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Soybean rust confirmed in Arkansas counties

Asian soybean rust was confirmed Tuesday in Lincoln and Jefferson counties in Arkansas, bringing to six the number of counties with the yield-robbing fungus, according to plant disease experts with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“The incidence is low, with two leaves out of 100 in Lincoln County and one leaf out of 100 in Jefferson County,” said Scott Monfort, an Extension plant pathologist and assistant professor.

Rust was spotted in Ashley, Chicot, Drew and Desha counties about two weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Fay blew into Arkansas. Fortunately, the disease was occurring at a 1 percent incidence rate.

Arkansas has 3.2 million acres of soybeans. In 2007, the crop was worth $984 million.

Because the rust arrived so late in the soybeans’ life cycle, it’s not expected to be a problem.

The Soybean Rust Hotline is continually updated with information about the latest rust finds. That number is (866) 641-1847. If farmers have questions or concerns, they should contact Monfort at (870) 659-0648, Jeremy Ross at (501) 944-0621, or Amy Carroll at (870) 258-2509.

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