Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soybean Rust Probably Here, But So What?

Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Spores of the soybean rust pathogen were probably depostited in west Kentucky this weekend as a result of Hurricane Isaac's passing through. Moreover, the weather conditions this weekend were perfect for infection. Now that spores of the SBR fungus have been deposited and infection has likely taken place at some level, it will take approximately 3 weeks for us to find SBR pustules. However, significant disease development will not occur until about 4-6 weeks after spore deposition.  This means we will probably find SBR in Kentucky before the end of September, but the disease will not build-up much until October. By that time, some fields will have already been harvested, many will be near harvest, and even the latest planted doublecrop fields will be well past the point where damage is possible. So, while it is noteworthy and interesting that SBR is probably already here, it is a matter of “too little, too late” to be of any real concern.

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