Though Quiet, Rust Still Relevant

Three years after soybean rust first arrived in the U.S., it has yet to become the disease problem many had feared. But a University of Kentucky (UK) plant pathologist says it is acting as expected.

“We’ve not been crying wolf,” says Don Hershman, plant pathologist with the UK College of Agriculture. “It takes a while for the disease to build up, and eventually conditions will come together. I doubt if it’s going to happen every year. Will it be a one-in-five-year thing or a one-in-10-year thing? There’s really no way to predict that. You just have to be tuned in and be ready to act when needed.”

Standing Sentry

Rust can cause extensive crop damage but can be successfully treated with timely fungicide applications. Timely applications depend on finding the disease and monitoring its progression into the soybean growing areas from the southern U.S., where it overwinters on kudzu. Hershman notes there are more than 12 million acres of kudzu in this country, primarily in the South.

“We are noticing that rust seems to be moving north earlier and earlier every year,” he says. “Part of that is because pathologists have learned more about how to scout for it.”

A sentinel network of soybean and kudzu plots from Mexico to Canada are intensively checked from late winter until the end of the growing season. Pathologists have been successful in identifying the disease and giving early warning through this system. Most of the finds are on leaves taken from the field to a laboratory for incubation and microscopic evaluation.

“We are having more rust finds with each passing year,” Hershman says. “In 2005, we had 40 finds and 239 in 2007. Part of that is because kudzu is becoming more uniformly infected. We are also finding that long distance spore movement is very common, and that’s the scary part.”

The spores can be lifted and sent for miles during weather events, but these spores also have to survive the trip and then find receptive conditions in order to multiply. Large spore movement does not require a major weather event, such as a tropical storm or hurricane, but can move northward on normal weather patterns. So far spores have found their way into soybean growing areas and infected plants too late in the season to impact the crop. But Hershman says as the disease develops and overwinters in the larger areas of the South, more spores will be available to move earlier in the growing season.

Defense Planning Easier

Pathologists have found that producers have more time to spray than initially thought once the disease has been discovered. They have also been able to predict locations where the disease may pop up using three models that consider spore locations, spore movement, and weather conditions. These models were used to successfully predict a soybean rust infection in Iowa in 2007.

“It’s always about two and a half to three weeks from the time it is predicted until it shows up,” Hershman says.

This helps prepare growers for the potential arrival of the disease and allows them time to spray fungicides to control its spread. Timely findings of the disease and the use of prediction models can help to ameliorate the disease’s impact. Such tools give growers information to determine when and if they need to use fungicides to protect their crop.

“The best defense is a good offense,” he says. “We’ve had three years now, and we’ve seen three different patterns. The first year it went up the east coast. The second year it went up the east coast and through Kentucky, and this year it bypassed Kentucky and went up through Nebraska.

“The key for a producer is to watch the seasonal weather trends and monitor rust detections, especially in the Deep South, from May through July,” he adds. “Obviously, the earlier anything begins to happen the worse off we are going to be — the later, the better.”

Retailers and growers can visit www.sbrusa.net to monitor Asian soybean rust and soybean aphids this season.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Syngenta
Eric SfiligojWill Monsanto And Syngenta Combine This Time?
May 4, 2015
Under the heading of “never say never,” it sounds as if crop protection/seed giants Monsanto Co. and Syngenta are once Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Need To Defend Production Agriculture
April 27, 2015
Last week, I spent the better part of my time on the road visiting with ag retailers and market suppliers Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take Center Stage
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
MicronutrientsSouthern States: An Inside Look At Our Tissue Sampling Program
April 15, 2015
Remember learning about the food pyramid in school? The nutritional diagram recommends the proper amount of nutrients you need on Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
ManagementSyngenta-Monsanto deal talk; Ohio field work on the mov…
May 6, 2015
Rumors of a deal between Syngenta and Monsanto heat up once again, while planting continues apace in Ohio’s corn and Read More
StewardshipBayer CropScience Announces $100K Pollinator Habitat In…
May 6, 2015
Bayer CropScience is investing over $100,000 in a project with Integrated Vegetation Management Partners, Inc. (IVM Partners) designed to improve Read More
Town & Country Co-op Smithville, OH 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified
StewardshipThree Town & Country Co-op Facilities Certified In …
May 6, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Town & Country Co-op’s facilities located in Loudonville, Smithville, and Sullivan, Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Adds New Territory Manager
May 6, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Co., a leader in natural soil enhancement and plant  fertility products, has hired Paul Miles as a Read More
InsecticidesVestaron’s Bioinsecticide Now Registered For Use On Mor…
May 6, 2015
Vestaron has received expanded EPA registration for its biological insect control products. These innovative bioinsecticides, which are derived from newly Read More
Sunrise Cooperative Norwalk Agronomy
StewardshipSunrise Cooperative Facilities All Certified In 4R Nutr…
May 5, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that all four of Sunrise Cooperative Inc.’s agronomy branches, located in Attica, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Scientist Named 2015 National Inventors Hall O…
May 5, 2015
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) announced its 2015 class of inductees. Among the 14 honored is scientist Mary-Dell Read More
Eric SfiligojIARC Glyphosate Report: A Closer Look At ‘Probabl…
May 5, 2015
By now, you’ve probably run across a story or two (probably closer to 100) detailing the ongoing controversy over the Read More
Syngenta
Eric SfiligojWill Monsanto And Syngenta Combine This Time?
May 4, 2015
Under the heading of “never say never,” it sounds as if crop protection/seed giants Monsanto Co. and Syngenta are once Read More
Dr. Bryan Young, Southern Illinois University, shows tour attendees a female Palmer amaranth plant.
Crop InputsPurdue Weed Scientist Publishes Weed Resistance White P…
May 4, 2015
Resistant weeds, the appropriate use of herbicides and integrated weed management strategies are highlighted topics in the new white paper, Read More
Industry NewsMonsanto-Syngenta Mega-Merger Would Drive More Deals
May 4, 2015
A combination of Monsanto Co. and Syngenta AG would set the stage for even more mergers and acquisitions, reports Brooke Read More
InsecticidesAgrian Announces New California Feature
May 4, 2015
Agrian announced today that it has developed a feature within its recommendation writing program that will support the California Department Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
FertilizerNachurs Alpine Solutions: Liquid Fertilizer With Precis…
May 4, 2015
When it comes to fertilizer options in 2015 and beyond, ag retailers are taking a long, hard look at liquid. Read More
West Central Sac City growers
StewardshipIowa Lawsuit Challenges Ag’s Water Quality Efforts
May 3, 2015
Nutrient problems in west-central Iowa’s water supply made national headlines in March when the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) filed Read More
Tim Hassinger Dow AgroSciences President and CEO
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Always About Agriculture
May 2, 2015
When you consider their respective backgrounds, it’s little wonder why Dow AgroSciences and new President/CEO Tim Hassinger ended up together. Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsSpray Drift Enters More Complex Era
May 1, 2015
Off-target movement of crop protection products has been a problem for decades. The issue got more contentious when glyphosate-tolerant crops Read More
Crop InputsTop 10 Twitter Pics For #Plant15
April 30, 2015
Growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s crop. Fortunately, many of them still have time to Read More
ManagementIowa Retailer Sticks Up For Agriculture and New Spray D…
April 30, 2015
Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about how one Iowa ag retailer is working to defend agricultural practices and an Read More