What About Soybean Rust?

I have been monitoring reports from the southern U.S. to determine what we might see as a risk for soybean rust in 2008. Also, thanks to a message from David Fischer, UW-Extension-Dane County, we know that growers are paying attention to the possible risk for soybean rust as they consider their planting options for switching from full-season corn hybrids to either soybean or shorter-season corn hybrids. As it stands right now, soybean rust activity in the south has been quiet. The last documented detections were in mid-April and conditions in southern Texas (which would be a primary source of inoculum for Wisconsin) has been dry. Questions have been raised regarding the situation in Mexico, and to the best of our knowledge, the last documented detections there were in January. Thus, the risk for soybean rust in Wisconsin remains low. We will continue to monitor the situation in the south, especially Texas and Louisiana over the next few weeks. Supported by check-off dollars and the USDA, Wisconsin will have 15 sentinel plots in 2008 to help us in our monitoring efforts for soybean rust. Updated information can also be found at www.sbrusa.net.