Soybean rust has been teasing North Carolina growers since the end of October when it was first confirmed on soybeans in the state. Fifteen North Carolina counties have seen the disease this year.
Last week (the week of Nov 6-12, 2005) rust was confirmed on soybeans in Edgecombe County, reports Robeson County extension director Everett Davis. That is the most northern site that the disease has been spotted this year. Davis speculates that winds from Hurricane Ophelia may have brought disease spores into those sites where it was confirmed in recent weeks.
Fortunately, the dreaded plant disease debuted in North Carolina late. The first instance in which the disease was confirmed in the state was Oct. 28 when it was discovered in Brunswick, Columbus and Sampson counties. With over 80% of the crop already matured, soybean rust will not have an economic impact in the Tarheel state this year.
The North American Plant Disease Forecast Center at N.C. State University says soybean rust has been found in the U.S. at well over 100 sites this year. For more information about where and when the disease was found and confirmed visit the Center's Web site at www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/soybeanrust/index.php.