Soybean crops threatened by disease

October 2, 2008

Soybean farmers across the Southeastern U.S. continue to fight the Asian Soybean Rust outbreak, which could have far-reaching effects across the food industry.

Plant pathologists are trying to stop the disease, which causes pustules to form on the leaves and kill them. Some farmers expect to see a 10 to 50 percent loss for this year’s yield. Although this year’s yield is at risk, scientists are more concerned about the impact on next year’s harvest if the disease continues unchecked.

In addition to soy-based consumer products, soybeans are used in feed for livestock. A major blight on soy crops could have a ripple effect across the food industry, sending prices for meat, poultry and other related products even higher.

A CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, Fla., takes a look at the disease and its impact on the food industry.