Using the data that was entered, the tool generates information for yield, return per acre and net returns. The information is based on three possible outbreaks: Severe, moderate and light, and yields and returns are further categorized based on whether or not a fungicide is applied.

“The options are given in order to provide the producer with at least some information on possible outcome depending on how soybean rust plays out during the season in a given area,” says Don Hershman, plant pathologist with the University of Kentucky.

The yield and economic estimates the tool generates are based on actual research data from 47 U.S. and 39 Brazil fungicide trials.

Hershman says, “The tool was developed using data generated in Brazil and the southern U.S. Therefore, the tool has greatest applicability in the South — no one is certain how far north the tool will be useful to growers.”

Weather alone seems to be protecting Southeastern growers from Asian soybean rust in 2010. In future years, the highly sophisticated sentinel system and the new risk evaluation tool offer good hope the disease will never create the kind of economic damage it does in the Southern Hemisphere.