Just minutes ago, Greg Shaner confirmed that Asian soybean rust was detected in a field of late soybeans located in Owen County, about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis. When Indiana Prairie Farmer first heard the news and contacted Shaner, he had not yet had time to list it on the Website. It should be on there if you check rust Web sites later today or anytime later this week.
The Indiana map is scattered with green dots, but those are simply monitoring locations. The green dot means no soybean rust has been detected to date at that site. Once rust is detected, the green dot becomes a red dot.
This year's discovery in Indiana is similar to last year, when rust was detected in one or more counties, but so late that it made no difference to soybeans,. Many soybeans were already in the bin or elevator, as they are this year. Primarily only doublecrop soybeans remain in most of the southern half of Indiana, and some of those are already out of the field as well. A sizable portion of them were cut for hay when it became so dry it was apparent yields for doublecrop soybeans would be low, while forage was going to be short for livestock producers at the same time.
Shaner has not yet had time to comment on how he suspects the rust moved into Indiana, but last year, he concluded it rode north on a late storm in the Gulf region,. Don't be surprised if that is the same mode of transportation expected this year.
The national rust watch Web site reports some 200-plus detections nationwide, but only one in Illinois and a few in Kentucky. So while it obviously pays to stay alert to what might happen, it appears that his is yet another year when technically rust made it to Indiana, but so late that it was of no consequence to soybean producers. It is not anticipated that rust can overwinter here. It needs a winter host, primarily kudzu, that remains green and alive throughout the winter.
Instead, soybean cyst nematode, sudden death syndrome, phythphora root rot and other ailments remain bigger concerns,. In fact, the biggest concern this year was simply a lack of moisture, coupled with too much August and early September heat.
Indianapolis recorded 37 days of 90 degree reading or above, with the bulk of those after August 1. The average days of 90 degrees or above for the Hoosier capitol city is 18. What's more, Ken Scheeringa, Indiana assistant state climatologist, notes that 2007 is now in the record books as the year with the latest- recorded 90 degree F or higher reading in the season. Until this year, it was October 4. On Monday, October 8, the mercury hit 91 degrees at Indianapolis, shattering the old record by four days.
Stay tuned for further information about soybean rust. The biggest question to ask now is what was learned by this year's pattern of rust movement, and what might it mean for next year?