The mission of IPM PIPE is to realize a dynamic, integrated national system facilitated by information technology that provides centralized, useful tools with reliable information for IPM practitioners. Our vision is to develop the IPM PIPE to help maximize economic returns, and improve social welfare and environmental health by promotion of efficient and coordinated IPM decision support systems.
A national warning system designed to help soybean farmers protect their crop from the devastating disease Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) has already saved millions of dollars. It will offer even more capabilities this year.
Asian soybean rust has struck nearly every continent, including Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and Australia. In November 2004 ASR rode Hurricane Ivan into the southern U.S from South America, where it had caused crop yield losses of up to 80 percent. This invasion threatened the U.S. soybean crop, valued at more than $19 billion.
The best defense a soybean farmer has against ASR is to apply a fungicide before disease symptoms appear. The dilemma the farmer faces is whether to spray the crop as a preventative measure when he is not even sure if the disease is present. This may cost each farmer thousands of dollars in fungicide and application costs. On the other hand, withholding treatment and betting that the disease has not reached his fields risks the loss of his entire crop. If the farmer had some information indicating the likelihood of disease presence, he could make more effective decisions. A new national online warning system provides that information.
The Integrated Pest Management Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (IPM PIPE) began shortly after ASR was found in the US. The web-based system uses pest and crop data from sentinel plantings located from the Gulf Coast to the Canadian border, and from New Jersey to Oregon. Sentinel plantings are monitored by agricultural experts, and their findings are entered into a national database. Analysis of maps generated from that data along with weather information can inform farmers and farm advisors if the soybean rust disease is likely to affect the crop...excerpted from our April 2007 press release