Asian soybean rust has made its way into the Carolinas about on schedule — too late to do much damage.

South Carolina rust watcher John Mueller says, “rust was detected last week in a sentinel plot in Berkeley County, S.C. This was our first rust find in South Carolina.”

The rust find on soybeans was in sentinel plots in the southeastern corner of the state. One leaf out of 50 had 3 clusters of pustules and there was also one solitary pustule. All pustules had just begun to sporulate. This portion of Berkeley County has been one of the wetter areas in South Carolina for the last month, according to Mueller.

Since this find Mueller’s team of researchers at the Edisto Agriculture Research and Education Center in Blackville, S.C., looked at samples from 12 more sites in South Carolina and failed to find rust in any of them.

“When I read the latest weather forecast, it appears that most of the state will be dry over the next week. This will not favor the build up of rust or other diseases unless fields are being irrigated. Therefore, you probably do not need to consider spraying a fungicide unless you are committed to spray for insects,” Mueller says.

In North Carolina, veteran Soybean Specialist Jim Dunphy concurs with Mueller’s suggestions. “We do not consider this find to pose any imminent threat to our North Carolina soybeans yet, but since it got so much closer in such a short period of time, it should serve as a wake-up call for North Carolina farmers to continue to check our soybeans that have not yet gotten full sized beans in the top of the plants, and to continue to monitor reliable reports of where else rust has been found.”

Throughout most of the upper Southeast it appears Asian soybean rust has once again arrived too late with too little punch to cause much of a problem for soybean growers.

e-mail: rroberson@farmpress.com