Extension Ag Update
July/August 2004
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Illinois Soybean Rust Program

Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator - Crop Systems, Countryside Extension Center, 708-352-0109, ephillps@uiuc.edu

Soybean rust could cause up to an 80% reduction in soybean yields if it is not quickly detected. The Illinois Soybean Rust Program has been developed as a cooperative effort between the University of Illinois, U of I Extension Service, Illinois Soybean Checkoff Board, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, Illinois Seed Trade Association, Professional Crop Consultants of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, National Soybean Research Center at the U of I, USDA-APHIS & -ARS and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The aim of this program is to prepare Illinois agriculture to quickly detect and eradicate soybean rust if it occurs in Illinois.

The Illinois Soybean Rust Program outlines the potential threat from soybean rust, sampling and screening procedures, and outlines control options should they become necessary. It is vital to have a confirmation of the presence of rust in a field prior to treating a field. The correct timing of fungicide applications will be critical to adequately control this disease.

There are some bright sides to this potential pest. Should losses occur due to soybean rust, they are covered under the Federal Crop Insurance Program like other crop losses. Brazils experience with soybean rust indicates that it may take several years to spread throughout the United States, depending on where it is first found. For Northern Illinois, the news is even better since soybean rust cannot over-winter in below freezing temperatures. Therefore, the spores will have to be re-introduced every spring, giving producers time to plan for this disease. For a copy of the Illinois Soybean Rust Program contact your local Extension office or go to: http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/fieldcrops/soybeans/soybean_rust_program.pdf.