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

FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara International
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
StewardshipThree Ohio Ag Retailers Honored With 4R Certification
October 13, 2014
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced its first three agriculture nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
FertilizerJ. R. Simplot To Build New Ammonia Plant In Rock Springs, WY
October 7, 2014
The new plant will supply both the Rock Springs, WY, and Pocatello, ID, phosphate fertilizer production locations while having the capacity to meet the company’s next phase of anticipated phosphate expansion plans at Rock Springs. Read More
CropLife 100Hintzsche Fertilizer To Sell Business To Helena
October 2, 2014
Hintzsche Fertilizer of Maple Park, IL, has agreed to sell its business to Helena Chemical Co., Collierville, TN, according to a report on ElburnHerald.com. Read More

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More