Soybean Rust work group

meeting held on Tuesday 21 July 2004 at 09h00 at Pannar, Greytown

  1. Opening

    Dr McLaren, an ARC-GCI representative, opened the meeting with a prayer.

  2. Welcome

    The chairperson, Dr J Purchase extended a warm welcome to all present.

  3. Attendance and apologies


    Dr JL Purchase Grain South Africa (Chairperson)
    Dr J Dreyer ARC-Grain Crops Institute (observer)
    Dr NW McLaren ARC-Grain Crops Institute
    Dr AJ Liebenberg ARC-Grain Crops Institute
    Mr AJ de Lange ARC-Grain Crops Institute
    Mr GP de Beer ARC-Grain Crops Institute
    Mr GJH Scholtemeijer Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust / Oilseeds Advisory Committee
    Dr J de Kock Protein Research Foundation
    Mr L Killian Protein Research Foundation
    Mr FAS Potgieter Grain South Africa
    Ms ED du Preez KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs
    Ms S Tweer KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs
    Mr NC van Rij KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs
    Mr KF Lawrance KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs
    Ms ZS Mavuso KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs
    Mr ID Lamprecht Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
    Dr P Caldwell KwaZulu-Natal University
    Prof ZA Pretorius University of the Free State
    Dr FJ Kloppers PANNAR
    Mr A Jarvie PANNAR
    Ms M Govender PANNAR
    Mr F van dur Post PANNAR
    Mr L Oberholzer Monsanto SA
    Mr NGE Hackland AVCASA (BASF)
    Mr C Roose AVCASA (BASF)
    Mr AG Broeksma AVCASA (Bayer)
    Mr WP Roux AVCASA (Bayer)
    Dr GM Swart AVCASA (Syngenta)
    Ms P Kruger ARC-Grain Crops Institute (Secretary)

    Absent with apologies

    Mr A de Klerk AVCASA (Du Pont)
    Prof M Laing KwaZulu-Natal University
    Dr C Levy Commercial Farmers Union
    Mr A Bennett Monsanto SA
    Mr AJ Pretorius ARC-Grain Crops Institute

  4. Finalisation of agenda

    The agenda was finalised with the addition of point 5, Personalia.

  5. Personalia

    Condolences were conveyed to Dr De Kock and his family regarding the loss of his son.

  6. Minutes

    1. Corrections and acceptance

      The minutes of the 4th meeting of the Soybean Rust Task Team held on Thursday, 24 July 2003, were accepted as a true reflection of the meeting without any changes.

    2. Matters arising

      1. Literature studies

        The meeting was informed that the corrections as well as the comprehensiveness that was required regarding the studies, had all been done. See Annexure 2 for update study by Ms Govender.


        1. All updated reviews to be e-mailed to Ms Kruger for distribution and to be placed onto the relevant Websites (PANNAR, KwaZulu-Natal University and University of the Free State).

          Ms Govender
          Dr Caldwell
          Prof McLaren

        Dr Liebenberg said using different fungicides was one way of preventing such resistance.

      2. Pamphlets

        The pamphlet will basically remain the same as the previous year. A few corrections will have to be made to ensure that the pamphlet is up to date. Good feedback concerning the pamphlet has been received from the industry, the chemical companies and specifically from the farmers.


        1. In essence the control strategy will remain the same. Suggestions / alterations to be sent through to Ms Kruger within two weeks.

          SBR Task Team

  7. Seasonal feedback

    1. Overview / general discussion

      See document distributed at the meeting for more information with regard to the reporting of soybean rust.

