Update from the South
I hope that most everyone does not read this email until more acres are planted, but for those poor folks tethered to a computer, much like me, here is the first soybean rust update for 2011.
And it is going to be a short one! As you all know, soybean rust was largely a non-factor in 2010. Levels of soybean rust essentially reset back to levels seen during the first full year in the U.S. This season is shaping up to be fairly similar. Soybean rust survived this past winter in only a few places in the south. As far as I can tell, it has been found in Cuba (plot since destroyed), Puerto Rico, a few states in Mexico during the latter half of April, and a few counties in Florida.
For any inoculum that did succeed in surviving this past winter, its path to Iowa will be not be an easy one. The most logical route for soybean rust to get to Iowa is through western Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma, where there is a drought. Here are excerpts from Plant Pathologist Tom Isakeit as he sums up the situation in Texas: “It is exceptionally dry in most of Texas, since February, with an unrelenting wind…. Soybean acreage seems to be way, way down compared to last year…. If there is any rust still active in the Tampico area of Mexico and if it moves up here, those spores will find a very inhospitable environment.”
Plans in Iowa
Like last year, we will hold off establishing sentinel plots until they are needed. Early indication is that we won’t be spending too much time attached to a microscope inspecting soybean leaves. Unfortunately, that only frees up more time to spend on this darn computer, but that is good news for the rest of you.
I probably will wait a month or so before sending the next update. Stay safe during planting season.