Rallying To Save Rust Alert System

You know it as ipmPIPE if you service soybean growers — the key pipeline to critical Asian soybean rust information for the past three seasons. However, USDA’s Integrated Pest Management Pest Information Platform Extension and Education program is in danger of losing some of its long-term funding support at the federal government level.

The program, up and running in time for the 2005 season at www.sbrusa.net, grew out of the need to provide information following the first confirmation of soybean rust in the U.S. in late 2004. It provides scientific tools such as the sentinel plot system utilized across soybean-growing states, commentary and advice from individual state Extension specialists, and a chronology of positive detections and their status — all on a real-time basis. E-mail alerts inform subscribers of new confirmations, which is the key to preventive or treatment applications of fungicides in a timely manner. Additions to the program, which now has five components, include tracking soybean rust confirmations in Canada and Mexico, plus a tracking and Extension advisory system for another significant pest, the soybean aphid.

Funding Facts, Fears

Funding is in place for the 2008 season, but is uncertain for 2009. According to Don Hershman, Uni­versity of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has funded the program since 2006 and will continue to fund the development of any ipmPIPE project, but the agency cannot fund maintenance programs. “RMA has concluded that the Asian soybean rust PIPE is now in maintenance mode and is no longer fundable,” Hershman says. “The money we use for PIPE is one year behind, thus we are OK for 2008 Asian soybean rust monitoring because we are using 2007 money. The 2009 season begins the crisis, which is based on 2008 money.”

RMA has actually funded around 75% of the soybean rust PIPE; soybean growers have been supporting roughly 25% of the costs through soybean checkoff funding. “Those funds are way short of what is needed to continue doing what we are doing,” Hershman says. The soybean rust monitoring effort takes about $1.6 million, primarily for personnel and travel for the many states involved.

“The cost associated with establishing sentinel plots is minimal, so the only way to truly cut costs is to cut people — and cutting people means fewer plots can be monitored,” he says. “And monitoring fewer plots just means we’ll know less about where soybean rust is or isn’t and that could seriously compromise the rust risk assessments we put out,” he adds. “Plus, the Asian soybean rust predictive models can only function if they are being ‘fed’ monitoring data. If the level of data are diminished, so, too, are the quality of the model outputs.”

“The ipmPIPE is not disappearing,” Hershman says. “But the money we have been using for Asian soybean rust monitoring is drying up, since no alternate source of funding has yet to be identified.” The soybean aphid and legume PIPE components will be in the same situation in 2010 or sooner.

Making The Pitch

The ipmPIPE Steering and Execu­tive committees are working to find a funding solution, and already have hosted an ipmPIPE Summit in Washington, DC. According to Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America, growers and crop consultants clearly communicated the value of ipmPIPE for management of rust to an audience of some 40 government and private-sector policy makers.

“As this is one of the finest examples of private/public partnership in support of effective and responsible use of pesticides, we must strive to gain long- term and stable federal funding for this program,” Vroom says, adding that the program also is becoming the model for pest management and monitoring efforts in other crops, making its future existence even more critical to the entire U.S. agricultural industry.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environmental Respect Award Honors
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denver
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More

Trending Articles

Green Valley Ag facility
Retail FacilitiesGreen Valley Ag Adopts A.J. Sackett’s Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology At New Facility
July 8, 2014
Sackett's Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology is making huge strides around the world. Green Valley Ag adopts the technology at its new facility to support its advancing agronomic needs. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipMonsanto Joins Panel Of Innovators To Advance Research …
July 30, 2014
Monsanto Co. and The Climate Corp., its division, recently joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Checkoff Produces Big ROI
July 30, 2014
Under the soy checkoff program, all U.S. soybean farmers contribute a small percentage of their gross soybean sales for research and marketing projects that maximize their profit potential. Read More
CropLife 100Learfield Sports, CHS Agree To Football-Centric, Colleg…
July 30, 2014
CHS Inc. will embark on a highly integrated collegiate sports sponsorship platform with 24 Division I universities in 19 states designed to reach the farmer-owned cooperative's rural owners and customers. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Forms New Organizational Structure For Its…
July 30, 2014
The new structure will provide more responsive internal support and will allow regional vice presidents and area managers to spend more time with customers, on talent development and on operational excellence across branches. Read More
Palmer pigweed in cotton
HerbicidesNew Training Modules On Herbicide Resistance Now Availa…
July 30, 2014
The Weed Science Society of America has announced the availability of three new education modules on herbicide resistance in weeds. Read More
HerbicidesWillowood To Market Glufosinate
July 28, 2014
Willowood USA recently announced that Federal EPA has approved its technical registration for glufosinate. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer, Weyerhaeuser Enter Technology License A…
July 28, 2014
The agreement brings together agricultural and forestry know-how to sustainably improve crop productivity for corn growers around the world. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Launches Global iPad App
July 28, 2014
The free AGCO Global iPad App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and features the full family of RoGator self-propelled sprayers and TerraGator high-floatation spreaders. Read More
Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environme…
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More