      1. Feedback from the researchers

        1. Mr Lawrence

          • Rust was detected very early in the trials at Natal – end January.
          • The trials not infected, only got rust at the end of February.
        2. Dr McLaren

          • Breakout in Ermelo – impact on yield was minimal.
          • A late breakout also occurred in Amersfoort.
          • Conditions were very favourable as late February, March and April were very wet.
          • Take note that SBR is a potential risk in the highveld.
        3. Ms Du Preez

          • The disease outbreak the past season was the best in terms of the intensity.
          • The movement of the disease is mainly from coast to the inland.
          • Due to the drought early in the season, the outbreak occurred late January.
        4. Mr Killian

          • The disease was detected in the indicator traps at the end of January.
          • Also confirmed that the disease is coastal.
        5. Summary

          To what extent was the damage and how effectively did the farmers control the disease?
          Are we managing the disease correctly?

          Estimates Committee with reasons why the actual seed of soybeans reported by SAGIS were higher than the last crop estimate. The general information that the PRF got was that the yields the farmers experienced were higher than was expected and also judged by the crop estimate committee.

          Mr Van Rij commented that in general, the control by the farmers was good. Most farmers sprayed just before flowering or after flowering, which made a huge difference in the yield. Also the combinations of fungicide and the applications thereof seems to have a definite effect.

          The meeting was informed that the outbreak in Ermelo as reported by Mr Middel, was confirmed by Prof McClaren. The outbreak in Amersfoort however, was not confirmed. Samples were send by Mr Havenga to the Crop Protection division at KZN Department of Agriculture, but was never received.

          Request / Resolution:

          When an outbreak has been detected or reported, the disease should be identified by experienced scientists / plant pathologists to ensure that the disease is correctly identified. The magnitude as well as the possible loss, should be investigated.

  8. Report back and discussion of research projects

    Request / Resolution:

    The researchers were requested to submit progress reports / executive summaries annually on available data (only public good information), in order to compile a comprehensive report which will be available on request.

    All PRF funded projects

    1. Fungicide trials – Ms ED du Preez

      See Annexure 3.

      Comments / Questions / Answers

      The meeting expressed their concern regarding the negative results on Amistar, seeing that it is used commonly by commercial farmers and not really being a recommended chemical.

      During the economics study, which cultivars were used?

      Only cultivar LS 666.

      Do we regularly confirm whether the rust is in actual fact Pachyrhizi – especially now that rust is also found on dry beans.

      Answer to be revealed in the presentation of Mr Broeksma.

      Do the chemical companies keep records of the sales per crop per year, so that an impact analysis could be done to determine the costs over a period of time?

      A crop survey is available, indicating specific details of what chemical was used where, when and on what crop.

      What is the possibility to decrease / lower the application rates?

      The rates are very similar to the rates being used in Zimbabwe, especially in the case of Punch C. If the rates are decreased, the possibility exists that the effectivity of the application will decrease.

      Mr Scholtemeijer expressed his concern regarding outside companies introducing a single spray and presenting photos indicating goods results, but the products were scientifically tested. A warning needs to be issued against such companies.


      1. An invitation should be extended to the outside chemical companies to bring their products and to have it scientifically tested. Once approved and registered, recommendations can be made by the SBR Task Team.

        Dr Purchase

    2. Soybean rust: risk analysis, loss assessment and quantification of the epidemiological value of in­ter­vention technologies – Dr NW McLaren

      See Annexure 4.

      Comments / Questions / Answers

      Prof McLaren commented that row spacing as well as planting dates, are relatively small to be used as a control measure.

    3. Hypothesis statement for breeding for soybean rust resistance – Mr AJ de Lange

      See Annexure 5.

      Questions / Answers / Comments

      Prof McLaren informed the meeting that his trial is 30m away from Mr De Lange's trial and that his trial was severely infected with rust and for rust being airborne, 30m is nothing.

      Maybe the particular land ins use, have a history of soil applied fungicide?

      A detailed soil analyses will be conducted in order to provide more answers.

      Prof Pretorius commented that we already know how to deal with the disease on a general level, but how do we approach genetic control? How do we ensure that we select only the tolerant and stable types?

