Nobody knows for sure whether or not Asian soybean rust will attack your fields this year. But when the disease showed up in soybean fields throughout the southern United States last fall, soybean rust became one of the most thoroughly promoted soybean diseases ever. What's the effect of all that coverage? It seems to vary.
Some farmers we've interviewed started stockpiling fungicides and updating their spray equipment months ago. At the other end of the spectrum, skeptics wonder if dire predictions of $4.5 billion in potential yield losses could just be hype to sell fungicides. Perhaps, if we are lucky, the skeptics will be vindicated. But in the meantime, it might be a good idea to take advantage of all the free information about soybean rust that is currently available. Just in case.
Companies selling fungicides that can cure or prevent the disease are aggressively positioning themselves not only as product providers, but as knowledge resources for scouting, early detection and treatment. The information these companies provide is top-notch, and may be easier to wade through than some government Websites. If you need information about soybean rust, look to our list of soybean rust resources where you'll find USDA/APHIS updates, company resources and a quick link to the ongoing soybean rust coverage provided by Farm Industry News.