Several segments of the U.S. agricultural sector are preparing a quick, effective response if soybean rust is detected in this country. Soybean rust is a devastating disease that impacts soybean yields in many growing areas outside of North America.

Monsanto Company, the University of Illinois and the USDA Agricultural Research Service have agreed to work together to identify the location of rust resistance genes within the soybean genome using genetic markers. This research could lay the groundwork for someday developing rust-resistant soybean varieties.

“Recent advances of soybean rust in Argentina and Brazil make this one of the most destructive diseases of soybean, and we must prepare for the possibility of rust in the U.S. by developing management options including resistant varieties,” says Glen L. Harman, plant pathologist with the Agricultural Research Service.

The EPA has granted Section 18 emergency exemptions for the active ingredient propiconazole to be used to control soybean rust in Minnesota and South Dakota in the event of an outbreak of the disease. Propiconazole is marketed under the brand name PropiMax EC fungicide.

The EPA also has authorized Section 18 emergency exemptions for the active ingredient myclobutanil, marketed under the brand names Laredo EC and Laredo EW fungicides, to be used in Iowa and Illinois for soybean rust control.

Use of both propiconazole and myclobutanil will not be allowed until the presence of soybean rust has been confirmed in the continental United States by the USDA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Use of these fungicides will be limited to a maximum of two applications per season.