Technical Science Working Group


Soybean Rust (SBR) – Teleconference #3

Held on February 25, 2003

A.  Purpose of Working Group

B.  Meeting Summary of NC504 SBR Committee

C.  Planned APS Symposium on SBR

D.  Experiences with SBR in Hawaii

E.  Section 18 Considerations and Plans for SBR

F.  Draft SBR Action Plan

Note: Some excellent web resources on various aspects of soybean rust can be viewed at: 

APHIS site -

ARS news -

Florida SBR Pest Alert -

Illinois facts about SBR -

NC504 SBR Committee -

Ohio SBR facts -

A.  Purpose of Working Group – presented by Kent Smith, OPMP, Washington, DC

The basic purpose of this working group is to enhance communication between state and federal scientists concerning soybean rust.  Specifically, we hope to better prepare state departments of agriculture and extension specialists to deal with soybean rust given that they will make the recommendations to growers concerning this disease when it arrives in the continental United States.

B.  Meeting Summary of NC504 SBR Committee – presented by Lynnae Jess, Michigan State University, East Lansing

The NC504 Committee on Soybean Rust met for the first time February 17, 2003, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Steven Slack is the Administrative Advisor for the committee and XB Yang was elected Chair and Greg Shaner was elected Secretary.  The primary missions of the committee are to develop survey procedures and educational materials, identify the potential impact of SBR and the best controls, and prioritize information and research needs.  Eighteen people attended the meeting (many committee members were kept away by snow).

The minutes of the meeting are being developed but several issues can be related here.  First, the committee would like to play an active role in coordinating a survey for SBR.  They plan to contact each soybean-producing state and develop a rapid email notification network.  The committee also plans to develop a two page fact sheet on identification of SBR and certain facts about this disease.  They are also interested in determining the expected impact of this disease once it arrives in the continental United States.  Research by the states on SBR will necessarily be limited until it arrives, but research of application methodology can begin now.

C.  Planned APS Symposium on SBR – presented by Gary Peterson, ARS, Ft. Detrick, Maryland

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) will hold a symposium on soybean rust sometime over the course of the national meeting held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from August 9-13, 2003.  The title of the symposium will be “Soybean Rust: Too Close for Comfort” and is being supported by the United Soybean Board.

Planned speakers at the symposium and the titles of their talks are: 1) Reid Frederick, USDA/ARS – biology, identification, and detection, 2) Glen Hartman, USDA/ARS – resistance breeding, 3) Clive Levy, Zimbabwe – fungicides and the African experience, 4) Tadashi Yorinori, EMBRAPA – Brazil experience, 5) XB Yang, Iowa State Univ – U.S. disease modeling, and 6) Bob Spaide, USDA/APHIS – USDA soybean rust action plan.

D.  Experiences with SBR in Hawaii – presented by Eloise Killgore, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Honolulu

Eloise made the initial discovery and identification of soybean rust in Hawaii in 1994.  Recent surveys have detected little to no rust on the 5 to 10 acres of vegetable and seed production soybeans grown in Hawaii.  Commercial seed growers spray (Quadris) at the first sign of rust.  It is not known whether the local vegetable growers are treating for soybean rust.  There is also no evidence of soybean rust on legume crops such as long beans and snap beans. Furthermore, kudzu, Glycine wightii, and many native legumes have not become infected with P. pachyrhizi.  It is assumed that environmental conditions are limiting the occurrence of soybean rust in the Islands. 

E.  Section 18 Considerations and Plans for SBR

a.  EPA Perspective – presented by Tara Chand-goyal and Dan Rosenblatt, EPA/OPP, Washington, DC

Tara presented the basic parameters necessary in a Section 18 that are required for a science review.  He stressed that a case should be made for the need for additional chemicals especially in a case like soybean rust where two fungicides are registered (chlorothalonil and azoxystrobin).  He pointed out that several fungicides are available for consideration including pyraclostrobin, mancozeb, and oxycarboxin.  Triazole fungicides, because of various risk concerns, should be seen as secondary possibilities.

Dan stressed the need for well-developed arguments on the emergency need of a Section 18 to combat soybean rust.  This should include an analysis of registered alternatives and the potential economic impacts of the disease.  He pointed out that Section 18s are generally designed to provide relief in the form of one pesticide, rather than several.  Also, potential human health concerns are often deciding factors for pesticides such as the triazoles.  He stressed that Section 18 regulations do not support exemptions that are based on resistance management arguments.

b.  State Departments of Agriculture Perspective – Geir Friisoe, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul

Geir indicated that there was great concern in the states about the potential appearance of soybean rust.  Soybean growers need the appropriate tools to combat this disease and Section 18 exemptions are seen as the logical solution.  In other countries that have recently discovered this disease, triazoles have been the management tools of choice.  As in the case of late blight of potatoes, he suggests that lead states should submit Section 18s with other states referencing them.  The late blight section 18 is also noteworthy as it was an application for multiple fungicides, which was done to address shortage concerns as well as efficacy concerns.  Given the very serious threat of this disease and the fact that it is a completely new disease, growers would welcome a similar type of section 18 that would provide for more than one tool to ensure supplies are adequate and efficacy is maximized. The soybean aphid was a recent pest that growers were not prepared for which caused serious losses.  We do not want a repeat of that situation.

c.  USDA Perspective – presented by Teung Chin, USDA/OPMP, Riverdale, MD    

USDA will coordinate the development of Section 18s to be submitted by the states.  Teung will act as the USDA representative who will direct assistance in this endeavor with the states.

d.  NC504 Perspective – presented by XB Yang, Iowa State University, Ames

XB agreed with the seriousness of the situation as already described by several speakers.  NC504 will be happy to assist in this endeavor, and in fact, several of the participants in the development of Section 18s are members of the NC504 committee.  He did stress that soybeans are at greater risk in the southern U.S.

F.  Draft SBR Action Plan – presented by Teung Chin, USDA/OPMP, Riverdale, MD

Teung offered a draft action plan for how different entities in and out of government are responding to soybean rust.  This is meant only as a reference source to the reader.  He asked that active members of the Working Group correct and add to the action plan as appropriate.  The amended action plan will be circulated as soon as all comments are incorporated.