When Asian soybean rust appears, most U.S. soybean farmers will be ready. Results from a recent soybean checkoff-funded producer attitude survey reveal that farmers are clearly concerned about the effects the disease may have on their crop. But most farmers also have the knowledge to effectively manage the disease.

The biannual, nationwide survey of 1,000 soybean farmers was recently conducted on behalf of the United Soybean Board (USB). It shows that 77 percent of farmers are aware of what can be done to manage rust. The disease was discovered in the southern United States last fall.

While the survey shows farmers are concerned about how rust may affect their soybean crops, USDA's March Prospective Plantings Report suggested that rust has not greatly affected farmer decisions to plant soybeans in 2005. Special survey questions that accompanied the report's forecast revealed that 89 percent of soybean farmers are aware of rust and have seen, read or heard information about the disease. Only 11 percent reported rust was a decision-making factor in soybean planting intentions.

"Soybean farmers must realize that this disease can be controlled," says Greg Anderson, USB chairman and soybean farmer from Newman Grove, Neb. "Rust has been around worldwide for years. While it should be respected, rust can be treated like any other soybean disease. As long as farmers stay up to date and properly scout fields, yield losses can be minimized."

Source: Association Release