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Invasive Species

Soybean Rust Teleconference Training

The NIFA-funded North Central Integrated Pest Management Center organized a regional teleconference training session -- Soybean Rust: Issues and Facts -- on June 29, 2004. Five-hundred people spread among 100 sites in 11 of the 12 north-central US participated in the conference. They included 321 farmers, crop consultants and agribusiness personnel from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin, states accounting for over 9.17 million acres of total US soybean acreage.

Soybean rust is a serious disease causing crop losses all over the world, and was first discovered in the US in 2004, in Louisiana. It is caused by either of two fungal species, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, also known as the Asian species, and Phakopsora meibomiae, the New World species. It is spread primarily by wind-borne spores.

The Asian species, the one found in Louisiana, is the more aggressive of the two species, causing more damage to soybean plants. The detection came at a time when most soybeans had been harvested across the country. As a result of the harvest, the impact of the fungus was minimal for 2004. Since the first discovery soybean rust has been confirmed in nine states, which include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina.

Presenters at the training session were Drs. Matthew Royer, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ; Glen Hartman and Monte Miles, Agricultural Research Service ; X.B. Yang, Chair of the North Central Technical Committee for Soybean Rust (NC-504); Kent Smith, Office of Pest Management Policy ; and David Bell, USDA Risk Management Agency.

Development of the program was shared across the region, with the state’s Extension IPM Coordinators determining their state’s program point of contact. Each state also had the opportunity to conduct a state specific teleconference to discuss their response plan following the regional teleconference.

The event was planned by Dr. Greg Tylka and Virgil Schmitt, Iowa State University; Drs. Lisa Behnken, Jim Kurle and Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota; Dr. Roger Borges, University of Wisconsin; Dr. Dean Malvick and Dave Feltes, University of Illinois; and Dr. Susan Ratcliffe, North Central IPM Center.

For more information, contact Susan Ratcliffe, North Central IPM Center, 217-333-9656.


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