PIPE: Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education

The arrival of soybean rust in the fall of 2004 set in motion an unprecedented coordinated effort of education, research, monitoring, and information distribution. The Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE) was developed to provide electronic access to distribution data for soybean rust. In 2006, soybean aphid was added to the system and in time, other crops and pests will be added to PIPE. The PIPE Web address is www.sbrusa.net.

Iowa State University has participated in this innovative monitoring and information exchange program. During the 2006 growing season, 21 sentinel plots were observed for soybean rust and 78 field sites were observed for soybean aphid, and the data were entered into PIPE. Sentinel plots for soybean rust were observed from beginning of June through the end of September. The sampling observations for soybean aphid occurred during a nine-week period when Iowa soybean was at the most risk to aphid injury. For rust, the sentinel plot system will again be in place in 2007, and data will be entered into PIPE, not just for Iowa, but also for locations across the soybean-growing area in the United States. Plans are underway to conduct soybean aphid sampling during the 2007 growing season and determine the usefulness of PIPE for providing information on an insect pest.

What information does PIPE provide?

  • Observational maps--The latest distribution of either soybean rust or soybean aphids can be viewed in the center map.
  • National and state commentary--Information on the distribution of rust or aphids and other pertinent information can be viewed in the commentary below the observational map. To view state commentary, zoom into desired state.
  • Archived maps--Maps of the distribution of rust and aphids can be viewed from previous dates by clicking on the calendar on the left side of the page.
  • Update maps--The state update maps can be found on the right side of the page, and they indicate when the states last upload data or change state commentary.
  • Good Farming Practices (GFP) tool--If a grower is insured under the federal crop insurance program, they are required to follow good farming practices in the management of an insured crop. This tool will help with documenting actions taken to fight diseases and pests. This tool can be found in the lower right corner of the page.
  • Useful links--On the lower left of the page, useful links are listed. When viewing individual state commentary, state-specific links may be available.

Daren Mueller is an extension plant pathologist with the Iowa State University Corn and Soybean Initiative and the Pest Management and the Environment Program. Carol Pilcher is the interim director of Iowa State University Extension's Pest Management and the Environment Program and coordinator of the Integrated Pest Management Program.

This article originally appeared on page 58 of the IC-498 (3) -- March 26, 2007 issue.

Updated 03/27/2007 - 4:08pm