No. 13 Article 4/June 18, 2004

Preparations for Soybean Rust Continue

Soybean rust has not been reported in the continental United States as of June 2004. However, there continues to be much interest in what is known about soybean rust and how we will manage this disease in Illinois if or when it appears. As has been widely reported, soybean rust is a significant problem in parts of South America and Africa, but we do not know how much damage it could cause in Illinois. Much effort in research and extension has been and is under way to develop and present information needed to respond to and manage soybean rust. This article provides an update on educational programs and other sources of information on risk, economic analyses, and scouting for soybean rust.

Educational Program on June 29

In an effort to get out solid information on soybean rust to many who are interested, a teleconference has been planned by extension educators and researchers for Tuesday, June 29, 2004, beginning at 9:00 a.m. It will be offered at many locations in Illinois and in other north-central states. This excellent program will be presented by experts in subjects related to soybean rust. For more details, please see the article "Soybean Rust: Issues and Facts, A Teleconference on June 29, 2004" elsewhere in this issue of the Bulletin, and contact your local UIUC Extension office.

Risks Related to Soybean Rust

Two questions are frequently asked in relation to soybean rust: When will it arrive, and how much damage will it cause if it arrives in Illinois? Much work has been done to help answer these questions and to model and analyze the risks. The following two sources of information provide useful perspectives on the risks of soybean rust arriving in the upper Midwest soon and how much damage it may cause. One is an article written by Dr. X. B. Yang, a plant pathologist from Iowa State University who has worked on soybean rust for a number of years. In his article (ISU Integrated Crop Management, June 7, 2004), he explains why it may be unlikely that soybean rust will be a significant problem in Iowa and Illinois in 2004. His full article can be seen here.

The second article is an interesting, lengthy, and detailed report from the USDA Economic Research Service: "Economic and Policy Implications of Wind-Borne Entry of Asian Soybean Rust into the United States". The article is described this way in a news release: "This report examines how the economic impacts of soybean rust establishment will depend on the timing, location, spread, and severity of rust infestation and on how soybean and other crop producers, livestock producers, and consumers of agricultural commodities respond to this new pathogen." For example, the risks appear to differ in different parts of Illinois.

New Scouting Protocol for Soybean Rust from UIUC Extension

University of Illinois Extension staff, with input from many others who have an interest in soybean in Illinois, have developed a short protocol for scouting for soybean rust in Illinois. The protocol, which can be downloaded here, includes basic information for scouting fields and collecting and submitting samples for soybean rust diagnosis.


Soybean rust symptoms on underside of soybean leaf.

--Dean Malvick

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