Iowa Ag Review


On November 10, 2004, the first confirmed case of soybean rust was found in the continental United States, in Louisiana. (Hawaii has had soybean rust since 1994.) In the weeks that followed, soybean rust was also confirmed in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The most likely scenario as to how soybean rust arrived in the continental United States is via Hurricane Ivan. Ivan formed in the Atlantic in early September, brushed the South American coast, and proceeded to strike the southeastern United States, carrying rust spores from Colombia and Venezuela. This scenario highlights the ability of soybean rust spores to travel over large distances to create new areas of infestation. Given this initial bout with soybean rust, U.S. soybean producers, researchers, and federal and state governments have sought to learn about soybean rust as quickly as possible. Much of our knowledge about soybean rust comes from Brazil, where rust has been a persistent issue for a few years. We’ll look at Brazil’s response to soybean rust and the possible trade effects following an assessment of our efforts so far in the United States to mitigate this new challenge to soybean production.