Asian soy rust is a potentially devastating disease for Arkansas and US soy production. On November 10, 2004, the disease was confirmed from two soy fields in Louisiana and shortly thereafter in Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Since soy acres have not traditionally received widespread applications of fungicides, nor a wide variety of them, consequences to ''off target'' species will not be fully known. While the fungicides currently available are generally considered to be safe, certain fungicides have warnings suggesting toxicity to fish and other aquatic organisms.
Arkansas is the ninth largest soy-producing state in the US, and soy production and aquaculture are both concentrated in the eastern Delta region. With the prospect of widespread fungicide use in soy and the close proximity of aquaculture production, streams and rivers, it is very important that fungicide applicators read and follow all labels with regard to environmental hazards and especially aquatic organisms.
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Article made possible through the contribution of University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.