Iowa's Plans and Preparations for the Possible Arrival of Asian Soybean Rust in 2005
Asian soybean rust, caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, can seriously reduce soybean yields and/or significantly increase the cost of soybean production when the disease occurs with high incidence and severity Until most recently, the continental United States was the only major soybean-producing area of the world where the disease was not known to exist. But on November 10, 2004, all that changed. On that date, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and subsequently the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that Asian soybean rust had been confirmed near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The fields where the rust infestations were found were bulk soybean fields located on research farms belonging to Louisiana State University. At the time of the discovery of these initial infestations, most of the commercial soybean fields in Louisiana had been harvested. X.B. Yang, Iowa State University plant pathologist, is one of the leading experts on Asian soybean rust in the world and was flown down to Louisiana as a member of the USDA soybean rust detection assessment team to evaluate the rust outbreak.