Six weeks ago there was some concern about the strong tropical weather sweeping from the Gulf of Mexico north into the Midwest bringing Asian soybean rust from the gulf coast. With the late planting of soybeans this year due to the wet spring, some beans were in growth stages where the fungal disease could have caused significant damage to the crop yield.
Rust has been popping up in several new locations in the South and worked its way north into Arkansas. However it waited until this week to arrive in counties in Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois. Once again as was the case last year, rust came to those states late enough that no damage to the crop is expected.
Since January of 2008, soybean rust has been reported in 15 states. This includes 52 counties in Alabama, 32 counties in Arkansas, 29 counties in Georgia, 24 counties in Florida, one county in Illinois, 27 parishes in Louisiana, two counties in Kentucky, 78 counties in Mississippi, one county in Missouri; five counties in North Carolina, one county in Oklahoma, 16 counties in South Carolina, two counties in Tennessee, five counties in Texas, and four counties in Virginia. Rust was also reported in 10 municipalities in Mexico. Soybean rust is expected to spread northward until frost.