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Tropical Storms Raise Rust Worries

Hurricanes brought spores to the heart of soybean country three years ago...could it happen again?

Plant pathologists are watching the storm winds blowing in August to see whether they may bring Asian soybean rust spores north. The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin, which drenched Texas and Oklahoma also pushed north into Kansas and western areas.

That reduces worries that rust could turn up farther east, but it also means no break in the drought in the Ohio Valley.

With Hurricane Dean, now downgraded to a tropical storm, moving straight across Mexico, worries about rust moving north have also been relieved. It appears the northward march of Asian soybean rust is slower than first predicted, but plant pathologists are keeping a watchful eye on weather patterns not that rust has turned up in Texas, which lies in the right location to be carried into Midwest soybean country.

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