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Limited Deployment of Fungicides to Manage Soybean Rust in Kentucky During 2005

Issue:  Soybean growers, consumers, government and university officials and employees, and the environment all have a vested interest in soybean producers using fungicides, when needed, to protect soybean crops from damage, but not unnecessarily.

What Has Been Done: Soybean rust educational programs were developed and implemented; a soybean rust surveillance program was implemented utilizing a network of national and local sentinel plots and scouts, field scouts, and the UK Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratories; and a multi-tiered communication “pipeline” was established to communicate the status of soybean risk and the need to apply (or not apply) fungicides for soybean rust control.

Impact: It is conservatively estimated that 750,000 acres of soybean would have been sprayed with fungicides if soybean rust had been found in or near Kentucky, or if timely and accurate soybean rust surveillance information was not available and communicated to soybean producers. As a result of surveillance (scouting and diagnostic) and communication activities, only 100,000A were sprayed with fungicides in Kentucky, primarily for “plant health”. At an estimated cost of $19.00/A per fungicide application, this means that Kentucky soybean producers saved $12.35M by not deploying unnecessary fungicide applications. In addition, the environment was NOT unnecessarily exposed to approximately 9,500 lbs of fungicide active ingredient. Finally, because soybean rust was not an issue in 2005, almost all of the fungicides deployed in 2005 were section 3 products. Very few applications were made using section 18 fungicides.

For more information on this project contact:

Donald Hershman

Extension Plant Pathologist

 P.O. Box 469

 University of Kentucky Research & Education Center

Princeton, KY 42445


Kentucky IPM

Original document: 1 October 2004

Last updated: 3 March 2005

Scoutcat logo courtesy of C. Ware, copyright 2000

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