FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
December 15, 2004
Agriculture Department stresses education in preparation for rust outbreak
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with University of Illinois Extension today released a schedule of soybean rust informational and training sessions to be held through March 2005. The schedule incorporates speakers who will address the issues farmers and crops specialists will face in the upcoming season as well as educate them on scouting, identification, sampling and management practices.
"As the top soybean producing state in the nation, Illinois agriculture and the state economy are positioned to take the largest hit if we’re not prepared," Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said. "These training sessions are designed to get crucial information out regarding management and treatment of rust to the masses in a short period of time. We suspect soybean rust will make its way to Illinois in the spring. "
Soybean rust was first confirmed in the United States on a research plot in Louisiana Nov. 16th, and since has been detected in eight other U.S. states. Rust is an airborne disease and although it cannot over-winter in Illinois weather, wind patterns can carry the spores to Illinois after the frost breaks in the spring.
"Our best weapon against soybean rust is education," said Suzanne Bissonnette, Extension Educator IPM and Visiting Research Coordinator Soybean Rust. "If we can reach the people who will be on the front lines and teach them what to look for, how to look for it and what to do if they suspect a problem, then hopefully we will be able to catch and treat the soybean rust infestations in the early stages before the damage becomes widespread."
Below is the training schedule and contacts list:
SOYBEAN RUST MASTER TRAINING SCHEDULE:
USDA Soybean Rust News