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Soybean rust dispersal prediction and analysis in the U.S. for 2005 growing season.

Presenter: Zaitao Pan, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth & Atmos. Sci. Saint Louis University
Coauthor(s): E. M Del Ponte2, L. Xue1, L. Xu2, D. Andrade1, R. Pasken1 and, X.B. Yang2. 1 Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, 2 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University.

We integrated regional climate model MM5 with pathogen dispersal model HYSPLIT, establishing a long-term prediction model system. During the 2005 growing season we ran our spore dispersal and disease spread prediction model system on a weekly basis, predicting the disease activity 2-4 weeks in advance. Based on the 18 forecasts we issued, our model can predict the general pattern of dispersal from the South Coast toward central and eastern U.S. although the model appears to overestimate spore concentration. During the 2005 growing season, the disease was mostly confined to a narrow strip along the Gulf coast, to the east of Mississippi. Preliminary analyses of weather conditions indicate that winds in the atmospheric boundary layer this year were more zonal (less southerly) and weaker than normal throughout the coastal states, likely contributing to the local confinement to which biological factors may also have contributed. Both meteorological and biological contributions to rust dispersal in the U.S. need further investigation.

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