November 22, 2005


Asian soybean rust found in US state Kentucky



Kentucky has become the ninth US state to uncover an infection of Asian soybean rust, a potent plant pathogen that can cause severe yield losses in soybeans.


The official public rust website of the USDA says the fungus was found on one kudzu leaf out of 75 collected on Nov 11 in Caldwell County of western Kentucky, now the northern-most location in the US where the airborne fungus have been found this year.


"That kudzu patch has been killed back by the cold temperatures, so we probably no longer have soybean rust in Kentucky," said University of Kentucky plant pathologist Don Hershman, who collected the sample. "Nearly all of Kentucky's soybean crop has now been harvested. No green soybean remains in the state."


National commentary published by USDA Monday said Alabama now has 31 counties reported positive with rust; Florida has 23; Georgia has 34; Kentucky has one, Louisiana has one, Mississippi has two; North Carolina has 15; South Carolina has 23 and Texas has one.

"As the growing season has finished or nearly finished in most regions, the threat of rust has diminished," concluded the agency.


A rust infection forecast written Friday predicted unfavourable weather would allow, "very little soybean rust transport and depositions for the south-eastern US through the weekend".


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