THE AMERICAN Soybean Association is inviting all soybean producers, members and non-members, to attend a free Soybean Rust Conference, Jan. 8, at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel in Saint Louis, Mo.

“Asian rust is already causing significant soybean crop losses in countries where it has been detected,” says Ron Heck, association president 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 USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service will join other scientists and industry experts from all over the country to explain soybean rust. Soybean Rust Conference participants will also get the “inside scoop” on how the American Soybean Association is working with the federal government and industry to safeguard the U.S. crop from the 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 Soybean Rust Conference is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will conclude around 5:30 p.m. Registration is complimentary but required for all participants.

To register for the conference, log onto www.SoyGrowers.com, download and fill out the registration form and e-mail it to meeting planner Julie Hawkins at julieh@soy.org. Registration forms can also be mailed to Julie Hawkins, American Soybean Association, 12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 100, Saint Louis, MO 63141. For further registration information, call 800-688-7692.

To reserve a room, contact the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, 191 Westport Plaza, St. Louis, Mo. 63146, 314-878-1500.

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.