UNL CropWatch April 23, 2010: Plans for Soybean Rust Monitoring in 2010

UNL CropWatch April 23, 2010: Plans for Soybean Rust Monitoring in 2010

April 23, 2010

 Map of U.S. and northern Mexico

Figure 1. Distribution of current soybean rust confirmed cases as of April 22.

When soybean rust was first found in the U.S. in the fall of 2004, a national monitoring network was developed in soybean production states. Pathologists monitored potential development and spread of this disease and are now refining their efforts to focus first on the southern Gulf Coast states.

While most Nebraska soybean producers have not planted their soybeans, many states to our south have and some will begin monitoring for soybean rust development.

Plant pathologists in the southern U.S. will be monitoring soybean rust sentinel plots for significant developments, providing northern states an early alert to potential problems if conducive conditions occur. Currently, virtually no soybean rust has been detected in U.S. There are confirmed cases in Mexico that can spread north, but overall the innoculum to the south is very low. This is due to a record-setting cold winter in the south which frosted back kudzu, the overwintering host plant for the disease.

Soybean rust sentinel plots have been established in many Gulf Coast states, the primary region for soybean rust monitoring in 2010. Throughout these states kudzu is actively growing and being monitored.

This monitoring effort is being funded by regional and national soybean checkoff programs (North Central Soybean Research Program and United Soybean Board) and the USDA. Some other areas also may have monitoring programs funded by their state soybean checkoff programs.

In Nebraska we will no longer have soybean rust sentinel plots. Our plan is to use research plots scattered across the eastern third of the state as indicators of potential soybean rust development in Nebraska. We also have discontinued our soybean rust phone hotline as a result of limited disease development over the past five years.

Continued Vigilance

Even though we have reduced U.S. monitoring efforts, I encourage you to stay aware of where soybean rust is by using the national Soybean Rust monitoring website at sbrusa.net. As cases are confirmed, they are posted to this website (Figure 1).


Information on this disease and many others can be found on two UNL websites:

Loren Giesler
Extension Plant Pathologist


Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.