Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced that USDA will use nearly $1.2 million in contingency funding to help monitor, report and manage soybean rust during the 2005 growing season.

"USDA is committed to helping soybean producers take the appropriate steps to manage their crops," said Johanns. "These funds will enhance our federal, state and industry-coordinated effort to provide the most up-to-date information on where soybean rust exists in the United States and how best to protect against it."

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) officials will apply the funding to soybean rust surveillance and monitoring; predictive modeling; Web-based dissemination of information to stakeholders; finalizing fungicide criteria; and communication and outreach.

APHIS expects to spend $210,000 to update and maintain the new USDA Soybean Rust Web site, which it launched last month. The one-stop federal resource,, provides timely information on the extent and severity of soybean outbreaks in the United States, Caribbean basin and Central America.

Source: Government Release