June 7, 2005:
A new booklet developed by Purdue University
Extension does for soybean growers what CliffsNotes
does for literature students. "Preparing for Asian
Soybean Rust" covers the foliar disease from initial
infection to yield loss prevention -- all in a handy,
The booklet is available through county offices of Purdue
Extension and Purdue's Media Distribution Center. Farmers
also can order and download the publication online.
"Preparing for Asian Soybean Rust" is loaded
with color photographs and instructions for submitting
leaf samples to Purdue's Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
for rust analysis, said Shawn Conley, Purdue Extension
soybean specialist and one of the publication's authors.
"What we were trying to develop was a small, all-inclusive
publication that growers can take to the field and determine
whether their crop might have soybean rust," Conley
said. "We've also included the steps to follow
if growers suspect they have Asian soybean rust in their
Although the booklet is small it doesn't skimp on important
details, Conley said. "This publication takes into
account the soybean plant itself -- the agronomic aspects;
disease management -- the pathology aspects; and the
economic side, such as crop insurance," he said.
"Those points are laid out in a concise, but precise,
Thumbing through the booklet is easy. Color-coded tabs
take the reader right to the seven main sections:
"What is Asian soybean rust?"
"What does it look like?"
"How does it spread?"
"How can it be managed?"
"How should fungicides be used?"
"Can cultural practices help? -- Will crop insurance
cover my losses?"
"What if I suspect I have soybean rust? -- Where
can I find more information?"
Much of the booklet's content is based on the soybean
rust experiences of South American farmers, said Greg
Shaner, a Purdue Extension plant pathologist and contributing
Soybean growers in the continental U.S. have never faced
a rust threat. The disease was first detected in southern
states this past November.
"In this publication we attempted to bring together
our best estimates of how this disease is going to develop
and how the pathogen will behave here," Shaner
said. "It was written with an emphasis on soybean
here in the Midwest but certainly is applicable across
the Corn Belt and even points further north.
"Because we haven't yet gone through a growing
season with the disease, we're relying on what we know
about other rust diseases on small grains and corn.
We're also relying on what people in Brazil and Africa
have dealt with."
Shaner and Conley have seen rust impact firsthand.
"Shawn and I went to Brazil in mid-February, specifically
to look at soybean rust," Shaner said. "Much
of what we saw there, in terms of symptoms and recognition
of the pathogen, when it arrives here, we'll see the
same sorts of things."
Several soybean rust photographs from the Brazil trip
appear in the booklet.
Others who contributed content and/or photos for the
publication included Corinne Alexander, Craig Dobbins,
Chris Hurt and George Patrick, Purdue Extension agricultural
economists; Ellsworth Christmas, Purdue Extension agronomist;
Karen Rane and Gail Ruhl, Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic
Laboratory; Alvaro Almeida, Embrapa Soja, Londrina,
Brazil; and Kevin Black, GROWMARK. The Indiana Soybean
Board provided financial support for the printing costs.
Single copies of "Preparing for Asian Soybean Rust"
-- Purdue Extension Publication ID-324 -- are free and
available at county offices of Purdue Extension. Bulk
orders are available in packages of 25 for $5 by logging
onto the Purdue Extension Education Store at http://www.ces.purdue.edu/new
, or by contacting the Media Distribution Center. To
reach the Media Distribution Center or for the Extension
office near you, call the toll-free Purdue Extension
hotline at 1-888-398-4636 (EXT-INFO).
The booklet also can be downloaded online by logging