Alan Blaine, Mississippi Extension soybean specialist, is encouraging soybean producers to take advantage of two Asian soybean rust-related tracking and information tools.

A toll-free ASR information line — (800) 516-0865 — will be launched June 1.

The line will provide frequently updated advisories for both Mississippi and Louisiana. It will also contain information about the latest environmental conditions and management options.

“The 800 number is sponsored by BASF and the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board,” says Blaine. “It’ll probably run through mid-September or when the ASR threat has passed. It should be beneficial for growers because the line will be available 24/7 and they’ll be able to listen to reports on both states or break them apart.”

Blaine also pointed producers toward the USDA’s soybean rust alert Website ( http://www.sbrusa.net).

“The site is very easy to use to set up e-mail advisories. I encourage farmers to strongly consider using it because they update it quickly.”

In a press release, Blaine provided the following instructions for the site:

“At the top right hand corner of the site, in red text, is a link you can click on called ‘Sign Up For Alerts.’ Click on the link and a dialog box will appear. In this box you’ll need to fill in your e-mail address and the region you are interested in. If you’re interested in all areas, sign up for the national report. Alerts will be sent to the e-mail account you provide.”

If a county confirms ASR, an e-mail alert is sent out.

“This alert will say a county has been turned red or is red-checked. Red means a positive confirmation of ASR has been made in the county. Red-checked means a positive confirmation of ASR has been made and (soybeans) have been destroyed to prevent further production of inoculum.”

Growers can return to www.sbrusa.net to get further information and maps on positive detections.

As for the ASR situation in Mississippi currently, Blaine isn’t very worried.

“When we were approaching planting, a few reports had come out about ASR having been found on some overwintering kudzu. That concerned a lot of folks, but many of those concerns have since moderated or gone away. We’re checking sentinel plots, but nothing has been found, and we feel good about where our crop is.”

With the earliness of the Mississippi crop, “give me another 30 days and I won’t be that concerned with ASR anymore. For the most part, we just need to get to July 1.”

e-mail: dbennett@farmpress.com