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News Release
  Release No. 0188.06
Contact:
Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623
Shirley Pugh 202-690-0437

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  USDA PROVIDES DOCUMENTATION TOOLS TO ASSIST PRODUCERS WITH ASIAN SOYBEAN RUST PREVENTION AND CONTROL
 

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2006- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced today the launch of the Risk Management Agency's (RMA) Good Farming Practices Documentation Tool. This tool, available via the Internet or through a crop insurance agent, enables farmers to quickly and accurately record actions taken to prevent and treat any outbreak of soybean rust.

"The likelihood of soybean rust migrating to new states remains and we are committed to helping producers to effectively manage this plant disease," said Conner. "This new tool will assist producers in substantiating that good farming practices were followed. Early detection and treatment, along with good documentation, is critical for the determination of cause of loss should producers need to file an insurance claim related to soybean rust."

The newly developed Good Farming Practices (GFP) Documentation Tool is available at http://www.sbrusa.netThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website., the comprehensive one-stop shop for soybean producers to review all the available information on the prevention and control of Asian Soybean Rust.

The documentation tool is part of USDA's Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE). PIPE is an online, real-time observation and forecasting system that allows growers to access the latest information about which counties have confirmed the disease and/or insect pest outbreaks. State extension specialists provide frequently updated commentaries discussing the immediate and future risks and control guidelines. Growers can sign up for email notification when risks change for soybean rust in their states. PIPE tracks the spread of soybean rust as well as soybean aphids in soybeans and dry beans.

PIPE helps producers make timely, crop-management decisions to reduce pesticide input costs, reduce environmental exposure to pesticides, and to increase the efficiency and efficacy of pesticide application.

Launched last month, the nationally coordinated PIPE network grew out of USDA's Soybean Rust Information System. That system is estimated to have helped increase U.S. soybean growers' profits by as much as $299 million in 2005, at a cost of less than $5 million, according to a study by the Economic Research Service.

Additional state-specific information will be provided as these options are made available to state specialists and as the soybean crop develops. USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, RMA, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are cooperating on the implementation of PIPE.

For more information on PIPE, the Good Farming Practices Documentation Tool or soybean rust, go to http://www.usda.gov/soybeanrust/.