June 14, 2006 | By: Laura Skillman

The latest information for Kentucky farmers on soybean aphids and rust is only a click away thanks to a national Web site that tracks state and national data.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored Web site, http://www.sbrusa.net, will include rust information and commentaries from Don Hershman, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture plant pathologist. Doug Johnson, UK entomologist, will provide information from Kentucky on soybean aphids and Chad Lee, UK agronomist, will assist with agronomic information.

The Web site was used last year to track soybean rust in the United States. This year it is being expanded to track soybean aphids as well and is called the Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education.

Information available on the site includes observations and management and scouting recommendations. It also provides tools for soybean producers to document their good farming practices. State information includes growth stage, observation and outlook for rust and aphids, and scouting and management recommendations.

The centrally located data will help farmers stay on top of what is happening in Kentucky and surrounding states, allowing them to make timely, important management decisions, Johnson said.

Kentucky is again participating in the Soybean Rust Sentinel Plot Network, a U.S. Department of Agriculture monitoring project aimed at early detection of soybean rust. There are 22 plots in Kentucky, 16 containing an early and late variety to avoid maturation before the main soybean production season is in full swing. Six plots are kudzu, which is a major alternative weed host for soybean rust. These plots will also be scouted for soybean aphids. Hershman is the southern coordinator for the network, and the sentinel plot information is used to update the national Web site.

The state has also joined in the effort to monitor and explore the flight biology of the soybean aphid. The aphid trap at the UK Research and Education Center is the most southerly of a 40-trap network that stretches from Kentucky to near the Canadian border.

Another key information source is the rust hotline, 888-321-6771, sponsored by the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board. This line will provide rust information as well as important/emerging soybean aphid information. 


Don Hershman, 270-365-7541, ext. 215, Doug Johnson, 270-365-7541, ext. 214