      The problem is that the industry know of very little resistance or potential resistance. The producers are trying to use some gene that they think might have some resistance. Prof Pretorius informed the meeting that Zimbabwe has some good tolerant lines. He suggested that a Zimbabwean line be crossed with a less susceptible line – try breeding programme from a different angle, instead of making use of the traditional method. He also proposed that the breeders in cooperation with other seed companies, initiate a breeding project – the only problem foreseen will be to select two parents that are suitable for use.

      Dr De Kock mentioned that Seedco do have a few F6 populations that has some kind of tolerance. This seed will only be made available once it is ready.

      Dr Caldwell mentioned that due to the difficulty of conducting research in Zimbabwe, they have been approached by Dr Tattersfield to conduct some of the research / trials in KwaZulu-Natal. This can also be seen as an opportunity to investigate other breeding possibilities / options.

    4. Epidemiology trials at UNP – Dr PM Caldwell

      See Annexure 6.

    5. Feedback from other research trials

      1. Mr KF Lawrence

        See Annexure 7.

      2. AVCASA

        1. BASF (Mr N Hackland)

          See Annexure 8.

          Comments / Questions / Answers

          The meeting was informed that BASF is currently in the process of registering a new product.

        2. Du Pont (Mr A de Klerk)

          See Annexure 9.

        3. Syngenta (Dr GM Swart)

          See Annexure 10.

          Comments / Questions / Answers

          It was indicated in the presentation that Syngenta only has an emergency registration on Amistar and that they are in the process of finalising the registration.

          Mr Broeksma informed the meeting that according to information from the test survey 9 300 ha of soybeans were sprayed through the season for soybean rust, two sprays totaling 18 600 of which 11 700 was for Amistar at 300ml and the other nine registered compounds covered the rest of the 6 000 ha. A concern when looking at the strobulary, the combination product together with the working rates need to be looked at. It is important for the industry to note that Amistar is sprayed alone.


          Important to notify / warn the producers of unregistered chemicals. Under no circumstances may unregistered chemicals be recommended.

          Dr Purchase

          Dr Swart also mentioned that the chemical companies want to move away from solo products and want to develop and sell more ready-mixes. The problem is usually with the farmers making use of only solo products for maize.

        4. Bayer (Mr AG Broeksma)

          See Annexure 11.

          Comments / Questions / Answers
          Do Bayer recommend two of three sprays?

          Do Bayer recommend two of three sprays?

      3. Prof ZA Pretorius (UFS)

        See Attachment 12.

        Comments / Questions / Answers
        What is the possibility to keep a collection of isolates over different years for future reference?

        It is a good suggestion and can be done.

        Regarding Mr De Lange's work, wouldn't the screening of varieties be a better way to screen the early generations?

        Yes. We have already received the seed and are currently in the process of starting with the screening.

        Regarding the collecting of cultures – a leaf or leaves to be mailed in an envelope to Prof Pretorius. The material should reach Prof Pretorius within one week in order to ensure usability.

        Prof Pretorius also informed the meeting that they have started a new project regarding the physiology of the growth stages. At this stage, they have collected different leave from six growth from the trials at Cedara. The analyses will be conducted when the student commences with his / her PhD at the beginning of July.

      4. Pannar Research

        1. Mr A Jarvie

          See Annexure 13.

          Comments / Questions / Answers

          The Chairperson remarked that is was good news to know that progress was being made and that they focus on the genetic resistance for the industry.

          Regarding the area where the trials were conducted, is it right to assume that the climatic effects determine to a large degree the onset and incidence?


          Prof McLaren referred to Dr Sundar's report. Trials conducted over different seasons, shows the stability of some of the genotypes for rust problems. It is important to evaluate in different seasons and in different locations before writing publications.

        2. Mr R van dur Post

          See Annexure 14.

          Comments / Questions / Answers
          Where is this leading to and what exactly is it to be used for?

          The ultimate aim is to do sampling through the season and actually follow the buildup of the inoculants. This will enable the determination of whether the fungus is present in the plant or not, even before the symptoms are visible.

          Will you be testing this season?

