Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Was just talking to an agronomist about the "Asian Rust", the fungus that's been wasting its way north through the soybean growing areas of Latin America, and that made landfall in the US last autumn. Word is that it grows on kudzu as well as soybeans, which means that it's inevitably going to become endemic to the American southeast. No way they're going to gas it out of the country if it's lurking in every kudzu patch from Gainesville to Shreveport.

The question right now is if they can deal with Asian Rust with a single fungicidal spraying per season, or if it's going to take more than that. The profit margins on soybeans are low enough, and the application cost is high enough, that more than one pass per field per year would make the whole business untenable on the east coast. Luckily, our company specializes in weather prediction for agricultural spraying purposes, which means we're in a position to offer predictions as to when the new rust is going to strike in any locality, and when the wind patterns and hydrology is best in the window-period for a fungicidal spraying.

Best case, Asian Rust just becomes one more pest for agribusinessmen to factor in their cost-benefit risk analysis. Here's hoping.

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