2011 Field Crops Rust Symposium:
Soybean Rust in Louisiana: A Change of History Producing a History of Change
Presenting Author: C. A. HOLLIER (1)
Coauthors: P. A. Bollich (1), G. B. Padgett (2), M. Purvis (2)
Affiliations: (1) Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA; (2) Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Macon Ridge Research Center, Winnsboro, LA, USA
The discovery of soybean rust in Louisiana in 2004 was a major historical event in the science of plant pathology. It not only ushered in a new disease into the United States, but it also changed how soybean fields are scouted and how soybean disease management occurs. Prior to the discovery of soybean rust in Louisiana, soybeans were managed by disease resistance (if it existed for some pathogens) and by fungicide applications that were usually applied by growth stage rather than need. Although some success was measured by these methods, the approach was not the most efficient and many times missed the precise timing needed to manage the malady. Due to the change in scouting methods necessary for soybean rust seasonal observations and management, growers and field scouts now pay particular attention to all diseases, thus making better decisions. These changes have brought about a more efficient, IPM approach that has produced better yields and a more judicious use of fungicides.