          They will be testing this season and probably so some work with spore tracking. One can do spore tracking via collecting a lot of rust, whether it is maize or bean rust and possibly see what happens to the concentrations of spores. They will be able to determine whether it Pachyrhizi building up and when it has reached it's peak.

          How long does it take to get results?

          From DNA extraction to having the results, is ± 6 hours.

          Dr Caldwell enquired as to what the chances are of getting Meibomiae out here?

          The farmers in North and South America cannot distinguish between the two species with the naked eye and it will be important that the farmers get the results quickly in order to control the outbreak effectively.

          When can we accept that we only have Pachyrhizi?

          The PCR has been designed to identify whether it is Pachyrhizi. The primers still designed for Meibomiae – once this is done, they will be able to confirm the species.

  9. General

    1. Strategy for coming season

      1. Fungicide trials (Ms ED du Preez)

        Status : Continue

        Suggestions / Resolution:

        • Uncertain about whether trials will continue as is, because of future plans;
        • Current registered fungicides and application rates are working in controlling the disease – not much difference between the applications and have a good knowledge on how the sprays work;
        • Looking at technology and the development of the disease in the country; and
        • Use al stats in spore traps and weather data to initiate a model.


        When initiating the model, all efforts to be coordinated and Prof McLaren and Mr Van Rij to combine all the data and results.

      2. Risk analysis, loss assessment and quantification of the epidemiological value of intervention technologies (Dr NW McLaren)

        Status : Continue

        Suggestions / Resolution:

        • Trial to be repeated;
        • Include new short season cultivars in trial; and
        • Trial alterations to include ...
      3. Hypothesis statement for breeding for soybean rust resistance (Mr A de Lange)

        Status : Continue

        Suggestions / Resolution:

        • Try to ensure rust development in coming season;
        • Investigate soil and insecticide;
        • Use another range to plant the breeding material;
        • Not use same insecticide;
        • Make use of spreader rows – inoculate the spreader rows after the first reports of rust at Cedara;
        • Use resistant genes that was identified in the crossing block of the coming season; and
        • Continue the breeding programme.
      4. Epidemiology trials at UNP (Dr P Caldwell)

        Status : Continue

        Suggestions / Resolution:

        • Epidemiology studies – to complete all outstanding leaf wetness, temperature and relative humidity combination trials;
        • Alternate hosts – to inoculate as many legumes as possible which may act as alternate hosts;
        • Electron microscopy – statistical analyses of appressium formation / infection and environmental conditions related to this;
        • Fluorescent microscopy – to master this technique to confirm infection and epidemiology trials;
        • Modelling – working with Mr Van Rij, Prof McLaren, Ms Du Preez and Dr Fernandes (EMBRAPA, Brazil). Collate all field disease ratings, weather data, epidemiology studies from laboratory trials and endeavour to develop a model for predicting onset of rust, spray frequencies and timing;
        • Post–graduate students to complete studies: 1. Ms Du Preez (Msc) December 2004, 2. Mr Visser (Hons) December 2005 and Ms Nunkumar (Msc) December 2005. Literature reviews to also be completed;

          Germination tests – complete trials of germination under various combinations of temperature, humidities and leave wetness, leaf age, leave position, etc.

      5. Other research trials

        1. Mr KF Lawrence

          Status : Continue

          Suggestions / Resolution:

          • Continue the effect of row spacing and planting dates on rust;
          • Discontinue planting date trials unless it's linked to the weather model; and
          • Continue cultivar trials in collaboration with ARC-GCI.
    2. Control strategy

      See Annexure 15.

      Suggestion / Resolution:

      1. Information regarding the registered chemicals to be obtained and to be updated accordingly. Confirmation of the registrations to be in writing. Mr De Klerk to remain the contact person between the Task Team and AVCASA.

        Mr De Klerk

      2. Photos on the pamphlet as well as the layout to be revised and modified. Dr Kloppers and Prof Pretorius to send new photos to Ms Kruger.

