2004 -- CropChoice news -- DTN, 08/21/04: USDA
officials earlier this week told the American Soybean
Association (ASA) that Asian soybean rust has been discovered
five degrees above the equator in Colombia, the farthest
north the fungus has been found in South America.
"Confirmation of soybean rust above the equator
signals the advancement of spores in the direction of
the continental United States," said Ron Heck,
an Iowa soybean grower and ASA chairman.
U.S. experts working to predict the spread of Asian
soybean rust have said that once soybean rust moves
north of the equator, conditions are more favorable
for its movement into the U.S. July and August are the
likely months of its arrival, according to Monte Miles,
plant pathologist with the USDA Agricultural Research
Service at the University of Illinois.
As the disease moves further north, the probability
of getting soybean rust increases each year, Miles says.
Prevailing winds are part of what has kept rust south
of the equator, along with the unavailability of a host.
Also, north of the equator soybeans are planted in the
"Because no one knows for sure when soybean rust
will be introduced in the United States, we must work
with the current knowledge that it could be a few months
to perhaps five years or longer," Heck said.