Soybeans were likely planted later than ever this year, and over a large geographic area in the Upper Southeast.

And North Carolina State University Plant Pathologist Steve Koenning says some of these beans may be exposed for longer periods of time to more than usual disease pressure.

In North Carolina, where a soybean crop of more than 1.5 million acres was predicted, many growers were still trying to get wheat out of fields targeted for double-crop beans late into July.

 

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However, some conventional beans planted back in May are near maturity, providing a long period of time for soybeans to be exposed to a number of pest issues.

As of the end of July, soybeans emerging and blooming were running 20-30 percent behind the five-year average for the crop.

The North Carolina State specialist, speaking at the recent Northeast Ag Expo in Shawboro, N.C., says the big threat is Asian Soybean Rust. He stresses ‘threat’ because the disease that annually ravages soybeans in South America has never really been a production problem in the U.S.

Koenning says the buildup of inoculum farther north than in past years is reason for concern. Combine that reality with what appears to be a very late maturing crop, and there is plenty of reason to be concerned about Asian Soybean Rust this year.

North Carolina State Soybean Specialist Jim Dunphy says the recent confirmation of Asiatic soybean rust on soybeans in a sentinel plot in Lee County, Ala., on July 28, puts rust a little closer to North Carolina soybeans.

However, he says, don’t panic and spray for rust, if you don’t have to do so. Still, rust, as of the last week in July, was not close enough to warrant a recommendation to spray for the disease.

Asian Soybean Rust was most recently detected in a soybean sentinel plot at Auburn University in Lee County, in east-central Alabama on July 28.

The disease was also reported on kudzu in Brooks County, Ga., on July 26, and in Hancock and Harrison counties in Mississippi on July 24.

On July 25, the disease was found in a soybean sentinel plot in Washington County in the northwest Florida Panhandle.