On July 7, soybean rust was found on kudzu in Iberia Parish, La. Prior to that finding, rust was spotted in a patch of kudzu just south of Lafayette, La. on June 30.

These were the first two rust finds in Louisiana in 2006. Rust was also found June 29 at a soybean sentinel plot in Baldwin County, Ala.

Rust has been reported from 24 counties; five in Alabama, 12 in Florida, four in Georgia, one in Texas and two parishes in Louisiana.

Ed Sikora, Extension plant pathologist at Auburn University, says people should realize the lack of rust is mainly a function of the recent drought.

“They should just be aware of where it’s popping up in the South,” Sikora says.

John Mueller, Extension soybean pathologist at Clemson University, also says while no one should be too worried about the recent finds on kudzu they need to be aware of the possible change in weather.

“Weather conditions could be more favorable in the next couple of weeks,” Mueller says.

While intensive scouting continues on kudzu patches and soybean sentinel plots throughout the Southeast, hot and dry weather conditions continue to reduce spore movement. Even with the recent rains that have increased the likelihood of movement, little movement has been discovered.

e-mail: dischmc@auburn.edu