Soybean rust monitoring cuts SC farm losses


Charles Davis: Soybean rust has the potential to be a very devastating disease for soybean producers in South Carolina and all through the Southeast. We monitor soybean rust progression as it comes out of Florida, up through Georgia and into South Carolina. We have been fortunate enough in the past in that most of our soybeans have been late in maturity when soybean rust actually shows up so we have managed to avoid the high cost of soybean rust as a disease simply by being later in the season. But in order to ensure that we do not let it sneak up on us, we have a system of monitoring that we do. We begin at bloom, all of the county agents in the soybean growing areas pull leaf samples, we send those in to Doctor John Mueller, our disease specialist. Once we discover rust, then we send out the alert, we notify all of our growers that rust has been found in South Carolina and the growers all begin spraying the fungicide application to minimize the effects of rust in their crop. And with that process, we have managed to avoid tremendous losses in soybeans in South Carolina.

Tommy Bozard: I usually talk with Charles every year about the time we think the rust is coming in, especially when we have so much rain and that is conducive for soybean rust and Charles and the Clemson agent keeps up when the rust shows up. And just like this year, he told me that they had spotted it in Dorchester county, which is the adjacent county to Orangeburg and we sprayed the following week. It is just a lot easier to prevent it through a spray then it is trying to combat it if you already got it.