With support from the U.S. Department of Agricultures Animal and Plant Health Protection Service, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using sophisticated computer modeling to track the spread of the fungal disease known as Asian soybean rust.
In recent years, the aggressive form of the disease has moved from Asia to Africa and into parts of South America. It first showed up in Paraguay in 2001 and now is a problem for many of the major soybean-growing areas in Brazil and Argentina. While not yet found in the United States, the recent introduction of the disease into South America raises the danger that it eventually could spread to the United States.
The latest computer models from the Illinois study indicate that the disease has most likely already spread to soybean-growing areas in Brazil and Venezuela located north of the equator, making it inevitable that rust will reach the United States in a relatively short time.
Rob Wynstra | EurekAlert!
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