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Soybean Rust Army ready in the Upper Southeast

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Table of Contents:

• Asian soybean rust is farther north than ever in August.

• Late planted soybeans increase the risks to Asian soybean rust.

• The Rust Army is ready for battle with the disease.

My colleague David Bennett, who works for Delta Farm Press, and I were dubbed the unofficial Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) experts several years back when the disease seemed destined to regularly decimate soybean crops in the Southeast and Delta.

Over the years we’ve both written about the ‘non-impact’ the disease has had on our respective regions of the country.

This year the hype is a little different — seems ASR is breaking records of sorts. My friend and long-time rust watcher Jim Dunphy in North Carolina puts out a regular Asian Soybean Rust Advisory for farmers.

He writes, “Rust has progressed at a faster rate this year than in years past. With a late soybean crop, the odds on whether growers will need to apply fungicides increase. Now is the time to check spray equipment and be sure to have the proper nozzles for applying fungicides.” 

Dunphy, who is an Extension Soybean Specialist at North Carolina State University adds, “We do not recommend spraying soybeans that have not started blooming with a fungicide to control Asiatic soybean rust. Such pre-bloom applications have seldom improved yields. Once soybeans start blooming, we would recommend spraying if rust has been confirmed within 100 miles of the field.”

For the full story, click here.

He is a member of a group of soybean specialists, plant pathologists, meteorologists, and Extension ag agents that I call the “Rust Army”.  I’m sure a similar dedicated group of ag professionals keeps similar vigil in the Delta and throughout all soybean producing areas of the country.

The Rust Army will face some significantly different challenges this year in the Upper Southeast. For starters, as Dunphy mentions, the rust has over-wintered farther north than ever before and has reached areas of the Southeast earlier than ever before.

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