before, this is an exotic fungal disease that has not been detected in the continental United States. Regardless, this disease is of interest to many people because it may have the potential to cause considerable damage to soybean crops in the Midwest. Soybean rust is causing crop losses in the Southern Hemisphere and may eventually reach the continental United States.|
For those interested in obtaining more information on soybean rust, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has developed a soybean rust pest alert Web site. The following quotes provide an overview of the purpose and content of the site: "The purpose of the pest alert is to give background and identification on soybean rust. Included in this alert is information on how the fungus might be first detected on soybean plants, other soybean rust hosts that occur in the United States, the characteristics of soybean rust for proper identification, and procedures for identification verification." "This site includes a Soybean Rust Data Sheet developed by USDA, APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine, which gives baseline information on what is known about the disease with references for further investigations. Links to other soybean disease webpages are also listed at the end of this site." The site can be found at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/ep/ pestdetection/soybean_rust/soybeanrust.html.
The agency that prepared the Web site can also be reached by phone at (301)734-4387.
Development of this Web site is one more indication that many researchers and government agencies are working to prevent and reduce problems with soybean rust if it ever does reach the continental United States.--Dean Malvick