April’s Ag Advice

April's Ag Advice by April Borders Well, the hot topic of conversation lately seems to be soybean rust. The industry is buzzing in regards to this new disease, but in the midst of all the hubbub, there are things being said that may not be accurate. This disease is so new to us that we need to be careful and get all of the facts before making any critical decisions regarding our farming and production methods.

The disease has now been confirmed in nine states, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and most recently in Missouri. To enable producers to have the most current information, meetings are being set around the area. These meetings will provide growers with information on soybean rust identification and management.

The South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSR&PC), South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) will present a special Soybean Rust Education Meeting on Jan. 14, 2005, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Representatives from ASA and the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will join with scientists and industry experts to explain the facts about soybean rust.

South Dakota State University Extension Plant Pathologist Marty Draper will be one of the featured rust experts at this meeting. Draper suggests growers have to pay close attention to their fields while heading into planting for the 2005 season.

Draper said, "The bottom line is there are still a lot of unknown specifics about what rust will do in South Dakota. So it is critical for producers to budget a fungicide application and scout extensively after canopy closure. Timing the treatment will be a critical response."

In addition to the Jan. 14, 2005 meeting, South 2 FEU Agronomy Educators will be presenting information on soybean rust at the 2005 Crop Production Clinics to be held on Feb. 7 in Scotland, Feb. 8 in Vermillion and Feb. 9 in Lennox.

There will also be four additional meetings planned by the SDSR&PC for producers in the communities of Yankton (March 1), Mitchell (March 1), Aberdeen (March 2) and Watertown (March 3). Meeting times and locations will be announced at a later date.

For more information concerning soybean rust contact the Clay County Extension Office at 677-7111.

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