PIPE Soybean Rust Workshop Report

Held at the Joint Meeting of NCERA-137 Committee on Soybean Diseases & the Southern Soybean Disease Workers in St. Louis, Mon 18 February 2007


The soybean rust component of the USDA Legume PIPE is entering its third year of operation. Last year, the national platform was expanded to include additional leguminous crops, soybean aphid, and this year monitoring for legume viruses will be added. The objective of the workshop was to discuss new features for the 2007 PIPE that will impact SBR observers and specialists. Participants suggested a number of useful additions to the informational maps on the platform. About 60 individuals attended the workshop. Topics covered included an overview of web-site changes for 2007, the 2007 SBR sentinel plot and mobile scouting protocol, plans for developing new extension materials, how to use the 2007 PDA SBR observation software, and governance of the PIPE. The organizers offered a breakfast for those who attend the workshop.

Workshop Agenda

  1. Introduction and overview of web-site changes for 2007 (Isard).
  2. The 2007 SBR protocol (Golod).
  3. Extension materials for 2007 (Giesler).
  4. Presentation of PDA SBR observation software (Golod).
  5. Governance of the PIPE (Hershman and Draper)


Approximately 60 researchers and PIPE administrators attended in the PIPE workshop. Individuals who participation in the discussions and were noted included: Jason Bond (Illinois), Carl Bradley (Illinois), Jim Brown (Canada), Clifford Coker (Arkansas), Anne Dorance (Ohio), Marty Draper (CSREES), Loren Giesler (Nebraska), Julie Golod (Pennsylvania), Craig Grau (Wisconsin), Arv Grybauskas (Maryland), Don Hershman (Kentucky), Alan Henn (Mississippi), Clayton Hollier (Louisiana), Scott Isard (Pennsylvania), Doug Jardine (Kansas), Steve Koenning (North Carolina), Dean Malvick (Minnesota), Billy Moore (Mississippi), John Mueller (South Carolina), Melvin Newman (Tennessee), Boyd Padgett (Louisiana), Dan Posten (Mississippi), John Rupe (Arkansas), Ray Schneider (Louisiana), Laura Sweets (Missouri), Albert Tenuta (Ontario), and X.B. Yang (Iowa). There were many other participants in the discussion whose names are not included above.

Introduction and overview of web-site changes for 2007

Scott Isard welcomed participants, quickly commented on the agenda and the objectives of the workshop. He indicated that there would be a new component of the PIPE devoted to other pests and viruses of legumes and showed how it would appear in the pull down menu on the main web page. He explained that a steering committee chaired by Don Hershman had assumed governance of the PIPE. He also said that ZedX was committed to making the process of switching between displays on the PIPE faster in 2007.

Isard told participants that the PIPE would once again provide access to IAMS model output maps that had been available in 2005 but removed for the 2006 season. These maps had been requested by specialists in the discussion that followed the aerobiology modeling session at the National Soybean Rust Symposium. He indicated that after the North American Plant Disease Forecasting Center closed down, he had received numerous requests to provide HYSPLIT model output for specialists and that this type of output would also be available on the restricted access site shortly. Efforts would be made to incorporate new types of output from the St. Louis/Iowa State aerobiology model for specialists to view. He explained the purpose of the ensemble forecasting effort and indicated that specialists should expect see improved ensemble products in the upcoming season. He said that in a manner analogous to the tracking of hurricanes by the National Hurricane Center, the group of agricultural meteorologists working for the PIPE track the movement and development of soybean rust across the continent by integrating and interpreting aerobiology model simulations conducted by multiple research teams. This modeling approach was adopted for soybean rust because it achieves reliable forecasts at a greatly reduced cost in time and effort. The interpretation of model output by a trained meteorologist results in the desired “human-machine mix,” whereby the limitations of individual model simulations are overcome by comparing and integrating output from multiple models by experienced forecasters.

A lengthy open discussion followed focusing on other types of products that would be useful for specialists. It was decided to try to incorporate a daily UV radiation map, a degree day accumulation map, and a map depicting the favorability of environmental conditions for soybean rust infection. Participants agreed that the host on which the pathogen was found should be included in the 2007 alerts. The idea of customizing alerts for individual users in future years will be investigated. For 2007, host and growth stage information will be added to the public chronology. There was discussion of providing two observation maps, one for observations of rust on soybean and a second for observations of rust on kudzu. However, the participants voted to keep a single combined map for the 2007 season.

2007 Sentinel Plot Protocol

Golod reviewed the changes to the 2007 SBR sentinel plot protocol. Layla Sconyers had spearheaded the revisions but was unable to attend the meeting. There was a discussion of what to do if early planted sentinel plots became infected. The group agreed that the decision as to whether to destroy early planted plots immediately after soybean rust detection should be the responsibility of the individual states. It was suggested that sampling following the post detection protocol would help the model validation effort most if it were conducted on infected sentinel plots that were planted at about the same date as surrounding commercial soybean fields. The group voted to accept the changes specified in the February 14th version of the 2007 North American Protocol for Soybean Rust in Sentinel Plots.

Development of new Soybean Rust Educational Materials

Geisler presented plans for the construction of a new trifold pamphlet for growers in 2007 with funding provided by the PIPE steering committee. Six topics or section of the document were discussed:

  1. Current rust development conditions
  2. Risk factors for disease development
  3. Use and limitations of fungicide classes
  4. Plant development stages
  5. Application do’s and don’ts
  6. Collaboration and acknowledgements.

The discussion was lively with many good ideas proposed by the participants.

PDA Software

Golod presented a detailed slide presentation showing the steps involved in using the new PDA software to record and upload observations from sentinel plot and mobile scouting. The informal presentation generated questions throughout regarding inputs to specific PDA screens. A number of participants said that the PDA software was very useful during 2005 and that they were glad that it would be available again for the 2007 season.

PIPE Steering Committee Discussion

Hershman and Draper explained how the governance of the PIPE had transitioned to an interagency steering committee and the impact it would have on soybean rust workers. They then explained where and how the expansion to include a legume virus component might impact specialists and observers. They talked about the realities of the current funding situation and opportunities for expanding the PIPE in the future. They indicated that in the future there would be a call for proposals to add new pests to the PIPE. Finally, they fielded a number of questions about the PIPE from workshop participants.

Hershman, Draper, and Isard thank the group for their valuable input. The workshop was adjourned at about 5:00 p.m