In its ongoing efforts to educate growers about Asian soybean rust disease, the American Soybean Association (ASA), in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will host a series of five rust education meetings during January and February 2006.

“Heat and drought in much of the Midwest in 2005 limited the spread of soybean rust to the Southern United States,” said ASA President Bob Metz, a soybean producer from West Browns Valley, S.D. “Chances are it will be a different story in 2006. Soybean rust is still a serious threat to all U.S. soybean growing areas.”

Entitled “Beyond 2005-Preparing for Rust is a Must,” the agenda will include an overview of “Why rust was not a factor in 2005, and what can we expect in 2006,” presented by a USDA expert, and a “State Perspective on Rust,” by the State Soybean Specialist.

Following a working box lunch, the agenda calls for “Dealing with Rust in the South-Lessons Learned from 2005,” by a panel of experts, who have been working on ways to combat rust and improve crops. The meetings end with an “Industry Perspective on 2005,” by a panel of industry representatives, followed by questions and closing comments.

Dates and locations are: Jan. 5, Saint Louis, Mo., Saint Charles Convention Center; Jan. 18, Plain City, Ohio, Der Dutchman; Jan. 24, Owensboro, Ky., Executive Inn Rivermont; Jan. 26, Raleigh, N.C., Sheraton Imperial; and now a fifth event Feb. 1, 2006, Davenport, Iowa, Holiday Inn.

Growers planning to attend one of these five meetings should register as soon as possible because space is limited. Admission is free for current ASA members. There is a $50 registration fee for non-members, which includes all guests of members.

Non-members can join ASA online at www.soygrowers.com. Non-members may also join ASA at the meeting and have their registration fee applied to their membership. To register online, go to www.soygrowers.com/rust/ or call toll-free, 1-800-688-7692, extension 507 to request a registration form by mail.

On-site registration for Plain City, Owensboro, Raleigh and Davenport begins at 9:00 a.m., and the program begins at 10:00 a.m., with Final Questions and Closing Comments at 2:30 p.m.

For the St. Louis meeting only, the agenda starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 1:15 p.m. Go to www.soygrowers.com/rust/ to view the agenda.

“Join your fellow growers to learn the latest information about combating soybean rust,” Metz said. “Find out the top three things you need to know about soybean rust before the 2006 growing season.”

All who attend “Beyond 2005 Preparing for Rust is a Must” will receive a free Soybean Rust Wheel Chart that details soybean plant growth stages and treatment effectiveness at the different stages.

This series of soybean rust education meetings is sponsored by BASF, Bayer CropScience, Cheminova, DuPont, John Deere, Sipcam Agro USA, Syngenta, TeeJet and Valent. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units (CEUs) may be applicable.