USDA has launched an Asian soybean rust Web site to provide soybean farmers with information and guidance on the disease that was discovered in the Southeast last November.

The Web site, located at www.usda.gov/soybeanrust, will be part of a national soybean rust plant disease surveillance and monitoring network. It will provide timely information on the extent and severity of soybean rust outbreaks in the United States, the Caribbean basin and Central America.

“It will give users up-to-date forecasts on where soybean rust is likely to appear in the United States, report where the disease exists by county, refer growers to county Extension agents nationwide, list the National Plant Diagnostic Networks laboratories and link to other Web sites to give producers effective disease management options,” a USDA spokesman said.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, Risk Management Agency, and the Agricultural Research Service will work with soybean industry organizations, state departments of agriculture and research and scientific communities to launch the Web site.

The effort is part of the strategic plan USDA implemented in 2002 in anticipation of a potential soybean rust find in the United States, which established priorities of protection, detection, response and recovery.