From: Greg Edwards, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Published December 1, 2004 12:00 AM

Chemicals Approved to Battle Soybean Rust in Virginia

Dec. 1—The Environmental Protection Agency has granted Virginia emergency exemptions to use six agricultural chemicals in the battle against soybean rust.

The aggressive fungal disease, which can drastically cut crop yields, has been detected recently in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas. The United States is the last large soybean-producing country to be affected by the disease.

Soybean rust's spores are spread primarily by the wind. The disease may have entered the United States on the winds of this year's hurricanes, scientists say.

Virginia has been preparing to fight the disease since spring with the involvement of Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and several state and national farm agencies and private groups.

This year's soybean crop should not be affected by the disease because the harvest has been all but completed.

Fungicides that have been approved by the EPA for use in Virginia against the disease next year are Tilt, PropiMax EC, Bumper, Folicur, Laredo EC and Laredo EW, according to the state agriculture department.

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© 2004, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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