Fungicide Manual Comes To Rust Rescue

Since that first confirmation of Asian soybean rust on U.S. soil back in November 2004, researchers have learned quite a bit about this troublesome and potentially devastating disease. That new information is now available online for you and your grower-customers in the updated reference, Using Foliar Fungicides To Manage Soybean Rust.

The full-color manual pools the resources of more than 50 experts — including soybean pathologists from many areas of North America and USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists — and reviews the factors involved in making foliar fungicide application decisions and basic fungicide information. There are plenty of illustrations, photographs, maps, tables, and charts, plus a list of additional sources.

“It was not developed to be read from cover to cover, although some may choose to do this,” says Don Hershman, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist, who also serves as Southern Region coordinator for the North Central Soybean Research Project. “This version has been significantly expanded and includes several new topics of interest.” Hershman teamed up with Anne Dorrance, Extension plant pathologist at The Ohio State University and Martin Draper, national program leader, USDA-CSREES (Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service) to edit the publication.

New Chapters, New Ground

Dorrance points out that even if you’ve viewed the online manual in the past, you’ll find plenty of new information. Think you know all the proper responses to a soybean rust confirmation? Think again, because recommendations have changed. The manual also includes updates on approved fungicides in the U.S. and Canada.

The new chapters cover an array of topics, and have almost doubled the size of the manual. These include:

â–  Soybean Rust in Review: 2004-2007, which looks back and two chapters about the sentinel plot system that look ahead. “One is a peak at the future of our sentinel plot system, and the other looks ahead 10 years at modeling spreads and how rust is going to be tracked,” Dorrance says.

â–  Soybean Growth and Development. The four co-authors “did a really nice piece on when soybeans make yields,” says Dorrance. “For corn and wheat we know it’s the ear leaf and the flag leaf, respectively. In soybeans, we didn’t really have that information, so the four of them collaborated on this.”

â–  Fungicide Resistance Management in Soybeans.

â–  Managing Late-Season Soybean Diseases and Soybean Rust: A Southern Perspective. Dorrance notes that Southern soybean growers already were spraying for a number of diseases, so there were concerns when soybean rust came into the picture.

â–  Alternatives for Organic Soybean Production, which looks at the organic options.

â–  Secondary Effects of Fungicides. “Many of us are concerned that if we keep spraying all this fungicide, what are the negative aspects of it?” Dorrance asks. “There’s some interesting data that shows that if you spray a plot with fungicide, you can make your aphid situation worse, or you can make your mite situation worse.”

â–  Safe Fungicide Storage, which addresses what to do with unused fungicides and how to maintain their viability.

â–  The Influence of Soybean Rust on Crop Insurance, which guides growers through the documentation process.

The manual is expected to be available in print by summer; contact your local Extension office for a copy.

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