Jul 12, 2013: Omaha (DTN): Soybean rust has made an early appearance down South this year, and plant pathologists warn that could have implications for the entire soybean belt.
Rust has been confirmed in 30 counties in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, the majority in soybean fields.
Plant pathologists say the rust is making an appearance about three weeks ahead of last year’s pace. Mississippi State Plant Pathologist Todd Allen says an early appearance of the fungus, combined with a delayed soybean crop, and wet conditions in most Southern states, is cause for some concern.
The disease, which travels on wind currents, first appeared in the U.S. in 2004. The rust has been highly destructive in other soybean-growing counties, especially Brazil and Paraguay.
Another agronomist, Bill Weibold, says “…soybean rust may not be on the mind of Midwest growers. but depending on weather patterns this summer, Midwesterners should keep an eye out as well.”