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Developing a yield loss prediction tool for Asian soybean rust.

Presenter: Saratha Kumudini, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky
Coauthor(s): Jim Board, Louisiana State University. Claudia Godoy, Embrapa Soja, Brazil. Chad Lee, University of Kentucky

The soybean rust pathogen (SBR) is a serious threat to soybean production since its arrival in the USA in Fall, 2004. Early rust infestations (near R1) require fungicide application however, the requirement for fungicide application to later infestations has not been established. Yield losses induced by SBR may be related to the degree of defoliation caused by the fungus. Since soybean becomes more tolerant to defoliation-induced yield loss as it progresses through the seed filling period (R5-R7), infection at or subsequent to R5 may not require fungicide application. The objectives of the current research are to: 1. Determine to whether SBR induced yield loss is due to soybean canopy defoliation; and 2. To determine critical leaf area index (LAI) levels during reproductive development at which fungicide application for SBR is required to prevent yield loss. The ultimate aim is to develop an interactive software tool that would determine SBR induced yield loss potential. The potential yield loss could be weighed against the cost of the fungicide application to make sound management decisions. The goals of this research will be achieved by 1. field studies in Brazil to identifying whether SBR induced yield loss is due to defoliation. 2. Studies in Louisiana and Kentucky to establish critical LAI thresholds for different maturity groups and at different reproductive stages, and 3. use the acquired data to establish a yield loss prediction model for soybean rust.. The study is funded by a 3-year grant from the USDA, Risk Management Agency.

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