Asian Soybean Rust: What happened in '06

January 8, 2007 03:34 PM
 

Low Economic Loss Due to the vigilance and preparedness of growers, researchers, cooperative extensions and government and industry experts, U.S. economic losses from Asian soybean rust were low this past year. Soybean producers have been able to treat rust in a timely and sufficient manner since its arrival in the U.S.

The impact of Asian soybean rust would have been much greater had it moved into the Midwest earlier this year. One agricultural economist estimated that if 15% of the Cornbelt’s soybeans were infected, an economic loss of up to $237 million could result.

Weather Conditions

Asian soybean rust development is dependent on weather. Long periods of leaf wetness are needed for Asian soybean rust spore germination, as well as temperatures between 60- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit, plus a high relative humidity of 75 – 80 percent.

This year, much of the Southern region was extremely dry and hot making conditions unfavorable for rust to propagate and build up a spore population. Late summer rains in the south made it possible for rust spores to increase; however, it was hot and dry in much of the Midwest by that time. The past two years, it has always been either too hot, too dry or both.

Preventative Measures

Soybean growers who were affected by Asian soybean rust kept the disease in check through early detection and fungicide treatment. Although no one is sure where, when or to what extent Asian soybean rust will develop in the future, growers should be prepared and take preventative measures:

When used as part of a crop management plan to achieve plant health in soybeans, a well-timed application of Headline® fungicide provides the longest lasting, most effective preventative protection for soybean rust while also improving yields through plant health benefits.

Looking Ahead

When it comes to predicting what could happen in the coming years, most experts look south to Brazil. However, U.S. weather and geographical conditions more closely resemble Argentina where rust first surfaced in 2002 and it is likely conditions in the U.S. will more closely follow the diseaseinfestation pattern of Argentina rather than Brazil.

In 2006, Asian soybean rust was detected in over 274 counties in 15 states. Although it did not turn into the devastating disease that was predicted, next year could bring a new pattern of change. As in Argentina, Asian soybean rust was slow building until conditions were favorable and losses have been directly correlated to weather conditions during crop development. Timely fungicide treatments are the only proven solution in countries where Asian soybean rust has been a major disease problem.

Growers who face the disease know Headline® fungicide is the choice for long-lasting, preventative control. By including Headline® in a crop management plan, growers can maximize yield potential and also protect their soybean crop on a preventative basis from Asian soybean rust.

Always read and follow label directions.
Headline® is a registered trademark of BASF.
©2006 BASF Corporation. All Rights Reserved. APN 06-01-088-0027

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