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

Latest News
Crop Protection Products in storage
Crop InputsNewsweek: World Is ‘Awash In Glyphosate’
February 11, 2016
The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become Read More
Crop InputsEPA: Let’s Talk Imidacloprid, Bees On February 18
February 11, 2016
EPA will hold an online technical briefing on its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on Feb. Read More
ManagementThe latest on Syngenta-ChemChina Deal
February 11, 2016
Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf invites Jackie Pucci and Dave Frabotta from sister publication AgriBusiness Global to discuss the latest developments Read More
AdjuvantsUniversity of Illinois Confirms Adjuvant’s Perfor…
February 11, 2016
An independent University of Illinois study has shown that WETCIT adjuvant, now with TransPhloem technology, provides greater herbicide uptake and Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta’s Acuron Flexi Receives EPA Approval
February 11, 2016
Growers looking to control their toughest weeds with flexibility will have access to Acuron Flexi corn herbicide from Syngenta, now Read More
EquipmentAGCO Showcases White Planters 9800VE Series Planters AT…
February 11, 2016
AGCO unveiled the new White Planters 9800VE Series planter during the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The Read More
EquipmentCase Unveils 2000 Series Early Riser Planter At NFMS
February 10, 2016
Case IH revealed the all-new 2000 Series Early Riser planter to media and attendees at the opening of the National Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta: Keep Ag In Mind During Election Season
February 10, 2016
As presidential candidates stake out their 2016 election platforms and key priorities, growers and their business partners should seek opportunities Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Submits New Bio-Fungicide For E…
February 9, 2016
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) today announced that it has submitted a new biological fungicide (MBI-110) to EPA. The broad spectrum Read More
Crop InputsWeed Expert: Adding A Second Herbicide Not Always Easy
February 9, 2016
In my last post, I reviewed some recent research that suggests one of the best ways to delay the evolution Read More
Crop InputsGenetic Literacy Project: Farmers Need More Herbicide C…
February 9, 2016
There are two things that I think just about every weed scientist can agree on, writes Andrew Kniss for The Read More
HerbicidesWeed Expert Warns North Dakota Growers Of Coming Herbic…
February 9, 2016
Ford Baldwin painted a bleak picture of weed control at a recent workshop here exploring the future of ag production, Read More
HerbicidesWSSA Announces New, Updated Free Web Resources
February 9, 2016
Today the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More