The Southern Soybean Disease Workers (SSDW) is a group of plant pathologists focused on diseases impacting soybean production. Originally the group was initiated by plant pathologists in the southern United States and approved by university Experiment Station Directors in 1972/1973. The first official meeting was held in 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee. Over the years one of the efforts that was initiated by the group was the capturing of disease loss estimates that continues to this day. By the time soybean rust was identified in Louisiana in late 2004 the SSDW had expanded to include active participation from states outside of the southern region due to the increased threat from soybean rust to soybean production throughout the contiguous United States.