Asian Soybean Rust has been discovered in Pemiscot and Scott counties in the Bootheel of Missouri. USDA confirmed the rust findings, which marks the first time rust has been discovered in Missouri this year. The fungus has been detected in 13 states so far in 2007, including Illinois and Kansas.
“Most soybean fields throughout Missouri have already matured to the point that rust shouldn’t be a factor,” says Dale Ludwig, executive director of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “We recommend farmers contact their local extension office if they suspect they’ve found rust in their fields.”
At this point in the growing season, rust is not expected to have a significant impact on soybean yields. According to the USDA, 82 percent of Missouri’s soybean fields are turning yellow and 52 percent are dropping leaves. Double-crop soybeans and fields planted late in the growing season are the most susceptible to damage from rust.
The MSMC is currently funding research at the University of Missouri-Columbia to identify soybean varieties that demonstrate natural resistance to Asian soybean rust. Through crossbreeding, researchers hope to develop varieties capable of withstanding the detriments of rust.