        Ms Kruger


      Control strategy Resolution
      Point 1 There is currently no other control strategy to follow, but to control the disease chemically with fungicides. Approved (remain as is).
      Point 2 Chemicals that have been granted emergency registration are Punch C, Punch Xtra, Capitan 250EW, Folicur 250EW, Bayfidan 250DC, Shavit 25EC, Alto 100SL and Score 250EC. Information to be obtained on current registrations from the Registrar and to alter accordingly. Emergency to be taken out.
      Point 3 Preventative spraying is far more effective than curative spraying and, if possible, is recommended especially and more specifically for the areas where the disease occurred in the previous season. This should however be subject to the confirmed presence of the disease in the area. Approved (remain as is).
      Point 4 Regular monitoring of indicator crops and frequent radio and other media reports will provide information on the spread of the disease at district, provincial and national level. In this way soybean producers can be forewarned in order not to spray unnecessarily, but in time to control the disease prophylactic. Approved (remain as is).
      Point 5 Application rates and other relevant information is included in the label on the chemical containers and this should be read thoroughly and followed accordingly. Also consult reputable chemical companies and representatives for assistance. Approved (remain as is). Correct typing error – is to be are.
      Point 6 No varieties with genetic resistance are currently available. A number of companies and institutions are involved in breeding for resistance, but varieties with resistance will only be available in a few years time. Approved (remain as is).
      Contact names. Telephone numbers of the contact persons to be added.
    3. Media strategy

      Dr Purchase stated that the current strategy is working very well – the channel of communication is good and should be followed. Radio broadcasts go out constantly on national radio, the SA Grain is a good medium for the distribution of information and the information is only released once it has been confirmed by the different pathologists.


      1. A technical communication to be compiled containing all the scientific publications and findings to date. Each researcher to summarise what they have done and what has been achieved.

        Dr De Kock


      1. The compiling of the technical communication to be postponed for another year until all the results are available. Once all the results are available, the research notes bo be reviewed at the next meeting and a student to be appointed and to be specifically tasked with the compilation and layout of the technical communication.

        Dr Caldwell

    4. Weather model

      Request / Suggestion / Resolution:

      1. The scientists involved to get together and initiate a plan of action on how they want to proceed with the weather model.

        Prof McLaren
        Mr Van Rij

      2. Suggestion that the coordinator be a neutral party – someone who has no interest in the model.
      3. It was suggested and accepted that all the data be compiled orderly and be presented at the next meeting in order to determine the way forward.

        Prof McLaren
        Mr Van Rij

      Dr Caldwell informed the meeting that Mr Van Rij would like to do the weather model as part of his PhD. He however, is in need of funding.


      1. A project proposal to be drafted and submitted to Mr Scholtemeijer for further handling - matter to be taken up with the NDA.
      2. Mr Van Rij

  10. Future and purpose of task team

    Dr De Kock stated that he was wondering whether one meeting per year is sufficient and requested that a second meeting be scheduled for the planning of the coming season.

    Dr Purchase referred to the decision in the minutes: "Task Team to continue for at least two more years, whereafter a decision can be taken on whether the Task Team is to continue of dissolve".

    The Task Team was initiated and established with the purpose to control the immediate crisis – seeing that this has been achieved, there is no reason why the Task Team cannot be dissolved.

    Suggestion / Resolution:

    1. Instead of having two meetings, a full day to be set aside for the meeting. The first half to be used for report back and the second half for planning. The suggestion was accepted and seconded by the meeting.
    2. The continuation of the Task Team to be discussed in detail at the next meeting.
  11. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, 26 July 2005 at ARC-GCI, Potchefstroom. Registration to start at 08:30 with the meeting starting at 09:00.

  12. Adjournment

    Dr Purchase informed the meeting that a letter was received from the Soybean and Sunflower Work Group of GSA expressing their sincere appreciation for the work the SBR Task Team is doing.

    Mr Scholtemeijer emphasised that the funding for the research being conducted, is made available by the PRF and OPOT.

    The meeting adjourned at 15:21 after the Chairperson thanked everyone for their active participation in the discussions.