November 4, 2005


US state detects new Asian soy rust infections


Four additional counties of US state North Carolina (NC) have been found to be harbouring Asian soybean rust, pushing the total number of rust-positive counties in the state to 12, and the US count to 116.


The USDA named Bladen, Hoke, Hyde and Scotland counties "positive" for rust Thursday afternoon. All are located in the southern portion of North Carolina.


"Soybean rust will not impact North Carolina soybean production in the 2005 growing season, because over 80 percent of the crop is mature," North Carolina State University plant pathologist Steve Koenning told USDA. "The impact on the remaining soybean will be minimal because of the late entry of this pathogen into the state. Soybean rust does not infect seed and will not contribute to seed rots."


Tyrrell county, NC is the farthest north and Hyde county, NC is the farthest east in the US that soybean rust has been found in 2005, said a national rust commentary provided online by USDA. East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana is the furthest west that rust has been found.


Updated USDA figures show Alabama with 29 rust-positive counties. Florida has 23; Georgia has 31; Mississippi has two; South Carolina has 18; North Carolina has 12;and Louisiana has one.


"Dry weather is expected to halt or delay the development of further soybean rust outbreaks," said Koenning.


Although the airborne fungus is a major plant pest in some soybean growing regions of the world, it has had almost no impact on domestic production since being found for the first time ever in the continental US one year ago.


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