Want more answers to help you manage tough soybean pests? By this spring, you’ll have a new resource available to you.

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), along with university and private industry, has created a grower-outreach program called the Plant Health Initiative (PHI). The goal of PHI is to become a major information source for the latest research on soybean diseases and pests.

"There’s been a great deal of research conducted already," says Tracy Blackmer, PHI coordinator. "We believe if we could collect that data and make it available to producers, it would bolster their management skills and profitability."

PHI is using the Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Coalition experience as a template. Problems earmarked for the PHI project include, but not limited to, SCN, sudden death syndrome, brown stem rot, soybean aphids, white mold and phytopthera root rot.

PHI will develop communications tools to collect and dispense information, including a Web site, and create a common database for related issues.

For more information, contact Blackmer at 515-251-8640 or e-mail at tblackmer@iasoybeans.com.