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
FertilizerGypsum Added To List Of Conservation Practices
July 28, 2016
Crop farmers in a growing number of states may be eligible for financial assistance from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Read More
Management2016 CTIC Cover Crop Survey: 33% Report ROI From Cover …
July 28, 2016
Insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and—for the fourth year in a row—found Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesStudy: Fall Weed Controls Can Make Significant Impact O…
July 28, 2016
An article published in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science shows that adopting harvest-time and post-harvest weed controls Read More
InsecticidesSyngenta: Beware Of Early Stinkbug Threat To Soybeans
July 28, 2016
With the record warm temperatures this past winter and confirmations from early entomologist reports, Syngenta encourages growers to monitor stinkbug Read More
Peanut field
Crop InputsVerdesian Introduces New Inoculant For Peanuts
July 28, 2016
As planning begins for the next growing season, Verdesian Life Sciences adds Primo Power CL, a new liquid inoculant, to Read More
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More