There's a saying in the South, "Snakes love kudzu." Apparently, so does soybean rust. The dreaded plant disease has been found so far in 2007 on kudzu in the three states of Florida, Louisiana and Texas, say plant pathologist Steve Koenning and crop scientist Jim Dunphy, both soybean researchers at N.C. State University.
In addition, the plant pathogen has turned up on soybeans at two sites in southern Texas.
In the wake of tropical storm Barry, Koenning and Dunphy say, most sites in those three states are probably producing spores. If frequent rain showers begin to pelt Georgia and Florida, the typical summer weather pattern at this time of year, the researchers say the rust could move northward
Koenning and Dunphy also point out that widespread late planting in the Delta and in Alabama brings about the potential for an extended rust season this year.
Learn more about soybean rust at the USDA soybean rust information site at www.usda.gov/soybeanrust/ .