The American Soybean Association (ASA) invites all soybean producers, both members and non-members, to attend a free Soybean Rust Conference on Thursday, January 8, 2004, at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel in Saint Louis, Missouri. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and will conclude around 5:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Registration is complimentary but required for all participants.”Asian rust is already causing significant soybean crop losses in countries where it has been detected,” said ASA President Ron Heck, a soybean producer from Perry, Iowa. “Although this disease has not been found in the continental United States, most scientists question how long our good fortune will last in this regard. Indeed, the threat that soybean rust may eventually raise its ugly head on U.S. farms is real, and growers need to have a better understanding of how to properly manage this disease before it arrives.”Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) will join with other scientists and industry experts from all over the country to explain the facts about soybean rust. Soybean Rust Conference participants will also get the “inside scoop” on how ASA is working with the federal government and industry to safeguard the U.S. crop from this dreaded disease.”Given what’s at stake, this conference is a must for all farmers interested in learning more about soybean rust and the steps that are being taken to manage this potential problem,” Heck said. “Should soybean rust arrive in the U.S., it will not discriminate between ASA members and non-members, so I am extending an invitation to all soybean farmers to attend this free educational conference.”The conference is conducted in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture and is sponsored by BASF Corporation, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, Sipcam Agro USA and Syngenta Crop Protection.There are three ways to register for this conference: 1) Log onto www.SoyGrowers.com, download and fill out the registration form and email it to ASA Meeting Planner Julie Hawkins at [email protected] 2) Print and mail the registration form to Julie Hawkins, American Soybean Association, 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 100, Saint Louis, MO 63141. 3) Contact Julie Hawkins at 1-800-688-7692.Check ASA’s web site at www.SoyGrowers.com for updates and more information as the conference date approaches. To reserve a room, contact the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, 191 Westport Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri 63146, 1-314-878-1500.The tentative conference agenda calls for welcome and opening remarks by ASA President Ron Heck, at 10:00 a.m., followed at 10:20 a.m. by United Soybean Board Production Chair Brian Hieser, who will discuss checkoff-funded efforts concerning rust. At 10:40 a.m., Mary Palm from USDA/APHIS will provide an overview of the biology of soybean rust, both its pathogen and disease, and at 11:00 a.m., Morris Bonde from USDA/ARS will talk about past and present research on soybean rust at the USDA/ARS Plant Disease Containment Facility at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Maryland.At approximately 11:20 a.m., Glen Hartman and Monte Miles from the National Soybean Research Center at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign will talk about USDA’s breeding for resistance efforts at the national cooperative, contract research, and international levels. Then at 11:40 a.m., Robert L. Griffin from USDA/APHIS, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, will talk about assessing the risks of soybean rust introduction associated with trade, followed by X.B. Yang, Iowa State University at 12:00 noon, talking about the natural pathways for the spread of soybean rust. Dr. S. Anwar Rizvi from USDA/APHIS will moderate the morning session.A complimentary lunch will be served at approximately 12:20 p.m., and at 1:00 p.m., Todd Topp, a U.S./Brazilian farmer, will present a farmer’s experience with soybean rust in Brazil. At 1:20 p.m., Allison Tally, Syngenta Crop Protection; Jim Bloomberg, Bayer CropScience; Ted Bardinelli, BASF Corporation; David Ouimette, Dow AgroSciences; and John French, Sipcam Agro USA, will provide an update on the efficacy and availability of fungicide products.At 2:50 p.m., Martin Draper from South Dakota State University will review Section 18 approval status and registration of fungicides. Then at 3:10 p.m., Bob Tomerlin of the Environmental Protection Agency will talk about the registration outlook for triazoles. At 3:45 p.m., Reid Frederick from USDA/ARS will talk about identification and detection methods for soybean rust, followed by Ray Hammerschmidt, North Central Plant Diagnostic Network, Michigan State University, at 4:05 p.m., who will present an overview of National Plant Diagnostic Network and its role to combat rust. Robert Spaide from USDA/APHIS will moderate the afternoon session. At 4:25 p.m., a panel discussion and question and answer session is scheduled, and the conference will conclude at 5:30 p.m.Conference attendees also are invited to stick around for a welcome reception on Thursday evening in conjunction with the ASA Soybean Leadership College, which convenes the following morning.