Syngenta Crop Protection and AccuWeather.com have been awarded a Special Achievement Award in GIS from ESRI, a leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, for their joint development of the Syntinel RustTracker GIS Web site.

The site, deployed on soybeanrust.com, is helping America's soybean farmers track soybean rust.

Using ESRI's GIS software, Syngenta and AccuWeather.com created interactive Web-based tools that track soybean rust spores. The state-of-the-art system incorporates AccuWeather's current conditions and extended forecasts, including information such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction and humidity, which are critical to spore movement and disease development. Syntinel RustTracker also incorporates spore location data gathered from sentinel plots and Syngenta-exclusive spore traps.

“We are honored to be recognized by ESRI and believe it spotlights how GIS technology is becoming an increasingly effective tool in managing agricultural operations,” said Marty Wiglesworth, technical brand manager at Syngenta. “This innovative and interactive tool is an example of how we at Syngenta believe that technology is best used when it helps farmers and retailers grow their business. Keeping track of soybean rust in a comprehensive and detailed level allows farmers to effectively manage this potentially devastating disease.”

Soybean rust can be controlled with the use of fungicides, but proper scouting is crucial. The virulent pathogen that causes the disease spreads rapidly under the right combination of temperature and humidity, resulting in soybean yield losses of 60 percent to 100 percent when left untreated.

ESRI presented the partners with a Special Achievement Award in GIS in a ceremony at the San Diego Convention Center. Syntinel RustTracker was chosen from more than 100,000 user sites worldwide. Previous recipients of the award include Verizon Wireless, International Paper, John Deere & Company, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Swiss Reinsurance.