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Louisiana Sentinel Plot Identifies Soybean Rust

Warm, humid condition assist in spread of rust in mid-South region.

Soybean rust was confirmed on soybeans from a sentinel plot in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Wed., July 26th. This is the first report of rust on soybeans in Louisiana for the 2006 season.

The discovery on soybeans came in the central part of the state in a sentinel plot on the Louisiana State University AgCenter's Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria. The plot is one of 15 in the state.

"It's been raining - providing the warm, humid conditions this disease likes," says Clayton Hollier, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist. "We suspect if it's been found here, it is also in other soybean fields in the state."

The recommendation to farmers is that they treat vulnerable fields with a fungicide to halt the disease's growth. "This must be done on a field-by-field basis, based on the growth stage in the field and any treatments that have already been applied," adds David Lanclos, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist. "We're not recommending blanket spraying. Producers can contact anybody at the LSU AgCenter, and we'll help them with a plan to protect their crops."

Lanclos says up to 70% of the total soybean acreage in the state (830,000 acres) already has reached a maturity stage in which the disease, even if it occurs, will not hurt yields. In those cases, beans "already have been set."

Unfortunately, the rest of the soybeans in the state were planted later, and beans are still forming, he states. "There are nine parishes in the state that traditionally plant their beans later," Lanclos says. "These soybean fields are particularly vulnerable."

Currently rust has been found on this year's soybeans in six different counties in four states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana). The rest of the finds have been on kudzu. A total of 26 counties have reported rust this year and include five in Alabama, 12 in Florida, five in Georgia, three in Louisiana, and one in Texas.

Dry to very dry conditions have prevailed in the spore source regions and movement to new areas has been slow.


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